Feel the Fear and Jump in Anyway

By Felicia Long

I have a huge fear of heights, standing on a chair tests my limits, which means no looking over balconies for this girl. 4 years ago I went to MSC Gravenhurst and opted to do the Duathlon as jumping off the steamboat was something I did not want to do. I have heard great reports about this race and decided I really wanted to do it – which ultimately would mean jumping off the boat. I signed up a few months ago for the sprint and proceeded with my training, trying not to think about the “jump” part of the race. In theory it sounds wonderful, heading out on a steamboat full of triathletes, jumping into the water and racing…

I swim with Toronto Triathlon Club and I had told Coach Miranda Tomenson about my fears. 3 days before the event she suggested I practice jumping off the swim block into the pool (about 2 feet high). I stood on the block and looked down and to me it was a long way down..After an eternity (as it seemed to me) I jumped and survivedJ. I did a couple more and felt ready for the big day.

We got to Gravenhurst on Sunday morning and went to look at the boats. I could now see that the jump would be from a height of 5 feet – this was not in my plan. I got into my wetsuit and say quietly on the boat, I didn’t look over the edge and tried to remain calm. Then the announcement came for the athletes to jump…I let all the others in my wave jump off without a care in the world and I stood there looking down at the water below. Everyone seemed happy and no one got hurt jumping (crazy mind thinking)… I let the seconds pass deciding what to do…all that training would be of no use if I couldn’t even get into the water – time to make a decision, I jumped, seemed to take a long time but in reality probably less than a second. I survived. : )

The rest of the race was a blur, I was on a high from my big leap of faith and I smiled all the way to the end of the race. I have a mantra to try and challenge myself in whatever form that takes and this was one of those challenges I had to overcome to take on other challenges. I had such I good time I plan to be back to jump off the boat again next year.

Angela Lilly – Including Triathlon with Life

It’s time I share some reflection pieces about #MSCWelland and #MSCGravenhurst race experiences as I head into #MSCKTown and more. Life has been busy juggling our family day, school year completion, kids’ activities ending, volunteering, family holidays, my career in the classroom (June is an absolute blur) and then triathlon training on top. Reflections as life gets busier:

  1. Have your seasonal plan but be flexible. Be open to training inside when you want to go out. Be open to a change of training focus for the day; move one day to another and vice versa. Be open to planning your training within your 24-hour day and not as an entire separate part. I am lucky that my husband and kids are so supportive of me biking to & from work instead of driving or running to my son’s baseball games instead of driving with them; it takes a bit more time but then I can be 100% in the moment when we are all home at dinner time.
  2. Keep a paper calendar. We are all so electronically connected but you can’t see the entire overview. I also use colour-coding for training sessions (I know, the teacher in me) which helps see the picture easily for heavy/light sport-specific training improvements weekly and monthly. I also like going back to previous years when in doubt.
  3. Work on your weakness! Do I need to say more? We all know this but really, make action of it. Talk to other athletes about their great training and offer up yours. When it really comes down to the training, you need to be tough. Improving your weakness will take time and probably patience. You won’t like it; I didn’t!  However, now I have developed into a triathlete and not a “strong swimmer that just didn’t know what to do after her career was completed” at 23 years of age. Gravenhurst is a great example where the hills were steep, and I drew upon my training sessions, mental memory, and “hunting” anyone in front of me to run a PB. I can now draw upon that experience to dig deep in the next race and know I can do it and not “blow up”.
  4. There are no limits. I started my triathlon career in my 20’s which seems late in today’s athletes. Maybe it’s because age has never set limits for me that I continue to see any athlete on the course as a competitor that will help me achieve my goals and I too, might do the same for them.
  5. Superstitions are acceptable! I do have many tasks and routines I do every race week. I have “lucky” pre-race morning gear that dates back decades. I can’t believe it still lives another season. I have “lucky” routines 30 minutes before I head out to race with my family. I have “lucky” transition set up. It all makes a difference in your day. Make the time and teach those who support you that it’s the final step to race preparation. They will probably understand better if you do.

Let’s get the race on for #MSCKTown! Sweet dreams for calm water, no rain and some clouds for the run. It’s a beautiful course that has great fans for the entire downtown. I can’t wait to be there in a week!

Daniel Clarke’s 2019 Gravenhurst Experience


Race Report MSC Gravenhurst

By Jessy Déroneth,

So, having tossed some of my season goals away, I’ve decided to run whichever amount my hamstring was going to let me run and enjoy racing for the sake of racing. 

