Thursday, September 23, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Races open to register

Sylvan lake and GWN (great white north) half ironman races are now accepting registration.

Both of these races will fill up, so if you want to do one of these races, sign up now!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ian in T1 (Banff)

Sasquatch sighting in Banff triathlon

Amazing place to race -Banff-

Chris is out of the lake

Chris on the run in Banff

Ian headed to the Banff finish

Ian and Reid in Banff

Ken and family after Banff race

Banff triathlon

Ian's words say it best:

"Character race! Cold swim, colder bike and fun run to enjoy the scenery and reflect on the season. This would be an absolutely great race in the right conditions."

The morning was wet and the water was cold. I felt for the swimmers in the lake as the weather had been cool all week. Due to the cold the race organizers decided to decrease the distances of the swim by half (or more). Watching the sprint athletes come out I knew it was a cold one. A nice addition to T1 were changing booths. Where people could take off their wet clothes and put on dry stuff. On this cold day this was a wise decision.

I saw Ian run into T1 and he said "I can't feel anything". Arghh.

The rain continued to fall on the bikers. The location for this race was awesome. On a nice day this would be so pictureesque. Even on this cloudy day the scenery was great. The sun did start to shine on the run and the athletes started to shed their clothes.

Watching them run down Banff Ave to the finish was so cool!!!
Next year, cross your fingers for better weather.

Ken completed the Sprint and finished 17 overall
Ian completed the olympic and was 4th in his Age group and 22 overall
Chris completed the relay (swim and run) and finished with a huge smile.

Congrats to all the racers at Banff.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tim's Worlds Race report

Race is done! Beautiful day on a really fast course (it might have been a bit short). Unbelievably fast racers, but a lot of fun.

I had a really good day (for me) and broke my PB by a crazy 9 minutes (again, probably a short course, but not 9 minutes short). My time was 2:11! My previous best (set earlier this year) was 2:20. My bike was fast (for me) and the run was great (especially the scenery along the Danube). The water for the swim was kind of gross, but that just gave me motivation to get out faster.

What a great day! And I did my best to enjoy it all along the way.

Maura, Stacy and Maura's Grandma met me at the finish to bookend a great experience.

Next stop Calgary.

Cheers to all!


Shane's Worlds Race Report

Well I am done World Championships for 2010 and I am quite sore. I finished many hours ago but this is the first time I have been able to get to the computer. The swim was very cold and only 14.9 degrees, which for some of you if you remember is slightly warmer than Vancouver in 2008 worlds. I started off very well in the swim and finished slightly under the 22minute mark. Great for a swim with no swim warm up. (No one was allowed a swim warm up before the start of the race.) We were in the water approximately 2 minutes before the gun went off.

The transitions were pretty long and I was in the first transition about 3 minutes (about the same for the second transition) When I got onto the bike I felt great and was able to push throughout the ride. The bike turned out to be a little bit short and my time was around the 53 minute mark. (I think it was about 4 to 5K short). Nonetheless i was flying on the bike and i figure with the added distance i would have come in around the hour mark. Which for me is an unbelievable ride. Previous best on the bike was around the 1:10:00 mark or so. I pushed harder than i ever have before on the bike and it showed up on the run with my legs really heavy from 4k to 8k.

The run was fairly flat and i was able to go pretty good for the first 4K or so and then the slight up hills showed up in my quads and i slowed coming up and going over the chain bridge. During the run, we crossed this bridge 3 times, with the slight incline over the bridge each time. But once i got to the top of the bridge for the last time, i knew there was only 2k left and less than 8 minutes of pain and the next 500m of the 2K was down hill. I was flying coming down the hill and onto the flats and I kept it going. I was able to push through to the finish and left everything on the course. I finished the run in 43:20 and finished the triathlon in 2:04:00. Which is a massive personal best!!!!!!!!!!! (previous pb in the triathlon was 2:17:45) Even with the added distance on the bike I still beat my previous personal best by almost 7 minutes overall.

What a great day to be me!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yipppppppeeeeee! Now i can go and have a great time tonight. The beer will be flowing and the desserts will be great over the next couple of days.

Thank you all for your support over the last year and a special thanks goes to my younger brother and training partner for all the workouts we completed together since January and the big push at the end. Thanks Kim! Thanks for keeping me focussed on training and just being there in the pool on the frigidly cold morning swims in February.

Kyle and Shane in Budapest

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Good Luck to Shane and Tim at the World Champs!

