Monday, September 16, 2013

2013 tri worlds, London

This frigging App.

I've typed this race report twice now, in exquisite detail, and each time this App has deleted the draft before I can post it.

So I will be more concise this time around and post b4 something untoward happens again.


It rained, hard.  Arg, London.

It was freezing.

Family (mom, dad, Sato and Ame) and friends (Chris and Bob) were about for support.  Thanks all!

Mud mud mud; my white leather Pumas met a dark fate while setting up in transition.  What was I thinking...

This was transition before the day before the rain and mud:

Freezing muddy Serpentine lake, lots of ducks.  Visibility of a mud puddle, no drafting here.  

Big Staging paddocks, lots of adrenaline and tense guys ready to hit it.  Heats of 100 or so launching every 10 minutes, over a several hours.  Big field - 2 heats of a 100 or so guys just for my age group!

Standing in the paddocks watching an earlier heat:

Our turn comes up.  Walk out on the blue carpet, find a slot to squeeze in the dark water... 'Ready..' Horn blast!!!  

Swim is off!
(More heats staging in foreground)

I'm near the front, I think

Swim felt good, but no drafting here. 
One small benefit: no sun reflecting in eyes while sighting!  11th outta the swim, lotsa fast dudes here.

Transition - its a very long run barefoot in the mud.  Trying to stop suddenly at their bikes on the muddy slope, dudes are wiping out, banana peel style.  

I forgot to lube outside of my wetsuit and lose a chunk of time wrestling out of it, dang!  Beginner mistake..

Bike - dangerous, lots of crashes.  Lotsa traffic!  Lose my front wheel on first sharp corner but catch it and stay upright.  Take it down a little after that.

Cobblestone speed bumps on course almost take me out (whitfield style!) and jolt my Oakleys off.  They bounce off behind me where they meet their demise.  

Pass heaps of people, but get passed by a couple dudes as well.  Make gains on a few fast guys with more aggressive cornering.  

Feeling a little pessimistic about my bike fitness overall though, worried I was giving up a lot here...

Hitting this at 45kph...

...resulted in this:

Run - felt real slow for a km or so. 

Weirdly, my calf hurts again, a bit like last year.

After 2 k or so I found my rhythm and start speeding up. Finally passed a few faster guys.  

Just coming level with my little buddy Dan (thanks to Dan 4 the photo!)

Approaching finish shortly

Passing an Ozzie 

Turning in to the finish...

After crossing the line, nice chat with Chris and Dad:

Figured best I could hope for... maybe top 15?

Got pipped by a tall lanky Aussie right at the line, bugger had a good kick and I was spent.  It wasn't for the win, so not that big a deal...

Had a nice chat with some fellow Canucks in the finish area, we all commiserated with each other  over the rough day.  

I walked back to the dorm and had a quick shower.  Started packing, when Chris rolled he couldn't help but look up results:


Better than I thought, faster run (17:40 I think) than expected.. Huzzah!

Gonna have to crush it in Edmonchuk next year...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

London baby, London. The 2013 tri worlds!

We've been here 2 nights thus far, and its been a whirlwind.  Some of the high/lowlights thus far:

Despite air canada's reputation, it was a not awful flight. The primary letdown being that my breakfast of a hot greasy omelet was fantasy, and it turned out to be a cold slab of lemon loaf.   To help pass the time, a melatonin and beer cocktail ensured I got a nice nap, despite my economy/steerage class comfort.

Our pickup at the airport turned out to be a group of teenage girls in orange T shirts.  They spoke at length about how terrible their lot in life was, but it was in charming and hard to understand Briter-ish so listening to them was kind of fun.   Eventually we were prodded onto charter buses and were given some vague assurance our bikes would show up later at our hotel.

London hasn't disappointed my stereotype: it's been rainy and cold!

Despite that, the city has beautiful old european architecture, brick buildings everywhere, old antique-y street lamps, awesome huge trees and parks all over the city...

Food isn't bad either, we've been eating mostly french (croissants and coffee for breakfast) and Italian (pasta and pizza) for dinner.  Chris (my roommate and training buddy) bumped into a Whole Foods yesterday while we were out exploring so I had my usual chicken burrito for a taste of home.

Last night was the opening ceremony in trafalgar square (renamed as triathlon square for the remainder of the event) with some Beatle impersonators and lots of windy speeches.  It rained the whole time, so it became another endurance event itself.

