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Patience, Persistence Are Paying Off

Graeme Lue Qui is swimming, biking and running his way to strengthen his performance in the sport of triathlon. Here, he competes in the 2015 Toronto Triathlon Festival. Photos by Joseph Ng Chow
Graeme Lue Qui
Assistant Project Manager
PNR RailWorks
Guelph, ON
In the case of PNR RailWorks Assistant Project Manager Graeme Lue Qui, patience and persistence are paying off as he works to advance as an amateur triathlete.
It was a few years ago, during high school, that Graeme first began thinking of training for triathlons. At that time, he swam on the high school swim team. 
While attending university, he began cycling, but it was short-lived. “I ended up dropping cycling,” he says. “It was kind of difficult to start when I was in school. School took up a lot of my time, and also, cycling has a big start-up investment. The bike itself is definitely the most expensive component; however, there is also big cost for a student to buy gear from head to toe and tools for all seasons.” 
Logistics were another challenge. Graeme studied at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, where he participated in a co-op job program that ate into his schedule as it took him out of Ontario every four months for four months at a time. So eventually, Graeme sold his bike. “If you’re not getting the desired time to put the investment to use, sometimes it’s best to just get rid of it.”
He moved on to running, starting with a 5k in 2011. “It was a friend of mine that influenced me, as she has been a runner for a long time. She always beats me to this day. After that first race, I sort of got hooked on the idea of racing.” Graeme then began training for a half-marathon and was increasing his training distances when he became injured. He fell away from training but resumed in 2014.
The idea of doing triathlons had remained in his mind, so after graduating from university and starting to work for PNR RailWorks in September of 2013, Graeme began to pursue triathlons in earnest. He completed his first triathlon in the summer of 2014 with friends and notes that, “It was more like participating than competing, just because I wanted to know what it was like.” Graeme ran in seven events that year and planned on a half marathon, but he sustained another injury. “Running is tough on your body,” he notes, adding, “especially when you do it wrong.”
He has hung in there. In 2015, with proper training and better equipment, he completed two 10Ks, two sprint-distance triathlons and a half-marathon. The experiences solidified in his mind the appeal of a triathlon. “What I like about it is that it’s a goal that’s set in stone with no sympathy whatsoever. There’s no sympathy for poor training or diet. There’s no sympathy for insubstantial equipment or injuries. That always has to stay in your head. I have a whole different mindset now that I know what I’m up against and know what it’s all about.”
Graeme notices parallels between his work on and off the job. “In my opinion, personality definitely plays an important role in both. If you’re passionate about the work that you do and also about your training, then your attitude towards both should be very similar. I’m very meticulous about my work and I take pride in what I do. … I think my dedication to training definitely spills over to my work and-vice versa.”
Graeme is training in one sport or another six days a week, directly after work. He usually cycles with friends. He swims with one other swimmer and is considering joining a master’s swim class or an open-water swim group. And he typically runs on his own. He says as of yet, no one from PNR RailWorks has joined him in these pursuits.
“Maybe when 'Off the Clock' comes out," he says jokingly, "someone will.”