Paratriathlon to debut at the 2016 Rio Paralympics!
When we heard that Triathlon Canada and Tri BC were putting a lot of emphasis on promoting triathlon participation for paratriathletes we were both swept away with enthusiasm and thrown back into some nostalgia. ‘We’ means the organizing group for the Self-Transcendence Triathlon/Duathlon, an annual event held every August long weekend at Elk Lake in Victoria since 1980. If I tell you a bit about the nostalgia I think you will understand the depth of our enthusiasm.
Victor Vandenboomen was a faithful competitor in our race for several years. In January 2007 we were shocked to hear that an accident while riding his bicycle to work had resulted in a neck broken in two places. Suddenly, Victor was quadriplegic. Well, that was the end of his triathlon days—so we thought! But Victor had great determination and a drive to return once more to his favourite sport, a drive and a goal that kept him focussed through months of therapy and rehab. And there he was eight months later in August 2007 wading into the cool waters of Elk Lake to start his swim.
Victor’s special needs were simple: he did not want to impede the progress of other athletes and he knew he would be slow. “OK. How about starting the swim early?”. At his 5 am start it was still very dark and lonely. But as the morning progressed and other athletes caught up and passed him at various points during the race, they had heartfelt words of encouragement for Victor. And how much his fortitude and cheerfulness gave them a lift too!
As he walked the run route Victor used poles to help him walk a straight path. As he said, without them, he would zig-zag so much he would probably walk twice the distance of the route.
When Victor crossed the finish line that day everyone present, athletes, volunteers, spectators, organizers, literally rejoiced with him, and felt part of Victor’s achievement.
So that is the basis for our enthusiasm. Paratriathletes have so much to offer to the sport of triathlon and the sport has so much to offer to the athletes.
Please spread the word to those you know! If you are an athlete with a disability (AWAD)—there are many categories in the Paratriathlete division ( see:www.triathloncanada.com.) Not every triathlon course can accommodate every category, but with the support and encouragement from TriBC and TriCanada many triathlons will likely be suitable to include some paratriathlete categories in their events. And if you live on the Island or anywhere in Western Canada, and are looking for a coach, do contact Triathlon Canada-Paratriathlon Coach, Kirk Lewis.(westshoretriathlon [at] gmail [dot] com)
It is exciting and important to the Self-Transcendence Triathlon to support athletes of different ages and ability levels, to help bring out the best race that is in them. And that is why we will be adding three paratriathlete categories to our August 4 event this year in Victoria. Tell us your needs. We’ll consider your category requirements within our course physical requirements and see how we fit, maybe with minor adjustments, and always with the goal of a safe and fulfilling race for everyone.
We welcome questions! Our contact is Ian- ijphillips [at] shaw [dot] ca
Happy training from all of us!
The determination in your heroic effort
Will permeate your mind and heart
Even after your success or failure
Is long forgotten.
The Sri Chinmoy Marathon is pleased to announce that it will be including
Paratriathlon Competition Categories TRI-2 to TRI 5 in this years event. For
detailed information on each Category go to www.triathloncanada.com
If you have any questions or wish to enter one of these Categories in this
years event please contact Ian Phillips at ijphillips [at] shaw [dot] ca or phone