This weekend’s Toronto Triathlon Festival was a major step in expanding the triathlon community to Canada’s largest city. Olympian Simon Whitfield has thrown his support behind the race. In fact, he used the event as his final tune-up race before the London Olympics. As a result, more than 1200 participants got to experience a thrill of a lifetime participating in a race with a Canadian legend.

Triathlon Magazine attended the event and we wanted to bring you a very engaging discussion with Simon, organizer Jeff Chong and Triathlon Canada’s president, Stephen Holmes.

Whitfield is the first triathlete to ever carry their country’s flag in the opening ceremony. The Kingston-native said he was honoured to be representing all Canadian Olympians who’ve worked tremendously hard to get to London.

As for his own race, Whitfield says he’s been focusing on what he can control, and that is his preparation. He said Britains’s Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee are determined, and will be giving everything they can to claim the top spots. To counter that, Whitfield says: “I simply prepare.”

He said he’ll also be helped by having experience racing in London. It’s a course he’s raced on twice and says it’s very fast. To prepare for that, Whitfield has been training with top Canadian marathoner Reid Coolsaet and Eric Gillis in Hamilton, Ontario.

With support from Whitfield and Triathlon Canada, the Toronto Triathlon Festival has gotten off to an excellent start. In fact, the Canadian Championships will be held in Toronto for the next two years and then there will also be the Pan-Am Games in 2015, which will be a great showcase for Canada’s triathlon talent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOodgfRuhRo&list=UU6Tn9Cn5JKkaQtdwIngq7fw&index=1&feature=plcp