Best of Luck to Shane and Tim who will be representing Canada at the world championships this weekend in Budapest, Hungary.

Tear it up guys!!!!

Ben's Vancouver Race Report (1st Olympic distance)

Vancouver Stanley Park Race Report:


Race started at 7:00a.m. so I was up at 5 to get ready. Ate 2 eggs and a bowl of porridge to fuel up before the race. I was a bit nervous in the morning. I'd done an open water a couple days before and I'd forgot that I'd be swimming in the ocean, which is a lot different than a lake swim. Have to deal with saltwater, current, waves and sometimes even a couple critters swimming underneath you...

Set-up my transition, made sure I had two gels in my jersey pockets, one for the bike at the 20k mark and one for the 5k mark in the run. Also I had dumped half a pouch of electrolyte powder into each of my water bottles and mixed them up with water for the bike. Made sure to mount my HR monitor/cadence sensor on my bike handlebars so I could get a cadence reading during my ride. Headed over to the swim to do a quick warm-up in the water and get use to the shock of the water temperature.


The swim course consisted of two laps of a triangular shaped course. During my warm-up in the water I noticed that the water was really, really shallow all the way to the first bouy before dropping off. It was actually possible to walk/wade all the way to the first buoy as the water was only about 2ft deep. Also, ocean floor up to the first bouy was rocky, not the kind of round stones that are common around lakes, but a mix of sharp pokey stones, that enjoyed digging into your feet, mixed with a touch of sand. This was the fun stuff we'd get to run through.

Swim start was rough, I don't mind duking it out in the pack but I had positioned myself too far back, and ended up near the rear of the pack. It wasn't until I'd reached the first bouy that the water was deep enough to start swimming. The icy water, even though I'd attempted to get use to it during my warm-up still came as a shock, and there was a about 20seconds where I kept thinking "what am I doing?" Found it difficult to breathe, so I popped my head up, breast-stroked for maybe 10 seconds then got back in the water. I had to breath every two strokes (normally I breath every 3) before I calmed down, relaxed, and got into my rhythm of one, two, three, breathe, one, two, three, breathe, one, two, sight. Before I knew it I'd rounded the second bouy, then the third and I was back on form. Found myself thinking, "This whole Olympic distance thing isn't soo bad after all!" Swam as far as I could before the water became two shallow and I had to stand up to run around the first bouy to begin my second lap. Stepped on something really sharp and I felt my foot slide, but didn't pay much attention to it. Swam a negative split and even managed to see two crabs and what I think was a jellyfish.

1st Transition:

Hit the beach running, and had the top half of my wetsuit off by the time I'd reached the top of the beach and entered the bike area. We were assigned transition zones based on our number and luckily mine was right near where the swim exit was, making it super easy to find my stuff. Had some issue getting my wetsuit off, my fingers were numb from the swim and I had issues pulling the suit over my ankles. Managed to get it off, pulled socks on, bike shoes, jersey, helmet and threw the bike over my shoulder to run to the mount line.


The bike course wound it's way through Stanley Park, it was a four lap course which managed to show off some good Vancouver sites, in typical Vancouver weather, aka pouring, drenching rain...Course was slick, one major climb, the rest was pretty flat. There was one wicked descent though.
Conditions were brutal, I tried wearing sunglasses to keep the wind/rain out of my eyes, however after about 30seconds my lenses were covered in water and I couldn't see anything. Almost fell once on the course. There was a sharp corner, and I thought I could make it by sticking to the inside, unfortunately I wanted to turn left and my bike wanted to try hydroplaning and keep going straight, managed to regain control before I hit the curb and rounded the corner, luckily there was no one around me. Also the cadence sensor I had mounted on my bike during pre-race decided that it doesn't like to work in the rain, so I couldn't see how my time was or how my cadence was doing. Still managed to hammer pretty hard, not my best bike time, but I still gave it pretty good. Popped one gel at the 20k mark, had some issues drinking water on the bike as the course was twisty windy, and didn't afford a lot of good sections to catch a break. Fingers were nearly frozen by the end.

2nd Transition:

I left my feet in my bike shoes during transition, normally I try sliding them out, but my fingers were so numb I couldn't undo the clips and velcro on my shoes. Ran to my trans zone, racked my bike then began the incredibly difficult process of trying to unlip my bike shoes and use the quick ties on my running shoe laces. The gentleman beside me summed it up perfectly when he yelled: "&%$#ing FINGERS!!!". Gloves would have been a good choice this race. Eventually managed to get my shoes on and headed out of transition. Noticed a tingling in my left foot and a slight pain sensation, but I brushed it off as my legs just trying to get use to the run.


