Saturday, September 17, 2016

The 2016 wrap up

And what a solid 2016 it was:

1. Cultus Lake Spring Triathlon
Sprint Distance, Overall Win

2. North Shore Triathlon
Overall win

3. Ambleside Mile - 4:49
7th Overall, 1st masters

4. Longest Day 5k UBC - 17:19
11th overall, 2nd masters

5. Turner Valley Triathlon (Alberta)
Overall win
(Note: first place on this link is an uncorrected error by the timing company)

6. BC Duathlon Championships @ UBC
2nd overall, First Masters

7. BC Sprint Tri Championships @ Self Transcendance Triathlon 
2nd overall, 1st Masters

8. Glotman Simpson Cypress Challenge - 35:26
61st Overall, 7th Age group, (PB to powerlines at 32:36)


9. Americas Masters Games
Sprint Triathlon, Overall Win

10. Vancouver Triathlon, Sprint,  Stanley Park
Overall win


11. Whistler Gran Fondo - 3:31:00
32nd Overall 
(chip fail, not on the official timesheet, timing company refused to add despite Garmin file)

12. Just Giver 4PD TT 16km - 22:27
2nd Overall
(not chipped)

Big thanks to my partners in speed: 
KJ, Speed Theory Vancouver, Academy Tri Club and VFAC!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Vancouver Triathlon Sept 5, 2016

Just 2 days after the Masters Games Triathlon at Spanish banks, I was thinking to maybe sleep in and skip this race, but I'd already entered - and at the urging of my friend Kelly - psyched myself up to hit it hard again right away.

Here is today's race summary:

12 degrees.  Cold and dark, sky was thinking seriously about rain but somehow it didn't do more than spit.

Huge transition and what looked like a thousand bikes.  There are many hundreds competing in the sprint, standard and  Tri-it distances.  

We started in the last wave of athletes so lots of time to mill about and check things over.

Had a bit of time to kill counting down the last 5 minutes.  Announcer was hard to hear and busy calling names of the athletes exiting swim from earlier waves.

I was practising sprinting in and dolphin diving and was walking back in when 'go' happened - and a hundred guys charged past me running into the water.  Arg!  Did a quick 180 and hit it.

Good swim?  Passed by many initially, but by the first bouy I started passing everyone back again.  I drafted off Stan L (thanks Stan!) a bit then passed a few more and came out near the front.  

I ran up the beach and yanked down my wetsuit : Arg! problem! 

Clever me thought my Tri suit was a little tight so I left the back zipper unzipped.  Besides it was under my wetsuit so it didn't matter, right?   The issue: when I pulled wetsuit down it pulled my Tri suit as well.  I aborted pulling the wetsuit right off (I would've been nude) and untangled the arms and sleeves of wetsuit and Tri suit.   Lost extra ~ 30 seconds before running out of transition 1.

Hit it hard on the bike, fully closed Stanley park for a  2 lap TT.  Took a while to remember I could fully apex the road.  Kept around 275 average with 300+ on hills.  Passed hundreds? on course.

T2 went better, smooth in and smooth out - and they had a lead biker to escort me - sweet!!

Some hills on the run as it crossed centrally through Stanley park.  Run was..a bit slow feeling?   Lead bike got a bit lost looking for the turnaround - and I had to stand around waiting for 30 seconds or a minute while he checked the route!  Was a a little freaked out about the time loss!

Luckily I had a good buffer on second place and it didn't matter!

Cruised back the mostly downhill run back to finish - overall win!  Sweet!!

Goose pace line :

While my family opted for a sleep in, this dad scored a sweet sign:

Post race warmup fluids here:

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, August 12, 2016

BC Sprint Tri Champs 2016

The BC Short Course Triathlon Championships - Self Transcendence Tri (Victoria BC) July 31, 2016

This is one of my consistently favorite races.

 An awesome post race spread with (almost) all you can eat spelt pancakes, maple syrup, butter, berries, whipped cream, melons, ... etc.. and an awards ceremony which I don't think ends until all in attendance have won something.

Another perk: the overall winner of each of the Standard Tri/Short Course Tri/and Duathlon gets a trophy not unlike the Stanley Cup.   With that in mind, I was shooting for the overall win.

Luckily my old tri buddy Jon lives 5 minutes from the course and is generous to a fault, so there was a great mooching option available for us to stay at.

