© Submitted photo
Martin Sobey won the Challenge St. Andrews triathlon sprint in New Brunswick during the weekend.
Waking up before the sun rises to swim or running in -15C weather is all the motivation Martin Sobey needs when times are tough.
He leans on those moments as he races the clock on the triathlon course.
“Especially midrace, whenever it starts to hurt a bit, you definitely just have to remind yourself of, maybe, the sacrifices that you have made,” he said. “That’s why you work so hard” leading up to the race.
Sobey said he trains about two hours each day and is driven to get better.
“I really enjoy it, so it’s not hard to be committed,” he said. “It’s never been a challenge.”
The 17-year-old Charlottetown resident always ran and biked and when friends started talking about triathlon, which adds swimming to the other two sports, he was immediately intrigued. He started training in January 2013 and was part of last summer’s Canada Games team that competed in Sherbrooke, Que.
The variety is what attracted him to the sport.
“Every day is different,” he said. “Some days you get up and do a swim or some days you get up and do a run. Training is always different and you never get bored.”
He has worked hard in his pursuit to improve his time during the past year and saw the dedication pay off Sunday by winning his first triathlon of the summer in St. Andrews, N.B. He completed the sprint division, which includes a 750-metre swim, 20 kilometres on a bike and five-kilometre run, in 1:07.5.
Swimming was his weakest of the three disciplines when he started, but
his training showed to be
effective during the last race. Sobey came out of the water
with the lead, lost it on the bike, only to regain it on the run.
“Being (involved) with three sports, you have to be really determined and really master all three to be competitive,” Sobey said.
The young athlete is quick to mention he is fortunate to have a strong group of coaches, including Kris Taylor, Kara Grant and Jamie Whynacht, who volunteer their time to help him improve.
“Without them I would never have gotten to the point I am now and be able to have the potential I do,” he said.
Grant, a two-time Olympian in modern pentathlon, said she enjoys working with Sobey and seeing his progression.
“Martin Sobey is a hard-working, intelligent, dedicated, talented athlete with tons of potential for growth and development,” she said. “I can’t wait to see what Martin does in the next couple of years.”
People have been competing in triathlon on P.E.I. for years, but a provincial association was only incorporated in 2012. Triathlon P.E.I. is continuing to try to grow the sport and had 21 athletes compete in St. Andrews.
“Martin is really a pioneer for elite triathlon in Prince Edward Island,” said Grant, the association’s vice-president. “Other youth and juniors are going to be able to follow, to a degree, in his footsteps.”
Sobey leaves today for Quebec where he will spend the next two weeks and compete in a pair of national competitions. The junior elite race is July 12 while the junior national race is July 19.
Both events will be held at Lac Magog, the same site the Canada Games triathlon took place at.
Meet Martin Sobey
u Hometown – Charlottetown.
u Age – 17.
u Sport – Triathlon. The sprint division includes a 750-metre swim, 20 kilometres on a bike and five-kilometre run.
u Quote – “You pace yourself to some extent, but at the same time you’re almost flat out for the entire time.”
u Club – CARI Triathlon Club.
u Coaches – Kris Taylor, Kara Grant and Jamie Whynacht.
u Recently – Won the Challenge St. Andrews triathlon sprint Sunday in New Brunswick.
u Up next – Heading to Quebec today for a pair of national events during the next two weeks.
u Triathlon P.E.I. website - www.tripei.com.