Human Powered Racing began hosting races in 2010 when the then race director for the Victoria Youth Triathlon was retiring and was going to end the event. As a parent of young triathletes and an experienced triathlete himself, Rob Dibden was well aware of the importance of the Victoria Youth Triathlon to young up and coming athletes. Rob agreed to take over as race director for the event to ensure that it would continue.
Rob partnered with Mike Neill in Human Powered Racing and the movement gained momentum. As the head coach of the Human Powered Racing team in Victoria, Mike shares Rob’s passion for growing triathlon and multisport events. Together with an entire team, Mike and Rob put their energy into providing opportunities for the community to race locally and to bring triathletes from other areas to Vancouver Island to race.
When Mike and Rob were approached by another race director looking for someone to take over the Tri of Compassion, the answer was immediately “Yes!”
The Triathlon of Compassion is a fund raising event for the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre and has been a grass roots fixture on the TriBC race calendar for decades. Human Powered Racing believed it was important to keep this event alive.
At the same time, friend and HPR Teammate Monique Moore was trying to get an off road triathlon happening in Victoria. With one of the best arenas for off road triathlon right here in Victoria, Human Powered Racing saw the immediate benefit of offering this racing format and partnered with Monique as Race Director to create XTERRA Victoria. A race that has featured on the Pan American XTERRA race circuit and hosted some of the world’s best XTERRA athletes.
A few years ago a friend returned from competing in Europe with glowing reports of a new race format called SwimRun. At Human Powered Racing, we were intrigued by the new format and wanted to bring this opportunity to BC. As a result SwimRun Victoria was created.
Last year when approached by a member of the Cowichan Valley running club, Ceevacs, asking if Human Powered Racing would be interested in taking over the Cowichan Challenge Triathlon the answer once again was “Yes!” The Cowichan Challenge is a quality, grass roots event that had been hosted by Ceevacs for years and it has always been the type of race that allows many people to experience triathlon for the first time. Unfortunately it is many of these type of races that are falling off the map.
One of Rob’s greatest passions is working with youth in our sport and providing them guidance (HPR Youth Triathlon Team) and opportunities to race. This passion for providing racing opportunities has led to the creation of the West Shore Youth Triathlon and the Greater Victoria Youth Tri Series. In an effort to provide more of these racing opportunities youth races have also been added to the Tri of Compassion and the Cowichan Challenge.
While Rob handles the logistics and the hours of planning and permitting as race director they would not happen without the help and hard work of countless volunteers and members of the Human Powered Racing Team (both past and present). In fact, many of our team members share this passion and belief so strongly that they get behind the events as presenting sponsors. From Gerald and Lisa Kersten of Kersten Orthodontics sponsoring our youth races to Sandy Wilson of Arbutus Physiotherapy and Health Centre sponsoring XTERRA Victoria, the support we receive from local business’ and athletes ensures that Human Powered Racing will be able to host events and keep grass roots, and youth racing alive for years to come.
We now have seven events happening between May and August, and we remain committed to providing great race experiences in different formats to our multisport community.
We’re in the process of planning our next race season and we hope to see you at a Human Powered Racing event in 2023.