HPP Coach Alan Dempsey took the leap to the pro field for 2018 joining his teammates Jordan Monnink and Robyn Hardage who are continuing their successful professional careers this year. Having raced for several years as a Cat1/2 bike racer, Alan decided it was time to return to his roots in triathlon. The decision to turn pro will be the fulfillment of a dream Alan has had of competing at highest level in sport, but it was also an important decision for his coaching career: 

"Many of the athletes I coach are getting towards the pointy end of their age group in long course triathlon. It's been a few years since I raced triathlon competitively and I want to make sure I have the insider perspective and first-hand experience racing at the competitive end of triathlon. Just like in bike racing, race craft is an integral part of being successful in triathlon, particularly when you have lofty goals like qualifying for Kona or 70.3 Worlds. This will give me the opportunity to further develop that craft and add it to my coaching toolbox.

For the last 5 months, since making the decision to return to triathlon, he has been working with fellow HPP coach Ian Fraser. Ian has extensive experience being a former pro and currently coaching two pro triathletes. Ian had this to say:  

“It was a big ask to go from being a bike racer to a long course triathlete in one winter, but these are the kinds of challenges that make coaching so appealing. The decision to work together on this was as much as personal as it was business. It will strengthen HPP’s collective knowledge-base and provide us with an opportunity to take a deeper look at the importance of the coach-athlete relationship. Ultimately that will improve the way we connect with the other athletes we coach.”

His first race as a pro will be on May 20, 2018 at IM70.3 Chattanooga. He will follow this up with IM70.3 Mont Tremblant. You can follow Alan’s journey through his first season as a professional long course triathlete on his blog: alandempsey.ca