Peak per­for­mance

Se­nior ath­lete shows no signs of slow­ing down at Tri-Lob­ster triathlon

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY DE­SIREE ANSTEY JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

Summerside’s Tri-Lob­ster triathlon kicked into high gear Sun­day, with more than 120 ath­letes com­pet­ing in swim­ming, bik­ing, and run­ning events.

The en­durance race chal­lenges par­tic­i­pants both phys­i­cally and men­tally. But what is re­mark­able is that the old­est ath­lete, Kevin Far­rell, 72, showed no signs of slow­ing down.

“I take a look at the other peo­ple around me, like I look at the kids that are get­ting ready for the P.E.I. triathlon team, and I see them as an in­spi­ra­tion,” said Far­rell. “They work so hard.”

Far­rell, from Summerside, con­tin­ued, “I see the other run­ners and swim­mers who are se­ri­ously in­jured, and watch them come back within a few months and my aches and pains don’t even com­pare to what they went through, and that’s where I draw my strength from.”

Un­der clear blue sky, Far­rell

com­pleted a duathlon – 20-kilo­me­tre bike race and 2.5-kilo­me­tre sprint to the fin­ish line. He al­ready has his sights set on his next chal­lenge.

Far­rell will com­pete in the duathlon world cham­pi­onships in Penticton, B.C. in Au­gust.

“I train six days a week and I have Dave Perry, who I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate, and he comes up twice a week and paces me on my five-kilo­me­tre run. I also train in the Cavendish hills on my bike, and go at least twice a week for the min­i­mum of two or three hours,” he ex­plained.

Af­ter a long ca­reer in the Armed Forces, Far­rell is fa­mil­iar with dis­ci­pline and hard work.

“I had a phys­i­cal ev­ery six months, so I was fit. Although when I got away from it, I got

lazy. And I was a late per­son go­ing to univer­sity, but started run­ning there and just kept it up un­til my knee started to get bad last May.”

He grinned, “Even though it was a hard run (Sun­day), I will still be train­ing (Mon­day).”

Steve Reeves, from Free­town, was the win­ner of the men’s stan­dard triathlon. He got hooked into the sport for a very

dif­fer­ent rea­son.

“I got into this sport af­ter a friend dared me to do a triathlon in Nova Sco­tia. At the time I didn’t have any run­ning shoes, so I bor­rowed from my broth­erin-law, and then I rented a bi­cy­cle and went over and did it,” he laughed.

Since then, seven years ago, Reeves has par­tic­i­pated –and ex­celled – in triathlons ev­ery year.

“We have a su­per group here in the Summerside area, and we are all great friends and train to­gether. We have a lot of laughs and are all dif­fer­ent ages and oc­cu­pa­tions,” he said.

Donna John­ston, from Mon­tague, was en­cour­ag­ing ath­letes from the side­lines. She par­tic­i­pated in the an­nual race last year, and in­spired two of her

friends to com­pete on Sun­day.

John­ston of­fered some sage ad­vice: “It is a chal­leng­ing race, but you have to re­al­ize that you are in it for your­self and your own race. Un­less you are in the up­per lev­els and are rac­ing and com­pet­ing, you have to keep calm and re­mem­ber – it’s your race and your race only.”

Mar­ian Grant, or­ga­nizer of the Tri-Lob­ster triathlon, said, “We have an aquathlon this year – 750-me­tre swim and a 10-kilo­me­tre bike, but they don’t run. So it gives ev­ery­one the op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate. If they don’t run or don’t swim, they can choose which race to join.”

The pro­ceeds from the triathlon will go to­wards de­vel­op­ing the pro­gram across the prov­ince.

DE­SIREE ANSTEY/JOUR­NAL PI­O­NEER

Duane Yoshikawa, from Mon­tague, com­peted in the triathlon for the first time af­ter be­ing in­spired by his friend Donna John­ston, who took part in the Tri-Lob­ster triathlon last year.

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