Matt Sharpe of Saanich finished 24th overall in the men's under-23 World Triathlon Grand Final in London

Home sweet homecoming for Saanich triathlete

Saanich triathlete Matt Sharpe is staring a grueling two years if he wants to represent Canada at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Saanich triathlete Matt Sharpe is staring a grueling two years if he wants to represent Canada at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

It won’t be easy, but the 22-year-old is off to a good start.

Last week he finished 24th at the men’s under-23 World Triathlon Grand Final championship in London, England. The only Canadian ahead of Sharpe was Alexander Hinton of Kingston, Ont., in 13th with a time of 1:44:26. Sharpe just behind him with a time of 1:45:34.

Though he didn’t crack the podium at the Grand Final it’s still been a strong season for Sharpe. He spent July, August and the start of September training with fellow Canadians from the national triathlon team in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. Well others used the location to race ITU events in Europe Sharpe limited his racing while recovering injuries in the spring.

“I was building back from a hip injury in April after the World Series race in San Diego and a bike crash in June right before coming to Europe,” Sharpe said.

The recovery seems to be going well. In his only other race this summer Sharpe managed eighth among the elite, open level men’s category at the ITU European Continental cup in Karlovy Vary of the Czech Republic on July 25.

“I’ve been training with a large number of our senior and development team athletes who’ve been fortunate enough to join up with New Zealand’s Jamie Turner and his elite squad, including world No. 1 ranked-female triathlete Gwen Jorgensen (USA) and former U23 World

Champion Aaron Royle (Australia).”

Also among his Spanish-based training partners this summer were adopted Canadians Ellen Pennock and her U23 teammates, Amelie Kretz and Joanna Brown, who finished second, third and fifth, respectively, in the Grand Final last week.

They’re all examples of Canada’s Own the Podium funding at work. Shining examples in the case of Pennock’s silver, and Kretz’s bronze, mind you.

“(OTP) has helped cover my pool fees, coaching fees, travel to Europe and accommodation. They see this as an important investment and they have been amazing with their support,” Sharpe said.

All other expenses, including races, are covered by Sharpe. It’s logical, he says, but becomes quite costly. Now that the triathlon racing season is almost closed for 2013 Sharpe’s goal is to find a financial partner who can assist him in an Olympic qualification campaign. It’s tough to hold down a full time job, or even part time, while spending hours in the pool, on the road running or biking, and in the gym each week.

As tough as it is for Sharpe to be away from his beloved Victoria he foresees spending upwards of nine months away for training and racing next year as he moves towards a goal of competing in Rio, he says.

“I will be finishing my season in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Oct. 13. Then I will take a few weeks off to appreciate some of the people and activities that I’ve neglected over the past season.”

He’ll miss Spain, but welcomes the chance to cycle along Dallas Road and through Metchosin, hit up his local coffee haunts and grocery shop on Sundays. Because apparently, you can’t do that in the paradise that is Vitoria-Gasteiz.

“All the stores are closed here on Sunday and as an athlete you never want restricted access from food!”




Just Posted

Esquimalt gives six-storey rental complex the green light

A new apartment building is set to go up on Admirals Road

Light up August with a lantern building workshop in Sidney

ArtSea workshops in preparation for Aug. 24 Salish Sea Lantern Festival

Colwood field lacrosse camp aims to get more kids involved

Victoria Field Youth Lacrosse hopes to inspire future athletes

WATCH: Our Place Therapeutic Recovery Community turns into a ‘place of healing’

500 volunteers, 120 businesses worked to transform View Royal community

A party for 11 pups and their adoptive families in Beckwith Park in Saanich

The coonhound siblings reunited at a barbeque on Saturday

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Most Read