Let’s us meet our team captain, Jimmy Anis, a full-time officer at Winnipeg Police Service and who recently accomplished the Ironman race (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) held in Wisconcin August 20, 2016.
How did you get into triathlon?
Triathlons happened almost by accident, back in May of 2014 I strained my right achilles 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 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 email 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?
The reason I chose IM Wisconsin in Madison 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 IM circuit.
What were your specific preparations for the race?
I think thats 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 2, but at the same time maintain my running fitness.
Scott Kemp for developing a training plan for me to follow rather than just using internet programs he developed one specifically for me and of course coach wanda for my swim program.
How was your performance overall in Ironman Wisconsin?
Wisconsin being my first full IM 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. But 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 do you manage your time between working full-time and training for the Ironman Wisconsin?
That’s probably the toughest part of this sport especially training for the full IM 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 10-15 hours of training per week and for some even more depending on your race goals. For me just to complete the event was my goal so it allowed me to go into the lower end of time commitments for training. But dont get me wrong, the time commitment to train for a full IM 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 the long training hours in. Near the end it was tough because it does eventually put a strain in your professional and personal life.
What’s your most indispensable gear?
For me and it could be different for other athletes, its without a doubt my tri 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 favorite 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.