Jessica Annesley will compete in the North Shore Triathlon.

Giving something new a ‘tri’

Former runner Jessica Annesley aims for triathlon success at the upcoming North Shore Triathlon.

By Alex Wilks, Special to Peace Arch News

Every race for White Rock triathlete Jessica Annesley leaves her with a new strategic ingredient that she didn’t possess before.

“This race marks the start for so many more races, and although it is a shorter distance, every distance teaches me so much,” said Annesley, 19, of the upcoming North Shore Triathlon, which is set for May 18 at the Ron Andrews Recreation Centre in North Vancouver.

“It means a lot to me to be able to push myself and always build upon my previous capabilities.”

The event – the 26th annual – is being held this year in the memory of Tim Jones, a paramedic who dedicated 25 years to North Shore Rescue.

It is a charity-driven event in which athletes compete to win money, which they then donate to the charity of their choice. The race, limited to 350 contestants, consists of a 750-m swim, a 17.6-km bike ride and a 4.9-km run to finish it off.

Annesley began her athletic career in high school, as a competitive runner in both track and field and cross country. When she was 16, she competed in the Run for Water, a 10-km race in which she placed first in her division, and was also third overall among all female runners.

However, despite her early success, a tibial stress-fracture – a crack in the tibial leg bone – ended her running career just two years later, at 18.

“The doctor told me to get a bunch of books and rest, but anyone who knows me knows that’s impossible” said Annesley.

Her injury prompted her to research, and find a sport that would not aggravate her leg as much as running. In the meantime, she used the stationary bicycle at her gym to stay in shape while her bone healed.

“Biking in a stationary place got boring,” she said. “I figured swimming would be my new calling.”

Swimming did not come naturally for Annesley, however.

“I sucked at swimming, but I still remember the day I swam one lap with no break and how proud I felt. Soon after, I did 15 lengths in a row,” she said.

She began swimming every second morning at 6 a.m., and improved rapidly over time. It was then that competing in triathlons became a goal.

“I figured I can run, I can swim, (so) I need a bike and I can tri,” she said.

Triathlons are grueling endurance tests, but Annesley felt they’d be a fit for her personality.

As a runner, she was one to suffer anxiety problems before each race. But over time, she learned to overcome those feelings with an inner drive and competitive spirit that allowed her to focus for long periods of time.

“I’ve always been competitive, but my main competitor has always been myself,” she said, adding that competing is “a love/hate relationship that takes dedication.”

“It’s not one race, it’s not just over at the finish line. It’s living it every day.”

Annesley is also inspired by her father, whom she remembers competing in Ironman events when she was growing up.

Conversely, he’s inspired by his daughter, as well.

“I am proud of her amazing progress despite a serious injury, and I look forward to meeting Jessica at the finish line many times over,” he said.

Before her first triathlon last year, he even surprised his daughter with a new triathlon bike – a 2012 Ridley Phaeton T Shimano.

“I admire his achievements, and (I’m) just following in his footsteps,” Annesley said.

Though she has personal goals for the North Shore event, the 19-year-old says what matters most to her is that she’s found a new competitive outlet.

“I’m not great, there’s many athletes way better than me, but that does not matter,” she said.

“It doesn’t matter where I am when I start, what matters is where I am when I finish. And as of right now, I do not see a finish.”

 

Just Posted

RCMP shoot dog in South Surrey after it charges officer

Member of the public not seriously injured after dog bite

VIDEO: Surrey soccer team wins national title for teammate Bassi, killed in car crash last spring

‘It meant the world to us to win it for him,’ says team manager/coach

South Surrey mother leads team of women to build homes in El Salvador

Kelley McNamara and her daughter are to help build a dozen homes in three days

Donation allows Peace Arch Hospital to buy new ventilator

TB Vets donate $73,000 to hospital foundation

Paul Bennett honoured at Peace Arch Hospital Foundation awards

Cloverdale man, murdered in June 2018, was one of a number of people to be honoured

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

VIDEO: Townhouse fourth Maple Ridge blaze in less than a day

UPDATE: Fire victims have much to be thankful for, despite loss of pets on Thanksgiving Day

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

Most Read

l -->