Canada's National Team
Interviews and insights

Athletes in NL

Isabel Martin

Isabel Martin is a Canada Games team athlete and was the women’s champion of Mad Moto 2021.

When did you start competing in triathlons and why? 

In January 2019 I started to look into it. I swam competitively for 11 years, with the St John’s legends for 10, then I swam with the Seahawks, then I stepped away from the sport for personal reasons but I still wanted to compete and train so a friend suggested Triathlon. So I contacted TriNL and they brought me to Will and Steph and the Canada Games team.

Which part of a triathlon is your strongest? Your weakest? Why?

I would definitely say that swimming is my strongest, but I am slightly afraid of open water. I’ve been working really hard on my running so that has gotten a lot better, right now bike handing is my weakest.

Preparation is obviously the key to success.  What is your training regimen?

I mostly train 6 days a week. Some sessions are long. I train my running with the Seahawks cross country team so we have 3 practices a week, and then I usually do another run. We have one scheduled bike with Canada Games once a week, and I usually try to get in a few more. And then swimming whenever I can.

What’s your advice for someone just starting? 

Get bike handling down. When I started Triathlon I only had a swimming dominant background so I started running a lot. When I joined triathlon I hadn’t ridden a bike in ten years since I was a little kid. If I was talking to a younger me or me from a year ago I’d say don’t be intimidated, take it slow.

What is your favourite post-race meal?

A protein shake.

What keeps you motivated/ driven towards goals?

The people around me. Like the cross country girls keeping me motivated to practice.  Seeing people on Strava kill their workouts makes me motivated to keep going.

What are your future triathlon-related goals?

I would really like to qualify for the Canada Games 2022 team, if not I think I would probably compete in standard Triathlons for a little bit longer. Then a really big goal of mine would be to compete in an Ironman race and to complete one before I turn 25.

What is your favourite thing about triathlon?

My absolute favourite part is training. I really love training. I never get bored, there is always something to do and work on. 

Do you find training more mentally or physically challenging?

Personally, I find the mental part is most challenging, constantly pushing yourself to go faster and the fatigue.

Do you have any pre-race/ post-race routines or rituals?

Post-race I just want to find my dad, he’s my main support. Before a race, I just like to be really calm, have a clear headspace, and be relaxed.

What is your favourite race that you’ve done

I’ve competed in some time trials and things like that, but my first official triathlon was the Mad Moto event and that was really fun!

How do you balance training, school, and your personal life?

My school this year was asynchronous so I had a lot of time so I found it pretty good. Sometimes it’s hard with personal life, like going out with my friends, however, a lot of my friends are athletes so they totally understand. 

Best advice you’ve received?

My cross country coach Art Meaney always tells me to “relax my face and smile.”

What are your hobbies or interests outside of sports?

Triathlon is my life. School, work, Tri. But I do a lot of walking and hiking with my black lab Brigus.



William Duggan

William Duggan is one of the Canada Games team coaches.

Why did you want to become a coach? How did you get this position?

There was an opening here in TriNL, and I always wanted to do it once I learned Triathlon training is actually done properly after learning from my own mistakes one too many times. The opportunity came up from the canada games perspective which is a bit more interesting to pursue to me than other types of racing. It’s pretty unique.

How do you ensure your athletes stay motivated and engaged throughout the year?

Me and Steph try to put off a lot of training camps. We actually haven’t been coaches during a race season yet as we took it over in fall 2019, so it has been a weird year. We try to do camps that make sense and do races virtually or in person. Last year we hosted our own make shift in person race as there were no other triathlons. We are just trying to provide as many competition opportunities as possible. 

How do you make sure everyone feels included?

I think Triathlon is really unique in that sense because someone is usually the strongest or weakest at something. We include everyone in the Canada Games team even if a few people have said they may not be quite as interested in pursuing it, from a Canada Games level, but we try to make sure everyone feels like they can come to any session that they want. For example, some people are weaker swimmers than others but we try to make sure they feel welcome by accommodating different water supports to help with the fear.

Describe a moment you felt proud as a coach?

We had one athlete last year who literally could not swim, and he swam the 300m  Octagon Pond loop by himself. That was a really cool feeling and everyone on the team was on the beach cheering for him. The Mad Moto was pretty cool as well because we took a few people and taught them how to do flying mounts and dismounts in transition in about an hour.

What is the most difficult part of being a coach?

This year it would be the fact that there are no races so it’s been a struggle trying to keep motivation and trying to keep the program in line with no formal races up until the Mad Moto a few weeks ago. So it’s been a weird year and a half trying to keep it moving with no end goal.

What is the easiest part of being a coach?

Triathlon tends to be a much older sport as people don’t tend to get into it until they’re a lot older so it keeps it fun seeing people who are only 14 or 15, or even younger sometimes, interested in doing it. So I find that keeps it easy. I started triathlon when I was 21 and I was the youngest person by like 5 years. 

What are your future ambitions and plans?

We want to send a pretty strong team to the Canada Games coming up and whatever follows after. Another goal of ours is to create a development program. In the past it’s been a high turnover rate for the Canada Games age athletes where they come in late and leave after the games. But it would be nice to set up a program where athletes can start as young as ten or eleven and then they’re still interested after the games as there are high performance options up until you’re 20 years old. So our master plan is to create a program that has a larger range than just the Canada Games.

How would you help one of your athletes deal with stress or anxiety before an event?