Arriving fashionably late at this race start is possible: it was declared the day before at package pickup that is was a 'no wetsuit swim' and bike rack positioning was preordained and labelled with our numbers.  No strategy needed for bike placement, you were stuck where luck put you.

All the swim waves all started within a couple of minutes of each other.  Olympic fast swimmers first, then Olympic slow swimmers, then Sprint fast (me) swimmers and lastly Sprint slow.

There was a few other odd waves mixed in there:
- those who chose to wear wetsuits despite the almost hot water (and thus were not eligible for BC provincial prizes)
- and the various relay teams that turned up

                                             1 or 2 swim waves gone with a few more to go

Shortage of porta potties and huge line ups necessitated a visit to the woods, lots of dense woods here 👍.  

Then I ran down to join my heat (baby blue swim caps) already lingering in the water.  Enjoyed a chuckle with a crusty old tri guy at the decrepit state of many peoples' tri suits, lots with holes and discoloration and bagginess issues.  Nice that people want to save their favorite suit, but they really need to update occasionally.

There was at least a 100 of us baby blues caps lined up... the countdown began... the slowest swimmers inexplicably pushed to the front...  GO!!!

The usual bit of swim rugby ensued, then things got easier.

It was a well marked swim, on dead flat water, without any harsh bright sun reflection... more like a pool swim than an open water (except for a weeds and a muddy bottom).  

After a hundred meters or so I got in clear water ... and could still see lots of people well ahead of me!  Unfortunately, I had no idea if they were super-fish from my heat, or super sea slugs from a former heats.

Eventually found myself drafting a guy, which seemed awesome and easy!... then... too easy?  Am I now going too slowly?  should I pass?  This is too easy - I think I'll pass.

I hit it and go for the pass!  OK. now he's drafting me... AND annoyingly tapping my feet every 8 seconds..  Maybe should have just drafted...

Arrived back at the beach and ran the 100 or meters to T1.  No wetsuit so nice and quick. 

Couldn't decide on flying mount or a regular step-over mount, so did a mix of the 2 and almost crashed.  It put me in the wrong lane with some wild swerving, sweet.  Didn't fall or take anyone out thankfully.  Practice your flying leaps people, if you plan on doing those.

Started riding and put on my glasses - one lens had fallen out.  Crap! threw the frames onto a guys lawn and hoped I could find all the bits again later.  No glasses ride today.

This bike course was - hilly, rough, curvy, rough... It was very hard to apply steady even power.

About 2 km into the ride and having passed several people, I noticed people on the roadside often yelling something like: "way to go guys!" when I rode past.

Little weird, I'm by myself aren't I?  

Eventually I realized I wasn't, when at around 8km when the road flattened and straightened out and the chap who was nearby behind me suddenly passed.

Kind of shocked getting passed, so I held on about 10m back until on a hill I passed him back again.  

Unfortunately I went too red zone and then he passed me quite strongly and moved ahead and right out of sight.  Blerg.😞

          End of bike:  "Do I turn here?"

Toward the end of the TT, it got curvy hilly technical again. - suddenly my nemesis was in view again and I was gaining on him.  Basically with aggressive cornering and not braking anywhere I caught and passed him just before going into T2.   Less power but more aggressive riding✅

T2 was quick and I held the same gap of about 3 seconds over my nemesis who I was gradually suspecting was the ex pro who beat me here a couple years ago.  Who also happens to be my age group.  Who would kill my chances to win the AG medal if he passes me.  Crap, don't let him pass!!

As we started down the trail we passed some walkers off to the side and one yelled "go Mike!"

This would make that person Mike Neill, who I feared/expected it was.  So... the race was on!

I kept running scared and ~seemed~ to be holding him off.  Couldn't shake some pessimism since he had smoked me at this race last time.

But run turnaround - he seemed farther back..!  Maybe at least 10 or 15 seconds? No way!  I controlled my breathing enough to say a very calm sounding 'good race!' when passing him headed back.

I knew I had to hold pace as the first sign of catching me would probably inspire greater speed, so kept hammer down and drool out the whole way back to the finish line.

Approaching the line, a glance back confirms nobody -Huzzah!!!  Final sprint not required!

Had a major pig out at the post race feast and stoically lasted through the super long awards ceremony (everybody wins something here) and amazingly they still do a random bike give away at the end.  

I managed second overall with an AG win.  It turned out Mike was now in a different age cat than me (I had moved to the next older one, he hadn't) so it wasn't quite as important to beat him.

