One would not necessarily associate Triathlon Clubs with glamour. Hard bodied, super fit, chiseled athletes? Certainly. However, Valencia has brought a touch of glamour to LETC. In London and Paris one week, New York the next, she does not forget her small town roots as you can see below. Since she first swept into the LETC Halloween party 2 years ago, her blonde mane dazzling, her thigh high boots giving her even more of a statuesque presence, she has brought a taste of the red carpet to Leading Edge . (Geez George, get to the Profile, this isn't the Oscars)
Where are you from?
Vancouver (lived here most of my life) – via Prince George and Steinbach (I was born there), with a long list of northern Manitoba armpits thrown in between.
Have you ever been to Vanderhoof? They say it can be lovely at some point in the year.
Yes I have, and no it’s not. Do you know where Steinbach is?
Prince George or Paris, where do you plan to retire?
Steinbach, of course. I mean, that may be the only town in Canada that still does not contain a restaurant with a liquor license, so it's PERFECT for me!
What was your sports background?
I don’t have a sports background. Which should be immediately apparent when you review my racing stats from last season. I may be the most uncoordinated person on the planet. I managed to sustain bruises on both my knees and one shin last week when swimming at VAC. I am not kidding. And don’t ask.
How did you get into Triathlon?
I refer to myself as the ‘accidental triathlete.’ In 2009 I got inspired by my best friend who was training for a half marathon, so I joined her doing that. Since I was riding my (mountain) bike and swimming for cross training purposes that spring/summer anyways, I thought – “why not try a triathlon?” I mean, how hard can it be? I can swim (sort of – again, review my race stats), I can ride a bike, and I can run (again, sort of). So I signed up for the sprint at the Nationals in Kelowna. Let me just point out that that is perhaps not the best race to “try a tri”! It was TERRIFYING (I had never really done any open water swimming, I didn’t have a wetsuit, it was windy, cold, and the water was really choppy), and EXHILARATING!!! Who needs crack???!!! I was completely hooked! So I promptly signed up for the Cultus Lake sprint a few weeks later (muuuuuch easier swim, thank god), joined LETC for the 2010 season, and here I am.
What is your most memorable moment in triathlon?
Given my above story of my 2009 Kelowna Apple experience, that’s probably it. But I returned to Kelowna in 2010, this time for the Olympic distance – trained and ready (what a concept) – and had a fantastic, all-out, I’m-gonna-puke-at-the-finish race! I have never been in that much physical agony in my life, and once again – I loved it!
What are your 2011 triathlon goals and beyond this year as well?
Last year I was doing Olympic distances, and this year it’s Half Iron. I’m registered for the Oliver and Subaru Vancouver HIs. After that I’m switching gears to ready myself for the GranFondo in September, and after that the New York Marathon in November. IMC 2012 OR BUST!!!
Do you see yourself in the longer 70.3/Ironman distances?
As I said, IMC 2012 OR BUST, BABY!! If 3 hours of pain is so great, why not go for a whole day?!
Tell us more about the life of a "sexy scientist" as you were described by Customs in London
I think the term was “pretty”, not “sexy”. One is not “sexy” following a 9hr overseas flight. Or “pretty” either, for that matter. No, I’m afraid mine is not a sexy career.