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We are all familiar with the shot gun start of a race, how familiar are you with a triathlon? That is swimming, biking and running in one race. A local husband and wife team, Mark and Tonia Wilson, began Wilson Event Sports in 2017. Mark is a highly accomplished triathlete and coach with more than 25 years of experience. He is an Ironman 70.3 World Championship Finisher, 10X Ironman Finisher and 8 time USAT All American. He is a USA Triathlon Certified Race Director and has managed the Summer Tri Series for the Hudson Valley Triathlon Club for many years. His love of the sport and intensive dedication to good health make him a passionate coach and advocate. A quote on the company’s website says it all: “CAUTION: Participating in the sport of triathlon with Mark Wilson may cause radiant health & spiritual well-being.”
Tonia and Mark were childhood sweethearts. They grew up in Mayville but were separated in high school when Mark’s family moved away. Fast forward thirty years, Mark is widowed, and Tonia is working in Randolph, N.Y. A childhood friend brought them together and they were married within the year. Tonia says, ” I was not in good shape when we met as adults. Mark got me moving again. We do something every day, riding, swimming, running, walking. It’s his lifestyle.” The couple recently moved to a new home on Cassadaga Lake. “We absolutely love it here!” says Tonia.
Tonia’s background is in the hospitality business. She handles the marketing for the company. Mark, who is very well connected in the triathlon world, manages the sponsorships, product giveaways, and discount incentives. The company also employs two staff members that help with races and the day to day needs. The company has a strong core of volunteers in the Cassadaga area that enthusiastically support race events.
Wilson runs reasonably priced swimming, biking and running clinics for individuals or groups. He focuses on developing a customized program that will fit his client’s specific needs. He offers remote coaching to encourage his clients to succeed in their health and fitness goals and life. A key component of being a good coach is good communication skills. Mark is inspiring and makes you want to succeed. He is a motivational speaker. He has spoken at schools, senior centers, sports clubs, and events. He even offers free weight loss consultations. Coach Wilson also offers customized training programs for a small fee. His training programs produce systematic and progressive results for athletes of all levels from novice to champion.
Wilson Event Sports manages twenty-eight events in New York State and one in Connecticut. Seven of them take place in Cassadaga, N.Y. The Southern Tier Triathlon Series is one of the local races. It is a 400 yd swim, 13 mile bike ride and a 2 mile run. They started the local triathlon club to help the members train for the local races. Informal practices are held on Monday and Wednesday nights at Cassadaga Beach. There is no fee to practice or be a member of the club.
One of the new events that Tonia says will be a blast is the Cassadaga Kids Tri for children under 17 years old. They are also starting to hold spring and fall season triathlons with a different slant; kayaking, biking and running. The new Amish Country Running Festival will be back again this September. Last year the inaugural event had 150 registrants, this year they anticipate double that number. It is a range of events – full marathon, half-marathon, 10 K and 5 K.
The company also holds fundraisers for not-for- profit organizations. Tonia’s father is associated with an organization that makes toys for underserved children worldwide. The Randolph Toymaker Race is held each year to raise funds for this non-profit group. Distributed through mission groups, emergency services and crisis centers, the toys have been bringing smiles to kids since 2007. The race this year is July 27.
So what are you waiting for? If you are looking to get in shape to improve your life and longevity check out the Information about upcoming races, registration information, training programs and camps on the company’s user friendly website, CoachMarkWilson.com.