I think doing race recon and mental preparation is important. Everyone gets nervous before a race. No one can say they don’t. It’s just the ways you deal with that, such as finding the right headspace, knowing the race you’re doing and knowing you’re well trained leading up to the race.

What is your favourite part of being a coach?

Seeing improvement in people and how excited they are with it. We’ve had a lot of people leave and come back and when they’ve learned something and you can see the flare pop back up. 

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to start triathlon?

I think triathlon is built up to be this complicated sport with expensive equipment. Part of that is true but I think just start out anywhere. Go for a swim or another piece of it and just keep working forward from there. 

What is your favourite thing to do after an event? 

I’m a big chocolate chip cookie fan so I usually like to find baked goods, but that comes before sometimes too.


















Roughan Gaetz

Roughan Gaetz is a Canada Games Team athlete and the men’s champion of the Mad Moto!

When did you start competing in triathlons and why?

So I started in 2014, I was actually living in Singapore at the time. I started it because my dad was getting into it a little bit. Everyone was doing it. It was a growing sport and I decided to hop on it. And I’ve been racing competitively ever since. I’ve raced pretty well everywhere around the world. Between the Middle East and Asia and Canada as well.

Which part of a triathlon is your strongest? Your weakest? Why?

Strongest currently is definitely biking, I’ve been strongest in it since I’ve started really. It came natural to me. But swimming has definitely been a struggle. It is still probably the one I work hardest to get better at. 

What is your training schedule?

My training schedule is around 20-25 hours a week. I’m doing it 6 days a week. I take a rest day during the week. I do about 3 track sessions with running every week. I’m on the bike most days. Currently with swimming I’ve mostly been doing open water.

What’s your advice for someone just starting? 

With just starting, it’s one of those sports where the main thing is to have fun and that’s honestly something I push to anyone I see starting the sport. It’s definitely something you want to enjoy the process and get into slowly, it’s not something that you necessarily need to dive into 100% because at the end of the day enjoying what you’re doing is the most important.

What is your favourite post race meal?

I usually go for a good hamburger, or something greasy after the race. Something to fill me up.

What keeps you motivated/ driven towards goals?

For me what keeps me motivated is that I set goals regularly. I have things that I look forward to and push towards accomplishing. Currently that’s Canada Games at the moment, where it goes from there is to be determined.

What are your future triathlon related goals?

As of right now it’s the Canada Games and I’m really pushing towards that to see what comes out of it. From there, hopefully going into the higher levels of the sport. I’ve fortunately been able to race before Covid started, against some of Canada’s top athletes in races across Canada. So I’m looking forward to racing against them again, and mixing it up, seeing how I do. 

What is your favourite thing about triathlon?

It’s actually the community. There’s always a good community wherever you go to a race. There’s always lots of people there, people who are friendly. It’s an awesome environment to be in. Competitive but really nice people everywhere I’ve been. That part of it is awesome but also being able to go head to head with other people is something else.

Do you have any pre-race routines?

I usually wake up, have a bowl of oatmeal, and start getting in my head. Usually before the race I’ll go for a run. I’ll try and get a spin done on the bike and get in the water as early as possible. The main thing is just warming up well. Before the race it’s just trying to get the head in the zone and get ready.

What is your favourite race that you’ve done?

I’ve competed in ITU’s around the world, ITU Abu Dhabi is a classic one that I’ve always loved, the atmosphere there is really awesome. You get to come face to face with all the pro athletes. I’ve gotten to personally talk to them all. It’s like you’re hanging out with them all there. That race is awesome. And then ITU Montreal as well was a really good one. You’re right in downtown Montreal and there’s people and spectators everywhere. But probably the most interesting race I’d say that I’ve gotten to do would be the Super League in Ottawa. It’s short distance racing so it’s mixing it up. You do two triathlons back to back. There’s elimination and mixing it up like that keeps it fun. 

How do you balance training, work, and school

I currently have a full time job, I work at the bike shop downtown. It can definitely be a struggle to balance everything. Your family life, your work, and training. It can definitely be hard to find that happy medium of a good balance but it’s something I always work towards. If you’re training too much then you don’t really get to spend time with your friends and family and you’re going to work yourself too hard and not enjoy yourself. So the main thing is to try and find a good balance.

Best advice you’ve received

I’ve received a lot of great advice from a lot of different people. But the main thing is, my personal coach who’s been there with me for 6 years always tells me to keep it fun and enjoy myself. We work everyday, you go into a race and you know you’re prepared. But the main thing is to just enjoy yourself and enjoy the process because it is a slow process and at the end of the day you want to enjoy every step. 

What are your hobbies or interests outside of sports

Outside of triathlon I do play a little bit of rugby and I’m also doing competitive cycling as well right now. During the winter with no races I’ve been doing a lot of cycling but I’m currently looking at going to Quebec to do some cycling and races there. The cycling and the rugby during the winter helped to mix it up a bit from the day to day things. 

Were you happy with your performance in the Mad Moto?

Yeah Mad Moto was definitely a good race to get under the belt, it was nice to head back into racing a bit because it felt like it’d been ages since I’ve gotten to compete in triathlon. Practicing was good and getting back into a competitive environment with everyone. It was a very well set up race. All the volunteers were awesome. It was great just to get back out there and race again for sure!






















Triathlon Newfoundland and Labrador. We can. We will.


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