Monday, December 12, 2011

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Remember to view new posts at

This blog is not being updated. Please visit to view the most recent posts. Thanks! Coach Todd

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Ironman Canada - Chaos Corner

I just watched this video and really enjoyed it. Love the commentary. Can you spot yourself in Chaos Corner?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Website

Our website is newly updated. Check it out!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Redemption Ricker 2011

Come on come all to see the great showdown between Ricker and Howey

Place:  Last Chance Half Marathon - Calgary Nov 13,2011
Why: Because Ricker has a score to settle and Howey has the eye of the tiger.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The ATA needs your help

The ATA needs your help once again for our bi-annual Casino!!
The ATA Casino is an integral part of funding for the Alberta Triathlon Association. As soon may be aware, Casino funding is regulated by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission which states that the proceeds of a Casino may only be used for such items as equipment, facilities for event use, provincial teams, athlete development, uniforms and officials training/fees. Therefore the funds go directly back into the sport of triathlon!
We are currently looking for 50 volunteers to help with out Casino. The only credential is that you have not been charged with a criminal offence. Otherwise please take a look at the information below and help out the ATA:

Location: Stampede Casino – Calgary
Date: October 12th & 13th, 2011
Positions (no experience necessary for any position):
General Manager, Alternate General Manager, Banker Cashier, Chiprunner, Countroom Supervisor and Countroom Staff

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011:
Shift #1: 10:30am – 7:30pm
Shift #2: 6pm – 2:30am
Shift #3: 10pm – 2:30am

Thursday, October 13th, 2011:
Shift #1: 10:30am – 7:30pm
Shift #2: 6pm – 2:30am
Shift #3: 10pm – 2:15am

Contact Rose if you are interested in helping out at

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Joanne completes the Whistler Gran Fondo

Over the weekend Joanne tackled her key event of the year.  The Whistler Gran Fondo.

For those of you who do not know.  A Gran Fondo means "big ride".  And this sure was a big ride.  7000 took on the challenge today to ride from Vancouver to Whistler. the full distance was 120 Km.

Joanne trained very hard for this event and found the day to be very powerful.  Having that many riders around was challenging but also at the same time quite helpful for when the road started to go up (8000 feet elevation gain).  At the end of the day Joanne was very pleased with her result of 57 out of 532 in her age group.

Well done Joanne!!!

This looked like an amazing day and if you think a Gran Fondo is in your future sign up soon as they do fill up. 

Gran Fondo Whistler

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Banff Triathlon 2011 No Limits Relay

Banff Triathlon 2011 No Limits Relay

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

A great IronMan Poem by Monica Barnes for Patty

The following poem is entitled. "Oh! The Places You'll Go! Lovingly plagarised from Dr. Seuss for Monica's great friend Patty." Monica modified the original version for Patty Infusino. Patty experienced SIPE (Swimming Induced Pulmonary Edema) in 2010 at Oliver and came back last year to race IMC, then PB'd in Boston earlier this year. In July this year she had to pull herself out of the Penticton Olympic distance because of SIPE, but raced IMC very well last week. Although her race didn't go as she hoped (2 flat tires), she pulled off a great time and has signed up for two full distance Ironmans next year. Enjoy the poem everyone.

Now is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the girl who’ll decide where to go.

Inside your chest beats
a champion’s heart
that will quiver that moment you
take your place at the start.

You’ll look up and down the beach. Look it over with care.
About some spots you’ll say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your arms full of might
You’ll head out in the water, the buoys on your right.

Before you will know it
You’ve barely been wet
and out of that wetsuit
You’ll be needing to get.

With brains in your head and your feet in your shoes
And shoes in their clips it will be time to cruise

Getting comfy on P3
You’ll put your head down
You’ll head out on the course
You’ll head straight out of town

Its opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.


You’ll be on your way up!
Kona in your sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to great heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Whatever your cadence, you’ll be at your best.
Whatever your heart rate, you’ll keep up with the rest!

Except when you don’t.
Because sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but sadly, its true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all way-laid
When Iron Gods conspire
with a blowy-back headwind
or a pancake-flat tire.

You may just encounter
an unpleasant bump.
And chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You may come to a place where your doubt starts to grow
Where your Go Faster muscles simply won’t go
A place where your left foot starts to go numb
Where your come-on-legs-get going-now! rhythm won’t come
Where that Jet feels like lava rocks under your bum
Where you’d rather drink mud than Perpetuum
and to desperation you feel you’ll succumb

That’s not for you!

