Goats are the go-to training partners for this B.C. ultra-triathlete
North Okanagan Athlete of the Year Shanda Hill completes many of her workouts with a Nigerian dwarf goat by her sidePhoto by: Instagram/shandahilltriathlete
Last November, Shanda Hill became the first Canadian to complete a double-deca triathlon. That’s 76K of swimming, 3,600K of cycling and 844K of running — equal to 20 Ironman triathlons (one of which is gruelling enough for most people). Hill lives in Vernon, B.C., where she works out with a unique set of training partners: Nigerian dwarf goats. She got her first goat, Yoda, in 2018, and although her initial plan wasn’t to train with him, she soon found that her unorthodox pets were great to take on runs.
Hill entered the world of triathlon in 2014. “A running friend of mine said I should try a tri,” she says. “I didn’t have a bike or a wetsuit, and at the time I had no clue there was anything other than iron-distance.” She signed up for an full-distance race (3.8K swim, 180K bike and 42K run) in Penticton, B.C., and she has been racing ever since.
Two years after her triathlon debut, she heard about ultra-triathlons. As with her first race, it didn’t take much to convince her to sign up. “There was a double-iron race being held in Oregon that July,” she says. “While I was at the double, someone told me about a triple and a quintuple in Virginia. I ended up doing the quintuple.” She became the first Canadian woman to finish a quintuple triathlon, but she didn’t stop there. In 2017, she doubled up on that distance to finish her first deca triathlon (the equivalent of 10 Ironman races). She completed back-to-back deca races in 2018 in Mexico and Switzerland, and last year, she completed her double-deca, which was also in Mexico.
Hill has four deca races under her belt, and she wants to complete another six to total an even 10 on her racing resume. She planned on racing some this fall, but that won’t be happening now due to COVID-19. While she waits for racing to resume, she is keeping active at home in B.C. with her crew of training partners.
Related: Shanda Hill’s ultra habit
Training with goats
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It is finished! – 38km swim, 1800 km bike, 422km run. – 287:44:53 – 1st Female, 9/12 in the men. – Nothing compares to the feeling of setting out to accomplish a goal and completing it. – My ultimate goal was to beat my last year’s time but this did not happen,I was short 8 hours of my goal. I have more experience to learn from and take with me into the @Decamanusa, New Orleans in Nov when I will set out to finish my 4th deca in less then a year and a half. – A huge Thankyou to my support @tyresehill_ @ranchovignola @prohandsmassage @trademarkpackaging @fastandfemale as well as my Family, friends and hometown of @vernonbc @swissultra_triathlon Thankyou @canada for your support @triathlonmagazine @castanetmedia @vernonmorningstar – – – – – #deca #swissultras #ultratriathlon #triathlon #ironwoman #womeninsport #representingcanada #proudcanadian #challengeyourself #cliffjumping #flying #gratitude #raceschedule #runningmotivation #ironman #swim #bike #enduranceathletes #plantbasedathlete #ultrafamily #switzerland🇨🇭 #buchs #excited #ironman #wheremyheartis #Iamcanadian #thismama @wooterapparel #ultraathlete #ultratriathlon