Canada’s Fittest Cou­ple

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Feature Triathlete Of The Year Awards -

Careto take th­ese guys on in a Valen­tine’s Day Iron­man? Heather Wurtele won Iron­man Coeur d’Alene with a new course record and also notched wins at Rev3 Quassy, Iron­man 70.3 Panama and Iron­man 70.3 Cal­gary. Hus­band Trevor took Iron­man Canada in Au­gust, the cul­mi­na­tion of a 10-year quest.

“It was a big win,” Trevor says. “I put a lot of my year into that race to make that my fo­cus and come out with a win there. It’s been a long road. This is my tenth year do­ing Iron­man. A lot of years were as an age grouper. I’ve had a slow pro­gres­sion as a pro – I had some good races and some bru­tal races – but the last few years I’ve started to fig­ure things out.”

Head­ing into the race in Kona many thought Heather was a lock for a top-five per­for­mance and pos­si­bly even a podium fin­ish. Un­for­tu­nately, her day in Kona did not turn out as planned and she was un­able to fin­ish the race. We caught up with Heather to dis­cover what hap­pened and to look for­ward to her 2014 sea­son.

TMC: I take it that you en­tered Kona con­fi­dent that you were ready to have a great day. So do you have any idea what went wrong? Heather Wurtele: I def­i­nitely went into Kona con­fi­dent and ready to have a great race. I was fit and pre­pared, but frankly, even if a per­son has a less than ideal build up, you can’t ever go to a race in any other frame of mind than one of con­fi­dence and be­lief. Get­ting to the start line 100 per cent healthy is prob­a­bly the big­gest chal­lenge of rac­ing Kona. An ath­lete’s abil­ity to com­pletely put po­ten­tial neg­a­tives out of their mind is pretty amaz­ing. I mean you re­ally can’t ap­proach the day think­ing: maybe that nig­gle is go­ing to mess me up, I’m not ready, it’s so hot and so on. All sea­son up to the two world cham­pi­onship races, I felt con­fi­dent in my abil­ity and prepa­ra­tion and have gone in and won, or placed on the podium. In Kona I went in be­liev­ing in my abil­ity to have an awe­some per­for­mance, but I didn’t. TMC: What pre­vented you from fin­ish­ing? HW: I had re­ally bad mus­cle cramps in my ad­duc­tors, ham­strings, hip-f lex­ors and di­aphragm at the end of the bike and through­out the run. I sim­ply couldn’t keep push­ing through the pain and dropped out at mile 13 of the run. TMC: Have you ever ex­pe­ri­enced cramps be­fore? HW: No, I haven’t ever had cramps like that be­fore. Highly spe­cific mus­cle cramps are gen­er­ally due more to spe­cific mus­cle im­bal­ance/dys­func­tion than elec­trolytes. From that I take away things that need to change in my lead up, over­all main­te­nance is­sues with mas­sage and art. TMC: What will be your fo­cus for 2014? HW: I know that I can do much bet­ter in Kona, and I’m def­i­nitely go­ing back to try and nail that race. I also love rac­ing other events, so I don’t want to fo­cus my en­tire sea­son on that race alone. It will be a bit of a points chase to qual­ify, but I didn’t have a prob­lem last year with rac­ing big­ger, high point, 70.3 events and one Iron­man. TMC: Can that mean that both of you could pos­si­bly race it to­gether? HW: Trevor and I love rac­ing at the same races, and we tend to race to­gether in the early sea­son 70.3s. When I have fo­cused on Kona, and Trevor on Iron­man Canada, our later sea­son sched­ules have di­verged. It can be nice to have one of us as the sup­port per­son, while the other is rac­ing, but at the same time it’s hard to sup­port some­one else while train­ing hard your­self. All in all, we like do­ing the same events best, and now that Iron­man Canada is in July, we’ll prob­a­bly both race it, and the Iron­man 70.3 World Cham­pi­onship in Mont Trem­blant. I am go­ing to do Panama 70.3 in Fe­bru­ary and the Abu Dhabi In­ter­na­tional in March again this year. I may do Iron­man Los Ca­bos at the end of March to get some more points and val­i­date my spot for Kona.– RH

op­po­site top left The Wurte­les are flanked by Team Wurtele at the 2013 Subaru Iron­man Canada race in Whistler, B.C. op­po­site top right Trevor and Heather Wurtele Heather Wurtele placed fourth at the 2013 uwc Ba­hamas Triathlon in Nas­sau, Ba­hamas Trevor Wu

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