One of the best parts about the TTF weekend was the amazing group of women aka My Tribe that I was able to share this experience and race with. These women have not only played a key role in my training but also in my life and I’m very lucky to have so many strong, fierce and amazing along side me both on the pavement and in life, they have taught me how to be a better athlete and a better person. This post is a ode to these women, the women to banded together in both the months leading up to TTF has we trained along side each other but also in sharing in the joy/excitement and celebration of race day! To these women I say thank you, I can’t wait to experience event more races with you in the future!
“Not everyone is going to understand your dreams, callings and desires…especially your family and your friends at times. They love you and want the best for you, but their desires and expectations cloud their ability to full see and support what you want to create in your life. Don’t be discouraged, find a tribe of like-minded people and keep moving forward.” – Anon
Our fearless leader, that’s what Heather is. Heather’s been a fantastic coach, mentor and friend over the past few years and it’s been through her guidance that I’ve had a strong training season over the winter to gear up for this race. On race day she encouraged me to keep up with her on the bike, she gave me tips to stay in aero when she passed by me during the 10km out on the bike section and during the run we gave each other some love. She’s so fearless in everything she does but at the same time she is so full of heart, compassion and selflessness as she works toward her own goals while tirelessly supporting the tribe of women around her that have become this community. It’s also important to note that she KILLED TTF, with a Top 10 finish she rocked this race!
Melanie is a bad ass with a BIG heart! Melanie was an Ambassador for TTF this year as she embarked on her journey to train for her first triathlon and it was such a fantastic experience to spend many winter nights in the pool lane next to her and pound pavement with her on a weekly basis in preparation for this race. On race day she was a bit of a lifesaver, she kept me grounded when I had a bit of a pre-race anxious moment and then sent me on my way with a big hug before I jumped in the water to race. Melanie is such a fierce lady, she takes on every new challenge with a smile on her face and one of the best ladies I know! She killed this race and even though I know that there were a few things she was worried about she put those worries to the back of her mind and finished this race strong!
Come on now, she’s Alex *mother f***ing* McGillvray people! This lady is fierce, she’s a fighter and she means business when she signed up for something. I think I relate to her a lot because we are similar in a lot of ways, but what I do know is that over the past 7 months through training for my first half to training for her first triathlon it’s been getting out together to get the work done + keeping each other accountable that has allowed us to achieve such great things. Carpooling with her on race day was particularly good, it gave us both an opportunity to pump each other up – while her husband Ty put up with our antics and drive – as well as talk through our nerves with each other. She’s there for me when I get anxious or doubt myself and I will always be standing at the finish line to cheer her home which is exactly what I did at TTF before her mom all made us misty-eyed when Alex crossed the finish line proud and with the biggest smile on her face! Now we’re both triathletes and members of the #SportsBraSquad, I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Kim is a machine, training for this triathlon over the past few months I’ve had more time to get to know this amazing woman! Kim was the key reason I was so ready for my open water swim, a few months ago she invited me out to train with LOST on a Saturday morning as guest, before I knew it I was an official member and hitting the lake almost every weekend to get comfortable in the water + in a wetsuit. Kim’s great, she’s a mom of two, works full-time, has 4 fur babies and still has time to train. I’m so glad that through our training we have grown closer and I know that she will kill her Half Iron Man this fall, you’re so ready for this!
I’ve known Courtney since I started by Tribe Fitness journey and she took on this triathlon journey after getting a bike trainer for Christmas and recouping from a running injury. What is so amazing about Courtney is that she wasn’t a swimmer a year ago, after signing-up for the swim program at UofT she made her debut in the water alongside the Tribe ladies this winter and kicked-butt! I am so blown away by her commitment – commitment to try something new, to learn how to swim, to challenge herself to this goal that we all worked towards together. Courtney especially stands out to me because she crossed the finish line with Alex, it was pretty powerful to see two Tribe ladies cross the finish line at TTF together, holding hands and both becoming triathletes together for the very first time!
Linda is another lady that I have known since I started running with Tribe, Linda is a beast and spends most of her weekends in the summer on the course of OCR races across North America, Linda is one strong lady! Linda represents the dynamic of our tribe at TTF, she competed alongside a familiar and new face as a member of a relay team where she not only completed the run leg of the Sprint Distance but her + team managed to snag 3rd place in the Sprint Distance for their age group! She also represented the relay athletes as an Ambassador for TTF alongside a few other awesome Tribe folks.I know that we’ll be seeing her on the full course next year, she’s invested in the wetsuit and I am very excited to train alongside her and see her cross her first finish line in the future!
Jenna is committed, she sets out to do something and she gets it done, she did just that at TTF. Hitting Cherry Beach before race day along with some of the other ladies Jenna and I worked together to adjust our open water swim plan and get comfortable in a different body of open water as we prepared for the Ontario Place swim. Jenna and I ran Iron Girl Triathlon together last year and at my first tri race experience she was a fantastic #solesister to have a the route for some love + cheers. This year it was awesome to be able to race along side her and of course cheer her in at the finish, she put a lot of work in this year and to witness her success was fantastic!
I didn’t know Jen before TTF, I actually met her on the course, but our interaction and the series of events that unfolded afterward were a fantastic example of this community + army of amazing women. Somewhere between the 1km-2km mark I was running along the Martin Goodman Trail, there was a lady in front of me keeping a good pace, it was hot, really hot, she slowed down to take a break and as I ran past her I made a point of slowing a bit and turning to her to say, “you’re doing an amazing job.” If you know me and the crew you’re probably familiar with us throwing out this kind love, encouragement and cheers along the race route, it was second nature for me. What I didn’t expect was a few minutes after I crossed the finish line for this lady – who’s name I didn’t know at the time – to cross the finish line for her race and run up to me. She congratulated me on my finish and then hugged me, it was a pretty awesome feeling to get a chance to celebrate with a lady whom I’d connected with for only a few seconds 15 minutes ago. Little did I know that Jen was a friend of my Coach, and we ran into each other again after the race, it was in that moment that this connection made sense. Jen steams from the same group of women that I do, it was only natural for us to encourage one another and then celebrate together with a random stranger post-race. It just reinforces that when you’re racing we aren’t just a bunch of random strangers, we are a collective of hard working humans working alongside of each other to achieve our goals.