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 !