Face it, by the time you get to February you are going to be ready for a break from our Canadian winter. There’s only so long you can stay motivated hammering out hours and hours on the trainer, enduring cold running efforts through the snow and having your hair freeze between the pool and the parking lot.
The solution? A winter getaway. Something to look forward to throughout the winter that will keep you inspired and training hard as you gear up for a big 2019. With that in mind, we offer up this list of race destinations and training camps, one of which is sure to pique your interest.
WTS BERMUDA April 28–29, 2019
Just a few hours flight from Toronto, Bermuda is a tiny island that has a rich history of triathlon racing and training. In addition to taking in the opportunity to watch some of the world’s best athletes, heading to WTS Bermuda for either the sprint- or standard-distance races will give you a great chance to kick off your race season in style. The swim in the beautiful blue waters of the Atlantic is followed by a challenging bike course and a picturesque run along Hamilton’s Front Street.
In 2021 Bermuda will also host the ITU Grand Final event, so a trip for an early-season race-cation can also serve as a chance to preview the world championship course.
IRONMAN 70.3 COLOMBO Sri Lanka, Feb. 24, 2019
Set in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, Ironman 70.3 Sri Lanka offers you the chance to take in a hot-weather race in one of the world’s most exotic tourist destinations. You’re pretty much guaranteed race day temperatures that will reach the 30s, but believe it or not, it’s likely one of the cooler Ironman events you’ll find in Asia.
As part of a special Women for Tri initiative, the race is offering a 25 per cent discount on women’s entries, along with an additional 25 women’s qualifying spots for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France, too.
As fun as the race might be, heading to the race offers up the chance to tour the exotic, tear-shaped island that’s just south of India. Beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, exotic scenery and wildlife, along with rich history are all draws that make a trip to the spectacular island a one-of-a-kind experience.
BERMUDA TRIATHLON CAMP Feb. 22–March 2, 2019
Hosted by B78 (head coach Jasper Blake) and Human Powered Racing (Mike Neill), this unique camp will be held for the ninth year in 2019. While most of the participants are local Bermudans, Canadian campers are welcome and are often put up by local triathletes in “homestays.” The camp training sessions happen in the early morning and in the evenings (Saturday and Sunday are full training days), leaving days free to explore the beautiful island’s pink sand beaches and unique historical sites.
FLORIDA TRAINING CAMPS
While Florida is always a popular winter destination, most of the state is dead flat, which doesn’t exactly lend itself to exciting cycling opportunities. The hilliest part of the state, though, is near Clermont, which is just minutes away from Orlando and offers some fantastic training, thanks to both the terrain and the popular National Training Center, a popular facility for pro triathletes from around the world. A couple of Ontario-based coaching groups offer training camps either in or near Clermont. With hundreds of kilometres of bike trails to go along with the quiet and surprisingly hilly Lake County roads, it’s a great spot to dial in some heavy-duty winter training and escape the cold. Lake Louisa State Park, a regular venue for ITU Pan American Cup triathlon events, offers excellent training in all three sports, while the infamous Orange Groves provide some challenging, but beautiful, run terrain.
This fully-catered camp organized by NRG Performance Training (head coach Nigel Gray) includes two different weeks of training. The first week is geared toward beginner to intermediate athletes, while the second week is for intermediate-to-advanced participants. Athletes stay in beautiful houses alongside a golf course and lots of personalized coaching that includes underwater video analysis and customized training during the week.
With accommodations at Emerald Island Resort, just three miles from Walt Disney World, the LPC camp offers a great opportunity to combine training and a holiday for the rest of the family and friends, who can enjoy the various attractions and shopping destinations. Last year’s camp filled to capacity with 55 athletes (along with eight coaches) of varying abilities who enjoyed the challenging training and coaching.
Now entering its fourth year, this VIP experience camp features bikes provided by Argon18, a pool nearby the full-service resort and lots of specialized coaching. Head coach Bart Rolet is a certified Swim Smooth coach and leads the swim sessions, three coaches lead the bike sessions and Jerome Faverial, a level 3 NCCP coach, oversees the run sessions. Next year’s camp will share some sessions with the Wattie Ink. tri group, which will feature regular Kona top finisher Heather Jackson.