Morning Star Staff
While her Olympic snowboard cross brother Kevin Hill can do just about everything he wants in sport, Shanda Hill is making a name for herself as well.
Shanda, 34, is a pro athlete who competes in ultra triathlon. She left Thursday for Virginia, representing Canada with the goal to be the first Canadian woman to finish and complete a quintuple triathlon.
Hill stepped into the world of athletics when she was 14. Kevin started racing at the local BMX track and she soon followed.
“The intensity of the sport drew me in and I competed for 14 years,” said Shanda. “I had a traumatic 2003 accident that almost took me out of the sport for good.”
She recovered and competed in Canada and the U.S., attaining No. 2 national female titles in the U.S. and the 2009 top-seed female cruiser title in Canada.
“In 2010, on a whim, I started running races and within my first year, I did 700 kilometres of running races and competed in my first 50km ultra trail running race (she placed ninth in a field of 15 females).”
From 2010 on, she focused more on trail and road running races and has completed and competed in more than 15 ultra-distance races, including a 80-k last year and almost 50 half and full marathons.
Not one to avoid a challenge, in April 2014, a friend suggested she attempt a triathlon. After a night of conversation, Hill signed up for her first triathlon, the 2014 Challenge Penticton full iron distance, 3.8-k swim, 180-k bike and 42.2-k run.
With less than four months to prepare and without owning a road or tri bike, she started a gofundme account, and with the amazing support of those around her, competed that August and placed 12th in her 30-39 age class.
After another year of running races and a Canadian Tire Road Race Series age group winner title, she raced her second triathlon, Challenge Penticton 2015.
Still new to triathlon, a well respected seasoned competitor in the sport mentioned another race to her, the July 14 Oregon double Anvil this year, a race double the Ironman distance and with 15,000 feet elevation gain on the bike alone.
Hill was intrigued and signed up three months before and committed to finishing the 8-k swim, 360-k bike and 84.4-k run.
She finished in 38 hours and was the second female overall.
Next comes a race no Canadian female had ever done. The Virginia Quintuple Anvil starts Monday and goes until Sunday, Oct. 16 and is a race only run every two years and features a 132-hour time limit.
The distances of the Virginia event are an Ironman times five: 8-k swim, 900-k bike and a 210-k run.
Being raised a lifelong vegetarian who believes strongly in whole and nutritionally dense foods in both fueling her in sport and everyday life, Hill strives to continue to inspire those around her to never set limits on the amazing things that the human body can do.