With your IM savvy you’ll escape that dark place
And brain-it and shoe-it so you’re back in the race
Down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
that grind on for miles across weirdish wild space

Timex will testify, you’re right on track
as you tour out and back that damn Out and Back
with Richter’s and Rollers’ mere memory fading
the lava-rock bum botheration abating
you’ll scamper the Yellow Lake climb to the top
And sail down to Penticton, barely touching blacktop.

Oh, the places you’ll go! There’s a run to be done!
Negative splits to achieve! Kona spots to be won!
Heading out on Lakeshore, you’ll ramble right on
All that’s left is the marathon!
With your brains in your head and shoes on your feet
From Main to Westminster to Winnipeg Street

And on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though competitors prowl
On you will go
though your quadriceps howl
Onward to turnaround
at Christie Beach
13 miles and a bit left
heading back toward the Peach!

On and on you will race
You’ll be dexterous and deft
Spectators cheering
on your right and your left
Back in town, almost done, just meters to go
Steve King’s voice will boom “PB for Infusino”

So be sure when you step
Step with great care and grace
and remember the moments
leading up to this race.
Moments and hours and days, weeks, and years
Sacrifice, friendship, sweat, laughter, tears
and most important decisions to face up to your fears.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed).

My beloved Ironbuddy, you’re off and away
Take your place with triathlon’s best on Sunday
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
Ironman Canada’s waiting
So…go seize your day.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Race Review by Coach Todd

Ironman Canada 2011 Race Review by Coach Todd

Ok, so now it almost a week after the race and we have all read many reports and seen lots of photos from the race.  Yes here is one more report and pictures.  The day after the race I started writing the report and after about 4 pages I was done.  Upon reflection I have decided not to post that report and only make it available upon email request.  So if you want to read it send me an email and I will send it to you.

Instead I am going to point out some highlights of my Ironman week  (hope you enjoy)

·       Morning lake swims and youtube videos leading up to raceday
·       Meeting lots of new people, like Tim and Paula
·       Meeting Jerry Lee of Newton and Winter at Newton Team BBQ
·       Newton arriving in Penticton and raising $5300 for Prostate Cancer (WOW)
·       Pre-race meetings at Starbucks (you can never have too much coffee, right)
·       Diner with the Walsh’s and Mike the night before IMC
·       Hanging with Maureen and Richard
·       Driving to the start with Monica, John and Brian and John yelling out the window I am sugared up!!!!
·       John carrying my heavy bag as we walk to main street
·       Being in transition so early with limited stress (not used to this) J
·       No wait for the potta pottie.
·       Warming up in the lake and then stopping about 25m from the start and looking at the crowd of people (so peaceful).  The calm before the storm
·       No kicks to head or Face during the swim. Relatively calm 4 Km swim
·       Swim time 1:03
·       Fast Transition sub 3 minutes
·       Encouraging the crowd to cheer as I ride down Main Street.  
The Patented No Limits Wave.  J
·       Riding strong and comfortable out of Penticton
·       Getting a flat tire at exactly the 20 Km mark
·       Using the 20 Km sign as a bike repair stand
·       Staying calm during the repair (10 mins)
·       Sticking to race plan after flat tire
·       Enjoying the warm day (30 degrees)
·       Catching up to Ian at the Special Needs
·       Riding with Ian up to yellow lake
·       Riding up and over Yellow without a break on the Walsh couch or hitchhiking.
·       So happy to complete the bike.  J now just a marathon
·       Seeing Lyndsey and Mike all over the bike / run course and taking lots of photos.
·       Seeing Mary, Tanya, Kendal, Brian’s family, Elaine and Michele on course
·       Seeing Ian in the change tent (caught him)
·       Pace too fast during the 1st mile on run (much better than too slow)
·       Happy that the day is warm.  Much better than last year
·       Strong pace on run
·       Seeing Phoenix and family at special needs
·       Ben near special needs
·       Kyle and Myron looking strong on the run
·       Still passing runners
·       Seeing all of my athletes on the run (Chris, Ian, Rob, Raf, John, Brian, Keith and Monica)  Yey everyone is off the bike.
·       Madi telling me I am her hero and inspires me to run faster
·       Rose encouraging me
·       Jordan taking so many photos
·       Suzanne and Luke encouraging so many
·       Dedicating the last 6 miles to special people
·       Not walking (except for the aid stations and last turn)
·       Finishing ironman with a gymnastics stick it finish.  (ok so it was not pretty but I tired)  J.  This was dedicated to my family who were watching at home.
·        Resting for a while on the grass J
·       Having Mike greet me near the finish line and take care of me.
·       Meeting up with other finishers while we recover and prepare for the walk to the car.
·       Being so sore the next day as I walked through the airports.
·       Singing up for IMC 2012 within 2 days.
·       Looking forward to doing this all again in a year.
·       Thank you to all the Finishers and Supporters this year (GREATLY appreciated)

