Member Profile - Alison Thompson

Alison is a wonderful person to have in the club. With an eclectic range of interests, and a creative, some would say roguish mind, she is a great conversationalist and fun to have with you on long rides. That is, till she crushes you up the last hill.

Where are you from?

Here.  I’ve been in Vancouver for almost 30 years.  Before that I was all over the province.  I was born in Vanderhoof - bonus points to anyone who can tell me where that is without having to look it up!

What sports were you into growing up and before triathlon?

I was a couch potato as a kid.  I was forced onto the basketball team in grade seven because my Mum was worried I was so inactive.  I was the tallest kid in the school so I guess basketball seemed like a good fit.  I was probably the worst forward our school ever had!  In high school I managed to avoid sports teams and in Phys Ed I would fake asthma attacks to get out of running.

I did pretty much nothing from grade 11, when we were no longer required to take Phys Ed, until 3rd year university when a friend got me into playing ultimate, telling me “You’re tall, you’ll be fast!”  I never was particularly fast but I managed to be tall for the entire 14 years I played.  Ultimate was my “gateway drug” into other sports and through it I got into hiking, biking, running, etc. and slowly turned into a jock.

How long have you been an LETC member?

I was one of the first club members in 2005. I was at the first week of practices, back when we only had two lanes of the pool at Lord Byng.  I’d been running with Andrew’s KCC run group for a year when I overheard him talking to Stan about a club he was starting up it twigged my interest.  I asked Andrew if a moderate runner, slow cyclist and terrible swimmer would fit in with the group and he told me there’d be lots of folks my speed.  Turns out he was lying through his teeth and I spent most of the first few months trying to keep up with the speed demons, but I had fun anyways.

How many tris have you done?

I’ve lost count, but possibly 30.  I know for certain that I did four in my first year (three sprints and an Olympic) as the terror I felt before each race is permanently etched in my memory.  I’ve since done six half iron distance races (sadly that doesn’t equal three full IMs) and the full-meal-deal at Ironman Canada in 2007.  I’m fuzzy on the number of Olympic and sprint distance races.

What’s your favourite of the three disciplines?

I thought there were four. Eating is definitely a discipline and not only do I love it but I’m highly skilled at it.

Of the other three, initially running was my favourite but over the past few years I’ve really fallen in love with swimming, and after working with Barb on the bike through the fall  I’m really looking forward to big gains in my cycling.

I didn’t give you a favourite, did I?  Let’s just go with eating.

You’ve been a member since the beginning of LETC, what can say about the growth of the club?

It’s been very interesting to watch the club grow and develop over the last six years.  I was on the first elected Board and it was great to be in on the ground floor and see what the coaches’ philosophy was and to subsequently see how we’ve grown into and beyond what they had envisaged.

We’ve attracted quite the high performance element.  It’s occasionally intimidating but it’s also inspiring at workouts to have these folks to watch and to learn from.  It’s also fun to watch the club members clean up at post race awards ceremonies!  What I really like though; is that everyone in the group respects the effort their club mates put in, regardless of their speed or placing.

Despite all our growth and changes, we still have a small club feel and a really good vibe to the group.  The coaches, Board members and all the club members in general have all worked really hard to keep that and I appreciate it very much.

What are your goals for 2011?

I started the year off with a bang by running my first stand-alone marathon on January 16.  Kind of nice to know that whatever else I do this year that I’ve already got that under my belt.

Otherwise I plan to do the Osoyoos Half Iron as my A race.  I like the half iron distance and I like hilly bike courses so it should be a good fit for me.  I’m not sure what other races I’ll do along the way, there are so many great tri’s so close by that it’s hard to choose.  Then there are the VOWSA swim races and all the great running and biking events.  I don’t think I’ll have enough weekends to get it all in!

Vanderhoof. Note the horses waiting at the Drive Thru