Team X. Sounds like another movie from Marvel Comics starring our favorite mutants, but it’s actually a new/ old triathlon club starting up right here in Sooke.
Formed in 2002, it had members from all over the south Island that trained out of Crystal Pool. Over the years, the team has gone through a lot of changes and some people left, so team manager Gill Chater and her husband and coach Steve decided to give X a reboot.
“We just thought it’s time maybe to move to an area where there’s not already a team set up and get something going,” said Chater, who is also a certified assistant coach.
Everything is going to be centred around SEAPARC — members pay a $75 a month fee to the pool, that has a contract with the Chaters. There are early morning and evening training sessions covering swimming, biking and running, with the latter two done indoors on machines when the winter weather isn’t agreeable.
“It’s open to all ages, levels and abilities,” she said, adding previous Team X’ers have ranged in age from 20-something to 60. Gill will help newcomers to the sport and teach them the basics, while Steve, who has 35 years of coaching experience, looks after the more seasoned.
“That’s the neat thing about triathlons. I’m not competing against you, I’m competing against people that are my own age.”
Although not formerly based in Sooke, the team previously hosted three local springtime triathlons but had to relocate it for safety reasons.
“The swim part’s great, but because of the overgrowth of Sooke it became impossible for us to put the race on and guarantee a safe venue for bikers.”
It’s a problem that the Sooke Subaru International Triathlon also faced in the summer, which is why parts of West Coast Road were shut down for a few hours to accommodate the cyclists.
Last year, the triathlon was held at Juan de Fuca. For 2012, there are triathlons scheduled all over the Island starting in May at Shawnigan Lake, Cowichan, Sooke, Esquimalt and Elk Lake and members can take part in any or all of them.
Gill said a fun thing Team X does is in the warmer months, the club meets early in the morning at Thetis Lake where buoys are set up and swimmers in wetsuits can get some outdoor practice.
Starting up in January, training runs year round and people can join at any time. But Gill suggested for anyone intended to enter summer competitions, it would be wise to join earlier to build a solid foundation.
For more information, drop by SEAPARC or call 250-642-8000.