The run was a 5k out and back, which we had to do twice. The first 1.5k I could feel my legs were sore but I just focused on putting one foot in front of the other and waiting for my legs to return, it wasn't until about 2k in that I looked down and thought to myself "Hmm, that's funny, when did my left shoe turn pink?"
Kept running and at the turnaround for the first 2.5k my left foot really started to hurt. I wasn't running very fast at all, my strides were really short and I was beginning to run/limp a bit. Only 7.5k to go though, it's do-able, not going to be able to do it in the time I want, but it's do-able. Ran the next 5k, and by this point I was sure I had done something to my foot. Popped a gel at the halfway point and kept on going. The last 1.2k there was a corner with a race official letting racers know they were almost done. It was at that point that I gave myself a lil' pep-talk, berated my injured foot for dragging the team down, and resigned myself to pick up the pace. Finished strong, sprinting/going as fast as I could for the last 800m.

Post Race Thoughts:

Finishing time was 2:43:22. Didn't do as well as I was hoping, my target time was 2:30, but given that I've been training for Sprint Distance the past 4 months, as well as the fact that conditions were terrible and I sliced my foot open midway through the swim, I'm okay with it. Things to improve would've been taking some warmer clothes for the bike; arm warmers and gloves would've been a good idea. Also, if I'm racing in pouring rain again, I might duct tape over the vents in my bike shoes to prevent my feet from getting so cold. All'n all though, it was a good race, good finish to an excellent race season, and I think Olympic distances are the way to go. That's the distance I want to focus on for next year, and I know I'll be even faster come next season!


Thursday, September 02, 2010

Mike's IMC race report

Hi All,

You all know I completed Ironman Canada (IMC) yet again this year. It's been a long tough year and this last week has been as eventful as the entire year. The race was on Sunday and I just got home last night. Today, I spent my time still hurting, unpacking, hurting more, accepting a new job at an oil sands company (no i'm not leaving Calgary), resigning from my current job (very happy about that), and now having a scotch to celebrate the week's accomplishments while i write this message. I'm sure the scotch will help with my recovery!

Many of you may remember my email from last year and how dramatic my swim was. Well, thankfully that wasn't the case this year! My swim is the event that concerns me the most. I've worked hard to improve my swimming over the last year, but I still enter it with quite a bit of trepidation. I now have a pre-race strategy that has worked well for me this year. First, i get into the water as soon as possible for a very long warm up. This year i got in immediately after the pros took off at 6:45am (they start 15mins before the rest). During my warm up, i was feeling very strong and confident, which helped strengthen my confidence for the day. And then, bonk! I came head to head with another swimmer who was on his way back in. Hm, i'm sure i was sighting well. Okay, try not to let this be a sign for the day to come. At the start of the swim, i went as far left as possible to avoid crowding, which causes me to panic during the start. Then, while waiting for the start, i stayed very calm and completed some relaxation breathing exercises. I know it all sounds a little excessive, but hey, i could drown out there! When the race started, i began to walk out slowly waiting for the mass to move on. Once i found some prime swimming real estate I was on my way. I kept thinking; "holy smokes, how far am i from everyone? there's no one around me. Hm, don't over think it. Okay, focus on my stroke...stretch...good catch...where'd he come from...focus...what the..." and then bonk, ouch, i can't see! Some one had elbowed me in the face and knocked my goggles off. "stay calm...are my contacts still in...where's the bloody finish...jeez this feels far...whew! at last, here are...hey that wasn't so bad!"

When i got out of the water, i didn't know what my time was and figured it was around 1hr30mins. I mean, with perfect ideal conditions i was hoping for 1hr25mins at the best. I found out after the race i did 1hr22mins!! Success, all that hard work has been paying off. So, on to the bike.

