Celebration of Triathlon
On Wednesday night, just over fifty area triathletes who will be racing Ironman Louisville or North Carolina 70.3 in the coming weeks convened at Endorphin Fitness. The event was organized by the Richmond Triathlon Club and our coaches presented on the two courses and how you can best prepare yourself in the final weeks before the race.
I opened the night by sharing a reflection first. I have been racing triathlons in Richmond for twenty-five years, the better part of my life. I was there when the sport first came to Richmond through the efforts of power couple Ron and Charlene Magee. At that time, it was grassroots at best – the race started with the bike, then swim, then run. Today, we have over fifty triathletes in Richmond traveling to two specific Ironman (or half ironman) races, not to mention the several who have already raced an Ironman and the hundreds who have raced other triathlons this year. Also, twenty-five years ago youth triathlon was non-existent and those who wanted to venture into the waters at a young age had to do so in an adult world. Now, youth triathlon is the fastest growing segment of the sport with our local team bringing home the national title. We, as a triathlon community, have exploded and it is awesome to see.
Despite this growth, triathlon at its core has not changed which is why it remains successful. Triathlon is about community, inclusion, and a celebration of personal fitness. Its community is contagious. The feeling it gives like a drug. People want more of it, and they want others to join them on the journey. You simply cannot keep it to yourself.
You are part of something special. I encourage you to continue sharing it with others, inviting them into the life-giving sport of triathlon. Here’s to another 25 years and where it will take the sport.