This week, we caught up with our good friend, Tamsin. She's a regular at Somersault and if you see her at your next event, be sure to say hi. Her energy is contagious!
If you want to be out Athlete of the Week, or want to nomiate someone, email Adam@somersault.ca
Favourite Somersault memory
A memory that stands out for me, in a tragicomedy kind of way, is the swim to bike transition at The Canadian a few years back. I discovered as I was about to start the bike leg that my timing chip was missing. Grrrr! I had to push my bike all the way back to the transition zone. I was not even sure what I had done with the darn thing. Fortunately, I found it with my gear and was able to get back on course. That day I learned that haste can lead to waste.
What got you into triathlon?
I injured my knee and was told I shouldn’t run. But after I started doing yoga I realized my knees were okay. I was already a swimmer and a cyclist so I figured why not give triathlon a go. I also hung out with a sporty crowd so there were helpful people around to answer my questions.
How long have you been doing triathlons/duathlons?
Oh gosh, perhaps too long. About 15 years!
What events am I most excited about for 2022?
I would love to get back to racing in 2022. While I am keeping my expectations low because of COVID, I am planning to register for Winterman. I did this event a couple of years ago and enjoyed it. I also hope to participate in the Gatineau Loppet and a few triathlons in the summer.
Any fun facts or stories about you or your journey with sports?
I am known among my friends for my excessively slow transitions and have even lost age group podiums because of them!
My active living journey started in the pool when I was young and continued on the bike. Today, I like to be outside whether I’m running the trails near my house in summer or snowshoeing on the Kichi Sibi winter trail when the snow flies. I also love open water swimming, cross-country skiing and fat biking. We are so fortunate to have so many beautiful places nearby where we can be in nature.
Any favourite training tips? Or favourite places to train?
I think consistency is key. My friend, elite skier Sheila Kealy, once said to me “do what you can do”. If you’re injured, find a way to stay active. Maybe you can’t run, but you can swim. Or perhaps you can’t ride but you can strength train. Staying active has so many physical and emotional health benefits.
Find like-minded friends to train with. While it’s not always possible because of schedules and priorities, I have been fortunate to travel and train and race with good friends. And I am most grateful that Rob, my husband, enjoys the outdoor life, too and loves to ski, bike and run.
My favourite local places to train are along the Ottawa River, the Rideau Canal and of course, Gatineau Park. Farther afield, I love cross-country skiing, hiking and biking in Tremblant.
We hope that this update gives you a sense of hope and comfort for what Somersault has planned for 2022. All of our policies, whether they're related to COVID-19 or any other factor related to organizing mass-participation events, have your safety and enjoyment at the heart of them.
Our registration for the following year's events typically opens in December. That means that anyone who signed up for a race between December 2019 and March 2020 didn't get to complete their race. We originally told those participants that their registration would be deferred to 2021, but as COVID persisted, we've pivoted to what we feel is a better solution that puts the athlete first.
Anyone who is owed a deferred race from 2020 will get a promo code to sign up for one free event in 2022 or 2023. Those athletes can pick ANY Somersault event in 2022 or 2023. If you're one of those athletes, but can't make it to one of our 2022 events, you can keep your promo code for 2023. If you had originally signed up for a triathlon but would rather do a duathlon or run, go ahead! If you signed up for a Try a Tri but would rather attempt an Olympic Distance, feel free! There's no limit on price and any race that's organized by Somersault will qualify.
We can't thank you enough for sticking with us during our shutdown and we want to thank you by giving you the most options possible.
Sticking with the COVID theme, Somersault will be following the guidelines and recommendations from Ontario's Ministry of Health to reduce the health risks that come with large in-person events. Under the current guidelines:
All athletes must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, 14 days prior to race day.
All athletes must wear a mask before and after the event.
All volunteers, staff and race crew will be fully masked when on site.
The guidelines set out by the Ministry are fluid and out of our control. With that, we won't speculate on what the future holds for COVID-19. Instead Somersault will focus on our plan on what can be done to allow our in-person events to continue under the guidelines in place at the time of the event.
We hope that all this information comes as good news to you. We're exposing ourselves to a certain amount of risk by allowing so many people to get a 100% discount to any event in 2022 and 2023, and by committing to the fixed overhead associated with organizing these large events. We hope that you'll recognize these efforts and consider signing up for some events.
Somersault is a small business and we've done everything that we can to make sure that we survived the last 2 years. We're putting the athlete experience first and we hope that this goodwill is reciprocated. If you can support Somersault, it would mean the world to us if you could:
-Sign up for our upcoming events.
-Tell your friends about Somersault and consider making a day out of it with your friends, family or training group.
-Engage with us on social media
-Email us to let us know what you'd like to see in our series. You can reach out to the race director and owner directly at Adam@somersault.ca
After 2 seasons of hibernation, Somersault is back to hosting in-person events. For those of you that know and love our series, we can't wait to tell you about all the positive changes we've made during our break. And for those of you that we haven't met before, we look forward to making a lasting first impression.
