Sunday, June 19, 2011

WINNING!! Chinook Triathlon Festival Report

Lorraine Churchill, Alberta Provincial Women's Long Course Champion, sure has a nice ring to it. In one year, the girl has transformed herself from age-group athlete to race winner. Not only is she 110% committed physically to making the most of every second of every session, she could offer seminars in the importance of the mental aspect of training. She is focused on her goals, and utterly devoted to the mental process of achieving them. She turns every challenge into an opportunity to better herself as an athlete, and has been willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish her goals. This has clearly paid off for her. Its been quite a journey for me as a coach, to see first hand what a powerful impact the psychological aspect of the sport can have on an athlete's performance. This race was no exception. Lorraine took over the lead during the second loop of the swim, and raced through the start of the run with the nearest competitor literally breathing down her neck. By the halfway point of the run, her mental strength carried her away from the competition, taking a more than 5 minute lead with her to the finish line.

Lorraine on the podium, with the 2nd and 3rd place women's finishers.

The race brought a day of mixed emotions for the Mercury Rising team. While Lorraine was celebrating a victory, her good friend and training buddy Leanne Sherman was one of the many competitors plagued by a flat tire. While she struggled to get the new rubber off, the cold weather took its toll in the form of hypothermia. After a trip home to get warmed up, Leanne made her way back to the finish line to support her friends and teammates. A tough day. A few lessons learned, and a great opportunity for Leanne to show her mental strength by focusing on the positives of the day and on moving forward with that experience under her belt. The race wasn't even over before she was asking me if this meant she could train hard the next day!! Its just a matter of time, before her next opportunity to unleash the hard work she's been putting in!

Here's a few nice shots of Leanne throughout the day:

All smiles. That's Marija Susnjar! Here she is at the start of the race - nervous, but ready - and at the end of the race...still smiling, despite the day not going how she had hoped! Way to go, Marija!

While Lorraine, Leanne and Marija were battling the Half Ironman race, there were three equally cheerful & hard-working ladies out on the Olympic course. Below is Jackie Morettin just steps from the finish line:
Lisa Isley digs deep coming out of T2:

Tessa P. finishes strong, and looking usual!

Lisa and Tessa enjoy the finish line.

Proud coach, Carrie Matsumoto, and Lorraine with her first place trophy.

Congratulations, to all the Mercury Rising athletes that raced! Thanks to the Mercury athletes who weren't racing, but came out to cheer! And special thanks to Kaz Matsumoto for all the awesome pictures. More race photos can be found on his website under the "events" tab.

No comments:

Post a Comment