TRIATHLETES OF THE YEAR Triathlonmagazine.ca
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.