Food line getting long - but they never ran out of food!

Annoyingly, there was no prize for 2nd overall, and the enormous 1st place trophy went to a 25 year old Victoria guy who was very speedy, especially in the water, alas.

Fun day and a fun weekend on the island with friends and family!

Friday, June 24, 2016

BC Duathlon Champs June 18th 2016

It was with some trepidation I emailed the Point Grey Triathlon organizer that I wanted to change from the tri over to the duathlon.

What I had noticed was that the duathlon was a BC championship race and while I disliked the idea of 2 runs and no swim, the possibility of going for a championship was enough incentive to switch over.

Race morning Sato needed the car for Ame's sports day.  So it was a lonely ride up to the race under darkening clouds.

Did package pickup and got the bike into transition.  Chatted with some fellow competitors, Nic from VFac and Mike who said hello and was friendly.  Also had brief chat with Jen Moroz whom I seem to cross paths with frequently.

Nic, I assumed, would be difficult to beat as he is such a good runner and this was a running intensive race.  One saving grace was that he is a younger age group and these provincial races seem to focus more on the age group than the overall win.

Headed up to the start line to warm up and then the inevitable rain started to come down hard.  Since it had rained and was cold at all the Tris I've done this year (North Shore Triathlon and Cultus Lake Triathlon), it might as rain now...

Call to the line... push to front... then 3,2,1 ... Go!!!!

Right off the bat - Nic shoots like a bullet down the road.  Tried to keep up for about 3 seconds, then decided noway.  Mike, who I had spoken to also, took off down the road, and I heard tons of footsteps right behind me (I think it was Aaron W., who I met a bit later), I was quickly realizing a win was going to be very difficult and even and age group win might not be in the cards!  Checked my Garmin a few times to double check I wasn't just going super slow: nope - 3:30km pace is as fast as I was prepared to go at this point of things.

Hmmm, bye bye du champ...

By the end of the first 5k I was about 10 seconds behind Mike, unknown minutes behind Nic who was completely out of sight.  Also unknown: is there is any uber cyclists nearby behind me.  Garmin says run distance was 5.4km...a little too long....

Ran into transition... and down the wrong isle.  Ug!  loose 5 seconds.  Dance around, find bike, take off. Pouring rain nasty TT.  Hard to find the right gear with that first run in the legs.

Gradually started to make time on everyone and thankfully moved into first by about 10 km into the bike.  Kept head down and pushed the rest of the ride.    Finished up the ride and found my way back into transition.  This time it was that old problem of being too cold, too numb with hands and feet.  Fighting into my shoes the insoles jammed up into the front of my shoes like baseballs where my toes are supposed to go.  Painful! Volunteers were a little confused and I got some random misdirection while trying to find my way out for the second 5k run.  Lost a few more seconds...

Running the second time around was awful, much slower.  I assumed Nic would fly past me within a Km or so.

As the run slogged on, nobody was passing me...??  By the time I reached 4km to go without seeing anyone I started thinking... holy cow!  I think I got this!!!  Yes!  Yes!!

... NO!!!  Nic's footsteps and then his whole person cruised on past.  Blerg!  He was moving fast and it was still about 800m to go, I couldn't follow.  Alas... well - don't loose second place, just keep running!

Turned out to be 5.5km on this run, another slightly too long run...

Finished about 9 seconds behind Nic and about 35 or so in front of Mike.  Had to push the whole way as things felt very competitive the whole way.

Was getting cold about 8 seconds after finishing.  Rain seemed to still be getting harder and harder.
Quick aquatic centre shower and nursing of foot wounds (running in soaking shoes without socks) and then grabbing a BC age group champ medal at the soggy awards!  Huzzah!

Point Grey Tri and Du: great day, great volunteers, well organized... Recommended!

Epilogue - later with a bit of a more detailed review of the day - it hung over me that between:
- messy transitions, I lost about 10 seconds of free time
- nearly an extra 1km of running
- a slightly short 20k bike...
....I had a missed an overall win due to any of several small annoying factors...

I know it's always the routine to run over things in your head and second guess yourself, but I am doing that slightly more than usual after this race.
In any event - super happy with outcome, first ever Duathlon and pulled of an AG champ and second overall!

One extra bonus - turned out we all were different age groups, so all won in that respect!

Top 3 at finish

nice hardware

Aaron Nick and myself all snagged that nice bit of hardware