Body Talk

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Front Page - Suzanne Ze­lazo Man­ag­ing Ed­i­tor

Theath­lete’s body tells a story. Mus­cle and sinew speak to com­mit­ment, ded­i­ca­tion, sac­ri­fice, will and glory. Pushed to its lim­its, the body reveals glimpses of an ath­lete’s char­ac­ter. Ev­ery ath­lete knows the phys­i­cal must be matched with in­tense men­tal fo­cus and a whole lot of pas­sion. Sit on the side­lines of any triathlon and you’ll see fit, strong, pow­er­ful ath­letes in de­ter­mined pur­suit of the fin­ish line, but you’ll also see a raw, vul­ner­a­ble dis­play of emo­tion and spirit.

In fact, the longer the event, the greater the range of emo­tion. I know for me, on long, five to six hour rides my nor­mally smil­ing and talk­a­tive self adopts a silent, blank, on-the-ver­geof- erup­tion- stare. It’s a look that con­veys at once a cranky “hurry up and get this done” and a “this is out­stand­ing” ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the mo­ment. My train­ing part­ners know it well. At one point they say, “Uh- oh, Suzanne’s not talk­ing any­more.” They know I have en­tered a place of fo­cused in­ten­sity wherein I’m both present and ab­sent.

Watch­ing that process un­fold on the side­lines of any race makes spec­ta­tors want to sup­port, reach out, give of them­selves, even if only to yell an en­cour­ag­ing “You can do it!” to a strug­gling or ec­static ath­lete. There is some­thing pow­er­ful in that uni­fy­ing force that tran­scends sport. Is that force what drives thou­sands of peo­ple to vol­un­teer for en­durance events? We need them and we ap­pre­ci­ate them, but why are they do­ing it? In this is­sue I have in­ter­viewed vol­un­teers, race direc­tors and ath­letes for their take on what makes vol­un­teers vol­un­teer.

As we count­down to Kona, Las Ve­gas and the Hy-Vee cham­pi­onship races, we are sure to see glimpses into the souls of the world’s best. Kevin Mackin­non out­lines the top con­tenders and the speedy Cana­di­ans to watch for. Also in this is­sue, we cel­e­brate Xterra rac­ing, as TMC’s reg­u­lar con­trib­u­tor and four-time world Xterra Champ, Me­lanie McQuaid tells us about her very first race and Shawn Skene pro­files an­other Cana­dian Xterra stand­out, Danelle Kabush. Ironman su­per­star Lisa Bent­ley shares her se­crets on stay­ing in­jury free, train­ing through in­jury and how she ran a stel­lar Bos­ton Marathon this year. In case you want to im­prove on last sea­son’s swim times, Aye­sha Rollinson tells us what to look for in a master’s swim club. We also test ride the new Trek Speed Con­cept 9.9, likely to leave read­ers with bike envy. From the hottest fall run­ning gear, to nifty swim train­ing tools and the lat­est in re­cov­ery gear, we’ve got you pre­pared for fall.

To all those rac­ing in Kona and Ve­gas, good luck – we’ll be root­ing for you.

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