Islander represents U.S. in triathlon

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My dad, Island resident Cal Parsons, recently represented the United States by competing in the World Championship Grand Final Triathlon held in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He was invited to join Team USA after qualifying last year in the National Championships in August 2016 held in Omaha, Nebraska. The top 10 percent of age group athletes from all 50 states are invited to the Nationals. Top ath letes from the Nationals are invited to join Team USA and represent the United States at the World Grand Final Championship, which is held annually in different locations worldwide.

My dad, Island resident Cal Parsons, recently represented the United States by competing in the World Championship Grand Final Triathlon held in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He was invited to join Team USA after qualifying last year in the National Championships in August 2016 held in Omaha, Nebraska. The top 10 percent of age group athletes from all 50 states are invited to the Nationals. Top ath letes from the Nationals are invited to join Team USA and represent the United States at the World Grand Final Championship, which is held annually in different locations worldwide.

Along with Team USA, top athletes from 40 other countries competed in the World Championship. The event was held for three days and included different categories including para-athletes, elite men and women, and age group competitors. Cal raced on the third day in the age group category. “Racing for and representing the USA is high honor for me. I trained hard, did my best, and finished strong,” he said. Yes, indeed. Cal placed 22nd overall with a time of 1:28:23 in a group of 46 of his worldwide competitors. “More important to me than how I placed is the level of respect and camaraderie to have competed at this level. The feeling transcends all language and cultural barriers. And the stories of these athletes are truly amazing and inspiring.”

A triathlon is a multiple-stage competition involving the completion of three continuous and sequential endurance disciplines. While many variations of the sport exist, triathlon, in its most popular form, involves swimming, cycling, and running in immediate succession over various distances. Triathletes compete for fastest overall course completion time, including timed “transitions” between the individual swim, cycle, and run components.

The International Triathlon Union was founded in 1989 as the international governing body of the sport, with the chief goal at that time of putting triathlon on the Olympic program.

The ITU sanctions and organizes the World Cup and World Triathlon Series races each year, with annual world champions crowned each year for elite pro triathletes, junior pro triathletes, and age group athletes (in five-year age groups.)

The nature of the sport focuses on persistent and often periodized training in each of the three disciplines, as well as combination workouts and general strength conditioning.

“For me, triathlon is a lifestyle,” Parsons said. “It brings so many things together such as discipline, clarity, tenacity, focus, determination, diet, and most important; mindset. And there is always something new to learn, to improve on.”

Going to this World Championship event with my dad and being surrounded by so many top athletes was inspiring to say the least!

It was amazing to be around such a large group that had so much positive energy and enthusiasm for the sport. As my dad says, “triathlon is more of a lifestyle than a race.” Thank you dad for being an inspiring athlete and role model. And congratulations on qualifying for and doing so well in this world-class event. I am so proud to call you my dad.

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