AN­NIVER­SARY RAC­ING

BRIAN MARTIN

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - FEATURES - KM

SO HOW WOULD YOU CEL­E­BRATE THE 15TH AN­NIVER­SARY OF THE MO­TOR­CY­CLE AC­CI­DENT THAT PUT YOU IN A WHEELCHAIR? BRIAN MARTIN, 43, FIG­URED HE’D CEL­E­BRATE IT ALONG WITH OVER 5,000 OTHER ATH­LETES AT THE 15TH AN­NIVER­SARY CHAL­LENGE ROTH.

Af ter at tempt­ing Iron­man Canada (and miss­ing the bike cut-off ) once and com­pet­ing in a re­lay at Chal­lenge Pen­tic­ton, Martin felt like he was go­ing to get his f irst f ull-dis­tance f in­ish at Iron­man Ari­zona. He was well on his way to achiev­ing that goal when he got “taken out by a draft pack.”

“I’m so low to the ground, so when the first guy in the pack saw me, he was able to dodge out of the way, but the sec­ond and third peo­ple in the draft pack had their heads down and they ran me over, so I missed the bike cut-off at that one.”

Be­fore his in­jury Martin was into dance and g ym­nas­tics – hardly the ac­tiv­i­ties that one would think would trans­fer to wheelchair en­durance sports. Af­ter his in­jury he first took up alpine ski­ing, af­ter that, wheelchair rac­ing. Then he de­cided he wanted to get into the pool, so he learned to swim. Even­tu­ally hand­cy­cling came into the pic­ture, so Martin de­cided to com­bine them all to­gether.

“I did my first triathlon 10 years ago do­ing back­stroke and zigzag­ging all the way through the swim,” Martin re­mem­bers, “But I fin­ished it.”

Mar t i n com­peted at t he stan­dard-dis­tance world cham­pi­onships in Chicago last fall be­fore gear­ing up his train­ing for Chal­lenge Roth.

He has three chil­dren – two boys, who are nine and 11, along with a five-year-old daugh­ter – who are “his big­gest sup­port­ers.”

Martin’s fa­ther, An­dre, was on hand as his helper in Roth – just as he was for Martin’s first triathlon and as he will again at Chal­lenge Pen­tic­ton, where Martin hopes to qual­ify for the long-dis­tance world cham­pi­onships next year.

“He’s been with me from start to fin­ish in the sport, so it’s spe­cial to have him here.”

Martin’s race in Roth was a huge suc­cess. He made it across the line with a few min­utes to spare be­fore the cut-off time and was greeted at the fin­ish line by Jan Fro­deno, who ear­lier in the day had set a new world-best time.

A nice way to cel­e­brate an an­niver­sary, for sure.–

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