Sean Ward of Amherst will compete at the world age sprint triathlon championships in Edmonton, Alta. on Aug. 29. He has also qualfied for the worlds again in 2015 in Chicago.
AMHERST – From the first time he competed in a long-distance running event, Sean Ward looked forward to the day when he could compete against the best in the world.
The 30-year-old Amherst resident will get that opportunity in two weeks when he competes at 2014 Age Group Sprint Distance World Triathlon Championships in Edmonton, Alta.
He qualified for this year’s world championships after a strong showing in Dartmouth last summer, while a second successful this summer has qualified him for the 2015 event in Chicago.
“I’m pretty excited about it, it’s something I’ve been preparing for and training for all my life,” said Ward, who is a graduate of Amherst Regional High School and ran cross-country at the University of New Brunswick. “It’s something every athlete wants to do sometime in their life, to go against the best in the world.”
Ward said the Edmonton event will include a 750-metre swim, along with a 20-kilometre bike ride and a five-kilometre run. He’s hoping to advance to a full triathlon that includes 1.5-km swim, 40-km bike race and 10-km run.
He will be the only Nova Scotian competing in the age 30 to 34 category.
“Generally a week of training includes three swims, three runs and three bikes. They vary in the length so you have one long workout and one speed workout,” Ward said. “What I want to do this year is get into a good placing, but mostly to get a personal best at this distance.”
Eventually, he’s hoping to compete in Ironman competitions. He plans to compete in a half Ironman next year.
Ward said he remembers first running in an event at age 15 at Silver Lake near Sackville. He said he was first inspired to try distance running after watching Simon Whitfield win the gold medal for Canada in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
He was helped a lot by his high school track coach Jason Murphy.
After taking some time off after university, Ward said he got bitten by the bug several years ago and has competed at events in Sackville and Moncton as well as in Halifax, Melmerby Beach in Pictou County and Guysborough.
He has also taken part in several duathlons that include a run, followed by a bicycle course and finishing with another run.
Ward said he is thankful for having a sponsor like A1 Court Reporting Services (A1courtreporting.com) and he’s had the support of the Town of Amherst.