Paul Varga is confident he will never get a chance to represent Canada again.
Varga, a Penticton age-group athlete, is part of Team Canada competing in the standard duathlon, a 10 kilometre run, 40-km bike and 5-km run on Aug. 21 in the International Triathlon Union Multisport World Championship.
“Being able to compete with the maple leaf on my chest, that’s pretty special,” said Varga. “I never thought I would get this opportunity. I had to take it.”
Competing in the 50 to 59 age group, his only goal for Monday is simple.
“Not to finish last,” he said.
The toughest part him will be the first part of the run. Cycling is what he does for fun so it isn’t a concern. Varga is aiming to complete the first part of the run in under an hour. He knows the last run will be difficult.
“That first kilometre sucks. It’s horrible. I feel like I’m running in water uphill,” said Varga, who has done Challenge Penticton as part of a team. “Once you get past that first kilometre, then my legs kind of settle in.”
Juggling training time with his personal life has been hard at times. He is a partner in the new law firm, Interior Law LLP, and spending time with his family is important. Both have been supportive, including his firm partners, who will support the event staffing an aid station.
Varga joked that when he runs, it looks like he is going to die at any minute. The former newspaper editor watched triathletes perform in the past and said they were amazing. He would eventually like to do a long distance triathlon.
“I have seen these guys doing this thing, and it inspires me to want to live healthier, it inspires me to better myself.”