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Improve your time with Coach McIntyre for upcoming triathlon

By Staff | Aug 2, 2017

Coach Curt McIntyre is offering a four-week program for triathletes. MEGHAN McCOY

A four-week program is being offered at the Sanibel Recreation Center to provide triathletes with the skills they need to do well at their next triathlon.

“I am focusing on getting people ready for a triathlon. I know a lot of people that are swimmers, and consider themselves swimmers, but they are scared at swimming that 400-500 yard swim. So, we are going to help them overcome their fears, so they can get through it and enjoy it,” Coach Curt McIntyre said.

The program, held on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays Aug. 14, through Sept. 7, from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. will focus on stroke techniques, so the athlete will become a better and more efficient swimmer. The program is open to all levels, due to McIntyre helping people become comfortable in the water.

“A lot of people will do breast stroke and it’s not competitive because it’s really slow,” he said. “I’m going to make sure everyone is competitive and better swimmers. We will work on speed, endurance and a lot on stroke technique.”

Both Sanibel Recreation Center members, and nonmembers can participate in the program. It is $33 for members, $44 for nonmembers. Although preregistration is a preferred method, those interested can sign up the day of the first class on Aug. 14.

“You will improve, I guarantee it, no matter what level you are,” McIntyre said. “We do a lot of stroke instruction to try and make you more efficient.”

This is the fourth year McIntyre and the Rec Center have offered the Triathlon Swim Program. He said it came to fruition out of need because people would ask him if they could have some training, since he’s a swim coach.

“We ran it full-time, all year round for a while for about a year and a half, but people started losing interest. I realized that the years it was successful we did it specifically for the triathlon,” McIntyre said.

About a dozen of his swimmers from Sanibel Water Attack Team (SWAT), a year round swim team program, are participating in the junior, and senior portion of the triathlon.

“We have a hard core group of about 10, or 12 people that do a lot of triathlons that train on their bikes and train on running. I am expecting a pretty good crowd,” McIntyre said.

He shared that the program has been successful, due to the program participants placing in their age group the last two triathlons.

McIntyre has been a swim coach since 1982, a career path that made sense due a love of swimming when he was 5 years old.

“I love everything about it. I’m a lucky guy, I love my job,” he said of being a swim coach. “I like watching people improve, especially with the children. It’s fun to watch them grow up and get better as they go. We have some very good swimmers on this island now.”

In the early 80s he was working in the construction industry unhappy with the career choice.

“I saw an ad for an assistant swim coach at my high school and I said ‘I can do that.’ It started as a part-time thing and then it became a vocation,” McIntyre said.

Over the years he has coached high school students, various age groups for kids and adults. He started coaching on the island five years ago.

“I had retired from coaching. One day my wife noticed that I had missed it. She saw an ad for a coach at the Canterbury School, which was a program I helped start many years ago,” he said.

Since the high school swim season is 12 weeks long, he became the coach. With the need to renew his lifesaving license, McIntyre took a class at the Sanibel Recreation Center. At that time, he said they were looking for a swim coach, which he eventually agreed on for the summer.

“Then they said why don’t we make it a year round team and by that point they had me,” he said of coaching SWAT. “I’ve been here ever since.”

In addition to coaching, he was also a triathlete in the early days when it was still an amateur sport.