Swimmers beginning the Cyswog 'n' Fun triathlon last summer.

Certainly not inane, insane and impossible

Get Ready for the 30th Annual Cyswog n’ Fun Triathlon

Have you ever wanted to really test your mettle? The Nelson Athletic Association Race Committee invites you to do just that at the 30th annual Cyswog n’ Fun triathlon to be held this year on Sunday, August 5. It’s not so hard — come out and join the hundreds of us who, over the years, have braved lycra (not mandatory) and the possibility of public humiliation (never having occurred yet) to feel the rush of satisfaction from joining in and attempting something that none of us could imagine possible to do. I did it. I know at least 10 people who have done it. All of us believed it inane, insane and impossible at the outset.

Possible it is.

While those with lofty ambitions might talk about negative splits, personal bests and best rim depth for bike race wheels (and probably wear lycra), the truth of triathlon is determination, perseverance and practice. It’s about getting out there in the weeks preceding the event and practicing swimming, biking and running. It’s about settling down into a pace that feels good in each of the three sports and going at your own pace in spite of everything going on around you.  The race is a goal and a motivator to get out and be fit. There’s a t-shirt to wear with pride just because you tried. There’s a lunch. There’s a bunch of other tired, sweaty athletes to hang out with after the event to swap exaggerated stories. There’s even massages.

Triathlon is very much a test of mettle.  I recall reading an interview with a person who coaches elite triathletes. He said that in the course of a race, an athlete would go through at least three tests, one in each discipline, where the athlete wants to quit because of the message: “I can’t do this.”  I took heart from this, because it meant that those born with God-given talent face the very same obstacles that I do. I use it on days when everything in my body screams at me that I do not want to go for a run or a bike and certainly not a swim. Somehow I do, and so can you. Dig deep; you can do it.

Cyswog n’ Fun is a community event.  We want people to be active and to feel good about themselves and this glorious area in which we live. There are two races of different distances. The short course race, otherwise known as a “Sprint”, comprises of a 500-meter swim, a 22 km bike and a five km run which is mostly flat. The sprint swim course, designed for those who are new to triathlon and really worried about the swim, is close to shore and in water that is not deep. The long course has a swim of 1,500 meters which crosses Kootenay Lake, a 40 km bike and a 10 km run, which has a lovely but hilly section added onto the sprint distance course.

If going solo for the three events seems too much, then there’s team events in both the sprint and the long course too, so get some friends together and challenge yourselves. Either distance is a great goal and a great accomplishment that will leave you feeling fit, energized and excited to do it again.

If you don’t believe me, then I invite you to come and volunteer at the race and see the many others, just like you, who thought they couldn’t do it and proved to themselves that they could, just like you could and hopefully will next year.

To register for the triathlon or to volunteer, please visit trinelson.com. We look forward to cheering you on!

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