Organizers really buried the lede in an email called “The 3 C’s of the Vancouver Triathlon” on August 25. The first C, “Cancellation,” confirmed that the Triathlon is not cancelled (as Ironman Canada, the Golden Ultra and Granfondo Axel Merckx were, due to restrictions on gatherings). The second, “COVID,” goes over the general pandemic protocol—hand sani stations, when masks will be required, all that jazz. 

And the third, “Coyotes,” declares that the running portion of the race is cancelled. In a summer where any global phenomena had the potential to bring down the race (pandemic, heat wave, etc.), the real nemesis is local wildlife that has apparently undergone some kind of neurological change. Experts say it’s not normal for them to be this aggressive. Theories range from the coyotes eating leftover human food to human abuse to accidentally consuming toxins in rodent poison or drugs. Park board general manager Donnie Rosa told CBC that humans feeding coyotes is likely the root cause of the problem.

vancouver triathlon cancellationA screenshot from the Vancouver Triathlon's August 25 email.

So we fed the coyotes and messed with their brains, and like every science fiction movie ever made, we’re paying the price. One could fill several libraries with all the things people have done to irreparably damage wildlife. But it appears we will simply never stop making Jurassic Parks (both in the metaphorical sense and in the franchise sense).

coyotePhoto: Dylan Ferreria

For 2021 triathletes, one third of the race is cancelled, so they’ll have to rebrand as duothletes. Race organizers say they are looking for alternatives, but the worst case scenario will be hosting the event as an Aquabike (the “official” title of a race in which you swim and bike, but we’re liking the ring of duothlon).

I joke, but really, this isn’t funny. Stop feeding the goddamn coyotes. Life, uh, finds a way, and if we don’t change, that way will continue to literally bite us in the ass.