A Williams Lake athlete has qualified for two international sporting events coming up this spring and summer.
Danika Robson, 21, will be travelling to Europe for the 2019 Multisport World Championships in Pontevedra, Spain in April and the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in August in Switzerland, respectively.
The events, both variations of triathlons — one called an aquabike and another a sprint triathlon — will see competitors participate from around the globe.
Robson earned her spot in each race through two separate events: the first was the Penticton Peach Classic Triathlon this past July to qualify for Spain, and the next was the Vancouver Triathlon to get into Switzerland this past September.
Robson finished first in her women’s 20-24 age group in Penticton and second in the same class in Vancouver.
For those not familiar, aquabike racing is a relatively new form of endurance event which combines swimming and biking while eliminating the running stage of the race.
When she competes in Spain, Robson will race a gruelling three kilometre swim and a 120 kilometre bike stage in the aquabike event. In Switzerland at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, the race will feature a 750-metre swim, a 20-kilometre bike ride and a five kilometre run.
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. 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.”
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.
In preparation, Robson has been having some fun utilizing the Expresso Bikes inside the fitness centre at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex, where she also is an employee.
“The bike is basically a virtual bike with set trails, tracks, speeds, and tracks your heart rate, cadence, watts, so I’ve been doing a lot of that,” she said.
She also continues to train with the Williams Lake Blue Fins in the water for two to four practices a week, and exercises in the gym three to five times per week.
“I just do a lot of strength and cardio,” she said. “Cardio is important but also my endurance because 120 kilometres (at the 2019 Multisport World Championships in Spain) on the bike is going to be torture.”
Robson said she’s extremely excited to have the opportunity to travel and to compete, and hopes she can do well at both events.
“I want to do top five in my age group,” she said.
“And the other thing would be to complete it in under four hours and 15 minutes for everything (in Spain), and the sprint in under one hour and 10 minutes (in Switzerland).
“I’m just really excited. It’s a great opportunity.”
The 2019 Multisport World Championships take place from April 29 to May 4, while the ITU World Triathlon Grand Finals go Aug. 29 to Sept. 2.
If anyone would like to sponsor Robson to compete, she can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.