Determination wins the race for triathlete Alex Lin


Alex Lin (‘19) bikes in a 2016 triathlon competition in Taitung. [Photo courtesy of Alex Lin]

The scorching sun glowed bright above his head as the humid July air engulfed him. After 41.5 kilometers, he had reached the final stage of the race. With only 10 kilometers left in front of him, he pushed himself to run.
In 2015, Alex Lin (’19), who was only 14 years old at the time, competed in his first triathlon in Hualien. After being given an opportunity to compete in his first triathlon with his coach and team members from his previous school, he took it.
In a standard triathlon competition, racers first swim 1.5 kilometers, then they bike for 40 kilometers and finish off by running 10 kilometers.
Prior to the race, he felt extremely anxious. However, throughout the rest of the race, he felt surprisingly calm. “I was only feeling anxious before. It was actually kind of refreshing during the race. Although it was super hot and it was tiring, I still enjoyed the process,” Alex said.
Yet, he still faced some challenges during the competition. The cycling portion of the triathlon occurred on mountainous terrain, which took a toll on his body. As he moved on to the running part of the competition, he underwent a lot of pain. “When swimming and biking, you use a lot of power and you put a lot of strength into it, so the last few kilometers I felt like my muscles were bursting apart,“ he said.
Moreover, the training for his race was not an easy process. Alex had to train every day for around two hours, and changes also had to be made to his daily routine. “A few months before the race I had to cut down on sugary foods, and I also made my sleep schedule more consistent,” he said.
Despite the hardships Alex experienced and the hard work he inputted, the end result was rewarding. “After the race, I felt like all the training had paid off. I had actually finished the whole race, the whole 51.5 kilometers. You feel a sense of achievement, you feel fulfilled,” he said.
Alex also learned how determination plays an important role in success. “I accomplished this by persistent training, and I would not have finished the race without it,” he said.
Having competed in a total of four triathlons, he hopes to run another in the near future.