Former Trail resident Ed Marbach views Ultraman Canada as the pursuit of human excellence.
After finishing fifth in the over 500-kilometre-long race earlier this year he can truly say he has attained that.
The Ultraman is a three-day 514-km journey, starting with a 10-kilometre swim and a 145-km cross-country bike ride the first day. Stage two entails a 276-km pedal with grueling verticals, and the third stage a mere 84-km double-marathon run.
Marbach’s motivation: “Just kind of see what you are made of and what you are capable of,” said Marbach, who made his Ultraman Canada debut in Penticton in August.
“I call it a journey. I have been on it for the last year. I think this weekend will kind of be the final chapter,” he said before the race.
The 50-year-old Marbach had the third fastest bike time of 4 hours 54 minutes and 35 seconds in the first leg, and even moved up into second place on day two with a blistering fast ride of 9:06:26.
“That was kind of cool. Day three, I had a 9:35 run so that put me fifth place overall which is pretty cool,” he said.
Marbach now lives in Penticton and is an experienced triathlete but said it was tough to compare the two races.
With each athlete having his or her own crew, it can become overwhelming and emotional, he said.
“To me it’s the true meaning of triathlon,” said Marbach. “It’s where Ironman was 25 years ago.”
The race goes every year in Penticton and is by invitation only. As one of this year’s senior competitors, Marbach came close to setting a record for his age group. And while he is pleased with his result and encourages others to try it, he says that once is probably enough for the Ultraman.
With files from the Penticton Western Star