One of the benefits of signing up for a virtual triathlon is that you can participate and compete wherever – even from another country. With the world still at a standstill due to COVID-19, many triathletes who had plans to travel to Grand Rapids to compete on June 14 had to change their race day schedule, but going virtual allows these athletes to bring Grand Rapids Triathlon to them.

Meet one of these triathletes, Felipe Castro, who is from South America, but will be repping the #GRVTriNinePointFive right from his home country.

Name: Felipe Castro
Age: 31
Hometown: Santiago, Chile
Occupation: Brand Manager for a retail company

What is your background in triathlon?
I started one year and a half ago due to a personal challenge, my first one was a sprint distance. I competed in six different races. My last triathlon was in February before all the COVID- 19 issues so since then, training  and working at home to stay safe

What is your favorite discipline?
I think I’m very new in this sport to choose one because I have a LOT to improve, the next challenge must be a half-distance when the pandemic stops so then maybe I can decide. 🙂

How have you been training during the pandemic?
I have been training fewer days than usual but fortunately, at home we have a treadmill and bike trainer so I have nothing to complain about.

How did you hear about Grand Rapids Virtual Triathlon 9.5?
I was signed for the original version of #GRTri 2020, so when the option to go virtual was available I decided to keep my registration because I wanted to keep motivated on my training sessions.

What inspired you to sign up and compete? Especially being from another country?
I´m very close to Grand Rapids due to my work, I travel many times during the year to GR so when I heard about the race on a weekend when I was supposed to be there I knew I had to sign up.

What are your plans for “race day”? 
Take it seriously, here in Chile, unfortunately, the virus is in very bad condition, so we are in our houses, So I will have to race 100% indoor.

What do you love about triathlon?
The dynamic of the race, three different tests make you stay alert all the time during the race, and also the training, it’s true that it’s hard and it involves a lot of sacrifices, but it is more fun not always training for the same sport.

Do you plan on racing at the Grand Rapids Triathlon in person next year?
Yes! If my work allows me to travel then for sure I want to be there for the anniversary event.

What has been hard about training during the pandemic? How have you stayed motivated?
Yes sure, but I’m very grateful because I have the chance to keep training at home, I have two ways to stay motivated, keep in mind a big target when the pandemic stops and also understand that the train helps me to stay more healthy.

Why should someone sign up and do a virtual event if their race was cancelled this year?
Because I’m sure that the experience it’s going to be great so in that way you keep motivated to live it in a “real” way next year in GR.

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