Hey, wanna do the Triathlon of Compassion? If your response to that question is an incredulous, “You want me to swim, bike AND run?!“ have we got a deal for you – join as a relay team! That way if you swim like a fish but also run like one, you can get your fleet of foot friend to take over that part. The Triathlon of Compassion (TOC) is a friendly event with a huge range of abilities represented. Your team can be a mix of gender and age.
Parts of the Triathlon
Swimmers get to go first. The event is 500m in the Esquimalt pool (that’s 10 laps or 20 lengths). There is no scary open water swim, wondering if a shark is going to increase your motivation to move quickly. If you don’t know a front crawl from a pub crawl, that’s OK – you can do any stroke. You can even take a break! Hang onto a wall or lane rope, just don’t go forward and, of course, no hanging onto other people. Once you make it through all 500 m, off you go to the transition area. If you have cleverly created a team, you simply tag your biking buddy, then gloat to your team runner that you are already done…er….I mean help keep your running mate from getting nervous while you both cheer on your pedaling pal.
The 20 km course goes through the streets of Esquimalt. There are a few hills but nothing too steep to go up and one fun one to zoom down. You are allowed to walk your bike. You are not allowed to hook onto a passing car for a tow. Along the way friendly volunteers will point the way and encourage you. There are three loops so you have a few opportunities to enjoy the sights; just be careful not to lose count. Having completed your mission, return to the transition area where your loyal teammate is waiting to be tagged.
As the runner, you may be anxiously on the lookout, trying to warm up without tiring yourself out. Everyone coming in starts to look the same in their helmets and spandex (spandex is optional, helmets are not). When your biker arrives, dismounts and hurries to get their bike to the racks, you are finally on! The 5 km course takes you to the beautiful Macaulay Point Park with a spectacular view of the ocean and Olympic Mountains. There is no doubt that you have the most scenic job of your crew. You may run straight through or walk a bit along the way. As you round the final corner into the finishing chute, you will summon just a bit more energy for a final dash (or crawl) across the finishing line. You made it! Your whole team can now wander (stagger?) off to the food tent.
You wouldn’t be the only one to think the fundraising is more challenging than the actual triathlon but … you may be pleasantly surprised.
There is a forth part to this Triathlon – fundraising. Less than 50% of funding for the Victoria Sexual Assault Centre (VSAC) is provided by the provincial government, the rest is raised through individual donations, grants and community events such as the TOC. Getting sponsors is not a requirement for going in the TOC but it sure helps us out. It’s pretty easy to set up a fundraising page which allows people to donate on-line, but of course the old-fashioned way of asking in person, recording on paper and accepting cash also works.
You wouldn’t be the only one to think the fundraising is more challenging than the actual triathlon but if you try it, you may be pleasantly surprised. I have done the TOC (individually and as part of a team) several times and each time I have raised funds. The people who sponsor me have different reasons for giving; they may be: supporting VSAC in our work to end sexualized violence, wanting to alleviate suffering of survivors, letting me know that they value the work I do as a counsellor, or simply supporting me personally in my goals. My heart is always warmed bythe willingness and even enthusiasm of the people in my life to get involved by sponsoring me in, what a cousin of mine called, these silly activities.
Aside from the feel-good stuff that can come from fundraising, there is one more benefit – PRIZES! The more you raise the more you can win.
The TOC is on June 25, 2017. I’ll be there with the rest of my team (Triple Chocolate Bomb) – I hope you will be too!Sign Up Today!