The racecourse in Hyde park seems pretty good.  We had a swim in 'the Serpentine' (a really really big duck pond) yesterday morning, holy cow is it muddy.  I thought it ominous how many feathers were floating about as I jumped in, a concern that proved valid.  I gulped down the odd mouthful while practicing some fast 100s and had a ~funny~ stomach for the remainder of the day.

In the afternoon, Chris and I hit the bike course.  Flat and fast, and not nearly big enough given that about 5000 athletes will be racing on it.  Will be tight tomorrow...

Ok, bike dropped off and ready for bed... less than 12hrs till the race..

Race coverage here:

Sherwood forest (?) in front of our dorm

A dodo

Rarer than a dodo, a maclaren

Bird theme cont. at Trafalgar Square Triathlon opening ceremonies

London baby!

In process of getting lost here...

Our race pond in Hyde park:

Team get together at Canuck embassy, I got the presidents award for being one of the National champs for age group sprint Tri !

Friday, January 11, 2013

Canadian National Triathlon Championships

July 8, 2012 Edmonton Triathlon Festival, National Championships

This is a post that was supposed to go up several months ago - but laziness about putting the video together left it in limbo.  So without further ado - here we go:

This race was at Hawrelek park in downtown Edmonchuk.  Since we were in Alberta already, driving up from Cowtown for the race made for a fun weekend for us.

The venue was in Hawrelek park and weather was hot and sunny, so things looked very promising.  One issue that quickly became .. an issue, was that only the official buses could come and go from the park, forcing all athletes and their families were required to wait in lines and then cram into buses to come and go from the venue.  At many times of the day, the buses couldn't run due to the races, making those people unable to walk the long uphill trek out of the park, captive.

For Sato with Ame-chan, and my elderly parents - for better or for worse, they were trapped at the park almost all day.

The race itself was exciting, started with a nice bagpiper leading us down to the docks.  A sudden abrupt gunshot and we were off.  My usual poor way finding in the lake was probably not helped by the extremely muddy water.  They had at least chlorinated it the day before so as to reduce the chance of any nasty bacteria ruining our day.  One good swimmer had established a strong lead so I believe I exited the water in second in our heat.

The crazy long run to transition (maybe about 800m or so?) and then off on the bike.  A perfectly timed leap onto the bike at the line - penalty!  ARRG!  I time my jump such that I'm in the air as I pass the mount line, not contacting the bike till I'm past it.  The marshal wasn't happy with that trick and called me back.  A repeated walking slow mount satisfied her, then I was off!

Bumpy, hilly, under construction - it was a helter skelter ride around the city on the bike course.  With a nasty hill right near the start, I made up the gap on my quick swimming friend quite promptly and then hit it hard the rest of the 2 loops.  Hard to tell exactly who is who on course, but I passed lots and didn't get passed, so assumed I was doing well.

Rolled into transition again - was quite conservative this time and got no flak at the dismount line.  Felt kind of crappy for the first k or so, I suppose everybody does.  Bumpy trail and the heat quickly made me feel a bit queasy, but knew I was getting there.  Passing on the narrow trail got a bit dicey.  I was occasionally going at twice the speed of some slower runners but was too breathless to warn them properly when passing.  Towards the end I saw my friend Chris running (he had started before me but was doing the Olympic distance) and the heat had hit him up in a bad way.  Kind staggering and blankly staring ahead when I shouted encouragement, I knew he was having a tough day.

Thankfully I was doing the sprint distance and after 5km or so I suddenly felt like a million bucks for the last 100 meters.  Cool with with blue carpets and grandstands, feels like a big race.

No idea how I did, but figured it was a pretty good effort.  I usually shoot for an overall win, but have found at the age group nationals, the ONLY priority is how you fared vs your age group.  Happily, I found I had taken the AG win by a solid margin.  It took a bit of research to figure out if I had indeed taken the overall win (like in 2011) - but alas - I missed the overall by 0.9 seconds!  Poo!

IN retrospect, there seemed like lots of places I could have gained 1 second... but that callback at the bike mount line sure jumped out.  Well, 1st AG and 2nd overall is nothing to sneeze at and I managed to qualify for the world AG championship race in 2013 in London.  Hooray - goal achieved!

One more bonus - Mom, Dad, Sato, Sara, Kaitlyn and Ame could come out and watch!