After 6 years in Whistler and 2 years cancelled due to Covid, Ironman Canada was finally able to return to it’s original home in Penticton, B.C.
While Ironman is a very solitary pursuit, training with a team enhances the whole experience. Whether suffering through cold days in the rain or hot days in the baking sun the old saying “misery loves company” could not be more true than when one is training for an Ironman.
One of the things training towards a big race can also do is create a bond. The memories that you you get to make and share with friends and family on race day are special, but the adversity, the highs and lows and the trials and tribulations that you experience with team mates are something that only someone who has gone through it with you can truly understand.
Coming from a team sports background this collective pursuit of an athletic goal was something I really missed. I enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment when I did triathlons, but I missed sharing that feeling (as well as the feeling of disappointment) with others. This “team” aspect is what makes Human Powered Racing so special.
Human Powered Racing was originally formed as an Ironman team in 2006 with all of the athletes training for Ironman Canada in Penticton. The 2022 edition of the race was a reminder of why Human Powered Racing was started in the first place and why it remains a special team to this day and why Penticton remains a special place for HPR.
The 2022 team had 5 athletes racing.; Mike Gregory, Christopher Mavrikos, Diana Thaxter, Ken Johansson and Monique Moore. All of our athletes had been training for this race for 3 years. For Mike and Ken this would be their first Ironman.
Each of our athletes had a story and a reason for signing up and getting to the finish line. All of our athletes had made the commitment and the sacrifices to do their absolute best on race day. Each of them had to deal with obstacles and adversity both in the lead up and on race day and each of them finished the race. For Mike and Ken it was the first time they had experienced the pain and exhilaration that comes from running down that final 100m of red carpet to hear their names and “you are an Ironman” in the same breath. For Mo, Diana and Christopher it wasn’t the first time, but for each of them it was the culmination of yet another journey that had it’s own meaning and own sacrifices that went along with it.
As a coach I couldn’t be more proud of this team and it’s athletes. While it is hard to put into words the feeling that one gets after crossing a Ironman finish line, the bond that was created and cemented on race day among our athletes that day is something I am extremely proud to be a part of as a coach and as one of their team mates.