Cana­dian Woman cho­sen for Norse­man Xtreme race

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Warm Up | News -

Nor­way’s Isklar Norse­man Xtreme Triathlon is an iron- dis­tance race that starts with a swim in a frigid fjord and in­volves climb­ing a rocky trail up Gaus­tatop­pen moun­tain at the end of the marathon. One of the most de­mand­ing races in the world, Norse­man is also un­sup­ported. Van­cou­ver’s Richele Frank is the lone Cana­dian, and one of five women, selected to com­pete as an elite in the Au­gust 2nd race. Norse­man is capped at 250 ath­letes.

Frank par­tic­i­pated in cross- coun­try run­ning, ski­ing, soc­cer and fig­ure skat­ing from child­hood through univer­sity and, in her 20s, took up long- dis­tance run­ning and ran her first marathon in 2005. She ran 15 marathons be­fore tak­ing up triathlon as a new chal­lenge in 2009 – a sprint dis­tance in Van­cou­ver.

“At age 35, it was one of the most hum­bling and dif­fi­cult things I had ever done, but I was de­ter­mined to im­prove. I was in­trigued by the chal­lenge of the longer dis­tance races and raced my first Iron­man dis­tance the fol­low­ing year at Iron­man Canada,” said Frank.

She has since raced at the Iron­man World Cham­pi­onship three times (2010, 2012, 2013), the Iron­man 70.3 World Cham­pi­onship (in 2011) and rep­re­sented Canada at the itu age-group long dis­tance World Cham­pi­onship for the past two years. She is the cur­rent na­tional age-group long dis­tance cham­pion ( W35– 39) and the B.C. provin­cial long- dis­tance cham­pion in her age group (2011 through 2013).

“I never want to be­come com­pla­cent and am al­ways seek­ing out new chal­lenges. Much in the same way that I started my jour­ney to be­com­ing a triath­lete four years ago, the Norse­man has been on my radar for some time. The daunt­ing as­pect of the race is cer­tainly part of its ap­peal to me, the his­tory of the race and the grass­roots feel re­ally in­trigues me, and this type of race de­fines what be­ing an en­durance ath­lete means to me. The sheer dif­fi­culty of it, set against one of the most jaw- drop­ping back­drops I will likely ever ex­pe­ri­ence, makes it an ab­so­lute must do.

“I would like to be­lieve that be­ing Cana­dian has some ad­van­tage in pre­par­ing for a dif­fi­cult, tem­per­ate race – we train in cold all the time. I am for­tu­nate to live in an area that ge­o­graph­i­cally lends it­self to train­ing speci­ficity for the Norse­man. Van­cou­ver and the south coast of B.C. have no short­age of moun­tain­ous ter­rain, and my coach and I will de­velop a race-spe­cific train­ing plan that op­ti­mizes the hilly ter­rain. In past years, my train­ing part­ners and I have done some cross train­ing that in­volved rid­ing all three lo­cal moun­tains, fol­lowed im­me­di­ately by a hike up the Grouse Grind (a 2.5k as­cent up Grouse Moun­tain). I ex­pect to see more of these some­what crazy, but in­cred­i­bly fun work­outs in my train­ing plan this year. Iron­i­cally, the cold wa­ter in English Bay that I usu­ally com­plain about will be a valu­able train­ing tool (to deal with the cold wa­ter swim at the Norse­man).”

The full- time tax ac­coun­tant points out that “one of the unique as­pects of the Norse­man is the fact that it is fully self- sup­ported, so the per­for­mance of my sup­port team will also fac­tor heav­ily into the day.

“My nerves will be hard­est to con­trol in the hours im­me­di­ately be­fore the race. Jump­ing off a ferry for a point-to-point swim in a fjord is so un­like any other race ex­pe­ri­ence I have had. Based on prior year’s footage, I fully ex­pect that the swim will be in­cred­i­bly beau­ti­ful, but ad­mit­tedly I will be quite happy to reach the shore,” said Frank who con­sid­ers the swim and the el­e­ments as the two most daunt­ing as­pects of the race. “The Norse­man is unique in that I will cer­tainly ex­pe­ri­ence sev­eral dif­fer­ent cli­mates dur­ing the course of the day. Be­ing pre­pared for all types of con­di­tions will be chal­leng­ing and crit­i­cal, with the main goals to be com­fort­able, dry and hy­drated. I fully ex­pect to have a lot of gear in tow.”

Frank was also selected by lot­tery to par­tic­i­pate in the Es­cape from Al­ca­traz Triathlon, and that will end up pro­vid­ing some ex­tra prepa­ra­tion for the Norse­man thanks to its cold wa­ter swim and the start off the ferry. Fol­low­ing the Norse­man, she will com­pete at the itu Age Group World Cham­pi­onships in Ed­mon­ton.– RH

above Richele Frank rac­ing the 2013 Iron­man World Cham­pi­onship in Kona

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.