Issue #66 May 2018
613-938-3300 www.ronacornwall.ca 1100 Marleau Ave. Cornwall, ON
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Tanya Deeks: Competitive Coach and Competitive Athlete By John Warner
anya Deeks is a great local coach, but what does she do for fun? In the process of getting an answer, I learned a lot. She’s competed in Nordic ski races, triathlons, marathons, and mountain bike races, including seven Ironman races (3.8k swim, 180k bike and 42.2k run). In 2011 she raced the notorious “Leadville 100 miler” mountain bike race. Her competitive drive comes from her dad who competed in alpine ski races into his early 80’s. She grew up with skiing, soccer, figure skating, and excelled in dressage & eventing equestrian sports. Her love of equestrian competition brought her success nationally and ended as university and a career got in the way. She’s participated in so many competitive sports from skiing to ice climbing and cycling, etc., so I asked her, which was her favourite? “No question, Mountain biking” - which she explained, whether she’s in a race along a forest trail or just out hammering for fun, mountain biking keeps her on her toes! It’s physically, mentally, and technically challenging - it takes her to beautiful places away from busy roads and noise.
After these mountain biking years, Tanya began to focus on Ironman
So the answer to my question….. what does she do for fun today? Well, she’s qualified three times for the ITU World Cross Triathlon (OffRoad) Championships and raced on our country’s national age group team, competing twice for Canada, in Sardinia, Italy in 2015 and Penticton, B.C. in 2017. Best result was 4th in AG in Italy. She says that the more technical the course, the steeper the climb, the better she can build a lead over most of her age-group competitors. Her depth of experience on a mountain bike gives her a better chance to stay near the front during the run section when her asthma gets bad. What about Tanya’s plans for the future, will she ease up as she ages? With a hearty laugh she told me, “There’s no retirement pasture that I’m interested in”! She’s the head coach of St. Lawrence College’s Cross Country team. Close to her, is a loosely knit group of athletes known as “Team Beast”. They’ve gravitated to Tanya from across Eastern Ontario and Northern New York to train in their various disciplines. Five years ago, Tanya left her Market Research career to start “Unleash the Beast Multisport Coaching”, a company that focuses on coaching Triathletes, cyclists, and runners of all levels & ages. Good luck, Tanya at your next adventure event – a 3-day mountain bike race of 220 km.
Tanya’s mountain biking began 25 years ago when her future husband, Paul Couture introduced her to serious mountain and road biking, showing her the basics of bikehandling skills. Over the following 8 years they travelled from the northeast to the Rocky Mountains on their honeymoon, with their mountain bikes. They even did some downhill ‘lift-riding’ at various ski resorts that’s a different kind of ‘crazy’ to test their off-road riding abilities!
Triathlons, learning the techniques, training, and nutrition needed for heavy-duty endurance events! Her asthma became difficult to manage and eventually she had to refocus on shorter races such as the half-ironman, off-road triathlons (involving mountain biking) and Nordic skiing. Tanya excelled in those competitions.
Sports Energy News, Cornwall, Issue No 66, Mike Piquette