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Get to know Austen Forbes

Credit: @au_forbes
Credit: @au_forbes

Where are you from and how old are you?
I’m 22 years old. I was born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario. I still currently live in Hamilton and attend McMaster University where I study Psychology Neuroscience and Behaviour.

How did you get your start in triathlon and how did you decide to turn pro?
I had a very athletic childhood and because of my competitive spirit, I participated in almost every sport you can think of. Though I wasn’t competing until high school, my twin brother Taylor Forbes and I always ran while growing up. Interestingly enough, we both didn’t know how to swim or ride a bike. Our mother thought it would be a wise decision to sign us up with the Hamilton Hammerheads triathlon team.

There wasn’t a defining moment  when I decided to turn pro, it slowly just happened over time. Sometime around 19 years of age I had decided to commit to the sport and train seriously.

What has triathlon taught you?
The lessons through sport are never-ending. That being said, I think the most vital lesson I have learned are that hard work, persistence, and patience are the key to success.

What’s your sports background?
From a young age, Taylor and I have been running. We ran even before we knew that it was a sport. With our competitive backgrounds, we were determined to be the fastest as possible getting from point A to point B. Our school teacher saw how much we enjoyed running as a hobby that she later introduced us to cross country and track.

Does any part of triathlon scare you?
The uncontrollable variables that scare me the most. You can do everything possible to prevent certain issues, but sometimes things like a flat tire, someone else crashing, or broken goggles can happen. These things are inevitable and all you can do is try to prepare for them as best as possible.

What draws you to the sport?
I enjoy the racing style in short course triathlon (Olympic and sprint distance). It’s unlike any other endurance sport in that it’s not just about going as hard as you can for as long as you can. There is a strategy to it that you can’t employ in other events like swimming, marathons, track and field or even long course triathlon.

Favourite race and why?
Though I have only raced it once, the European Cup race in Holton, Netherlands is my favourite. It was a big event and the crowds were large and loud, which kept me motivated throughout the entire race. It was also nice to see how other countries appreciate triathlon.

Do you have a sports hero or major influence?
Ever since I was young I had trouble finding a sports hero because I was too concerned with wanting to be at the same level or better than that person. My greatest influences in the sport are both professional and amateur. I like to pick every athlete’s brain, learn from their experiences and build upon them in my own training.

Do you have a “pump-up” song you like to listen to in training or before races?
I have been obsessed with this underground band from Australia called “The Lazys”. They’re rough around the edges but their song “All Fired Up” gets me… fired up. If anyone is a rock/metal music enthusiast, I suggest you give them a listen!