By Tracey Tong
Pam Ennis is used to winning.
The personal trainer and fitness specialist, who has worked at Ryerson’s Recreation and Athletics Centre (RAC) since 1996, swam, biked and ran her way to first place in every Ontario triathlon she raced in this summer.
Still, when she heard the Ontario Association of Triathletes was recognizing her as the top female amateur triathlete of the year, she was caught off guard.
“I was so surprised,” Ennis said. “When I got the letter in the mail last Friday I was so excited. I worked hard this season and knew I did really well, but it’s still very nice to be recognized by your association.”
The award adds to Ennis’ already impressive athletic resume.
The 28-year-old St. John’s, Nfld., native and former member of Canada’s national diving team, won the Subaru President’s Choice Series last year. The series has triathletes compete in 10 races in the province and earn points based on their placing. This season, Ennis placed 30th in her age group at the World Triathlon Championships in Australia. She also competed in races in Germany and the United States.
None of this would have happened if a couple of co-workers at the RAC didn’t urge her to compete in an indoor triathlon at the University of Toronto two years ago.
She immediately fell in love with the sport, and the following summer she competed in 15 races.
“The great thing about Ontario is that there’s a race every weekend,” Ennis said. “It caters to people of various abilities. Each person sets his or her own foals, and if you win, it’s you own sense of accomplishment.”
Ennis’ races usually consist of a 1.5-kilometre swim. 50-kilometre bike ride and 10-km run. To be able to do it all, Ennis has to train for two to three hours per day.
Next summer, Ennis plans to race 10 to 12 triathlons, including the Canadian Championships in Drummondville, Que. on July 1. A top-four finish there will send her to the World Championships in Edmonton later in the year.