Over the past 19 months, we've been talking to participants, volunteers and our partners about what they'd like to see when Somersault returns. The bulk of the answers fell into 3 categories: professionalism, value and communication.
This is where we've made the most updates to our events. In no particular order:
New owner and race director. All Somersault races for 2022 will be directed and organized by Adam Kourakis, who is also the new owner of Somersault. For triathletes and cyclists in Ottawa, Adam will be a familiar face. He owns Velofix Ottawa and TriRudy, and is active in the local multisport community. You can learn more about Adam at Somersault.ca/contact.
We're remeasuring all of our courses to ensure the highest degree of accuracy possible. With a new set of course measurements, you can be sure that the race distance that you sign up for is the distance you'll complete. Just make sure that you don't add up extra mileage with wide turns! This is also a friendly reminder that swimmers can always benefit from practicing their sighting.
New distances. We're standardizing some of our event distances. When working with various stakeholders (the City of Ottawa, the NCC, By-Law, etc), it can be difficult to get the exact road closures that we're looking for. However, we've managed to make some changes so that our sub-events are more consistent. We're proud to say that we've managed to confirm new courses that make all of our sprint distant bike courses exactly 20K long and that all of our Olympic distance events have a 40K bike ride.
New duathlon order. We've changed the format of our duathlons to be more inline with international standards. Wherever possible, we'll adhere to standard duathlon distances. Given how difficult it's been to get pool time in Ottawa recently, we're expecting a big uptake in duathlon, and have decided to invest a lot of resources into our du-event.
New sponsors. Our 2022 sponsors are going to help Somersault execute events at a higher level. You'll learn more about these sponsors on our website and you'll be able to interact with them on race day but our return to racing is largely thanks to this group of individuals and small business. Please consider supporting us by supporting them.
Finisher Podium. This one's for the 'Gram. Our awards ceremony will feature a new podium and backdrop, so that you can race for a high spot and for a great souvenir photo.
New finish line food. We can't give all of our secrets away but our 2022 events will have a much more exciting post-race food offering. As a sneak-peek, we can tell you that Winterman will have hot chocolate and hot broth at the finish line, along with lots of other options. Our summer events will have some equally enjoying treats to go with the weather.
Bigger medals. We know that you don't just compete for the swag, but swag never hurts! We've redesigned all new medals for 2022 and made them bigger than ever. Every finisher gets a 3.25" medal, specifically designed for that day. As the season gets closer, we'll start unveiling some of the designs on our website, to get you excited for your next finish line.
High quality tech shirts. As a two-bird-one-stone solution, participants will no longer be getting a cotton shirt with their registration. Participants can, however, purchase a souvenir shirt separately from their registration. This helps bring the cost of registration down, so that you're not paying for a shirt that you might not want or need. Secondly, the new souvenir shirts have a much different look that we hope you'll like. All of our multisport events have a short-sleeve option, while Winterman and Fall Colours have long-sleeve options. You'll be able to see these designs on the event page and during checkout. Purchasing clothing is completely optional but we hope that you'll want to wear it proudly.
Promotions for Somersault Participants. Thanks to our amazing sponsors, Somersault athletes will be getting a few extra perks this year. We have a promo with Zizu Optics, where anyone can get 35% off their eyewear PLUS free shipping. This offer is only valid for the first 2 weeks of our grand opening but it's the biggest discount level that Zizu offers. Secondly, we've arranged for a promotion with Tiux Compression Socks, to get all of you 25% off their entire line up.
Finisher Photos. New for 2022 is a professional race photographer, who will capture your finish line smile, grimace or whatever else you have in store for our photographers.
Massage Therapists for all participants. After your race, you can enjoy a free massage from the International Academy of Massage.
We've completely redone our website and replaced it with something that'll help us keep you in the loop. While a new website might not sound very exciting, it's a big undertaking and we've made this new site with communication in mind. It'll be much easier for us to post important information about upcoming events and even include emergency updates in the case of threatening weather in the forecast for race-day. A full website rebuild takes a lot longer than people realize and we'll be improving it as the season progresses, to make it all encompassing.
Our social media accounts are regularly updated and checked now. We're back on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We hope that you'll give us a follow and engage with us.
Newsletters. We've updated our newsletter format so that you can get all the relevant Somersault information sent directly to your inbox. If you were already subscribed to our newsletter, you'll be getting our next edition without any work on your end. If you're not on our email list, you can subscribe to it on our website.\
We have a lot more in store for our 2022 series but we hope that his little update gets you excited to be back to in-person racing. If you have any questions, please don't be shy to reach out to Adam@Somersault.ca. Until then, please consider signing up for an event, or signing up for our newsletter so that we can let you know when your favorite race is open for registration.