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Catching up with Tracz

Second fastest Canadian at World Multisport Championships.

Mississauga, Ontario’s Ursula Tracz did her first triathlon at the age of eighteen, took a break to concentrate on school, returned to triathlon in 2006, and hasn’t stopped since. She competed at the Logs, Rocks, and Steel Race last August and earned a berth into February’s World Multisport Championships on the South Island of New Zealand where she finished 19th – second Canadian female behind Emily Miazga.

We caught up with Ursula find out about her first-time experience at the Speights Coast to Coast race.

UT: For one I thought that race this year was great. Although the day started out with wrenching showers, by the end of the day the sun was out and the weather was wonderful. I’m not sure if you’re aware of the course changes, but since water levels were dangerously high the race course was now changed to plan C. This meant that we were no longer paddling a 67km white water distance, but a mere 15km of flat water. This was a little less adventurous, but definitely tested the psychological and physical endurance of any athlete.
In terms of what went wrong….I had a couple of complications with my bike on the second and third bike positions. My derailleur was not shifting gears which made it difficult going up hills as well as resulted in some wind milling going down some steep hills. I also had two flats and at one point lost my food going up hill at the 50 km mark. The next aid station wasn’t until the 90km mark which made it slightly difficult to last for 40km. Luckily I meant another wonderful racer who was kind enough to give up one of his bars for my sake. Other than that the rest of the race was awesome. I definitely couldn’t have done it without my support crew who were there to take off and put on the appropriate clothes and put food down my mouth. Most importantly lathered my up with tons of sun lotion which helped a lot.

TMC: How does it compare to the Logs, Rocks, and Steel race?

UT: The race (Logs, Rocks and Steel) is slightly different in that instead of road biking it encompasses mountain biking (which I consider a little more technical and exhilarating). The paddling portion is also on flat water rather than white-water. The race itself is really well organized and mapped out. There is no requirement for pre-race mapping or preparations.

TMC: Do have any desire to go back and race it again?
UT: I would love to go back and do the “actual” coarse some day again and have already thought about altering my bike plan. Rather than taking the one from Canada I think I would hire one out or buy and re-sell post race as the transport may have contributed to the many complications I faced. I would definitely suggest doing this race to other Canadians. If they’re looking for a challenge, an epic course, beautiful scenery and of course a lot of fun.

TMC: What do you have planned for the rest of 2010?
UT: Plans for the rest of the year physically are really to continue with my current training (which is really a lifestyle) and participate in whatever races are available and fit into my work schedule. Unfortunately not being paid to race forces me to make my professional life a priority as that’s where my financial support for this crazy hobby comes from. Working as a full time nurse and working 12 hour shifts (shift work) makes things a little more difficult, but I think the challenge itself makes me want it that much more and work harder. Time is of the essence so I use any time I can to train and enjoy life.