TRIATH­LETES OF THE THOMP­SON RIVER

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Front Page - BY KERRY HALE

In 2002 a group of long-time Kam­loops triath­letes formed the Kam­loops Triathlon Club ( KTC) of­fer­ing group rides and open­wa­ter swims to a small, ded­i­cated crew of mul­ti­sport en­thu­si­asts. The group has since grown to around 80 ac­tive mem­bers, and the KTC has de­vel­oped a fan­tas­tic rep­u­ta­tion thanks, in large part, to a strong lo­cal race se­ries which in­cludes three lo­cal adult races and a Kids of Steel triathlon.

“KTC has helped many Kam­loop­sians be­come triath­letes in the past 15 years,” ex­plains Kara Wright, head coach of Thomp­son Ni­cola Triathlon Team, a new youth-fo­cused branch of the club. “Kam­loops is known as the tour­na­ment cap­i­tal of Canada and, as such, we have many ex­cep­tion­ally tal­ented coaches and sport teams across a wide range of sports that are af­fil­i­ated with KTC, in ad­di­tion to our own club coaches.”

KTC re­cently de­vel­oped TNT Thomp­son Ni­cola Triathlon with mem­bers as young as four years of age. TNT of­fers weekly prac­tices to pre­pare youth tria­thetes for lo­cal and re­gional triathlon races. In 2016, TNT had worked with over 55 youth triath­letes. Says Nathan Champ­ness, pro triath­lete and TNT coach: “I love coach­ing youth triathlon be­cause I can re­late to them even bet­ter than adults. They’re full of en­thu­si­asm and have no con­cept of lim­its. That’s the real essence of triathlon.”

The club pro­motes an ac­tive life­style and is proud of its in­clu­sive and sup­port­ive ethos. “In ad­di­tion to the new youth triathlon club,” adds Wright, “we are rolling out a project near and dear to my heart aimed at re­mov­ing bar­ri­ers for en­try to triathlon and cy­cling for Kam­loops women, es­pe­cially moth­ers, in 2017.”

Last year, the KTC in­tro­duced a race se­ries points sys­tem for the three lo­cal races, with points awarded to the top five fin­ish­ers in each age group. Se­ries win­ners were crowned at the AGM in Oc­to­ber 2017. The three events in­clude the Run­ners Sole 4 x Mixed Re­lay In­door Triathlon held in Jan­uary 2017, the Kam­loops Spring Sprint and Kids of Steel Fam­ily Triathlon Fes­ti­val in May and the Pav­il­ion Triathlon sched­uled for Septem­ber.

The Run­ners Sole 4 x Mixed Re­lay is “triathlon rac­ing at its most ex­cit­ing,” ex­plains Wright. Mixed gen­der teams of two men and two women com­pete in a re­lay where each mem­ber swims 300 m in an open-wa­ter style looped swim course, fol­lowed by a 6.6-km spin on a sta­tion­ary bike and a 1.6-km run on the in­door track at the Kam­loops Tour­na­ment Cap­i­tal Cen­tre.

“What started as a cool idea has blos­somed into a re­ally ex­cit­ing race and the only sanc­tioned in­door triathlon in B.C.,” says Wright. “Mixed Re­lay is re­ally tak­ing off on the in­ter­na­tional stage and the Kam­loops Triathlon Club is proud to be a part of that global move­ment.” So much so, in fact, that the KTC, like many oth­ers, hopes to see the Mixed Re­lay added to the Olympic pro­gram in Tokyo in 2020.

The club is also work­ing on a new open­wa­ter race to add to the se­ries, and will con­tinue to of­fer mem­bers free open-wa­ter swims through­out the warmer months.

At the elite level, the club has found suc­cess in Nathan Champ­ness, a lo­cal pro­fes­sional triath­lete and coach who placed sixth at the ITU Long Course Qual­i­fier in Pen­tic­ton in 2016. Kate Steb­bings qual­i­fied for Kona at Iron­man Canada this sum­mer fin­ish­ing first in the 50 to 54 age group. She also took top hon­ours at Chal­lenge Pen­tic­ton’s ITU long course qual­i­fier and fifth place in her divi­sion at the world cham­pi­onships in Kona.

At only 16 and 17 years of age, brother and sis­ter So­phie and Josh Ogilvie have been par­tic­i­pat­ing in triathlon for 11 years. Josh earned the Triathlon BC Pro­vin­cial Male Jr. Elite Cham­pi­onship this year, and So­phie was the run­ner-up in the fe­male cat­e­gory.

At the other end of the age spec­trum, 82-year- old Bruce Butcher is one of KTC’S most sea­soned triath­letes and “still go­ing strong” ac­cord­ing to Wright. Bruce and his daugh­ter, Mar­i­anne Butcher, re­cently com­peted in the ITU World Sprint Triathlon Cham­pi­onships in Cozumel, Mex­ico.

“Triathlon may well be an in­di­vid­ual com­pet­i­tive sport,” says Wright, “but it’s also a sport cen­tred on work­ing to­ward the best ver­sion of your­self and not com­par­ing to any­one else. At KTC, there’s a place and a pace for ev­ery­one.”

It’s a shared mis­sion that runs deep within the club, cul­mi­nat­ing in a vi­brant or­ga­ni­za­tion that con­tin­ues to sup­port mul­ti­sport par­tic­i­pa­tion, fit­ness and fun.

KAM­LOOPS TRIATHLON CLUB

Sur­fac­ing: From the Depths of Self-doubt to Win­ning Big and Liv­ing Fear­lessly

Amongst the big­gest names in the world of triathlon coach­ing, Siri Lind­ley is one of those peo­ple who al­ways seems to be smiling and ex­ud­ing pos­i­tive en­ergy. On read­ing her new book, Sur­fac­ing: From the Depths of Self-doubt to Win­ning Big and Liv­ing Fear­lessly, one fi­nally un­der­stands why, when I in­tro­duced her that way dur­ing a pod­cast a few years ago, she laughed.

Sur­fac­ing pro­vides some deep in­sight on how Lind­ley got to where she is now: ar­guably one of the sport’s most suc­cess­ful coaches (amongst many oth­ers she works with three-time Kona champ Mirinda Car­frae). It hasn’t been an easy jour­ney. A dif­fi­cult child­hood as the stepdaughter of NFL leg­end Frank Gif­ford helped fuel deep-seated in­se­cu­ri­ties and, for years, she strug­gled with her sex­u­al­ity.

Through all the chal­lenges sports helped Lind­ley keep go­ing. A three-sport starter at Brown Univer­sity (field and ice hockey along with lacrosse), Lind­ley would even­tu­ally be drawn to triathlon. While she would be­come a world cham­pion, her jour­ney to the pin­na­cle of mul­ti­sport rac­ing was hardly an easy one.

As she is in per­son, Sur­fac­ing is bru­tally hon­est as it re­counts how she over­came her in­se­cu­ri­ties, doubts and all the other chal­lenges put in front of her. Coach Brett Sut­ton helped her overcome “chok­ing” at the U. S. Olympic tri­als for the 2000 Olympics to win the world cham­pi­onship a year later.

Her jour­ney has cer­tainly helped her be­come the coach that she is to­day. Sur­fac­ing isn’t just an in­sight­ful read: it pro­vides some valu­able in­spi­ra­tion and proof that it’s never too late to work on the in­se­cu­ri­ties or doubts that might be hold­ing you back.– KM

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