With nearly 20 years of competitive racing under his belt, Simon Whitfield knows the level of support that is necessary for an amateur athlete to pursue a life of sport at the elite level. Whitfield assembled a small group of up and coming triathletes from across the nation. The six team members have committed to the same goal that Whitfield had at a young age: to represent Canada at the Olympic Games. Through the positive relationships that he has developed with his sponsors, Whitfield has set up the athletes with quality equipment and resources, helping them in what he calls, “a relentless pursuit of excellence.” They call themselves Triathlon Code.
Triathlon Code consists of Alexander Hinton, Ian Donald and Dorelle Hinton of the Guelph Regional Triathlon Centre (RTC-G), and Christine Ridenour, Matt Sharpe and Alison Hooper of the National Triathlon Centre Development Squad in Victoria (NTC). Thanks to the support from sponsors Specialized, Shimano, Nineteen, Vega, CEP, Champion Systems and Triathlon Canada Magazine, as well as bike shops, Gears (Ontario) and Oak Bay Bikes (B.C.), the team is going to be well equipped for the 2011 season and beyond.
But what does “Triathlon Code” mean? The athletes are eager to become an integral part of the Canadian triathlon community through work with local clubs and at races with a social media presence that aims to tell a narrative of growing as an elite athlete. The code is a set of ideals that the athletes are choosing to live by. A lifestyle that facilitates (and does not compromise) their objectives of reaching the pinnacle of their sport. It is the sum of the team’s experiences, a journey that they wish to share with a larger audience. The team will be connecting with viewers through Facebook, Twitter, Flikr photo sharing, YouTube and Blogspot.
“The athletes are driving it, it’s their team,” says Whitfield. “The team writes the blogs, the reviews, the race reports, the adventures (and in Ian’s case, traveling misadventures). They designed the website, wrote the “code” and drive the bus. I’m simply hoping to support them when they need help, to point them in the right direction and every once in awhile, give them a shove. In the future, the goal is to pass along the team to new athletes, the next generation after these guys.”
The team will begin racing locally, nationally and internationally in May. Select members of the team will have the opportunity to race some of the best in the world when Edmonton plays host to a World Cup event in July. The team also has goals of sending athletes to the World Junior and U23 World Championships at the ITU Grand Finale in Beijing this September.
Triathlon Code athlete Christine Ridenour plans to make the most of the opportunity.
“It’s an opportunity to reflect on the nature of our sport and to demonstrate to other athletes, as well as the general public, what we are about and what we push ourselves through everyday. Being approachable at local events will hopefully encourage others to get involved in sport as we seek to be role models for the triathlon community. Numerous sponsors have generously agreed to support The Code and our athletic dreams, thereby relieving a significant portion of our financial burden.”
Get to know The Code at triathloncode.com