Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Shane's Wildflower Report

Hello all,
As many of you know and others may not, I have been gearing up for the World Age Group Championships in the triathlon on June 7 of this year and I wanted to take this opportunity to update you all on a great race I had over the weekend in California. The race was called the Wildflower triathlon and it consisted of 3 races (Long Course, Off Road Triathlon and the Olympic Distance Triathlon) and there were over 7000 athletes competing over the weekend. Prior to going to the race it was told to me that this was one of the hardest courses in the United States for the triathlon.
I competed in the Olympic Distance Triathlon, which happened on Sunday May 4. The weather was almost perfect for racing, with the temperatures nearing the +25C by the time I ended my race. For those of you who do not know the distances, it consisted of 1500m swim, a 40K bike, and a 10K run. Now, onto the race, I had a little trouble in the swim but still finished in a fast time of 22:14. The bike was very hilly but I had a lot of fun on the course, passing lots of people going up the hills and many more going down the other side. The bike was a lot of fun but very hard. I finished in a time of 1:18:28. Then onto the run. I felt great coming out of transition and felt pretty good throughout the run. The run, just like the bike was very hilly, and it climbed for 8K and then flattened out at the top for a couple 100 metres and then a mile down a hill to the finish. I finished the run in a time of 42:18 and set a new personal best in the 10K. My overall time was 2:28:41. I felt great in the race and when I looked at the results I was even more excited about Worlds coming in just over a month. I finished 17th in my age group out of 250 athletes and finished 103rd overall out of 2400 athletes in the Olympic Distance Race.
So, I am into my final weeks of training before the big race and after the race on the weekend, I am really looking forward to Worlds. Thank you all for your support and I look forward to telling you all about my big race in June. In case any of you are in the Vancouver area on the 7th of June, the race is taking place in Stanley Park.

Wildflower - 2008 half IronMan & Olympic races completed!!!

Rose heading to the Finish Line

Is Rose happy to be racing?

Maddie at the finish - 1st in Age group (olympic dist)

Eric - finished - 1st in Age group (olympic dist)

Shane looking very strong at the finish shoot

Shane starting his bike leg

Eric on the bike - getting ready for the hill

Todd heads to the finish line :)

Todd starting the run

Rob exiting the lake

Todd starting the bike

And they are off!

Eric watching the race!

Shane watching the Half Ironman event

Photo with Hawaii champ "Macca"

Heading to the race site. Check out the view!

Relaxing in California

Putting bikes together at Wildflower

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Rob and Shane finshed Wildflower!

Rob's Wildflower (Half Ironman) Race report

During the swim I initially thought "okay, let's just focus on rolling along, find someone to follow." And after a while I thought "this guy's going slow" and I looked up and I was in a group that looked like it was quite a ways back from whoever was at the front. And then twice I went off course and looked up and giggled again and thought "I need to practice this open swim thing a bit." Every now and again I'd just go on my own and push harder, but I think I kept ending up behind the same guy because I kept wandering.

During the bike I focused on not going too hard. My HR was 172 when I jumped on my bike, so I just tried to slow things down. After the first hill I kept smiling and singing ABBA "take it easy, take it nice and slow..." keeping my HR in the low 160's. Then my bottle rack started to fall apart. So I dumped those water bottles off and just put my head down and pedaled. I didn't know where the course went or how long it was, just that there was a hard hill somewhere along the way. I kept smiling about that and how I was just there to pedal, never mind what the course was. During the big hill it just kept going and I was slaving away wondering when it was going to end. A guy passed me and said "keep it going, you're living the dream buddy!" and I just about started to cry. Then it was over and I went sailing down the hill, loving how fast my bike was. At about 2:30 my mind started to wander and I found myself thinking "okay, time for this damn thing to end." I found I couldn't eat any more gel.

I tried a banana at the start of the run but it was too sweet as well. The run started as a sort of shuffle. But I just kept plugging away and started to feel pretty good. After mile 3 I started to cramp up, and one hill was just too steep. So I walked up the end of it, and my stomach started to really hurt. I could feel I was bloated. Running down the hill was really painful. I went through an aid station and tried to drink some gatorade but couldn't. A few miles of burping and farting and alternating walking and running, and then I could feel my energy just slipping away and I could feel I was dehydrating and needed to get some food in me. I started to get a bit disoriented and at the aid station at mile 10 I mixed some gatorade with water and had that. Started to feel slightly better and ran to the finish. I felt sick and really emotional as I ran the last bit, and I kept thinking "just hold it together till the finish line." And I did, and when I crossed the finish line I sort of half sobbed and half laughed and thought "I feel like s**t."

I've had so many thoughts about the race. How it relates to so many things in my life. How triathlon's been such a part of my career in an odd way. How I've looked at that fridge magnet that says "in 2008 I will race Wildflower" every morning when I get my cereal.

And I raced it.