My First Duathlon… Joe’s Team

I am training for my first Duathlon…yes, Joe’s Team Calgary will be my very first. A friend encouraged me to ‘Tri it’ and I have to say I am all in with a healthy sense of what I can accomplish and how great I feel doing so.  I have been training for the past few months for ‘my’ big race on June 16, I have participated in 2 races over the past month for the race experience; the Mother’s Day 5K (my first race ever), my race time was 35:55, finishing 930th of all racers in the 5K (478th of all the ladies running and 106th of those in my age group)  I fell within the first K but that didn’t stop me, finished my first race with a smile and a bit of road rash; and the Calgary Marathon 5K, my race time was 30:12, finishing 312th of all racers in the 5K (120th of all the ladies running and 11th of those in my age group).  I crossed the finish line feeling like an Olympic Champion, the medal was a nice touch and truly an inspirational piece for me. I can do this.  It is a great feeling competing and improving my time and conditioning between these two races and a true testament of what you can accomplish if you ‘Tri’ 🙂  I started training with the mindset that it won’t be for a number or a time, it was more about preparing and finishing the race that will be my personal victory.  Race day is fast approaching and regardless of how I do I already feel like a true champion!



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Try Something New…


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I am an Orangutan…

After a hiatus in my training I jumped into the pool last night keen to get back into it at full speed.  Much to the amusement of the two swim coaches I swam like an orangutan.  One of them came up to me politely and basically revamped my whole stroke and after that the other one pulled me out of the pool and helped me to finesse it a little more. By the end I looked slightly more graceful and I was told it would take me several more weeks before I get back into the groove.

I have been injured for the last eight months and I am slowly starting back again.  I have the green light to bike and swim and running is just around the corner.  It’s funny that in my head I am as fit as I was eight months ago but in realty – I AM OUT OF SHAPE!

This is great motivation to get fit for Joe’s Team on June 16th  and Joe’s Team Muskoka on July 7th.  These will be my first two races back and I am excited.  Join me.

Katie McLean

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My Finish Line, by Samantha Jones

It’s funny how you can look back at decisions that you have made and  you realize how much they’ve changed your life.  The moment I decided to get involved in Joe’s Team my life got even better!

I remember the night my Mom came home from helping friends at a ‘launch party’, telling me all about this amazing event, a sprint triathlon raising money for cancer research, her excitement was inspiring. Joe Finley had been a family friend for a number of years, she told me about how he had been battling cancer and that he had goals not only for himself, but also for his friends and family. She told me about how she had volunteered at the event the summer before, how she was looking forward to volunteering again, and wouldn’t it be great if I created a relay team to participate.

Waking up the following day I realized that I didn’t have a goal around fitness, I didn’t have the inspiration to go to the gym everyday and my active living schedule was pathetic. This triathlon would be a great goal to kick start a new life. This was the day I decided to tri and tri as an individual as part of a bigger team!

Joe’s Team has become a part of my life. I go to the gym at least five days a week now, all year long, knowing that it is not only good for my health, but because it will make participating in the next triathlon easier.  Joe’s Team has become a community for me. A common goal shared with friends, family and strangers. Joe is an inspiration for me to keep moving forward.

I have been involved with Joe’s Team Muskoka and the creation of Joe’s Team Calgary as part of the Calgary Leadership team.  I will never be the fastest and I will always have butterflies in my tummy as I walk into the water before Joe’s Team events start, but I will never give up. The feeling of crossing the finish line is too good to walk away from.



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On your marks, get set, get started!!!

What next after you have set a goal to do a triathlon or duathlon as a relay or individual.? Decide where you are right now and what your needs are.  If you are starting from scratch here are some first steps.

  1. Decide where you want to work out, a gym or at home.
  2. Make sure that you have the right equipment – even buy a new outfit!
  3. Take a look at your weekly schedule and decide where you will fit in the time and discuss with your spouse and family to gain their support
  4. Try to find a group coaching course, program and or a workout buddy for support
  5. Get Started!
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Family Fitness

As parents we sometimes forget that we have a responsibility to set a great example for our children with regard to fitness. They watch everything that we do from our eating habits to our exercise regime. It is important that they see us taking risks and trying new things.
One of the great ways to bring everyone onto the same page is to set a goal together.  When they see you put yourself out there they will be inclined to do the same thing.  I find that once they are engaged they inspire me right back.
A fun way to do this is to sign up for Joe’s Team on June 16th and sign your child up for the Kids of Steel event the next day (June 17th).  They can cheer for you on Saturday and you can cheer for them on Sunday!  If your child is over sixteen they can participate in a relay with you on the 16th.
Make Joe’s Team your annual family goal.  Celebrate your success together!
Katie McLean
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Finding Motivation

