Triathlon Taren About Us Pic

“Triathlon” Taren Gesell

Head Trainiac & Triathlete-In-Chief, TriathlonTaren.com

Triathlon Taren wasn’t always the Speedo-clad, super-committed athlete you see today. Although he grew up skateboarding, playing baseball and curling competitively, by the time he started university, he hit his all-time high weight of 215lbs thanks to a steady diet of beer and bacon.  At 5’8” tall, he was unhealthy and unhappy. A friend who was heavily into fitness got Taren into the gym, pushing weights and eating nothing but chicken breasts and brown rice.  He lost some weight but it wasn’t a lifestyle; he was getting bored with the workouts and always looking for something better.

Right around that time, Taren noticed an old friend competing in triathlon and decided since he was already running, biking and swimming separately, he may as well try to put them together.  He did his first Try-A-Tri (a total disaster, in his estimation), and he was instantly hooked.  Now, eight years later and a comfortable 165lbs., Taren has made triathlon and endurance sports a way of life, having competed in countless sprint, Olympic and half-Ironman races.  It’s his passion to bring tips on healthy living and triathlon training to amateur athletes around the world.

Taren recently switched to eating a plant-based, whole foods, gluten free diet which he follows 85% of the time. He commutes to work by bike year round, and is currently training for a half-Ironman this fall in Austin, TX.  In June 2017, he completed a 37km open water swim in Winnipeg’s Red River, with a continuous time of nine hours and four minutes (9:04) — quite a feat for someone who was actually afraid of the water when he did that first Try-A-Tri.  

He lives in Winnipeg, Canada with his wife Kim and their two dogs.

Melyssa Ward About Us

Melyssa Ward (aka Mel)

Head Taren-Wrangler, Chief Shooter/Editor & Multimedia Wizard

Mel first met Taren’s wife Kim when the two worked together at a local TV station, Kim as a reporter and Mel as a camerperson whose passion was creating sports-television magic.  When Taren needed to hire a shooter/editor, Kim immediately suggested Mel, and the rest is history.  Mel has been shooting and editing video for Taren for the past couple of years, and is thankful for noise-cancelling headphones since her desk is a few feet away from Taren’s.  Mel is a YouTube addict and once saved Taren’s life after his head was sliced open by a flying patio umbrella in a windstorm (he required six staples in his head to close the gash).  She will never forgive Taren for making the two of them miss their flight out of Anaheim when they were heading home from VidCon 2016.

Mel can’t swim and only plays sports with balls that she can kick or hit.  She recently started commuting to work at Triathlon Taren HQ by bike.

No Triathlon Kim About Us Photo

Kim Gesell  (aka No Triathlon Kim)

Head Sherpa, Editor-In-Chief

Kim met Taren when he was curling professionally on the World Curling Tour, not long after he’d done his first Try-A-Tri.  As he learned the sport and began to adopt triathlon as a lifestyle, Kim quickly learned the ropes for being a good sherpa, and has accompanied Taren to a majority of his races and endurance endeavors.  She also supports his plant-based, whole foods lifestyle as the family chef (aka: damn good cook) and loves experimenting with new, healthy recipes.  

Kim worked as a journalist for many years, as a TV news reporter and then as the host of a weekly football show.  She left the media a couple of years ago and now works as a communications professional and freelance writer, host and voice-over artist.

 She was previously a competitive women’s softball and ultimate frisbee player, and enjoys riding her bike with the dogs, but maintains she won’t be doing a triathlon anytime soon.  (Taren maintains otherwise.)

Coach Patrick Peacock About Us

Patrick Peacock (aka Coach Pat)

Chief Ass-Kicker & Pain-Train Conductor-In-Chief

Coach Pat is not only a highly respected triathlon coach in Manitoba but one of the all-time top triathletes in the province, holding several course records that are not likely to be touched anytime soon.  He is, as Taren puts it, an unbelievably fast and strong freak of nature.

A Phys Ed teacher by trade, Pat spends a majority of his spare time helping local athletes reach triathlon goals (including recently-turned professional triathlete, Nicole Walker), all the while training for his own races. He regularly competes in Olympic distance and half-Ironman races across Canada and the USA.  He also joined Taren on the marathon open-water swim in June 2017 and completed 27km but was forced to pull out due to hypothermia.  (Taren figures Pat’s inhumanly low body fat percentage did him in.)

He is the author of the Triathlon Taren coaching plans on TriathlonTaren.com.

Pat is married to Cara and has two sons.  His Saturday morning pancake breakfast parties are a thing of legend.  (You haven’t lived until you’ve had Pat’s key lime pancakes.)