Rob getting ready to be body marked

Rob getting ready to be body marked

Ian and Rob Prerace

Ian and Rob Prerace

Pre race Ian and Coach Todd

Pre race Ian and Coach Todd

Pre race Coach Todd and Rob

Pre race Coach Todd and Rob

Raf ready to start

Raf ready to start

Todd at the swim exit

Todd at the swim exit

Raf and Keith getting fitted by Tri-It

Raf and Keith getting fitted by Tri-It

Chris at T1

Chris at T1

Keith starting the bike

Keith starting the bike

Thumbs up for Coach Todd

Thumbs up for Coach Todd

Coach Todd going up Richters

Coach Todd going up Richters (where can I wipe my greasy fingers?)

Coach Todd staying aero

Coach Todd staying aero

Coach Todd on Bike

Coach Todd on Bike

Brian checking his zones

Brian checking his zones

Brian riding up Richters

Brian riding up Richters

Brian on the bike


Rob going up yellow

Rob going up yellow

Coach Todd on the Run

Loving the Run

Ian on the run

It was hot!

Rob on the run

Rob looking strong!

Coach Todd on the Run

I'm coming home

Coach Todd at the Finish


Rob and Elvis

Elvis singing Rob to the finish

Ian in a blanket

Happy to be done!

Ian in a cape #2

Ian in a cape #2

Ironman Canada Race Report - by Chris Oliphant

I’m extremely pleased to say that I successfully completed my first Ironman Triathlon this past weekend.

I wish to thank your for your support on my the fundraising for Prostate Cancer research, and moreover your added motivation to succeed.

It was truly an experience I will not forget.

A little about the race:

The few days leading to the race were very unnerving.  Temperatures in the 30’s and no expectation for a cooling shower on race day spawn concerns on how this heat would impact what to wear and how much I’d need to drink and eat during the race.

In the end, my race plan and training program worked.  I had faith that my coach had good knowledge of what I was capable of doing and had designed a program for me that would succeed.

Thankfully, we don’t do a complete test of our endurance before the race.  Runs are never a full marathon, bike rides are not that long, and we never do the activities consecutively to the same extent.  There’s a faith that the plan will work when the fire alarm goes off.

I’m elated to say I finished with in a very respectable 375th place out of the 2900 that started the day (2598 finished the race).  My time was 11 hours and 16 minutes.  To give you some perspective, that’s about 60,500 movements because you run or rotate your legs on the pedals at approximately 90 times a minute.  Many of which I counted while running to keep going.

The average finish time for the race was 13 hours 12 minutes, apparently ranking in the middle of the pack of  the 25 most difficult Ironman’s events.

The second largest age group is males 45 to 49 which I was a participant in (somehow I turn 45 this year).  Of the 379 in my group, I placed 44th.  Not bad for a newbie if I do say so myself.  The  oldest participant was 81.  (You still have time).

At the sound of the horn, 2800 jump into the lake at the same time and start heading for a marshmallow 1.5 km’s away.  As we get closer to the marshmallow, the pack gets a little tighter (think sardines).  I attached a picture of the swim group. I’m on the right side, front 1/3rd to start in the blue cap, (see me?).  I only had my goggles knocked off once and for the most part had a comfortable swim in the warm Okanagan.  Cold is usually my nemesis which was not an issue in Penticton.

After 1:10, I crawled up out of the lake and jumped on my bike to ride the 180km trek.  My brother surprised me on the ride as he pulled up beside me on the climb called Rickters pass.  See pix attached.  It shortened and flattened the hill considerably to have him drive along beside me and video tape me saying hello to my two boys whom I advised I would be putting in each leg to get me over the top.  After 5 hours and 45 minutes, I handed my bike to a volunteer with thoughts that I may not be wanting it back again.  (It was the wrong time to test out a new pair of bike shorts even though they were the fundraisers).

The run definitely challenged my Will power.  After 15km’s my right knee decided to revolt.  My ideals of a sub 11 hour race were quickly fading, and I found myself switching into survival mode.  I managed to continue to run to the halfway point but eventually made a deal with my limb to walk the aid stations (30 meters each).  There were a lot of people around me walking (even some of the pro’s on the way back on the run), and it was difficult not to give acceptance of the conditions.   I had ice under my hat and down my back, sponges on my shoulders, and an ice water shower at each aid station to control the heat.  The ice water felt great until it would hit my knee and set off further spasms. 