Well what a great place to do it in Gravenhurst! I have loved racing #MSCBracebridge and considering I am strong on hills, I figured I wouldn’t mind a hilly course. 

Kidding. I registered because at the time I wanted to qualify to be on the Canadian team at the ITU Championship in Netherlands again and it was the only Sprint Duathlon distance spot in Ontario to do so.

But I’m kinda not sure that I want to go to Netherlands. Again, the expenses are up there and I want to save up for future opportunities. But I’d kinda like to qualify for it. And I also paid to qualify. But I kinda should not focus on that. Ugh. So I kinda, don’t. But I kinda do. 

Nevertheless, #MSCGravenhurst was the goal race so I still wanted to do well by my standards. The beauty of this sport is that you really compete with yourself and not much with others. Of course, to get a qualifying spot on the Canadian team, you do have to be 1st in your age category. No pressure at all.

I am going to cut to the chase. I did not secure a spot. However as soon as woke up in Gravenhurst, I was taken by the beauty of the area. Anyone ever been?! It is heavenly there!!! The air is fresh, the sky is blue and there are trees… everywhere! (a reminder that I live in London, ON and we have metal trees)

I arrived Saturday morning at 3am and had secured a great basement airbnb 5 minutes BIKING (not driving, BIG difference) to the Wharf, which also had a grocery store and the YMCA 2 minute walking distance. Meaning pre race fueling and training checked. I woke up again Saturday morning 8am to the sound of the rain and the distant voice of what I assume to be Steve Fleck on the microphone cheering the racers as they were caught by the sudden rain at the International distance races. I sat on the patio and took it all in. Oh. My. Happy. Place. 

I soon took a stroll in the rain to the Wharf where I finally had the privilege to pick Shane’s #STAC, now #4iii’s brain and meet his family. I got to thank Shawn who saved my bike seasons after seasons at @Velofix.

Fast forward to Sunday a.m.:  a bit of a different format as I focusing on the race experience. I am glad to see that despite being slower on running hills, I am maintaining my speed and had one of my best bike time (#STAC legs, people) as I always struggle to beat the 40 minute mark for 20k. Oh and my transition is still under 1 minute!!!!

Great times at the #STAC tent with the #STAC family -a reminder have you can get yourself a FULL smart trainer at 50% off from a great service and great Canadian Company that excel at anything cycling -did I say that I had my second best bike race time?

A huge thank you to whomever decided to play my #1 training motivation song:

Last but not least, to the city and residents of Gravenhurst: moving from a big center, I have not had much interest in discovering parts of Ontario. I ended up spending a weekend there getting to know the community and the town itself along enjoying the surrounding nature. Events like these lead by @MultiSportCanada encourage like minded and positive individual to support the people and economy of this town.

May 2019, Issue 2 Newsletter

If she can do it, you can too.

By Angela Giddens

If she can do it, you can too.  

These are the words I heard this past January while running a half marathon in Florida. I was wearing a half ironman race shirt and from behind me I heard a man say to the woman running with him. “Look honey, she ran a half ironman. If she can do it, you can too.”

At first I was insulted but as I thought more about it (after having picked up my pace, leaving them in my dust) he had a point. I didn’t grow up an athlete. I have no background in swimming, cycling or running. I took up the sport nine years ago after the birth of my daughter. I needed to find a way to relieve the stress of day to day life. I needed something for myself. Triathlon filled both of those needs and more.

The most common thing I hear when people my age hear that I do triathlons is that they don’t know how I have the time to train. They have no spare time. To this I simply reply, “I make the time.”

I wake up early and train before the rest of the family is awake. I train during my lunch breaks at work. I train after the kids go to bed. Some days this doesn’t work and life gets away from me and I don’t get my training in. I’ve come to realize that missing one or two workouts isn’t going to make or break any given race. I’ve learnt to modify my training to fit my life. Some days this means a 1 hour run gets done at lunch and is shortened to 50 minutes. Some days it means I go skiing or hiking with the family instead of doing my scheduled training. There are many ways to train and we all have to find what works for us and be prepared to alter the training schedule to fit our lives.

As we head into triathlon season I’m having to remind myself of these somewhat obvious things. Don’t obsess about those workouts that might not go as planned or happen at all but instead focus on getting the most out of each workout and above all remember the reason you started this great adventure!

March 2019 Newsletter

February 2019 Newsletter

January 2019 Newsletter

December 2018 Newsletter