It is hard to believe that we are now into 2005. I have been thoroughly enjoying the off-season, doing the thing that I don’t usually have time to do. A Christmas tradition is that I bake cookies and send baskets to close friends and sponsors.

Happy New Year! Heather, Roch, Nadine and Cleatus This process has evolved over the past few years. Initially, I baked a few different cookies and it is now grown so that this year there were 30+ varieties of cookies on my list. I really enjoy the whole process of creating something that hopefully everyone will enjoy. I think it is a bit of love / hate for those that receive the cookies – they like them but they hate what they do for the waist line. I can attest to that fact – the total volume of cookies and cookie dough that I eat in a season is astounding!!! For those of you that didn’t get any cookies this year, I apologize. Maybe in the future there will be the “Heather Fuhr’s Cookies” website where you can place your order.

The holiday season is always a time for reflection, and time to spend with friends and family. Looking back on the year, overall, it was a very exciting year, not only for myself personally and professionally but for our sport as well. My racing season went better than it has in a long time – giving me the confidence to move into the next season with excitement. The sport of triathlon continues to grow, and more specifically the Ironman movement has really exploded. With new Ironman races popping up, our sport would seem to be the healthiest it has been in a long time. We of course had the “dark cloud” over the sport late this year when Nina Kraft failed her drug test at Ironman Hawaii. While it would be nice to claim the innocence of our sport, it would also be naïve to assume that use of performance enhancing substances has not been part of the sport.While this may just be the tip of the iceberg, it would also seem to be the start of the earnest fight against the use of performance enhancing substances. Those that would consider using these substances to better their performances or enhance their career in some way may start to think twice. It is this element of surprise that is needed in this fight. Athletes need to know that at any time, they can be drug tested and it will be ever changing as to what these tests will cover. So having said this, maybe this is what was needed to make us more aware of the entire situation.

We headed up to Canada spend some time with our families for Christmas. We got our “White Christmas” this year. It was great hanging out with everyone, and watching the kids get excited about Santa and the looks on their faces when they open their presents. That is what it is all about!!!

Over the next month or so, I will try to decide my racing schedule for the coming year, and plan my training accordingly. I hope to see many of you out at the races this coming season.
HAPPY 2005 to everyone!!!
Heather Fuhr