Rachel McBride has her sights set on a International Triathlon Union Long Course World Championship at Penticton’s Multisport World Championship Festival on Sunday. Jimmy Barrett photo courtesy of Rachel McBride

McBride eyeing another ITU Long Course medal

Vancouver’s Rachel McBride looks to win a third ITU medal, this time on home soil

Vancouver’s Rachel McBride can’t wait to race again.

On Sunday she will enter her third International Triathlon Union (ITU) Long Course World Championship race, lining up alongside fellow Canadians Heather Wurtele, local Jen Annett, Karen Thibodeau, Melanie McQuaid and Fawn Whiting. In her two previous World Championship races, McBride has earned bronze.

“It was incredible. The first time around in France they had actually cancelled the swim because it was so cold,” said McBride. “It turned into a duathlon. I had never done a duathlon before. That was an experience in itself. To come on the podium with the quality of field that was there was just a really amazing experience. To go back last year, again a stellar field, that was also just a really fantastic experience.”

Competing on home soil in the Multisport World Championship Festival excites McBride, who has had great training sessions since taking third at Subaru Ironman Canada earlier this month. Feeling fantastic, IMC gave her a confidence boost with her fitness level.

McBride, a two-time 70.3 (half Ironman) champion, got her start in ITU races and is the 2007 25 to 29 age group Olympic distance champion. Having the chance to win or medal at a World Championship is an incredible experience said McBride, adding it’s a unique experience, and ITU puts on fantastic events.

As for the field she will be against, the 39-year-old chooses to focus on herself. She doesn’t place a lot of focus on her competitors and doesn’t “get too hung up on who is there or not, because anything can happen.”

“That’s the great thing about triathlon is that it is such a challenge,” said McBride, who started running while attending grad school in Ottawa.

McBride, who expresses her personality with tattoos of a sailboat, and a two-headed fish relating to her studies in genetics, used to view her competitors as enemies, but felt there were many negative feelings that came with that attitude. As she has grown in the sport, she has become friends with those she races against. She sees things as more positive and an incredible place to be in when her opponents are her friends.

“Having people here you are racing against and you are also super excited when they are doing well,” she said. “They are super excited when you are doing well. Everybody is in the sport to win. It’s a really great place that you can come to the sport and be really supportive of each other. It was exciting to see Jen do really well at Ironman Canada.”

McBride got into triathlons after doing marathons. Once she started training hard and moved to Vancouver, she loved it. She never looked back.

“It totally took over my life,” she said.

What’s she going to want to do Sunday is take over the women’s elite field en route to a gold medal.