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Triathlon Magazine Canada - - FEATURES - SUZANNE ZE­LAZO ED­I­TOR

AS WE CEL­E­BRATE the ex­cel­lent per­for­mances of 2015 with our Triath­lete of the Year Awards and set our triathlon goals for 2016, don’t forget the cru­cial con­tri­bu­tions of those around us – our sup­port net­works who make our suc­cess pos­si­ble. As you put your sea­son plan in process, iden­tify the per­son or peo­ple who will ac­com­pany you in your pur­suits. Maybe it’s the friend who signs up for a race with you, the coach you are about to hire, or your spouse who will take on more at home as you swim, ride and run to your goal. What­ever form it takes, sup­port is cen­tral to our sport.

In fact, the triathlon com­mu­nity is in­her­ently tight-knit. Think about how many times you’ve been en­cour­aged by your com­peti­tors even as you pass them in a race, or the in­stances triath­letes have of­fered up their ex­tra pair of gog­gles, salt tabs, bike pump or spare car­tridge as you pan­icked in tran­si­tion hav­ing for­got­ten yours. Help­ing one an­other seems in­stinc­tive among triath­letes and it’s among my favourite as­pects of the sport. Para­dox­i­cally, the fo­cused in­ten­sity re­quired of our sport makes us con­scious of those around us.

Take for ex­am­ple Sasha Boul­ton, a for­mer mem­ber of the elite RTC Guelph crew whose pro ca­reer was ended just as it was about to be­gin. Boul­ton suf­fered a bulging disc in her spine while at a train­ing camp in Cal­i­for­nia which kept her from train­ing for al­most a year, watch­ing, she says, her “should-have-been first elite year go by.” Feel­ing the dev­as­tat­ing loss of her dreams, Boul­ton re­mem­bers her fa­ther in­sist­ing one day that “some­thing good will come of this.” The very next day she was con­tacted by a for­mer coach ask­ing her about be­ing a guide for para­triath­lete Christine Rob­bins, who is hop­ing to qual­ify for the 2016 Olympics. “Af­ter a few emails and Skype calls, Stay tuned to our web­site for up­com­ing re­views of the Pow­er­tap P1 Ped­als and Pow­er­tap Joule GPS. Ig­ni­tion Fit­ness ex­plains how to set up a train­ing plan for 2016 and we in­ter­view duathlon stand­outs na­tional cham­pion Jesse Bauer and world cham­pion Lynda Lemon.

TMC I was hooked. I was ex­cited, I had a goal and I was happy,” she writes on her blog. In April of 2015, as her se­mes­ter at Guelph ended, Boul­ten headed to Ot­tawa with Rob­bins to learn how to ride a tan­dem and swim and run while teth­ered to some­one.

In their first race, af­ter just a month of work­ing to­gether, Boul­ton and Rob­bins took third at the ITU Mon­ter­rey CAMTRI Amer­i­can Cham­pi­onships and then sec­ond at the Ed­mon­ton ITU World Para­triathlon. The pair are well on their way to making qual­i­fy­ing for Rio pos­si­ble and to achiev­ing both of their dreams.

“I know… the whole story sounds cliché, but I hon­estly didn’t think I’d ever be rac­ing again,” says Boul­ton.

This sea­son, take a page out of Boul­ton’s book and re­mem­ber that sup­port­ing those around us is as much about them as our­selves.

The sport of triathlon has been a great teacher for me and I’ve loved get­ting to know Cana­dian triath­letes from my post as Man­ag­ing Ed­i­tor at TMC over the past three years. While I am about to pursue other ad­ven­tures and will be re­turn­ing the reigns to our first ed­i­tor, Kevin Mackinnon, I take with me in­spi­ra­tion from the ath­letes, race direc­tors, vol­un­teers and many hard work­ing en­thu­si­asts who make the sport pos­si­ble. I wish you all suc­cess in achiev­ing your goals in 2016.

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