Two local health-care providers, Dr. Derek Vinge and Dr. Clay Ward, are set to represent the Comox Valley at the XTERRA World Championships in Maui, Hawaii on Oct. 26.
The annual XTERRA Victoria took place July 6 at Durrance Lake and Mount Work Regional Park. Both Vinge and Ward placed in the top spot in their age category, each earning a coveted qualification spot at the XTERRA World Championships in Maui.
The Victoria event is part of the Xterra World Tour and challenges athletes with a combination of open water swimming, cross-country mountain biking, and technical trail running. Rain on race day resulted in wet and difficult conditions, however the local chiropractors managed to represent the Comox Valley in perfect form.
In addition to top placement in their respective age categories, Vinge and Ward both finished in the top three overall. Vinge finished second behind Elite Olympian Brent McMahon in a time of 2:09:37 followed by Ward in 2:14:42.
“I have trained for months aiming for this race, and it all came together on the day,” Vinge said after the race. Vinge is the owner/chiropractor at Fit Chiropractic in downtown Courtenay, and said he recently moved to the Comox Valley for the lifestyle and endless options of activities.
Ward is the owner/chiropractor at Dynamic Spine, Sport and Wellness in Courtenay and is also a recent transplant. “The Comox Valley is a thriving community that provides all the training and recreational opportunities to prepare for this level of racing,” Ward says.
The chiropractors will face tough competition in Maui – both professional and amateur athletes will be competing in the three-stage race. Athletes will have to be in peak condition to master the difficult course, which has been described as a tropical roller coaster.
The race begins with a 1.5 kilometre rough water swim near D.T. Flemmings Beach in Kapalua, followed by a 32 kilometre mountain bike ride up and down the slopes of the West Maui Mountains, and concludes with a 10 kilometre run along steep dirt trails through oleander fields and around mountain lakes.
Vinge and Ward both have their sights set on the world championship title for their respective categories, but also recognize that it is a major accomplishment just to have qualified for the prestigious event.
“It is a fantastic opportunity to be able to represent Canada and the Comox Valley at this level of competition,” Ward says.
Both chiropractors are living by example on a daily basis by keeping an active and healthy way of life. In addition, both Vinge and Ward have been selected for the Active Release Technique (ART) Therapy Team for the July 27 IRONMAN Canada in Whistler.
ART is a state of the art soft tissue system/movement based massage technique that treats problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves and is widely utilized by Olympians and high level athletes.