Brad Lee is among nearly a dozen Penticton triathletes competing in the International Triathlon Union Multisport World Championships Festival Aug. 18 to 27. Lee is entered in the sprint duathlon and cross triathlon. Submitted photo

Local triathlete loves World Championship vibe

Penticton’s Brad Lee will experience his third ITU World Championship

Unlike his first two International Triathlon Union World Championship races (Honolulu in 2005, Chicago, 2015), Brad Lee won’t have to travel as far to make his ITU Multisport World Championship debut.

It’s right in his backyard of Penticton, Aug. 18 to 27. However, Lee loved the experience from both.

“There is a different aura about the ITU Worlds compared to Ironman,” said Lee, who this year is competing in the sprint duathlon and cross triathlon. “You are part of a country’s team. You start to make some friends. You can’t escape competing against some of the same people. People are usually really nice. They are always cheering you on. It’s a really cool feeling.”

An aspect of the World Championships that Lee loves is the opportunity to get another athlete’s jersey, something he has never been able to do when competing in Ironman. Upon completing his race, Lee would recover in the park and meet other athletes. During their conversations, they would agree to trade jerseys, which Lee has one from Mexico and Brazil. Walking through downtown Honolulu wearing a Brazilian jacket, he and his wife ran into two Brazilians who began speaking to them in Portuguese.

“Sorry, I’m from Canada,” Lee responded. His wife laughed at the situation.

“It just easily happens. It’s kind of cool so I’ve got jerseys from other countries. I’m expecting the same thing will happen.”

Lee hasn’t done two races before so he isn’t sure what it will be like. The idea piqued his interest after seeing others do it, so he figured why not. The sprint duathlon is a five-kilometre run, 20-km bike and 2.5-km run.

When it comes to training it is different with the cross triathlon, a 1.5-km swim, 31-km bike and eight-km run.

“Passing on the trails isn’t the same thing as passing on the road,” he said. “That uses up a whole different amount of energy.”

He trains every weekend and runs from his home to the top of Campbell Mountain, which takes him an hour and a half.

“I have never run up to Campbell Mountain so many times in 10 years, never mind one year,” he joked.

Lee tackles triathlons to stay as active as long as he can. The other reason is so he can eat as much ice cream as he likes.

“It’s true,” he laughs, adding his favourite flavour is mocha almond fudge. “I remember in the ‘90s Lori Bowden used to win Ironman Canada and she always talked about having a treat after such a hard day. She would get ice cream. Ice cream has protein, plus it has got sugar, and you need sugar because you have burned all these calories. And the protein helps recover muscles.”

Lee, who competes in the 55 to 59 age group, will do the sprint duathlon on Aug. 19 at 6:30 a.m. and the cross triathlon on Aug. 23 at 7:30 a.m.