by Norman Aceron Garcia
Let’s us meet new Ironman, Jimmy Anis, a full-time sergeant in the Forensic Identification Section of the Winnipeg Police Service who raced in Ironman Wisconsin held on September 11, 2016. He swam 4 km, cycled 180 kmK and ran 42km in 12:53:32 to earn the title “Ironman.” Let’s learn how he manages his life, family, career as a WPS officer, and triathlon trainings. Jim is also the team captain of the Sulong Triathlon Group.
How did you get into triathlon?
“Triathlons happened almost by accident. Back in May of 2014 I strained my right Achilles tendon after running in the WPS half-marathon, so I was not able to run. I have always wanted to learn how to swim and thought it would be a great way to keep my fitness until I was healthy enough to run again. A running friend of mine who is also a fellow triathlete, Melody Balane, encouraged me to join their swim group led by team Wonder coach, Wanda Mathers. I thought about it and was actually intimidated or plainly just scared to join a group of swimmers.
“Just when I thought I had written it off, I received an e-mail from Coach Wanda who convinced me to at least check things out. I told her I would check things out from the sidelines, but if you know Wanda, there is no such thing as just checking things out. So my first day of swimming was on June 8 at Birds Hill Park. The rest is history. I have been swimming with Wonder Athletes from that day forward.
I enjoy the activity of swimming, but I consider it to still be my weakest discipline in the sport of triathlon. I am determined to keep working at it and hopefully be more competitive in the swim component in the future.”
What made you decide to take on Ironman Wisconsin?
[It] “was mostly due to proximity. I wanted to keep my racing costs as low as possible and Wisconsin gave us the opportunity to drive to the location. Little did I know that I had just entered one of the most technically demanding bike courses on the Ironman circuit.”
What were your specific preparations for the race?
“I think that’s why I have grown to love this sport because it forces you to become a well-rounded athlete rather than just being one-dimensional. My preparation plan was to try to improve on all three disciplines and, having come from a running background, it helped me to focus on swimming and cycling, which were both new to me. So it was important that I focused on those two, but at the same time maintain my running fitness. Scott Kemp developed a triathlon training plan specifically for me. Wanda Mathers did the swimming program.”
How was your performance overall in Ironman Wisconsin?
“Wisconsin being my first full Ironman distance event, I have to say that I was pleased with my results. Although I will take away valuable lessons learned because of it. For example, I know that I have to continue to work on improving my swimming. And although I had a great bike split, I knew at the time that I was going a little too hard during my ride. Rather than backing off, I kept up with the pace as I was just having too much fun passing other athletes. Coming off the swim I was just under 2100th place and after the bike I moved up all the way to approximately 1000th place. But I knew in the back of my mind that I would have a tough marathon ahead of me. So race management is crucial for success and I definitely failed to execute good race management, having paid for it with a poor marathon.
“At the end of the day my official finish time was 12:53:32 with splits of: 1:38:00 for 2.4 mile swim, 6:31:00 for 112 mile bike, and 4:25:00 for 26.2 mile run.”
How did you manage your time between working full-time
as WPS officer and training for the Ironman Wisconsin?
“That’s probably the toughest part of this sport, especially training for the full Ironman distance events. Basically this is something that needs the full support of your family and friends because on top of working full time, you have to dedicate anywhere from 10 to15 hours of training per week and for some, even more, depending on your race goals. For me just to complete in the event was my goal, so it allowed me to go into the lower end of time commitments for training. But don’t get me wrong; the time commitment to train for a full Ironman requires not only your dedication as an athlete, but also the support of your family. There were many Saturdays and Sundays that my wife, Amy, and kids barely saw me, as I had scheduled all day training events.
“I guess to answer your question, it requires the athlete and families their full dedication and commitment to put in the long training hours. Near the end it was tough because it does eventually put a strain on your professional and personal life.”
What’s your most indispensable gear?
“For me – and it could be different for other athletes – it is, without a doubt, my triathlon bike. The reason I say that is because that is the longest part of the race where you spend the most time on and to be fully comfortable on your triathlon race bike is priceless.
What’s your favourite workout?
“Definitely cycling, because I am relatively new to the sport of cycling and still learning and, hopefully improving. I find that it is a workout that I always look forward to.
“I just want to add that another very important component of my success is being a member of the Sulong Triathlon Group. I think that the members of the group are all motivated and to have others with similar goals definitely keeps you motivated. The group is also a great resource for tips and tricks to be successful in our sport.
Norman is a member of Sulong Triathlon Group. For more information, please visit our website at www.sulongtriathlon.org and like us on Facebook at Sulong Triathlon Group.