A Force to Reckon With

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Warm Up Club Profile - By Chantal Far­quhar

TheTryForce Triathlon Club, of Ni­a­gara, Ont. is com­mit­ted to spread­ing its love of the sport. De­scribed by mem­bers as “a so­cial club with a se­ri­ous triathlon prob­lem,” TryForce aims to make triathlon ac­ces­si­ble to all.

Now boast­ing over 80 mem­bers, the club was started by Devin Richard­son who rounded up a few swimmers and started a mas­ters swim group, a spin class and even­tu­ally an in­door brick ses­sion. As word got out and the num­bers kept grow­ing. The orig­i­nal group of­fi­cially launched them­selves as a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion with the mis­sion state­ment: “To pro­vide a mul­ti­sport en­vi­ron­ment that en­cour­ages the growth of mind, body and spirit of in­di­vid­u­als and their com­mu­nity.”

Mem­bers have vary­ing rea­sons for join­ing: some are look­ing for a new chal­lenge, oth­ers for train­ing part­ners and some want an ac­tive so­cial group. New mem­bers Jamie and Christina Cormier could barely run more than 5 km when they started. “We didn’t have good bikes, or clip-in shoes and we were not great swimmers, but over time we have been coached, sup­ported, en­cour­aged and ac­cepted. We love the club and the sport,” ex­plains Christina.

From one con­vener to the re­cent ad­di­tion of twelve

nccp coaches and three ac­tive board mem­bers, TryForce is grow­ing ev­ery year. The club has very strong con­nec­tions with the com­mu­nity and tries to in­cor­po­rate lo­cal busi­nesses and fa­cil­i­ties into its off- sea­son work­outs. In the fall and win­ter, the work­outs are held at the lo­cal bike shop ( Lib­erty! Bi­cy­cles) for spin ses­sions on train­ers and swims are held at the new St. Catharines Ki­wa­nis swim com­plex. Most run work­outs are done along the Wel­land Canal path.

Long-time mem­ber Tammy An­drews says “It’s a club for ev­ery­one. You can be some­one who sim­ply trains to be fit and never races or you can do Iron­man races try­ing to qual­ify for Kona. Every­body’s goals are im­por­tant.” Tom Hunter has gone from ca­sual triath­lete to qual­i­fy­ing for the 2014 itu World Triathlon Age Group Cham­pi­onships. “The club is an ex­cel­lent group of peo­ple who are fun, en­cour­ag­ing and en­thu­si­as­tic. There is al­ways a train­ing part­ner avail­able, your ac­com­plish­ments are cel­e­brated and shared and they un­der­stand the de­sire to im­prove.”

The en­ergy of its mem­bers sus­tains the club and has led to nu­mer­ous per­sonal bests and dy­namic Iron­man fin­ishes. If you find your­self in the Ni­a­gara re­gion, look them up and drop in for a work­out.

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