Victoria artist receives medal he designed after completing ironman

Ironman participants swam 1.9 kilometres, ran 21.1 kilometres, and biked 90 kilometres
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Jamin Zuroski managed to finish the Ironman Triathlon and received the finishing medal, a medal that he himself had designed. (photo by Emily Buck)

Over the weekend, the Ironman 70.3 was held on the Saanich Peninsula in a which a local artist managed to finish the race and received finishing medal, a medal that he himself had designed.

On May 26, hundreds of athletes gathered for the triathlon in which participants swam 1.9 kilometres, ran 21.1 kilometres, and biked 90 kilometres throughout the peninsula.

“It took me five months of training, cut all the bad foods out just kept the body super clean, get into training, get a swim coach, get a personal trainer, get all the gear, get the memberships at the gym so I can practice my swimming and then put the hours. It was a grueling day for sure,” said Jamin Zuroski, a Victoria-based artist who designed the finishing medals, and who managed to finish the race for the first time.

Zuroski first got involved with Ironman in 2022 when they reached out to him to design the finisher medals and and finisher flags, and he has worked with them since, but this year, he decided he would also participate in the race.

“I had a tire that blew and I had to replace it 15-kilometers into the 90-kilometre bike ride and I had one tube spare on my bike, so I threw it on but the rest of the 75-kilometres I was super worried,” he said. “Working up and down the hills was pretty taxing but honestly I felt a lot of emotion. Recently, my grandpa had gone into hospice and these waves would just come through me throughout the bike ride and the run and I would just start crying. It was physically demanding and emotionally taxing.”

The medal is a mix of blue, black and white and features an orca and a forest that is reminiscent of a style of art often used by Coast Salish artists.

“As I was designing it, I was thinking a lot about my grandpa, who has an Indigenous names that is connected to the orca. So in creating it, I had a lot of family connections,” he said. “There’s also some trees and a sun and some clouds and some water elements to really bring into nature aspect of the course, and these beautiful territories that we live on.”

Zuroski plans to compete in another race in September in Washington, and he hopes to compete in the Penticton Ironman in August, however he also wants to take more time to train.

Read More: PHOTOS: Hundreds of athletes participate in Vancouver Island Ironman event



Bailey Seymour

About the Author: Bailey Seymour

After graduating from SAIT and stint with the Calgary Herald, I ended up at the Nanaimo News Bulletin/Ladysmith Chronicle in March 2023
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