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Dennis Holden
Sat May 28 22

Finding Joy Outside of Running

I was once asked “Why would you ruin a perfectly good run, with a swim and bike before it?”. At the time I did not have a good answer. After a year of training and completing my first triathlon I finally have an answer: Joy. Completing and training for a triathlon has given me a new set of goals to work towards. After running on and off for 12 years, I was not enjoying going out for a run anymore and with the pandemic putting races on hold I started to lose interest.

As with any great idea, a fellow runner from my time in Glasgow put the idea in my head after a 10k race. As someone with okay swimming and running background, I thought, how hard can this be and started some goals for the next couple of years. Moving to Niagara was the push I needed to take the next steps. I found a local triathlon club (Edge Triathlon, bought a road bike and decided to jump headfirst into a new sport.

After a couple of months of training, I signed up for my first race. I knew I wasn’t going to be quick, or even come close to placing but that was not the goal; the goal was to cross the finish line. Completing my first race was hard, and I had left it all on the course, but shortly after finishing, I was already thinking about my next race… I was hooked.

Weekly training sessions were easily broken into the swim, bike and run workouts, and the addition of swimming and biking gave me something new to focus on. Having a training group, something I never had before, gave me a new passion. Everyone is working hard to achieve their goals, and everyone supports one another in their respective goals no matter what they are.

Using this support as winter approached, I decided to dedicate the winter months to achieving something I always wanted to do: run a sub-2-hour half marathon. My coaches at Edge put together a training plan for me and I spent 4 months preparing, and on what happened to be the nicest day in March we toed the line. I crossed the line 1 hour and 58 minutes later, something I did not think was possible but thanks to my newfound joy for triathlon I started to re-find my joy for running too.

This summer I have decided to sign up for four triathlons of varying distances (Sprint, Long Course and Half Ironman) as I am trying to find my favourite distance to race. These races for me will last anywhere from 1.5 hours for a sprint to up to 7 hours for the half ironman. Much like the running community, the triathlon community is incredibly supportive no matter your skill level and will cheer and support you throughout your journey.