It truly is an endurance race.  When I look I my times it’s interesting to me that I placed 707th in the swim, 425th in the bike, and 521st in the run, yet my overall place was 375th!   It reminds me of investing. 

So what are some of the things I’m thankful for from this experience?

a. The support from all of you, my great friends and family, and the many new friends I made on the journey including my special training partner. The more I thought of the people I’d have to explain why I would stop, the harder it was to allow myself to give up.  A special mention to my brother Bob, who I’ve always admired and who always offers his unselfish support, by saving me with a last minute delivery of nutrition that I forgot at take to the start line (mars bars).  He would later run in his blue jeans and 30+ deg heat. to the rescue of another rider needing a spare bike tube.  (I think he’s in training to do an Ironman someday also.)

b. The support from the amazing spectators and volunteers.  I was cheered on by Elvis, Wonder woman, Super man, Hula Girls, A guy in a ‘Skittles’ plastic bag (for ? hours at 30 degree’s), countless encouraging friends I’d never met before who would read my bib and yell ‘Go Chris go, you can do this’ while standing in the blazing sun for hours.

c. The support and guidance of my coach. Thanks Todd !  P.s. If you haven’t got a personal health/ fitness coach of some kind, what are you waiting for?  

d. The gift of my health which I do not take for granted.

Yes, I have signed up again for next year’s event.   How couldn’t I.  Even my boys who persevered to watch cartoons Saturday mornings until I got back from my ride or run were emphatic I had to do it again.  (Something about it being so cool to be able to tell their friends). 

Thanks for being with me for the support. Don’t worry, no fundraising planned for next years Ironman.

Here’s a link to a few of my photos on the Web.   Check out the video of my finish line move if you get a second. On direction of my coach, I started practicing my finish line move weeks before the race, and for the 11 hours during it to keep me going.  Sadly the video missed the start where I was ‘swimming in the air’ before my exploding fist revealed a ‘one’ symbolizing my “First Ironman” (as opposed to my place obviously.)   Took some effort to be able to do that !  I’m already working on my finish line moves for 2012.

Thanks again !

Swim Start (aerial view)

Swim Start (aerial view)

Chris on bike (happy and strong)

Chris on bike (happy and strong)

Chris's finish at Ironman Canada 2011

Chris's finish at Ironman Canada 2011

IMC 2011 Race Report by Rob Kelly

IMC 2011. First Ironman. How it all went down.
This time my story starts in the fall of 2010, in Todd's brick class
at Tri-it one Saturday morning. A bunch of athletes were talking about
their experience at Ironman, and I left the class thinking "I think
I'd like to be fit enough to do an ironman."

Fast forward 10 months, and Todd was telling me "you can do it," as I
wondered if I really could with anywhere from 5-10 hours of training a
week. I'd get my weekly notice that my workouts were online, and I'd
think "I might make a swim, and if I'm l'm lucky I'll make the group
ride on Saturday and do a 90 minute run on sunday." But every time I
did a long ride or run, I'd think "Todd's right, I can do this."

Then suddenly it was Wednesday of IMC week. I wrapped 5 days of
shooting in Ft. Saskatchewan over the past couple of weeks, I had the
usual "what did I miss" anxiety about the shoot, and had Thursday
morning to stop by the office, come home and pack for the race, and
drive to Penticton with Nina. We got to Penticton, maybe ate something
bad on the way, because we both woke up on Friday feeling like hell
and needing to nap for a good chunk of the day. I was still worried
about the shoot, hoping we had enough footage, and telling myself
"okay, I have a day to start thinking about Ironman."

Saturday I felt good again, and started to feel excited about the
race. I took a short nap in the afternoon because everyone says it's
tough to sleep before Ironman. But then I slept like a rock Saturday
night, hit the snooze button for 1 snooze, and then got up and headed
over to Chris and Lesley's site to get a ride to transition at 5:30
sunday morning. We walked up to transition and I started to get the
usual pre-race giggles that I love so much. The whole thing was crazy
- thousands of people everywhere, lineups for the porta potties,
people walking around in wetsuits up to their waists, sun coming up,
music playing on the loudspeakers, the whole triathlon comedy.

And then we were in the water with the cannon going off and marching
forward to our swim. I started swimming, noticing how much easier it
was to swim in Chris Kennedy's wetsuit than my old one. Didn't stop me
from my typical open-water swim technique, having the guys in the
boats tell me I was way off course, imagining what the garmin was
going to say about my sighting... But it all ended eventually and I
was out of the water crossing the mats. I got into transition, put on
my helmet, and had the strap come off right away. So after several
tries I got it to work and off I went.

