Chasing the Haka: faculty member Chris Bright prepares for Triathlon World Championships

Peddie School science teacher Chris Bright has qualified for and is in the midst of training for the 2012 Triathlon World Championships this coming October in Auckland, New Zealand. He has been blogging about his training experiences at Chasing the Haka. Below is an excerpt of a recent entry -- we'll post periodic updates, but if you really want the inside scoop, follow Bright's blog directly.

With the Olympic Trials, along with the Tour de France, there is simply no lack in sources of inspiration these days.  These current events layer on top of personal sources of inspiration that will forever be with me.  As always, my family and attempting to model discipline and a healthy lifestyle for my daughters is a huge motivator.    Coaches I have had and been privileged to coach with: Zendt, Finlay, Magnan, Wilkerson, Hart, and others have played huge roles in my life.  Not just teaching me the sport, but teaching me that balance and attitude and tuning in to the right voices that play in our head are critical to personal success.

A defining moment for me in the sport of triathlon came when I was in high school, when the Ironman was in its infancy as a sport.  I saw a portion of the race on TV and was instantly captivated.  Like staring at a fire or fish in a glowing tank, I could not take my eyes off of the cyclists.  And the swimmers coming out of the water, transitioning to land - that was unbelievable to me.  I had no experience as a swimmer/cyclist/runner other than the skills accrued playing in the neighborhood and on teams at school.  Yet something resonated inside of me.  Sounds cliche, I know, but that's the only way I can describe it.  The Hawaii Ironman at this point was a race to see which type of athlete, the swimmer, the cyclist, or the runner, was the best athlete in the world.  The original founder, John Collins, invited a collection of world-class swimmers, cyclists, and runners, to the race and said the winner would be called an "Ironman."  The birth of a brand.  I did not race my first Ironman until 2000, and while the distance of the race at the World Championships is significantly shorter, the same connection I felt with the sport in the 80's exists today.  The desire is the same: to be at my best on race day.

On July 7, Bright completed his second race of 2012. The video will make it feel like you're a triathlete (well, not really, but it is a great perspective):

Race #2 of 2012 complete - the Vincentown Triathlon on July 7.  I did this race back in 2008 and 2009 with Tris, this year with triathlete upstart Madeleine Cozine.  What an athlete she is.  With a track cycling background and an engine dialed in to the endurance setting, she is getting up the learning curve very quickly.  Look out ladies of 45-49!

This race was about the same size as Riverwinds, but the field was more competitive.   I was very excited to toe the line, returning to a familiar race course, but with new motivation and a new bike.  Finished 9th overall and second in the 45-49 age group.  Distances: 1/4 mile swim, 15 mile bike, 3.1 mile run.

Vincentown Triathlon 2012 from Christopher Bright on Vimeo.
 Camera mounted beneath my aerobars.