It always amazed me that Joe Finley could exercise while he was going through treatment for cancer.  He continued to cycle and play squash for years as he was receiving his chemotherapy. He completed the first Joe’s team in 2006, came in last but he never said anything about the level of effort except that he found the swim to be pretty tough.  His daughter Megan and son Mike as well as his close friends would finish the whole triathlon and when he got off the bike we would run with him. He joked and ran and mostly walked the 5km run but he would always finish.

I asked him one day how he did it and he said that he would schedule a squash game with a friend and then wake up in the morning and he wouldn’t feel that great. He would decide to just get out of bed and put his clothes on. Then he would think to himself “I’ll just go to the club and get on the court” (because his friend was waiting) and then he’d decide.  He would get on the court, racket in hand and he would look at his friend and think that he would just play and if he didn’t feel good he would stop. Then he would start playing and glance over at his friend and think to himself “I could win”! and he would finish the game.  He taught us all how to win.

Katie McLean

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Build with Me

"The Michael Phelps" exercise by Llew Edwards, Calgary Trainer

I have always avoided core work like the plague; I think a lot of people do.  Yet, core strength, we hear over and over again is the key to avoiding injury, looking good and achieving great results for sports and our general well being.

Because my body has broken down on me I have had to revert to rebuilding my fitness from the ground up. I can’t do much aerobic stuff so I have focused on strength and core.

It has allowed me to work harder and get stronger.  I now hold my body much differently than I did four months ago. My newest mantra is patience and discipline.

Join me on my on my new well paced journey back to fitness and a healthy body.  Start a routine that begins with strength so that your body can be strong for swimming, cycling and running at Joe’s Team on June 16th , 2012 in Calgary and/or Joe’s Team Muskoka on July 7, 2012.

Katie McLean

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Joe Finley (1951-2010)

It has been over a year since we said goodbye to our dear friend Joe Finley. I only knew Joe in the
six years that he had cancer. When I learned that he was creating “Joe’s Team”
I wanted to know him, I wanted to help, so I called him and I got involved.

This man had an impact on me that is difficult to put into words… He lived his
life in such a way that he inspired others to live theirs better. He made me
want to be better.

He created an atmosphere in Joe’s team that helped hundreds of people take a
chance and try their first triathlon and give back by raising money for cancer
research at the same time.


I found it charming the way that he drove by our house one day, stopped his car
when he saw the lemonade stand with the big “Joe’s Team” sign on our front lawn
and sat down behind the table to help the little kids serve.

When my daughter did her first triathlon she put her shoulder out in the swim,
put it back and then insisted that she would finish the race. She learned this
from Joe. Fight hard to finish strong with a smile on your face.

Joe was never one to complain. He spent the last six years of his life making
other peoples lives better when he was sick and enduring perpetual chemo.

I won’t forget the things that he taught me. Joe’s Team will get bigger and it
more people will get involved every single year. Those of us who were touched
by him all have a part to play in that.

Katie McLean



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Getting Started

Joe's TeamCongratulations on signing up for the Joe’s Team triathlon in Calgary, Muskoka
or both!  Having a goal is, in my opinion, the most important  factor in determining whether you can stay fit for the long term.
Finding an atmosphere such as Joe’s Team where there is lots of fun and camaraderie makes a big difference in whether you keep up your program.  You will look forward to this event and others each year and you are on your way to being fit for life and perhaps taking on bigger and bigger challenges.

Some of you are trying your first triathlon this year.  Let’s start by taking a look at the equipment that you may need.

Joe's team tri equipmentQuestion:  What equipment do I need to get started?

For Swimming:
A Bathing suit, swim cap, goggles that fit you well, towel, swim bag

For Biking:
Any bike (safety checked), a helmet that fits properly, bike tool kit and spare
tube,  water bottle and holder for your bike, cycling shirt, cycling shorts,
jacket, bike pump or co2 cartridges.

For Running:
Shorts. Running tights for winter running, technical t shirt, running shoes

Now you are ready to train.   Have fun and stay tuned for more questions
answered on training for Joe’s Team 2011. Please send any questions that you
would like answered to Katie McLean

Jon Bird

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