club pro­file ubc Triathlon Club

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Contents Volume 8 Issue 6 - By Pa­trick Janukavi­cius

TheUniver­sity of British Columbia Triathlon Club is full of team spirit, sup­port and ca­ma­raderie. From first timers to pro­fes­sional triath­letes there’s a range of in­ten­sity, per­for­mance and depth, yet con­nec­tions run deep in the club.

In­spi­ra­tional Coach­ing

Seth Blu­men was im­me­di­ately drawn into the ubc Triathlon Club by the help­ful feed­back of the coaches. A third-year ki­ne­si­ol­ogy stu­dent, Blu­men joined the club dur­ing his first year as an un­der­grad­u­ate. “The coaches would point out the im­prove­ments I was mak­ing and pro­vide me with en­cour­age­ment to keep up my work ethic,” says Blu­men. “This meant a lot to me.”

Bren­dan Neaf, one of the club’s coaches, is pur­su­ing a PhD in law, while rac­ing as a pro­fes­sional triath­lete. Blu­men praises Neaf ’s abil­ity to tackle two chal­leng­ing ca­reers at once.

“I see Bren­dan as a great in­spi­ra­tion, bal­anc­ing aca­demics, com­mu­nity in­volve­ment, a so­cial life and triathlon,” says Blu­men. “If it weren’t for Bren­dan’s words of en­cour­age­ment when I first joined the club, I don’t think I would have been able to sur­vive those early train­ing ses­sions. I would’ve given up af­ter ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a few rough work­outs.

“What drew me to the club was that I wanted to try some­thing new and stay healthy dur­ing my un­der­grad, while also mak­ing some new friends on cam­pus,” ex­plains Blu­men. “I thought join­ing the triathlon club would be the best way to do this. I was right. Since then, I’ve got­ten into the best shape of my life and gained a lot of close, mean­ing­ful friend­ships.”

The Vin­cent Lavallee Cup

ubc alumni Win­ston Guo de­scribes Vin­cent Lavallee as one of the most mem­o­rable club mem­bers. Lavallee would prob­a­bly agree. In fact, he named a club tro­phy af­ter him­self.

In the fall of 2009, a ubc Triathlon Club Race Se­ries was born. In or­der to boost off- sea­son mo­ti­va­tion and at­ten­dance at prac­tices for all three sports, Lavallee or­ga­nized on­go­ing com­pe­ti­tions. Af­ter each one Vin­cent would write a blog post and tally the se­ries points.

“I was do­ing a mas­ter’s de­gree at the time and [the Vin­cent Lavallee Cup] was the only thing that mat­tered to me,” re­calls Guo. “We were hit­ting the re­fresh but­ton con­stantly on the blog to get the lat­est up­dates. Many nick­names and le­gends were born that year.”

The Vin­cent Lavallee Cup tra­di­tion con­tin­ues as a way to in­spire ath­letes to stay in shape through­out the off-sea­son. With about 10 races per se­mes­ter, the mini-goals through­out the fall and spring keep ath­letes mo­ti­vated.

Win­ter Swim­ming

Van­cou­ver’s mild win­ters per­mit the club to swim out­doors year-round. ubc’s in­door pool is booked solid for other swim groups, so train­ing in the 50 m out­door pool pro­vides the best time slots. As long as the heater works, the ex­pe­ri­ence is en­joy­able, but be­cause the pool was built in 1954, that is not al­ways the case.

Swim prac­tices of­ten start with a mad dash from the aquatic cen­tre to the end of the pool. The cold weather pro­vides in­cen­tive to avoid paus­ing too long be­tween sets. Ev­ery­one makes a run for the hot tub af­ter prac­tice is over

“We oc­ca­sion­ally have to can­cel or shorten prac­tices when the weather is ex­tra cold and the heater isn’t work­ing,” says Dy­lan Stepha­nian, club pres­i­dent. “I think our coach gets the worst of it, since she isn’t work­ing up a sweat.”

Train­ing Lo­ca­tions

The club has some of the most beau­ti­ful train­ing lo­ca­tions for swim­ming, bik­ing and run­ning. The ac­cess to great cy­cling lo­ca­tions is un­par­al­leled, in­clud­ing the North Shore Moun­tains and the ubc En­dow­ment Lands Trails. Along with the 50 m pool on cam­pus, there are a cou­ple other nearby swim­ming op­tions for club mem­bers. Kit­si­lano has a salt wa­ter pool that is 130 m long and is on the ocean. Also, twice a week there is a 1.5 km open wa­ter course that is set up by the Van­cou­ver Open Wa­ter Swim As­so­ci­a­tion. Train­ing runs take place on trails near cam­pus or at the ubc track.

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