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Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Contents Volume 8 Issue 6 - Suzanne Ze­lazo Manag­ing Ed­i­tor

ed­i­to­rial

A Mighty Triath­lete Hug

Iam con­stantly in­spired by the depth of tal­ent, the dis­play of power, grit and ath­leti­cism in our sport. The world cham­pi­onship per­for­mances this year from sprint to Iron­man show just how fast and tac­ti­cal the sport has be­come. Iron­man be­gan as a chal­lenge to see which spe­cial­ists are the best all-around ath­letes: swim­mers, cy­clists or run­ners. Amidst their mus­cle, I re­peat­edly wit­ness the men­tal prow­ess and emo­tional re­silience of the strong­est triath­letes. They seem to share an ex­pan­sive, gen­er­ous spirit. Whether it’s the char­i­ta­ble work of ahl Man of the Year turned triath­lete, Mike Zigo­ma­nis, pro­filed in this is­sue, the ef­forts of race vol­un­teers we show­cased in the last is­sue or the sub­tle glimpses we get into the hearts and minds of ath­letes in the midst of rac­ing, triath­letes give of them­selves on ev­ery level. I en­coun­tered this benev­o­lence while rac­ing Steel­head 70.3, Michi­gan this past sum­mer.

Feel­ing drained and uncer­tain I should even be there, I stood on the beach for the pro start watch­ing the waves of Lake Michi­gan slam the pro men fight­ing the cur­rent. I saw three-time Iron­man cham­pion, re­tired U. S. Army of­fi­cer and mom, Jes­sica Ja­cobs, walk over to say good luck to the two parath­letes start­ing with us. When she re­turned to the line be­side me she leaned in with tears in her eyes and said, “They both lost a limb in Afghanistan – when I see that I re­al­ize that none of this, [the stress of rac­ing, the nerves we all nav­i­gate] means any­thing.” Although I’d never met her be­fore, I cer­tainly knew who she was and smiled in agree­ment. With­out a word, she threw her arms around me in a hug I’ll never for­get. It con­veyed her em­pa­thy, her gen­eros­ity, her hu­mil­ity – at­tributes that make her a cham­pion. While I wouldn’t en­cour­age the ath­letes I coach to race feel­ing as I did that morn­ing, I am grate­ful I did toe the line if only for that scene on the beach. It got me through a rough day, but more im­por­tant, it re­minded me how grace and kind­ness can make us fierce, pow­er­ful and suc­cess­ful com­peti­tors in sport and in life. Not a bad thing to keep in mind over this hol­i­day sea­son when giv­ing is para­mount and stresses run high.

Armed with that thought and TMC’s hol­i­day gift guide, you’re sure to make the triath­letes in your life happy all sea­son long. If the gift of travel is on your check­list, Kevin Mackinnon out­lines the best des­ti­na­tion races with tips on mak­ing the most of your trip while train­ing and rac­ing. He also ex­plains how to avoid travel night­mares. We also show­case the best triathlon train­ing camps and travel aids.

Ev­ery multi-task­ing triath­lete wants to know how to do it all, and age group duathlon world cham­pion Jen­nifer Faraone dis­cusses this in her in­ter­views with Olympians and pro ath­letes about their se­crets on train­ing through par­ent­ing. Roger Hospedales in­ter­views Iron­man Canada win­ner Trevor Wurtele and Muskoka 70.3 win­ner Lionel San­ders.

Whether it’s on the start line or in the midst of a tough day, never un­der­es­ti­mate the power of a hug. You work those arms hard in train­ing – they are sure to give good ones.

Above Brooke Brown (right) gives Whit­ney Gar­cia a con­grat­u­la­tory hug at the 2013 Iron­man Louisville, af­ter fin­ish­ing in sec­ond place with Gar­cia fol­low­ing closely in third

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