Meet LifeSport Coach: Mark Shorter
Mark's completed 88 Marathons and 40 IRONMANS and still going strong!
Mark Shorter is an NCCP Certified Triathlon Coach and one of LifeSport’s most interesting coaches! Mark started as an NCCP Gymnastics Coach, coaching in the B.C. Lower Mainland Community Centres. He was also a Coach of the UBC Women’s Gymnastics Team before he graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education and began working in the world of recreational fitness, running and triathlon. Mark has been coaching athletes in running and triathlon for over 30 years. His athletes have succeeded in Ironman, Ironman 70.3, Olympic distance Triathlon, Marathon, and Race Across America and some have achieved spots at World Championships in a number of distances. Mark himself is an accomplished athlete and has completed over 88 marathons to date with a PR of 2:38. He began competing in triathlons in 1982 and has completed over 40 Ironman races with a PR of 10:02, winning National Age Group Championships along the way.
Mark shares a few fun facts about himself:
1. When I began doing triathlons in the early 80’s, the swims were 2k long, the bike was 40k and the runs were 15k, and as a runner I was happy. Wetsuits were not allowed but we were allowed a handler. My wife Cara was usually my handler and she would help me change, right in the middle of transition (usually a parking lot in Spanish Banks) then she would point out which way to get my bike out of transition. (I was always a little hypothermic and disoriented without the wetsuit). In the early days drafting was not disallowed.
2. One year, I had a week’s vacation that Cara didn’t have so I decided to ride my bike to Prince George from Vancouver (500 miles/800 km) in 3 days. This was before clipless pedals, and I didn’t have cycling shorts, cycling gloves or a cycling jersey. I had panniers and carried all my nutrition, fluids, camping and running gear: everything I needed for a week! I rode 175 miles each of the first 2 days and finished off with 150 miles the third day. This was in August, and full feeling didn’t return to my fingers or toes until December. I took the train back to Vancouver.
3. I have 2 BMW motorbikes, a collector bike and a sports bike, yet I put more miles on my running shoes and bicycles than I do on the motorbikes. I used to ride to California and back most summers with a friend from Kelowna. I would take my wetsuit and run gear to ensure that I didn’t miss too much triathlon training.
4. My wife accused me of indulging in some pretty arcane triathlon training most years. The most memorable training was when I decided to increase the length of our garage at our house in North Vancouver by hand in 1990. I sledge-hammered the concrete wall out at the end of the garage and started digging and moving dirt and rocks with pick, shovel and a wheelbarrow. I came across a boulder that was too big to move so ended up heating it up with a propane tiger torch and pouring cold water on it to take some of the top of it off so that it would be level with the ground. (NOTE: do not pour cold water on hot granite while wearing run shorts.)
5. I ran my best marathon time (2:38) in the Royal Victoria Marathon the second week of October after competing in Ironman Canada, Penticton on the last week of August.