Local man competing in Ironman

David Matiece makes doughnuts.
But when the sinewy baker at Robin’s Donuts here heads to Penticton, B.C. this weekend to compete in the Subaru Ironman Canada, there won’t be any room for sweet pastries.
The race is not for the faint–or fat–of heart. About 1,700 competitors will swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and then, for good measure, run a 26.2-mile marathon.
Matiece has never been in a full Ironman triathlon before, and the 39-year-old knows this will be the greatest physical test of his life. But he remained confident as he left today.
“It’s pretty hard but I think I’ll finish it,” he predicted.
Since finding out last September that he would be competing in the prestigious Ironman event, Matiece has readied himself by steadily increasing his training regimen (he works at the doughnut shop at night so he can focus on his training during the day).
“I’ve had a whole year to think about it. I’ve been [training] pretty steady since Christmas,” he claimed.
This summer, he biked 450 miles through North Dakota in only a week. While on the trip, he was bored so he added swimming and running to the mix. Then in July, he competed in a half-Ironman (half the distances of a full one) in Morden Man.
He came third in his age category but his time was a personal best.
Matiece also has competed in the Thunder Bay Triathlon four times and has won two half-Ironman races (Duluth in 1996 and Riding Mountain, Man. in 1997).
He started triathlon racing six years ago because he enjoyed all the sports involved.
“I like to bike, run, and swim so it’s a natural fit,” he explained. “When I heard about triathlons, it seemed like a good thing to do because you could do them all at the same time.”
But for Matiece, the appeal also is the “the feeling of competition, the feeling of fitness, [and] the achievement of doing it.”
He said he spends more time training than racing. In fact, he said he’s in the best shape of his life–and certainly doesn’t think 39 is too old for this sort of event.
“I’m sure there will be over 250 people in my age group,” he remarked. “There’s lots of older people that do this. It’s not just for 20-year-olds.”
Local triathlon enthusiasts can visit www.ironman.ca for live race coverage. Matiece has some fans but his most loyal supporters are his parents.
“I would be proud of him whether he was a triathlete or not,” said his father, Alex.
The baker gets cooking, er, running, on Sunday.