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Warriors escape from wintry Chicago

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This way to Bermuda: a Winter Warriors training group braving chilly temperatures in Chicago (Photograph supplied)

They’re back! The Winter Warriors training group from Chicago is making a return visit to Bermuda, 11 years after about 50 of them competed in the second Bermuda Triangle Challenge.“We had such a great experience in 2009, and wanted to bring a new group of athletes back to show them the beauty and fun of the Triangle Challenge,” Mike Norman, co-founder of Chicago Endurance Sports, said. “Bermuda has always stuck out in our memories as one of our best destination events, and this year all of the pieces fell into place with timing, etc, and we couldn’t be more excited.”Chicago Endurance Sports is a multisport endurance training company and helps about 2,000 athletes train each year for a variety of sports. “Our motto is ‘It’s all about the journey’. So many people focus on the goal, but forget to embrace the journey you take to reach that goal. That’s what we aim for — making that journey an amazing experience. We teach our athletes how to become successful, through proper form, nutrition, strength training, mental tools, with the goal of making endurance sports a lifestyle, and not just a bucket list item,” Norman said.As the name suggests, the Winter Warriors is a programme that keeps athletes focused throughout the chilly winter months. Part of the motivation includes opportunities to travel to a “warm and fun” destination in the middle of the winter.“Each year we choose a different destination to keep things fresh for our alumni, but typically will go back to those events that we truly enjoyed and that stood out in our memories and experiences. Bermuda was one of those places.”It is expected about 50 athletes from the programme will make the trip to compete this weekend. Most will be doing The Royal Gazette Bermuda Triangle Challenge, though a few will do single races.Norman added: “Winter Warriors is always a special group, given the conditions that we train in during the winter in Chicago. “We feel a special bond from conquering the challenges of cold, ice, snow, and holidays together as a group. We support each other, knowing how difficult it can be. Then, when the group travels together, it cements that bond even further, with shared experiences, laughter and conquering another goal — together. “Some of our athletes have formed lifelong friends and travel partners through this programme. It’s a wonderful thing to see and be part of.”

Memorable trip: the Winter Warriors group in Bermuda, in 2009. The training group is back for more this weekend (Photograph supplied)