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CAMBRIGETIMES - Brown runs with Worlds

posted Mar 3, 2011, 2:39 PM by Bryan Peters
Darcy Brown admits it was just something he “fell into”.
Well, it was more like swam, cycled and ran into. The 32-year-old triathlete found a spot on the Canadian squad for the 2011 International Triathlon Union Age-Group Triathlon World Championships next August in Beijing, China, totally by chance.
After training for a half marathon – a two-kilometre swim, 90-km bike ride and 21-km run –  since the winter months, his participation in the Subaru Guelph Lake Triathlon and Duathlon last month seemed like a walk in the park at the Olympic distance – 1.5-km swim, 40-km bike ride and 10-km run.
Brown finished third in his 30-35 age category, making him an alternate for the two-man qualifier for the worlds. The Cambridge resident isn’t sure if just one of the pair of both opted out of the trip, but now he’s off to Beijing.
“One of the guys I talked to said to me, in just that many words, ‘Can’t afford it’,” Brown said, adding that it’s up to the triathlete to pay the way to China.
“I’m saving my pennies. It’s a fair hike, but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing for me so I’m going to make it happen.
“This was never in the plan. I didn’t go to the race on that day going, ‘OK, I have to beat so-so to do this’. It just sort of fell in my lap really and I’m going to run with it. I didn’t go there setting out to accomplish this. I just had a really good race.”
It’s actually a huge accomplishment for Brown, who is only in his second year of triathlon competitions and Guelph was only the second Olympic distance he tried. Last year, in his first Olympic race in Wasaga Beach, he finished third. This time, he had the same placement but shaved 11 minutes off his time.
Brown admitted the half-marathon training paid off. A mild winter helped that endeavour, as he was able to do more roadwork than running on treadmill at the YMCA. A trip to Vancouver in February also had him in shorts and a T-shirt, taking advantage of the mild temperatures.
“Based on the distances I’m putting in for that race, I’m sort of over-distance training for the Olympic. It was a lot easier than last year because of that.
“If I go out and do a type of workout where I put 70 clicks on the bike and then run for two hours in preparation for the half ironman, it really makes the Olympic distance doable.”
Another factor in making the Canadian team is that Brown and friend Chris Day took coaching clinics and started their own club in the winter, the Cambridge Multisport Club. Though Guelph was an open event, only club members can qualify for championships.
Brown used to work out with a triathlete club at the Y, but now he’s finding he’s squeezing in more workout time because he has to run practices, as well as his solo training during the day. He doesn’t mind getting out three times a day when it’s called for.
“Since (the worlds) was finalized, it’s been a pretty nice little motivator. It’s been pretty exciting.”
As far as goal-setting for the worlds, Brown just wants to beat his personal best at the Olympic distance. His time in Guelph was two hours, 17 minutes, 34 seconds.
“I’m not expecting miracles,” he said, adding that the triathlon route will be the same one the Olympians competed on in 2008.
“I looked at the times people put up on the international stage and I’ll be right in there. I’m certainly not going to blow the doors off or anything like that, but I’d like to do the sub two-10 range. I’ll have to pare quite a bit off time off to get there, as I was two-17 in Guelph. I have no idea what the training is like over there, but I think two-10 would be reasonable.”
Besides training, Brown will also be pounding the pavement looking for sponsors. His major sponsor is Cycle Cambridge, but he’s going to have to pull in more to help offset his travelling costs.
“There’s plenty of room on the jersey,” he said with a laugh