I got on my gear, and the change tent was a mad house. What ever...stick to the race plan. I started my ride, and put on my arm warmers. It was pretty chilly. for the first 60k, i was riding like a superstar. Lance who? I felt great, was riding strong and sticking to my nutrition plan. Then the first mountain pass. Okay, this felt harder than last year, but i settled into a rhythm and rode strong. The following hills (7 of them) started to wear me down but i was still feeling pretty strong, but then the winds got stronger. Don't think too much about...don't let the negative thoughts sink in too deep. I reached the out and back section still on pace for around a 6hrs bike. My goal for this race was to finish the bike between 6 hrs and 6hrs10mins. I know, not much room for error. At the turnaround for the out and back, i was hitting the headwinds again. Ugh, man this sucks! And then i was the gradual uphill to the second (and last) mountain pass. Along with the winds, everyone around me (including me) were doing 10kph! Ugh, i'm so over this! Then the negative thoughts really took hold. I had decided that if i wasn't feeling better by the climb, I would get off my bike and be done when i saw my family. The reality of the decision likely wouldn't have allowed my to quit, but man, i was really struggling. Sure enough, my family had decided not to face the traffic nightmare and opted not to be on the mountain. Whew, decision made! Once on the climb though i started to warm up (despite the rain) and my spirits started to turn around. Then on the decent...well, a parka would have been nice! It was REALLY FREAKIN' cold. Nevertheless, i gave it full gas, and finished the ride in 6hrs24mins. Not bad all things considering. I was satisfied with that.

Thankfully, at the last minute, i decided to put a spare pair of socks in my run gear bag. Ahhh, dry and warm:) I got on the rest of my gear and was off for the run. Hm, this isn't so bad. Wait...ow! What the...! My back and glutes were cramping...bad...especially my lower back. Ow! Go away! As i was running through town...oh, hey there's a friend, i can't let them see me walk...high five! Ugh, my back is killing me! Stop, walk, stretch, run. Oh, there's my family! "Where have you been?!" Big HIGH FIVES! Okay, it's been long enough...stop, walk, stretch, run. After the third mile marker, my lower back stopped cramping and i was able to run much more comfortably...except now my butt really hurt...whatever, suck it up! Then, i started running to each water station, but i was feeling very strong and comfortable. As like last year, soup and water were my lifeline. I had difficulty containing my excitement that my run was going so well. It's still a long way anything can happen. Aside from my muscles, i was feeling very strong and energetic, mentally, emotionally, etc. Around the 11mile mark of the run, the course gets hilly. Overall, i handled these hills fairly well and felt strong. For the run, I was planning for 4hr15min-ish run, and for the first half of the run, this seemed possible. But on the way back the hills started to take there tole. My racing was done and now it was all about just finishing. Nevertheless, during the run my spirits never weakened and remained upbeat and satisfied my accomplishment given the day's conditions. As i ran along Lakeshore drive for the final mile, i saw my aunt cheering. To say she was enthusiastic would be an understatement. Always great to see when your pushing for the end. Then i saw my mother and her husband cheering, which was motivating to say the least. I knew i was done, the end was just a few short minutes away. All concentration was abandoned and i allowed myself to soak in the environment and celebrate a little. At the finish, I grabbed the tape, raised it over my head, felt nothing but complete satisfaction.

This has been a long and challenging year for me, and that finish wasn't just your regular race completion victory. It was a big one. Okay, Ironman's already big, but even bigger. Whew! I completed my run 4hrs44mins. 30mins off pace, but i'm completed satisfied. Over all my race was 1hr19mins faster than last year, and i finished in 12hrs44mins50sec. Long day!

So, same as last year. I'm still not getting the tattoo, but i have decided to take the off from doing ironman. I plan on focusing on some Half's, i really want to do Muskoka next year, so you ontario folk better be around! I also plan on riding more. Of course, next year is a long way away and anything can happen or change. Sorry this email was so long but i had 13hrs to cover!

Thanks again for the support. I'm not good on facebook and i'm not great at staying in touch very much, so I made up for it here.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Mike on his way to the finish (turn your head )

John on his way to the finish

The winds were so bad....

Small boys and parking meters were being blown away..... :)

Kevin on his way to the finish at IMC

Todd in a blanket

After I got back to my hotel my boys wante to take a picture of me with my blanket on as they saw me. I was in a good mood as I was eating chips and soon to drop into a hot tub.

Cold day at IMC

Although this is not me, I bet I was one of the 1st riders to come up with this trick. I stopped at an aid station and said I need something to keep me warm and they gave me a rescue blanket and tied it around me. It worked for a few minutes.

Prerace fun

Carrie heading out for her marathon

Elaine having fun the day before IMC

Carrie and Tina are done IMC

Elaine heading to the finish at IMC

Todd going up Richters pass

Doug at Ironman Canada