The Comox Valley Triathlon Club provides support, encouragement and a positive environment for our members to achieve their highest personal goals in the sport, whether it is to finish their first event or competing tor their first Ironman distance race.
“Our club motto is ‘Fun with Fitness’ and we try hard to incorporate this into all aspects of training and competition,” a club spokesperson said.
Triathlon consists of combining three sports, swimming, cycling and running with two transitions, swim to bike (T1) and bike to run (T2). Unlike most other sports the athlete must train in all three disciplines as well as practice both transitions.
As you can imagine this is time consuming and takes motivation, dedication, perseverance, commitment, and an understanding family – with a little crazy thrown in. First, second and third (big races more) acknowledgement are giving to professionals as well as to us common folk, the Age Groupers (AG). Age groups are generally divided into five-year segments, F40-44 for example, where the F stands for female.
Most of the swims are in open water and the athletes generally wear wet suits unless the water temperature reaches above 22C. Some races, such as our local Tri K, take place in a pool. The bike is all on road (unless it is a cross race) and the run can be trail, road or a combination of both.
Training season, which will vary depending on the date and distance of the race or races, often sees the athletes training two sports a day, six days a week for up to nine months (if training for a full Ironman distance). Shorter distances require less time training but generally more intensity. There are four basic race distances with some variations. The basics:
Sprint – 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run
Standard (Olympic) – 1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run
Half Ironman (70.3) – 2000m swim, 90km bike, 21.1km run
Full Ironman (140.6) – 3.9km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run
ITU (International Triathlon Union) Long course – 4km swim, 130km bike, 30km run
XTERRA (cross) Triathlon – As an off-road race, the distances can vary widely depending on the terrain available. The target distances are as follows:1.5km swim, 30km mountain biking, 11km trail run. Sport: 500m swim, 15km mountain biking, 5km trail run.
Many CVTC members competed in races this summer. Some did their first sprint while others competed in their umpteenth Ironman. Every single last one of them – young, old, newbie, veteran, large, small, fast and slow – have earned a great deal of respect, pride and bragging rights.
There are so many factors in a triathlon that can go wrong; cramps, flats, crashes, mechanicals, injury, illness etc. that just reaching the finish line sometimes seems like an unachievable goal and for some athletes in some races it is… DNFs (Did Not Finish) are common in triathlon, but we are a tough and stubborn bunch. We get up, brush ourselves off and register for the next race.
The following CVTC members went out there and gave it their all:
Shoreline Orthodontics Comox Valley Tri K – May 29
Joyce Shepherd – 2nd AG
Marnie Van Der Vliet – 3rd AG
Kerri Brownie – 1st AG
Bonnie Ervin – 1st AG
Neil Collins- 3rd AG
Derek Tripp – 1st AG
Shannagan Lake, Standard – May 29
Clay Ward – 1st AG
Ironman 70.3 Victoria – June 6
Clay Ward – First time Half Ironman distance
Sofia Murillo De Gagne
Marnie Van Der Vliet (First time half Ironman distance)
Westwood Lake Triathlon – June 26
Half Iron Distance
Sandra Rowland- 2nd AG
Derek Tripp – 1st AG and 6th overall
Ian Heselgrave- 3rd AG and 9th overall
Kris Hopping – 1st AG
Gordon Harris – 1st AG
Marnie Ven Der Vliet
Niel Collins – 2nd AG
Kerri Brownie – 2nd AG
Joyce Shepherd – 1st AG
Cowichan Challenge, Standard Distance – July 3
Derek Vinge – 1st overall and 1st AG
Kerry Hale – 1st AG
Xterra Victoria – July 10
Clay Ward – 2nd AG
Ironman Canada, Full Ironman distance – July 24
Kim & Jack Campbell (Jack’s first IM distance)
Whistler 70.3, Half Ironman Distance – July 24
Calgary 70.3, Half Ironman Distance – July 24
Elkwater Milehightri (Alberta Off-road Triathlon) – Aug. 8
Clay Ward – 1st AG and 1st overall
Challenge Penticton, Long Course – Aug. 26
Shannon Jones – 3rd AG
Challenge Penticton Cross Triathlon – Aug. 26
Clay Ward- 1st AG and 4th overall
Derek Vinge – 2nd AG and 7th overall
Challenge Penticton, Aqua Bike – Aug. 26
America’s Master Games, Standard – Sept. 2
Kris Hopping – Silver medal (2nd AG)
ITU World Championship, Sprint – Sept. 22
Xterra World Championships, Maui Hawaii – Oct. 23
For more on the local triathlon club visit cvtriclub.org