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Mother-daughter duo complete Timberman Sprint

Gilford Fire Rescue’s Captain Micheal Balcom, Sharon Davis, Lieutenant Richard Andrews, Heidi Beaulac, and Patrick McGonagle pose for a picture after completing the Timberman triathlon last Saturday. Courtesy photo. (click for larger version)
August 25, 2010
After being inspired by co-workers at Gilford Fire Rescue, on-call members Sharon Davis of Gilford and her daughter, on-call member Heidi Beaulac of Salisbury, decided to test their limits and run the Timberman Sprint race together last weekend.

Davis is an on-call EMS and a surgical technician while Beaulac is an on-call EMT/firefighter for Gilford.

The Timberman Sprint on Saturday involved a .3-mile swim, a 15-mile bike ride, and a 3-mile run through Gilford. The sprint is held annually the day before the global Ironman 70.3 Timberman.

Although Beaulac is no stranger to 5K road races, she said this was her first time competing in the Timberman race. Davis said she got the itch to sign up for the race last year after watching fellow GFR members sign up, but she had other family obligations at the time.

When a group at the station signed up for the Timberman again this year, Davis convinced her daughter to hop on board as well. Other GFR members that competed in the Timberman this year included Lieutenant Richard Andrews, Captain Michael Balcom, and on-call EMT/Firefighter Patrick McGonagle.

While Davis and Beaulac trained on their bikes for about 5 to 15 miles at a time, along with four or more miles of running, they said the swim was their biggest fear.

"We were nervous about the swim. We did not train for the swim – not once this summer," said Davis.

After the race Davis said she and her daughter did a decent job getting through the water, the first portion of the race.

Davis also rides her bike from her house by Gunstock to the hospital where she works every day and felt this helped give her an extra boost during the race.

Beaulac said she reached a personal goal with a 9.54 minute swim time and a great overall race, despite a few drawbacks this summer.

"I sprained my ankle in July, so I had to train after that and it set me back," said Beaulac.

For Davis, after the swim was over her biggest feat was the 3-mile stretch at the end of the race, since she does not consider herself the strongest runner but out did her expectations.

"We were both happy with our times and had exceeded the times we set for ourselves in each portion of the race," said Davis. "Everyone at GFR did. The adrenaline keeps you going."

Beaulac said she also found that keeping pace with another biker or runner helped her to stay on stride as well.

Although the Timberman events have grown to international levels and brought in 3,500 people this year, both Davis and Beaulac agreed there is still a strong community feel to the races.

"There were quite a few locals in the race. There is a community feel because of how the race is set up and because of the volunteers from the community," said Davis. "Gilford embraces this race and makes it feel this way. Athletes said they felt they were at home here."

When Beaulac worked the race on Sunday, she said people were coming outside of their houses to cheer participants on even though they didn't know who they were.

Mom and daughter aren't sure if they will compete in the Timberman next year, but they have other races in mind. They also encourage anyone who has considered the sprint to go for it.

"We would absolutely encourage anyone to do it. It was a blast and worth it in the end," said Davis.

Beaulac said all her fears and anxieties went away as the race started, and she feels that the next time around she would feel little bit calmer in days prior to the race.

"I was anxious at first, but it goes away right before the race begins and you have to focus. I won't have it as bad now the next time around," said Beaulac. "It was fun."

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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