Wednesday, November 7, 2007

From the Port Perry Star.

Will the hard work pay off

PORT PERRY -- After nearly two years of training, Syd Trefiak hopes all his hard work will pay off in about 10 hours tomorrow.

That's when the 30-year-old Port Perry resident will embark on his first ever Ironman experience at the Ford Ironman Triathlon in Florida alongside some 2,000 other multi-sport athletes.

"This is something I am really excited for," he said prior to departing for the sunshine state. "It's been about a year-and-a-half, almost two years of focused training to get ready for this race."

The event, according to Trefiak, consists of 3.8 kilometre swim, followed by a 180km bike race and is capped off by a 42km run.

After four years of competing on various triathlon circuits, Trefiak feels he is ready for this next challenge, and even had a time in mind that would be an acceptable finish.

"This is a big jinx, but ten and a half hours I would be happy with," he says with a chuckle.

After years of mountain biking and being involved in other sports, Trefiak ran his first triathlon about four years ago at the urging of his wife, Jenn.

"I've been in endurance sports like mountain biking for years and my wife was working for a small paper in Niagara Falls and told me there was one going on, a triathlon going on, and said 'why don't you go do it' So I did it and I won and I've been addicted ever since," he recalls.

And the winning has certainly followed Trefiak around as evidenced by his first place showing at the World Championship Triathlon qualifier earlier this year in Guelph.

"It was an Olympic Distance race, which is a 1.5 kilometre swim, a 40 kilometre bike and a 10 kilometre run in Guelph," he explains. "It was actually a World Championship qualifying event for the World Championships in Vancouver next year and that's the next major thing after getting this Ironman done."

In preparation for the Ironman, Trefiak, a teacher at Oshawa Central Collegiate, has been training anywhere from 15 to 23 hours a week, on top of his regular work hours. Though it's probably been a bit much at times, he understands that to be successful at such a high level within the sport, a certain level of dedication is necessary.

"It requires a certain amount of focus and you have to know a lot about what you are doing because you can really hurt yourself if you don't do it properly," he says. "You can probably do one by training 10-15 hours a week, but I guess it depends on how well you want to do in it."

During his training regimen, Trefiak estimates his longest bike ride at over seven hours and 200-plus kilometres and his longest swim at "four or five thousand meters."

To say he is aptly prepared for tomorrow's challenge might be a slight understatement.

Spare time isn't exactly something Trefiak has found much of over the last while, but he still manages to run a website dedicated to triathletes ( and in the near future harbours hopes of getting into the coaching field.

"I want to give people who are interested in the sport, the opportunity to pursue it to the best of their abilities," he said of his reason for wanting to coach

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