Jason Wilson might be one of the best emerging triathletes in Canada, Well, no, he is from Barbados! Training with the RTC Guelph group with the famous Craig Taylor as coach, he recently won the Bridgetown Pan An Cup. It was special because, it was his local race, when you know as small Barbados is, it was fore sure a special day for the Island.
At Trimes.org, we are not surprised and have been watching his steady progression. As usual, we wanted to know more…
First off, congratulations on taking your second ITU victory of 2013, the season is off to a great start for you. Tell us a little bit about racing in front of fellow Bajan’s and how the race itself unfolded?
I am always very nervous racing at home. I frequently have to tell myself to calm down and stop stressing over the potential outcome weeks out from the race. I think I did a much better job this year than last year in staying calm and relaxed prior to the race, which I am convinced is key.
I have never done an event before with so much support behind me, it’s hard to explain. I felt I let everyone down last year with a 12th place finish at home and I really wanted to make up for it this time around.
After I let my nervous take the best of me as the gun went off I found myself in a boxing match with the rest of the field. The match didn’t go well for me and I found myself exiting the water 6th. I quickly charge to the front of the bike and then broke off the front to find myself line on the wet pavement around the first corner. I spent the remainder of the bike being very cautions as guys were going down like dominoes on every corner. Some guys thought riding on ice would be easier. I come off the bike 4th with 3 guy well up the road. I suffered through the first lap of the run but once I got back to transition and heard the crowd behind me I found a whole new gear box (or the leaders started to fade). I was gaining on them very quickly now and was I caught them I moved straight through them to take the lead. With the crowd around me all the way to the line there was no way I was going to lose that lead. Support is an amazing thing.
You had the opportunity to race in the San Diego WTS event against the best in the world yet chose to support your home country. What does this race mean to you and how do you see it aiding development of triathlon in your country?
I was on the start list for San Diego but I was not convinced I was ready to run with those guys yet and mostly Barbados has done so much for me over the years I just didn’t feel right not racing ITU Barbados. Barbados Triathlon is very very small, but the passion behind all of the volunteers and sponsors to put on this event for the second time is incredible. You would think after spending months organizing an event the volunteers would be glad it’s over. But every year after the event they have a meeting to discuss what went right and what could be done better for next year. I heard a rumor going around they would like a World Cup here in the future! I think it is great for the development of triathlon in not only Barbados but the Caribbean. For the first time ever we saw 4 athletes from the Caribbean in an ITU CC (Trinidad, Barbados and Grenada).
Switching gears a bit, you came so very close to earning an Olympic berth at the age of just 22. Many would say you simply ran out of races to qualify. How did you deal with the disappointment and then recompose yourself for another quadrennial towards Rio?
After Madrid last year (last qualifying race) I was pretty vex. Once again I felt as if I had let everyone supporting me down. I changed my flights and flew back to Barbados, instead of Guelph, put my gear aside and hung out on the beach with my friends for 3 weeks and enjoyed myself. After the 3 weeks I was hungry to train and get racing again. I set out a tentative plan to Rio immediately with Craig, as I always have to have a plan in front of me to keep me focused and on path.
After finishing the year on a solid statement, placing 7th at U23 Worlds, what did you and Coach Craig sit down and discuss moving forward with your goals and ambitions?
The Olympics have always been and always will be our main target. This year with no Olympic points up for grabs. I am going to France for a couple week to race in the French grand prix circuit for team Versailles. I have a lot of big Games coming up next year and the year after I wish to be a factor in Common Wealth Games, CAC Games and Pan Am Games.
Watching you develop as an athlete in this sport has shown steady and consistent progression across all three aspects. To what do you attribute this success to and what advice do you have to aspiring athletes in this.
RTC Guelph; ever since I started at Guelph under the guidance Craig I began getting a more consistent progression in my performances; and with support from BFIT, BOA , Fortress, NASSCO, Champion Systems and Nineteen I can continue to compete around the world and display this progression more and more.
What has been the most important learning you have taken from the sport over the past twelve months?
The most important thing I learnt, after trying to qualify for the London Olympics, was I have to learn to max and relax more and enjoy what I do every day in order to perform well. I tend to worry about every little thing that may go wrong or an area where I do not think I am race ready in.
I learnt to stress less leading into big events and this as proved very successful for me.
With regards to the rest of the season what does your race schedule look like and what are the key notes to hit?
I’m just wrapping up a big bike block in Barbados then heading back to Guelph for a couple week before I head off to Madrid WTS. After Madrid I will race a couple FGPs and then hit Kitzbuel and Palamos, WTS and WC. My final race for the season will be U23 Worlds it London, where I would like to better my performance from last year
What athletes on the circuit do you admire and aspire from?
Every athlete on the circuit works extremely hard to try make a living as a triathlete. It’s a hard job at times. I see these two athletes everyday so this may be a little biases but the work Tyler Bredschneider and Alexzander Hinton put in next to me 3-4x a day every day is unreal and the fact that we haven’t killed each other yet it unreal as well. Don’t get me wrong we have come close, sometimes a little too close for comfort, but it was just made our relationships as training partners even stronger. I admire those two a lot as athletes and friends and wish them all the best.
How is sponsorship going for you at the moment?
I do have great support from Barbados, I have been able to attend every event I needed to up to this point and that I am very grateful for. Thanks Barbados!
With regards to sponsorship from big bike or running companies in Canada it is hard as they would obviously rather support their local athletes than international athletes, and this leaves me in a wee spot of bother when trying to get a hold of new equipment like bikes, shoes etc.
We at Trimes wish you the very best this season, it is always a pleasure to watch the Bajan at work.