The bike started fairly comfortably. I lost my chain on the first
hill, which was fine - put it back on and kept going - though I did
wonder if I should have had my bike tuned up before the race.
Nevertheless, a nice little ride to OK Falls, and then my stomach
started to feel off. A bit of pain, didn't feel like eating or
drinking, and I wondered how I was going to get my nutrition in. Cool
to see Lyndsey and Mike on Richters, but I had this constant stomach
thing going on that I was doing my best to ignore. By the time I got
into the rollers after Richters I was feeling pretty bad, overheating,
I had gotten through 2 mars bars but couldn't stand the thought of
eating any more - stingers, mars bars, sports drink, all my go to
things just weren't working for me. I could only drink water, I
couldn't get any water into my aero helmet, so I kept pouring it on my
face, my back, my legs when I could.

Then I got to the out and back, and all I could think was "where in
hell is that damn special needs station?" It wouldn't end. I grabbed a
coke from my special needs, had a gel, and headed toward Yellow Lake.
By the bottom of Yellow lake all I had was half a bottle of coke. As I
went up the hill I was barely creeping along, feeling emotional and
thinking "okay, feeling emotional is either dehydration or a salt
issue." So when I got to the aid station at the top I stopped and as
John Howey hosed me down with a bottle of water I had a salt tablet
and drank some of the coke he told me to keep drinking. The ride back
into town was hell. I couldn't stay aero for more than a couple of
minutes at a time, I rode along slowly and thought "how on earth am I
going to run after this?" I was in pain, my stomach was bloated and
painful, I didn't think I had enough nutrition, I saw the guys headed
out on the run and wondered how it was going to play out.

Lorne in transition helped me put my singlet on, and I hobbled out to
the run course for my first marathon. I decided I would walk every aid
station, but keep running between them. So I did. I couldn't eat
anything, my stomach hurt to run, and I just kept thinking "okay, keep
plugging away." I did my brother Gord's trick of thinking of the
marathon as a series of 5k runs. Every 5k I thought "done, I only have
8 of these to do." And as the aid stations went by I got rid of my gel
flask, kept popping salt tablets, and putting ice in my cap. Rose Madi
Jordan and Janelle all gave me little pep talks and I kept jogging
along. Lots of cheering fans, the lake looked awesome, the sun was
out, it was pretty damn nifty. The hills near the turnaround were
rough, but I kept at it and they eventually went away. Then around 25k
I drank some coke at an aid station, it went down fine and I thought
"hey, my stomach feels good!" Jordan came by again and gave me another
pep talk, so did Suzanne, and I decided I could pick things up quite a
bit. I did, and started passing people. I had heard how hard 30-40k
were, but after the hell of the bike and the first half of the run, I
surprised myself by how nice 25-35k were. The last 7k were hard, but
it was the hard of running steady, not the "oh my god my stomach feels
like it's going to blow up and I really don't want to be here." By the
time I got back to town I couldn't look at the people coming in on
their bikes, it was too much to imagine doing that whole marathon

And then suddenly I was thinking "2k" then "1k" then "holy shit I'm
going to do this." I crossed the finish line, smiling, happy to see
Erin who held me up and got me sitting down and eating pizza.

Nina found me eventually, and we hung out with Todd, Chris, Lesley,
Kendall, Ian, John H, Suzanne... I got to congratulate Doug and Raf.

It's a solitary sport, but when I think of the day what is so striking
are the people I connected with in some way. All the people who's
names I should remember and don't, all the people who cheered whom I
never met and might never see again, all the friends who took pictures
or encouraged me in some way, the people who cheered and I didn't even
see who they were, the incredibly helpful and excited volunteers, and
the fact that there were so many fit, tanned, happy, helpful people
all the way through the course. As cheesy as it seems, that atmosphere
was what made the day for me. Every section of the course I think
about now I think about someone on it.

We came out to watch the final hour, and stood with Myron, Jill and
Chris, and Madi and Jordan and cheered. Jordan Rapp came out and
cheered on the final folks, and I just kept thinking "this is

The next day Nina and I went to the pavilion, I bought the watch, we
went for lunch, went parasailing, and drove home with a quick stop at
the Serpicos. Got home at 1AM, put my feet in the kitchen sink for 10
minutes with cold water on them to try to get the swelling and pain to
go down, and then next thing I knew I was directing a photo shoot by
the middle of the day today, feeling tired, but back to my life, which
I have to say is damn good. Nina has been a rockstar through this
whole process - so many triathletes say that about their spouses, but
it's totally true. From cheering and taking pictures, to buying
supplies, getting my stuff from transition, cleaning up my mess, and
more than anything being a very good sport while I dominated yet
another weekend of our lives with my hobby.

