Hi my name is Mark Lawrence, Head Technician at Sportchek in Welland, Ontario Canada that lives day to day with Degenerative Disc Disease and a side of Rhuemtoid Arthritis. I am a Sprint Duathlete, chasing my dream of one day qualifying for the International Triathlon Union Sprint Duathlon world championships. A Sprint Duathlon is an all out (2.5-5km run/20-40km bike/2.5-7.5km run) leg overloading race till exhaustion with timed transitions in between, very similar to a triathlon.
I Started my career with FGL Sports (Sportchek) in the fall of 2012 with the goal of inspiring myself to once again get back to my athletic roots and compete on an elite level, despite the high level of discomfort I was now living in, in an environment that I could condition myself both physically and mentally, while being able to inspire others to do so as well.
I had been an avid cyclist my whole life and also played forward and stopper for an elite level soccer organization for much of my youth. However In the fall of 2011 I began my ongoing battle with sciatica and degenerative joint and spinal conditions. Against the recommendation of my doctor I returned to cycling the summer of 2013 determined to compete at the thing I love most. After putting over 2500 Km’s on my mountain bike, it was time for the change back to a road bike. I purchased a 2012 Jamis Ventura Race for 2014 and after just over 6,000, ear to ear smiling, as fast as I could push myself, Strava segment top 10 crushing kilometres, I was back and in the best shape of my life.
I was introduced to the world of Multisport by a co-worker ( brittdunbar.com ) that was chasing her own dream of competing in her first Ironman and one day qualifying to race at the Kona world championships. I had not been swimming in years, so Triathlon was something I may pursue later and I had not ran since I was on the track and cross country team in high school, but Duathlon intrigued me. Over the next month I trained harder then ever before and found myself spending hours on end, analyzing my cycling data and comparing it to the prior seasons races. I was not far off from the top racers and was the same as the middle of the pack. Talk about a boost in confidence. It was time race!
Thanks to the help of a sponsorship by Sportchek, I was able to acquire everything I needed to race and had registered for three races in the Multisport Canada Triathlon series, as well as one race in the Subaru Triathlon Series. Stay tuned to hear how it all played out. Thanks for listening!