Midlands Ultra Triathlon Race Report – by Ryan Habib

Ryan Habib IMG 3.



This weekend I took part in the Midlands Ultra Triathlon. Aside from the weather, it was well organized – but we can’t have it all.


After a terrible experience in the water, during which I was even passed by a fellow athlete towing his son in a canoe, I thought to myself, why do I even do this?

I managed to finish the swim and strolled into transition, and then started to jog a bit. I began to think that since I was here, I might as well do what I could to recover. Conditions weren’t perfect on the bike, but having endured worse I stayed positive.


It must have been somewhere out on the ride, as I passed what seemed to be a bike I would find on my wish list for Santa (except that this Santa didn’t look too jolly as I passed him), that I had an epiphany — why I do Tri.


It seems to me that I start with a personal challenge to beat someone or to race, but come race day, when it’s just me out there with the wind whistling through small vents in my helmet, that I quickly realize that each one of the athletes competing is on their own journey. From the beginner to the elite, each competitor has personal goals – and while I love passing a bloke on a bike I secretly (or not so secretly, anymore) lust after, it’s not about that. I pass him, and someone else passes me as we all travel the same journey to our personal goals. This concept may not seem obvious for our sport-mad country, but it isn’t about making the finish line as fast as possible.


Each one of us athletes has challenged ourselves – often for some reason outside of the sport. Each athlete comes to the race with their “baggage” – a reason to prove “they can do it”.


The recent diagnosis of my mother’s cancer has made this challenge more than simply a race. It provides hope, a hope that if I can somehow overcome a physical personal challenge then perhaps, my mom’s race against the cancer can also be challenged, raced and conquered, making the medal more meaningful. Don’t get me wrong – medals for races are meaningful – but having a different force driving me to succeed makes it that much more meaningful.


The thought began to form that perhaps I wasn’t the only one out there today in between the rain and cold, redefining themselves out there, I became certain that others were racing for their own hopes too


To all of the competitors, whether you were the man towing his son or the guy dressed in his CHOC suit, well done!


Next time you are out there racing, challenge yourself, and remember for the majority of us, the race is one against only ourselves. There is no losing when we are out there.

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