Published in the Fall 2010 Western Canada Summer Games Newsletter
Aside from his impressive volunteer resume, which includes Cross Country Ski Official for the 2010 Olympics, Charlie has many personal triumphs of physical endurance and accomplishment. This was characterized Sunday, August 21, 2010 when Charlie finished second in the 60 to 64 age group at the Pushor Mitchell Canadian National Apple Triathlon Championships in Kelowna. His win has secured him a spot on the Canadian National Triathlon Team that will compete in the 2011 World Cup in Beijing, China! The Apple Triathlon is an Olympic distance triathlon consisting of a 1.5 km swim, a 40 km ride and a 10 km run.
Charlie has an easy going, relaxed nature and is, quite frankly, one of the nicest people you will ever meet. Always smiling, always bright; first impressions do not lay claim to the obvious competitive spirit that lies beneath the surface. But look a little deeper at the steel‐blue eyes and lean, toned limbs and you just know there is a force to be reckoned with behind that warm, sparkling smile.
Charlie and his wife Sandy have lived in Kamloops since 1980. They relocated to Canada’s Tournament Capital from Prince George, after he was offered the position of Principal at the Fitzwater School for the Handicapped. Prior to the Prince George years Charlie lived and worked in Lake Tahoe, California, and originated from North Carolina.
During his six years in Prince George, between 1974 and 1980, Charlie began looking for a change from his then passion of distance running and decided to take on what was a relatively new sport in BC at the time ‐ triathlon. His first competition was in 1982 at the Vancouver International Triathlon where the swimming component was held at Spanish Banks. “We swam 1.5 km along the shore line without wet suits. I was so cold after that swim that I nearly fell off my bike,” recalls Charlie, about his first competition.
The Subaru Ironman competition in Penticton is one of the premier triathlon events in the country. Charlie has competed in three Ironmans and has improved his time each year. His first was in 1997, the second in 2002 and the last in 2007 where his time was 12 hours 17 minutes; 32 minutes less than when he first competed in 1997. Ten years older and 32 minutes faster; Charlie truly IS getting better with time. He attributes this improvement to better, more efficient training, “As we get older we take better care of our bodies. We have a better understanding of diet and training techniques. When we are young and our bodies are stronger we tend to abuse them more and train recklessly”.
Most people can hardly fathom working a twelve hour day much less spending twelve hours engaged in extreme, rigorous physical activity. When asked how he felt after the Ironman he responds by relaying the story of the single tattoo he bears on his ankle. “The day after I competed in my last Ironman I booked into one of the local tattoo shops to get the official Ironman tattoo. The place was packed and artists were brought in from other parts of the province to keep up with the demand; it’s a popular thing to do after you’ve finished an Ironman. All I can say is after having competed the day before every nerve and muscle in my body felt that tattoo! It was by far one of the most painful things I’ve ever experienced.”
Always striving to improve, Charlie has a strict training schedule and a strong belief in the power of yoga to aid an athlete. So much so that now, two years into retirement he is returning to school to acquire his Alliance Yoga Instructor Certification.
As for future competition Charlie is looking forward to the World Masters Cross Country Ski Championships in March 2011 in Vernon and the World Cup Triathlon Championships also in 2011. All the while Charlie will continue with his role as Sport Director for the 2011 Games and bring to these Games the same methodical, determination as he does to his training and competition.