A Vernon, B.C.-based age-grouper is attempting one of the most gruelling endurance races in the world. Thirty-four-year-old Shanda Hill only began triathlon in 2014, but she’s set her sights on becoming the first Canadian to attempt and complete a “quintuple anvil”, which is the equivalent of five combined full-distance races and amounts to a 19-km swim, 900-km bike ride and 210-km run to be finished in under 132 hours.
In an interview, Hill says she got her start in sports with BMX racing but after colliding with a car while out on her bike, which left with severe injuries including brain trauma, her racing career took a hiatus. Slowly she got back into sports, beginning with running and quickly getting hooked on triathlon. She raced Challenge Penticton in 2015 and wanted more.
When Hill then successfully completed the Oregon anvil, a race the equivalent of two full-distances, it opened the door to something event more challenging. She completed the race in 38 hours as the second woman overall, qualifying her for the quintuple.
“It’s nuts,” she says. “I’m looking forward to it like you wouldn’t believe.”
The race falls on October 10th this year, and Hill has been dedicated and disciplined with her training.
She goes on a 200 to 250 km bike ride once every two weeks, regularly runs half and full marathons, and spends a lot of time at the gym. She believes her unique approach of only riding every couple weeks is the key to her success.
“I’m very diligent with equal amounts of activity and rest. It sounds bizarre, but I’ve found it works,” she says.
If all goes well for Hill, she hopes to tackle the deca — 10 full-distances — next.