On August 4th at Elk Lake by Victoria, Al Marleau competed in the 34th annual Self Transcendence Triathlon/Duathlon.
The event was the provincial championships for the duathlon.
The duathlon is first off a 5km run followed by a 40km bike ride, and finishing off with a 10km run.
The event was also a qualifier for the 2014 international Triathlon Unions World Duathlon championships in Pontevedra, Spain from May 28 to June 2, 2014.
The course was a beautiful trail run around Elk Lake and a very undulating bike ride From Elk Lake through the back roads in Saanich to the Victoria airport and back. A challenging ride to say the least.
There was one slot to qualify for the world championships in each age group, and the age groups were in five year increments.
Marleau raced in the 50-54 year category and finished first in his age group, winning the provincial championship that age group and finishing 7th overall in the race with a time of 2:12:05.
Marleau said he’s not sure how many athletes from the northwest have competed in a world championship sanctioned event, but he was very pleased with his result and said he will be very proud to be wearing the maple leaf representing Canada next May.
“It is very difficult around our small communities to train, as there are few people who are avid triathlete/duathlete types, so almost 100 per cent of my training is done solo, unlike in the Lower Mainland where most of the athletes who compete in these events belong to clubs and train with coaches and fellow athletes,” said Marleau through e-mail. “I am lucky though as I work with a coach out of New Zealand, his name is Chris Willett and his company is Perimeter Coaching. He coaches many Canadian athletes, as he once resided in Kelowna for a few years and continues to work with the athletes that he coached there.”
He said it will be an exciting trip in May, as his wife and a few friends will make it a European vacation. His hope is to finish in the top 10 in his age group worldwide, and he says if he works extremely hard he may possibly finish in the top five.
“To do this my cycling will have to improve by five to 10 per cent over the next eight months, and my coach believes it can happen,” he said.
People, he said, often ask why he does what he does, and “the plain answer is we all have dreams and goals in life and I like to specifically challenge myself to try and achieve those goals. It is never too late as I will be 54 in a few months, so it is never to late.”