The dream of travelling internationally to compete in sport became a reality this year for 21-year-old Williams Lake triathlete Danika Robson.
Robson had the distinct privilege and pleasure of representing Team Canada this past April at the 2019 ITU Multisport World Championships Festival in Pontevedra, Spain.
She qualified last year at the Peach Classic Triathlon in Penticton — a qualifier for the event, a 1.5 kilometre swim, and a 110 kilometre bike ride, that took place in Spain from April 29 to May 4.
Robson is no stranger to the water, having spent 10 years training with the Williams Lake Blue Fins Swim Club as a competitive swimmer, and also just so happens to be comfortable on land and on a bike. In 2012 she was awarded the Williams Lake Blue Fins swimmer of the year.
She’s participated in the Tour de Cariboo four times, and was a member of the Lake City Secondary School cross country running team in high school.
“I always wanted to do a triathlon,” Robson said. “And in 2016 I did a fitness challenge and did the Vancouver Triathlon that year, but the year before we did the Prospera Valley Granfondo in Langley, and I’ve done that four times since.”
At the ITU Multisport World Championships Festival Robson achieved her goal, winning bronze medal in her age group (female 20-24) and finished 167th overall.
“It was pretty intense,” Robson said.
“I had eight hours sleep in four days [during and following the race] … race day on May 4, I had four hours sleep the night before, got back on May 5 and drove home on May 6, but it was good. I didn’t really know what to expect.”
At the ITU Multisport World Championships Robson joined 1,000 other athletes at the venue in events including duathlon, aquathlon, cross triathlon, aquabike, long distance running and multisport.
In her event, due to several swimmers needing to be helped ashore in the long distance swim, the distance was changed from three kilometres to 1.5 kilometres.
“The water portion of the race was actually held in a river,’ Robson said.
“So we had to race against the current on the way down and then with it on the way back. Due to my strong swimming it wasn’t that bad.”
Overall, she said it was a great experience and hopes to continue competing in triathlon-style events in the future.
When asked what she enjoys about endurance-style racing, Robson said it’s being outside, the competition and testing her limits. She also said she enjoys the camaraderie in the sport.
“The triathlon community is pretty tight knit so it’s good to have almost like a second family in a way,” Robson said.
“I’m going to try to qualify for four other races next year: two in Edmonton — a sprint and a standard triathlon — and one in Almere, Netherlands — a duathlon (running and cycling) and aquathon (swimming and running).
“Being a swimmer and liking the running parts I’m comfortable and I’m still getting into the biking. I just need to combine all three to be successful.”