Updated: Apr 21, 2022
As this craziest of crazy years progressed with canceled races and events piling up, it often felt like we might never race again. But there is a light at the end of this long tunnel that seems to be getting just a little brighter. Slowly, here and there, races have happened and are continuing to happen.
Of course, they are different and include guidelines that call for diligent caution and attention to detail and safety. Social distancing, masks, gloves, the need for more self-reliance on the course are all part of a new normal and look to remain so, at least for the short term.
But what about the future a bit further away? What about when 2020 and our hiatus from racing is just a memory?
We have craved a season of racing. Now it looks like one is on the horizon. We may close out this season and go into 2021 with the ability to safely race once again.
I look forward to that and know I am not alone. As this season (and the next) fade into history, I hope we will carry a deeper appreciation for the things of greatest value to the future of our sport: family, health, and hope.
When Return to Racing (R2R) is just a memory, my hope for each of us is that we will remember the depth of our passion for endurance sports training and racing. I plan to be even more grateful for those volunteers and race management staff who rise at the same time as me on race day just to make my race day happen.
I want to challenge us to not let our return to racing become too much of a distant memory. Instead, let's make it the foundation for appreciating and valuing our opportunity to participate in sport once again. We can choose to remember this mostly-lost season of racing from a perspective of loss only. And that would be unfortunate. Or, we can focus on what we have gained in the way of forbearance and patience, both of which will help us in the future as endurance athletes.
As we return to racing, let's do that with hope for the future and respect for this odd detour in the journey.
See you on the course!
Mark Turner (aka Coach MarkT) is a Houston, Texas Metro area based Coach who is a USA Triathlon Level II and Paratriathlon Certified Coach, IRONMAN University Certified Coach,VFS Certified Bike Fitter, and Mental Strengths Performance Coach. Coach MarkT absolutely loves coaching and helping the athletes achieve their dreams. MarkT is also a US Veteran having served in the United States Marine Corps. He is a graduate of the University of Houston Honors College with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. In addition to endurance sports, his interests include history, science fiction, and cooking. He can be reached at markt@teamMPI.com.