My legs are stiff, I have some tendon pain on the top of my left foot,
I haven't slept well yet, but I feel good. This is a cool sport, and
though I thought "okay, that's checked off the list" after I crossed
the finish line, the next morning I looked at the times in the paper
and thought "I wonder how this would go a second time around."


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Gear Bags for IMC

Gear Bags for IMC

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday Bike before IMC 2011

Thursday Bike before IMC 2011

Thursday Swim before IMC

Thursday Swim before IMC

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Painted Toenails for Ironman Canada

Painted Toenails for Ironman Canada

Wednesday Before IMC

Monica's friend Patty was shy about being video taped and I joked that I would also add her phone number to the video.  It was a great day to swim!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday before IMC


Monday before IMC

Monday before IMC

Last Saturday Group Ride before IMC

Last Saturday Group Ride before IMC

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Good Luck at the Apple (Nationals)

Good Luck to Louise, Carrie, Martha and Dean as they take on the Apple Olympic triathlon tomorrow!

Have a great race!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Newton is home from Down Under

Travelling Newton has just returned from his trip to Australia with Sue and Neroli.  They went down to compete in the Australian Outback half and full Marathon.  I am waiting for a brief race report from Sue to let you know how the trip went.  But, judging by the photos they had a brilliant trip!

Thanks to everyone for playing along with my Travelling Newton game.  This FUNraiser helped raise just over $5000 for Prostate Cancer.  When I first set this goal back in January I was quite nervous about reaching the goal but these feelings were just like siging up for Ironman or your first race.  And I knew I could do it with hard work and help from many people.

So thank you guys once again and look out for more great photos from Newton (follow on his facebook page  to see the latest photo updates.

Newton's final destination is IronMan Canada 2011 in Penticton! :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Niantic Triathlon Race Report by Coach Mary

My husband Bob and I were visiting my family in Connecticut last week and decided to enter the local sprint race while there.  We packed an extra suitcase with the essentials and rented the only set of road bikes we could find.  The bikes had a second set of small brake levers on top of the handlebars which reminded me of tiny T-Rex arms.  I had not seen this before. They made me smile.
The day before the race we took a quick dip in the ocean to see if we would need wetsuits, drove the bike course and ran the run course.  We were ready.  It was the 11th year running for the Niantic Bay Triathlon.  About 500 people were registered.  I figured it would be well organized and well run and it was.
It was a dark and stormy night...and very rainy race day. Instead of body marking we were given "Tri-Tats" to self apply the night before.  Had not seen this before.  Worked well and looked nice.  Note: they are equally hard to remove as permanent marker.  At 7am, air temp was about 20 and water temp close to 22.  I did not wear my wetsuit.  About 75% of participants did.  When I asked people why they said “to protect their bodies from all the jellyfish".  Hmm.  The race director also had mentioned that there would be vinegar spray bottles available at the swim exit for stings.  I was hoping I wouldn't regret my decision.
The swim started on the beach at the water's edge in heats of about 125 people.  The swim was shortened due to ocean chop and swells from the wind and rain. Swimming out against the waves for about 300 meters to the first buoy felt like swimming in a wave pool.  1 second you were on top of a wave with good visibility and the next second in the trough seeing nothing.  On a positive note, jellyfish were not an issue.  At the furthest point from shore where the waves were the biggest I did breastroke up and over them because I was tired of breathing to the side and swallowing water.  Once we made the turn back to shore I swam hard with the waves pushing me forward.  It was like walking on a people mover- you felt like you were moving really fast.  I was a little worried about Bob in the heat behind me but he did fine.  He later mentioned that seeing so many surfboards and kayaks nearby in the water was somewhat comforting until half way through when he noticed that most of them had multiple racers hanging on to catch their breath and stop taking on water.   It was a short run to transition from the beach and I heard my parents cheering. (It was the first time for them seeing me race)
The bike was on secondary, paved, windy, heavily treed, shoulderless roads. You had to watch for frequent storm drains and rough patch jobs.  The bike course was not closed and compared to Calgary it was quite dark from all the roadside foliage and mature trees hanging over the roads.  Luckily there wasn't much traffic.  We were warned about a downhill section of recently paved road which might be especially slick from oil and rain.  I was extremely cautious here as I wasn't overly confident in my brakes and tires.  I got passed here by a pack of 4 women which was annoying but better to be safe than sorry.  I was only a few miles from the bike finish and I decided I would find them on the run.
 The run was an out and back that snaked its way through side streets and ended with a beach run. It was only 5k and my legs were feeling good after a relatively short and easy bike so I decided to see what I could do.  I had been feeling like I had been running well but the week before at the Calgary 70.3 I had really suffered through the run (heat and hills) and posted my slowest half marathon time ever so I was hoping for some redemption.  The rain was keeping me cool and being at sea level was favorable.  I found 2 of the ladies from the pack that had passed me on the bike and passed them early on.   I saw the 3rd women at the turnaround and passed her.  Then I saw Bob (who started in the wave 4 minutes after me) we high fived and I had renewed energy as I looked for that 4th woman.  I did not watch my pace but knew that I was running at a high heart rate.  I was pleased that I was able to run hard for the entire 5k and when I looked at my split at the finish it was 90 seconds faster than I have ever run a 5k in a triathlon.  I had a great race, finished 2nd in my age group and got my first ever prize pack.
One final comment, I always try to say something encouraging to anyone I pass while biking or running. In Canada, usually people say thanks or nod or acknowledge you in some way.  There was only 1 person the entire race that said something back.  On the run I said "stay strong" as I passed a woman and she mumbled "as you".  Nothing from anyone else.  This was supposed to be a friendly community sprint race.  I now believe that we really are nicer in Canada!  Although having said this, props to the race director that announced that all DNFs could race for half price next year.  Nice touch.

