By Angela Giddens
Triathlon season is short in Ontario. We train all year for 3 months of racing. With this training comes lots of planning, sacrifices and goal setting but as we all know too well, life doesn’t always go as planned.
A nagging hamstring/ piriformis injury had me modifying my training early on this year, but that was ok. I knew I had lots of time to get back on track before race season and the ITU World Championship in Switzerland in August. I like to think I’ve gotten smarter over the years and I know enough to listen to my body. By May, I was finally getting some speed sessions in and I was feeling like I was back on track. I was looking forward to racing and was even feeling confident enough in my training to register for the Barrelman Triathlon.
Life had other plans for me though, a personal crisis left me emotionally and physically drained. I knew then that my race season was not going to go as planned and I was faced with two options, throw in the towel or re-adjust my expectations. For me, triathlon is a part of who I am. I couldn’t imagine not having it as part of my life so I decided to throw out my training plan and my goals for the year and try to be happy with what I was able to do. Swimming, biking and running became more therapeutic in nature. I let my body and mind dictate what I was capable of on any given day.
Before I knew it, it was the week of my first race, The Rose City long course, I had not put in the training I’d wanted and I was doubting if I’d be able to complete the race. A run that week reminded my that my piriformis also wasn’t sure if I’d be able to make it through the race. With a bunch of coaxing from my family and friends, I packed up and headed down to Welland. My swim and bike went better than expected, thanks in large part to the amazing race venue, but my run was less than stellar. I kept having to walk and stretch, I’ve never considered pulling out of a race but I sure did that day. It’s funny the little things that will motivate you to push on. An elderly gentleman who was volunteering at an aide station with some kind words, a gentleman who ran beside me for a bit and lots of ice all helped get me through to the finish. While it was not the race I’d envisioned at the end I was happy to have pushed through. Now, as I prepare for Gravenhurst this weekend, I know I’m still not where I want to be but I know I will get through the race and hopefully this time finish with a smile on my face.
We all know we all race for different reasons, we all have our own goals. But what I have learnt this year is that we need to be prepared for those reasons and goals to change. Racing, as with life, doesn’t always go as planned. It’s up to us to push through and make the most of the hand we are dealt and remember to smile at the finish!
By Taylor Speirs
Triathlon, like many long distance endurance sports is like experiencing life in one day. One of my idols in the sport of ultra marathons, Ann Trason, describes this best stating: “I’ve always looked at running 100 miles as life in a day, it has all the trials and tribulations as life in one day.”
When that gun goes off as the sun rises, the emotions and thoughts that one experiences are unlike anything else. As we push ourselves to reach a goal, whether that’s completion of a race or a timed goal, we experience both joy and hardship. There is something magical about endurance racing, it can bring out the best and worse version of us. It can bring out utter frustration and promises of “I am never doing this again” but somehow we find ourselves at the starting line again.
For those who are starting triathlon for the first time, these races will enable you to discover yourself, as you push yourself further than you ever thought was possible. It is important to soak it all in, every cheering spectator, every aid station volunteer, everything thought and feeling.
At times the distances ahead may seem impossible, but don’t forget to take a deep breath and embrace this crazy experience. Remember there is no finish line, only the start of a whole new race.
Some pre race, bike course footage and post race recap video.
BARRIE, ONTARIO (February 28, 2017) – MultiSport Canada (MSC) is excited to announce a partnership with STAC Performance for the 2017 triathlon season. STAC Performance is the perfect training partner for the avid triathlete. Initially funded through Kickstarter, the STAC Zero bike trainer is designed to be completely silent and easy on your tires.
Instead of using a flywheel and roller to push up against your back wheel or a direct drive system, the STAC Zero uses magnets to create resistance. Two neodymium magnets are placed either side the rim — which needs to be alloy — and as the wheel spins they create resistance.
“STAC Performance, creator of the STAC Zero silent trainer, is proud to join the Skechers Triathlon Series as a sports technology sponsor”, said STAC Performance CEO Andrew Buckrell. “STAC is looking forward to working with MSC to develop new training and racing technologies to help racers of all levels.”
STAC Performance will be onsite at all Skechers MSC races this summer. The year’s race series will take place on the following dates: June 24/25 (Rose City), July 15/16 (Gravenhurst), August 6 (Kingston), August 12/13 (Bracebridge), August 19/20 (Toronto Island), August 26 (Wasaga Beach) and September 9/10 (Lakeside).
About STAC Performance
STAC Performance, located in Kitchener, Ontario, is the creator of the STAC Zero, the world’s first Zero noise, Zero contact, Zero tire wear bike trainer. The STAC Zero has sold into 29 countries and is on influential reviewer DC Rainmaker’s 2016/2017 recommended trainer list. Learn more at www.staczero.com
About MultiSport Canada
MultiSport Canada (MSC) was founded by John Salt and Mike Buck in 2002. The first race was held in 2002 at Erin Meadows Community Centre and has now grown into Canada’s largest triathlon series with over 9,000 athletes participating in multiple races. MSC owns and produces the Skechers Performance Triathlon Series, the Niagara Falls Barrelman, and The Ontario Women’s Triathlon. MSC is also one of Canada’s premier event management companies contracted by several other event partners and not-for-profits such as the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation and Joe’s Team. Learn more at www.multisportcanada.com