I vividly remember, at the age of 28, becoming engrossed with intense anticipation and growing excitement as I watched Canadian Simon Whitfield run the final few hundred metres of the very first Olympic Triathlon at the games in Sydney, Australia, capturing gold.
The final approach to the finish line that day was made for television. The athletes ran a winding course around the famous Sydney Opera House and ended with the iconic city skyline in the background. As Whitfield, who had fallen during the bike portion of the race, came down the final stretch he passed first Jan Rehula of the Czech Republic and then Stephan Vuckovic of Germany. Winning the race by 13 seconds in a time of 1:48:24.
Whitfield’s win would stand as the world record at the Olympic Distance for the next 12 years. As a red blooded Canadian boy only 4 years older than Whitfield at the time the fire in my soul had been lit. “This is the ultimate endurance challenge,” I thought. “I can do this!”
I made a few false starts, life has a way of derailing our dreams, a serious mountain biking accident, some financial challenges and just general competing priorities. But nearly 20 years later, I finally completed my first Olympic Tri in a time of 3:24:13. At just a few years shy of the big 5-0 I’m not shattering any records or even really coming close to challenging the podium but I did it and now I’m hooked.
Resources and inspiration
Business has always been linked to athletic pursuits. People bond over shared interests and physical challenges. Deals have been made on the sidelines of basketball and tennis courts for as long as there have been rackets and balls. None more so than on the golf course.
According to the a study initiated by USA Triathlon in 2011, triathlon is the new golf. More and more middle aged professionals (like me) are taking up the sport each year. It is more demanding than golf and therefore more likely to help stave off health issues like heart disease and the most common forms of cancer. At the amateur level at least it can be fairly low impact and prone to fewer injuries than simply going out and running a marathon. Most amateurs can complete their first race on less than 5 hours of training per week. Golf and country clubs used to be where big business deals got done. Nowadays, the details of major transactions are just as likely to be hashed out over protein shakes after a long run as they are cocktails after 18 holes.
This page and over on the store and affiliates space is the place where I share what I am learning, provide some insight, links to resources and inspiration for others who choose to take on this challenge. Join me in my quest to run my next Olympic in sub 3:00, and maybe even ramp it up to a 70.3 one day.
Check out these links I’ve found to help start you on your own triathlon journey.
Triathalon Taren – online coaching and resources for beginners
The Natural Nutritionist – real food for performance and health