Coach Mary looking strong on the run

Coach Mary

Mary and Bob all done the Niantic Triathlon

Mary and Bob all done the Niantic Triathlon

Monday, August 15, 2011

Training Ride - 2 weeks out from IMC

Training Ride - 2 weeks out from IMC

Friday, August 05, 2011

Barb's Chestermere race

So pleased with my most recent sprint triathlon results. I have been brick training with Todd this spring. It has been great and I can see and feel the improvement. In chestermere I had a personal best in my swim and my run. Yey. 

I finished the Chestermere Sprint race in 1:44 - Swim 18:12, Bike 56:59 and Run 29:18.

I have been doing sprint tri's for 5yrs. I have progressed to lake swims since last summer. I had many "mental" issues to overcome with the lake swim though I am a strong swimmer. I look forward to seeing how Chapparel goes on sunday. I now have a road bike, so hope to improve my bike time!!

Good Luck Barb!  Kick butt. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sylvan Lake Half IronMan

Sylvan Lake Half IronMan was held this past weekend.  The weather was perfect.  We had Brian using this race as another training day in preparation for IronMan Canada.  The previous week Brian took part in the Calgary No Limits IMC training camp and showed that he was good to go.  On race day Brian was pleased with his day.  With all of his lake swimming he was ready for a strong swim but was a bit surprised by the long run to T1.  (Here is a tip:  if the run to T1 is going to be very long, take the time to fully remove the wetsuit and then carry the wetsuit instead of wearing it.) 
If anyone is planning on doing this race next year note that the bike is not flat. :)  Brian has been doing lots of training in the hills so he was ready.  The run course had to be modified to 4 loops due to construction but this proved to be great for the spectators.  Brian stuck to his race strategy of not walking and finished the day in a solid 5:47.

Other notable finishes include James who took part in the Calgary training camp finished in 5:07, Kendall finished in 5:44 and Ken who finished in 5:56.

Great day to race! 

This week is the Calgary 70.3!!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Chestermere Triathlon Race Report by Bill

Woke up to a beautiful morning no wind, high of 27 and about 15 degrees at race start.  Had the usual pre-race jitters, even for the sprints, which are all my worn knee can handle without acting up.  Hey whatever works. 

The horn went off and the swim went great a bit congested and a few weeds but I like both, as you know I wasn’t born in a pool.  

Out  of the water and on to the bike which was a 12k square loop which we did twice (so 8 90 degree corners) which was perfect for my road bike which might not be the fastest on the straights, compared to all those tri bikes,  but it is sure fast through corners.

There were 90 competitors in the sprint and when I came in to transition there weren’t many bikes there so I thought that was a good sign.

Out on to the run course, which like the rest of the race was beautiful and so well supported by the community. 

When I came in from the run Trevor announced that I was the third place racer, which was pretty cool, especially as Dorothy was there.  It was a proud moment.  Todd all the brick work through the winter and our swims really paid off.  I felt very comfortable, in an anaerobic way.

