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Forerunners and the Power of Teamwork

Published on June 5, 2023

Earlier this year, when a few Forerunners’ athletes recognized the need to cross train, a decision was made to invest in swim and bike training with the goal of completing a triathlon in Oliver, BC this past weekend, 2-3 June 2023.  

Recognizing that not all runners would be prepared to take on all three disciplines of the triathlon, we formed relay teams (men’s and women’s) to ensure that everyone was included.

Both relay teams were led respectively by the swimming skills of Peter and Sue Van Dyke. The synergy of each of the relays focussed on harnessing the individual strengths of the interested runners. Thanks to the mentorship of Bonnie Chuter and Doug Harris, there was no one left behind. 

Team “Forerunners at Play” was comprised of Peter Van Dyke, Carey Bornn, and Simon Sukstorf.  Peter was in the top handful of swimmers coming out of the water positioning the team for the podium before handing the chip to Carey who biked strong to keep them in medal contention.  Carey handed off to Simon for the final run leg who secured them the silver medal position.  Their performance was awe-inspiring. 

Team “Forerunners Tri Team 1” was also a force to be reckoned with. After leading the swim throughout, Sue handed off to Michelle Paulin who crushed the bike before handing the chip off to Janet Chui, who despite the scorching heat, ran like a metronome to bring their team across the finish line in blazing fashion.  Although the “Forerunners Tri Team 1” didn’t land on the podium, they were the top all female team and incredible.

Carlos Chiu accepted the most daunting challenge of all when he made the bold decision to commit to the full sprint triathlon.  Despite the overwhelming challenge of not having swam since his youth, he invested in personal swim lessons and displayed unwavering determination to hone the necessary skills.  His example of setting a goal beyond his comfort zone inspired the rest of us to follow suit.  His success was achieved from the culmination of his tireless dedication, humility, and willingness to test his limits. 

Upon her retirement, we recruited long time Forerunners runner, Lynn Martin to join our “tri” challenge and without hesitation, she signed up for the Sprint Distance and went on to win her Age Group. 

On Sunday, Peter Van Dyke, Bonnie Chuter and Doug Harris competed in the Half Triathlon distance (2 km swim, 89 km bike and 21.1 km run) in the hottest temperatures of the weekend.  Peter once again was one of the first swimmers out of the water.  He quickly found himself at the front of the bike leg amongst the elites and professionals before transitioning to the run.  He finished at the top of the 60+AG podium with a time of 4 hours 59 minutes and 18th overall.

In her signature style, Bonnie Chuter laid low coming out of the water and once on the bike, she started to pass anyone within her range.  Within the first few kms on the run, she took over the lead in her AG and never looked back.  When the turnaround point was left unmarked and thanks to her training for the upcoming World Ironman Championships in Kona, she had no problem adding on a few extra kms while still finishing on top of her podium with a time of 5-hour, 58-minutes.

Andrew Newmann and Vivian Fung both competed in the Aqua bike event where they completed a 2 km swim followed by an 89 km gruelling bike ride.

During the race, Doug Harris savoured the moment, relishing in the cheers from the crowd and stopping for hugs and photos.  He immersed himself in the joy of the event while celebrating everything we accomplished. 

The achievements this weekend show that our Forerunners athletes embody the relentless human spirit, demonstrating that their hard work, dedication, and perseverance knows no bounds.

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