Former Red Hawk Edward Cyr – cramming a lotta’ life onto a bursting plate

Burgeoning tri-athlete is competing at the Foster Grant Ironman in Florida
Ed Cyr entered in World Championships Triathlon.
By Terrance Gavan
   Edward Cyr is not a magician; or a juggler.
   And so we may begin by asking how young Edward keeps so many plates spinning on those wobbly, wonky and spindly wands.
   Known for his superb curling skills as a student athlete here at Hal High – he graduated in 2007 to attend Waterloo University in an engineering program – Edward Cyr is now finding joy, discovery and fulfillment in the challenging milieu of the triathlon.
   In Huntsville last month Cyr placed second in his age group and 61st overall in the Muskoka Ironman 70.3 (miles) Challenge, finishing the swim, bike and run in 05:02:37.
   The second place finish in his age group qualified Cyr for this weekend’s Foster Grant Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater, Florida. 
   During competition this summer, Cyr also qualified for the long course worlds in Henderson, Nevada slated for November, 2011.
   His mother Gisele Cyr, now living in Peterborough, is his biggest fan.
   Gisele is headed to Clearwater on Friday She still fondly recalls watching her son compete for the first time.
   “It was the first triathlon I ever attended, and it was so emotional,” says Gisele. “My daughter Chantal and I were waiting by the finish line and as we watched Edward running in on Main Street in Huntsville we hugged each other, tears of happiness running down our faces. We were so amazed by his enthusiasm to compete in such an event. He was doing something he loved. We were so proud of him.”
   Pride, love and tears. 
   Apt summary for a sport made famous in Canada by the iconic Simon Whitfield, erstwhile Olympic Gold medalist, and the cranking machine most responsible for the sudden surge in popularity of this sport across Canada.
   Edward Cyr is relatively new to the sport, but he has already amassed some incredible results.
   He discovered the triathlon quite serendipitously, while watching a race with his girlfriend, Bridget Arnold, in Huntsville during the spring of 2008.
   Bridget’s dad Jamie Arnold – a longtime and highly regarded competitive tri-athlete – was competing that day.
   The 21-year-old Cyr, talking by phone from Kitchener last weekend, said his obsession with the sport grew from that one race.
   He watched intently.
   And. Something. Clicked.
   “I went up to watch that race in Huntsville and thought that I could do it,” says Cyr. “And when I did compete (at Wasaga Beach in 2008) … I sort of got hooked; as soon as I crossed the finish line.”
   Cyr is just three years out of Hal High.
   He’s remembered as a fantastic curler, part of an amazing team – along with Connor Duhaime, Jake Walker, and Curtis Nichol – which slipped and swept its way to some fantastic finishes in the years they were together. Two appearances at OFSAA championships, and two more at the Gore Provincials.
   Dibblee remembers Cyr as a superb student, and a tough competitor between the hacks.   
   “He was very strategic on the ice, and of course he was always a strong student; academically strong,” says Dibblee. He adds that on road trips Cyr was always the first guy to crack the books, and was prone to giving impromptu lessons to the other guys in the car.
   And of course it may come as no surprise that he is also a tremendously focused young man with a precocious knack for time management.
   How else could he maintain a full course load, curl winters – along with former Hal High teammate Jake Walker on the University of Waterloo Intercollegiate team – and also maintain a five-day per week regimen as a member of the UW swim team?
   Oh yeah. Cyr is also a member of the U of Waterloo competitive swim team, where he commits to at least one session per day, five days per week. “I think that once this Ironman is over in Clearwater, I’ll probably commit to six days per week with the swim team,” says Edward.
   His second place age-group finish at the Muskoka 70.3 Ironman last month was attributed to a four-minute deficit in the swim portion.
   And so this fall he approached the U of W swim coach and asked if he could come and swim.
   Cyr has also found a home with Team Energi – a club coached and organized by Jeff Beech, a professional triathlete with 12 years of global race experience. Energi is a highly supportive and competitive race club and Cyr says Beech and Jamie Arnold have both been instrumental in his success.    
   Cyr says that he’s like to shave about 20 to 25 minutes off his time and is aiming for a 4 hour and 35 minute finish at Clearwater.
   He’ll be bunking with the Arnold family – Jamie is also a competitor in the 1,700 competitor field – at a hotel in Clearwater. He says Team Energi sponsored his entry and mom and dad have come through with the air fare.
   And what about curling?
   “We’ll still be curling this year,” says Cyr, who adds that it’s nice being back on a team with Jake Walker, last year’s skip on the Canadian Junior team.
  But the triathlon is something he’d like to explore more, realizing that most competitive triathletes reach peak achievement levels between the ages of 26 and 35.
   He says that it’s an addictive regimen and he’s thinking of some longer range goals.
   “It’s hard work, but if it wasn’t fun, I wouldn’t be doing it,” laughs Cyr.
   “And as soon as you cross the line … you’re tired … but in an hour, you’re already looking forward to the next one.”
   To follow the race online, go to ironman.com/events/ironman70.3 to watch the live feed and race splits.”