Todd, thanks so much for all your help and support.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Karen at the Tour for Kids 2011

Karen at the Tour for Kids 2011

Tour for Kids - Karen's Tour Report - Grab a coffee

On July 15-17, 2011, I participated in the Tour for Kids supporting the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta.  This was my second year riding for this awesome cause - the minute I rode through the finish line last year, I knew I had to do it again!  My goals for the Tour for Kids: 1. Raise lots of $ and awareness for KCCFA, 2. Ride strong, 3. Have fun, 4. Don't forget about the kids.

Goal #1: With Bill (my fiance) and a couple of friends, our team of four more than achieved our $1000 per person fundraising goal.  This is my fourth year of raising money for a charity, and it gets harder to keep asking the same people so we had to be pretty creative about our fundraisers, but after lots of hard work, it all worked out.

Goal #2: The Tour for Kids is pretty much a "roadie" event.  Right in the Ride Guidelines it says to bring a road bike, lose the aerobars, and prepare to ride in peloton.  Last year Bill and I mostly meandered along on our own stopping to take pictures and overeating at all the rest stops (and there are lots! - with awesome food).  So this year with the goal of riding strong, that strategy was not going to work.   There are multiple distance choices each day (you can decide each morning depending on how you feel): Day 1 was 100 km or 170 km; Day 2 was 107, 156 or 214 km, and Day 3 was 93 or 120 km.  Each distance has "Fast", "Faster" and "Fastest" pace groups (the "fastest" guys are the hardcores who can maintain an average of 35-40 kph despite the hilly and mountainous terrain, "faster" is probably 28-32 kph, and "fast" is for slower riders.  Needless to say, last year with our average of around 20 kph, that is where we fit). I figured that because I hadn't done much riding two days back-to-back, I hadn't ever done more than about 120 km at a time, and because I had had a sore back and a tweaked knee that kept me from doing much of anything the whole previous week, I would choose the shortest distance and probably ride with the slowest group.  
Day 1: The four of us started out with the "fast" (slowest) group, but within 10 minutes caught up to the stragglers falling off the back of the intermediate group. After our first rest stop we knew we wanted to ride faster than the slow group, so we took off with the "faster" intermediate group, which quickly split into 3 packs.  We ended up riding with two of the intermediate packs the rest of the day, and had a fabulous ride: 101 km in 3:22 which felt super strong and fast for me. 
Day 2: Took off with the faster group of the slow riders and mostly took it easy.  We did lots of "double social peleton" riding and got to know other riders, many of them who were affiliated with KCCFA either as childhood cancer survivors, or as parents and relatives.  Nice relaxing day: 110 km in 4:40.
Day 3: Took off with the slow group, but three of us (Bill, Bruce and I) broke away on a climb, rode strong and effective as a team, and quickly overtook the slower intermediate speed riders, and then (so thrilling!!) even overtook the fast intermediate speed riders!  But not for too long...we pulled them up a hill and then we got assimilated into their group for a while.  After lunch the four of us rode the last 40+ km as a team together, and pulled into the finish happy and pumped.  It was by far the most challenging day in terms of super steep hills so it took 4:19 for 97 km (but I would have loved to see the split before lunch - we were hammering!)

Goal #3: well, you pull into camp each night and there's free massages, beer, awesome food and hospitality, music and festivities.  Hard not to have fun!

Goal #4: on the second night we stayed at Camp Kindle, the KCCFA camp for kids living with (and beyond) cancer.  It was absolutely inspirational to see what these kids and families live through, and it was wonderful to see in person the camp that we helped build through our ride.  Kids with cancer have it really rough - not just because they are sick.  It's hard to be a kid when you have a disease like that.  Many of them miss tons of time from school and end up being older than other kids in their grade, some of them walk funny, some talk funny, some are bald, and other kids who don't understand (and just see the differences) can be really cruel.  Camp Kindle is a place where these kids (and their siblings) can go where it doesn't matter that they have no hair, IVs, prosthetic limbs, or any of the other challenges that come with (and after) cancer.  There is this super awesome ropes course, horseback riding, climbing, campfires, and companionship with other kids who are just like them.  It was amazing...and needless to say there were lots of kleenexes being passed around.

I have to thank Todd for all the coaching and encouragement over the last 7 months - that's what kept me strong and healthy this weekend, as well as the Saturday morning brick class that encouraged me to start training for this event way back in January.  I also can't speak highly enough of the KCCFA and Coast to Coast Against Cancer Foundation; once again it was a wonderful event - well organized with truly tangible benefits. 

How about a No Limits team for 2012??  Something to think about...
(PS: if anyone is looking for more information about the ride, or is interested in donating, check out
Thanks again!!