As soon as I landed in Kona I knew the 2 weeks ahead of me would be amazing! Hawaii was better than I could have imagined; the beautiful scenery was breathtaking! Each day, there was more and more excitement in the air as the athletes kept arriving. Like myself, most of them arrived a week prior to the race in order to acclimatize and adjust to the time zone. I was inspired just being surrounded by all of them.

After months of preparation and training, the Ironman World Championship was the race I have been gearing up for. 50,000 athletes try to qualify for the Ironman World Championship every year but only 1800 qualify and I felt very privileged to be among them. After competing five weeks prior to this race at the World Championship 70.3 in Las Vegas, I was hoping that my body would remember how it felt to compete in the extreme heat.

The outcome is unknown when it comes to a race as long as this. Competing in Kona for the first time, I wasn’t sure what to expect on race day but I knew the conditions would be very tough with high heat, humidity and strong winds. I didn’t have particular finishing time in mind, I just wanted to enjoy every moment and make sure I could complete the race.

My training was done at this point and I tried to remember the good days to get through this race with a confident and positive mindset. Training through aches and pains was very challenging at times as I was still feeling the effects of my fall at Ironman Arizona. The A.R.T. team was on site prior to the race and seeing them every day leading to the race helped a lot.



The morning of the race I woke up at 4am after a good night sleep. At 4h45am I walked to body marking, dropped off my special needs food bag and headed to weigh in. I then walked to the transition area to load my bike with food, add fluid to my water bottles and pump the tires. The restaurant opened at 5h30am, so I had a coffee, oatmeal with half a banana for breakfast. Time was running very quickly, so I entered the transition area just before 6:30am and waited in line with all the other athletes. It was awesome to watch the Pro athletes start!

The theme of this year’s race was Aa No Maka O Na Aa. ”The sparkling eyes of my roots, a meaning that we will never lose our way as long as we remembered where we came from. Success is about respecting our roots, taking value in what we have learned and embracing our journey. Knowing your roots is knowing your way. Our roots represents the path that our ancestors have taken and the choices that have been made that define and illuminate who we are today.” – Kupuna Elisabeth Maluihi Ako Lee.


SWIM: 1:24 (finished 46/70 in AG, 394 overall women)

At 6:40am I entered the water and took position right in the middle – finding a good spot at the start is always very important – and I placed myself behind a group of people I was hoping to draft behind as long as I could.

While treading the water for 15 min. before the start, the sun rose above the water. I took the time to visualize the day, walking every portion of the race in my mind. The canon went off and the long day ahead of me had begun. The swim was pretty rough and I struggled to stay behind the group. I eventually found myself without anyone in front of me, my pace didn’t feel very fast. After the turnaround the swim on the way back was tougher. As I came closer to shore I could hear the crowd cheering…it was great!
T1: 4:39 – I came out the water, grabbed my bag and headed to the transition tent. A volunteer helped me apply sunscreen as we weren’t not allowed to apply it before the race. I ran all the way around the Pier until I got to the my bike row. The race started here for me.


BIKE: 5:55 (23rd in AG, 249 overall women)

First part of the bike course is an out and back loop around town before climbing Palani Rd up to a left turn on Queen K Hwy.

The bike course then travels north on the Kona Coast through scorching lava fields and then along the Kohala Coast to the small village of Hawi.

— Riding along the Kona Coast through the Lava Fields in Kona.

The first 60kms all the way to Kawaihae went well but the hardest miles were still to come. The strong crosswinds was very challenging while climbing 18 miles from Kawaihae to Hawi and my pace slowed down dramatically. After the turnaround the conditions got worse, it started to rain and the crosswind got much stronger. The crosswind and the rain combined was very challenging. I tried to keep a steady pace in the aero position, so I could stay in control and prevent from falling. Passing anyone during that portion of the bike was extremely frightening and difficult. This was the toughest parts of the bike! The last 40 kms are relatively flat with strong headwinds.

T2: 8:36 – A volunteer helped me re-apply the sunscreen while an other helped with my all my running gear and I went to the bathroom that was conveniently placed inside the tent, before starting my run. Coming off the bike my hamstring was really tight, I really wasn’t sure how my leg would feel on the run!


RUN: 4:20 (29th in AG, 291 overall women)

I started running at an easy pace and I kept that same pace throughout.

The sun was brutal on the run and I felt the heat slowing me down. Staying cool and very well hydrated was even more important at this stage. I made sure to drink at every water station.

The run started on Ali’i Drive along the Coast, to a turnaround, and back before climbing Palani up to the Queen K. The run continued along the Queen K until the Energy Lab and then goes through the Energy Lab complex to a turnaround and back up a hill to the Queen K. There were only 10kms left from that corner, and by then I knew that my finish time would be sub-12 hours.

Sprinting the last miles of the marathon felt really good and as I approached the finished line coming down the famous Ali’i Drive the crowd was cheering, there was so much energy in the air, it was unbelievable! I took it all in before crossing the finish line with a huge smile on my face.


I finished in 11:53:58 (12.29 was the average for my AG)  I placed 29th/70 in AG and 291 overall women, 1293 overall

1883 finished this year with an average time of 11.32. 2.9% DNS and 4.9% DNF.

I’m proud to be part of a group of women called the IronDames that raise money for Wellspring Halton-Peel. This year, I raised $2555 for Wellspring through my participation in The Ironman World Championship, surpassing my fundraising goal of $2500.

It has been two week now since the race and I’m still smiling when I think about how great the whole event was and I feel so happy that I had the opportunity to experience it.

Looking back on race day, I feel I could have pushed myself a little more during the run as I still had lots of energy in the bank after crossing the finish line. This race was tough but it was by far the race I enjoyed the most. I really took the time to appreciate the beautiful scenery, the volunteers, the athletes I was competing with and the very supportive crowd. The past 2 weeks were amazing! There are filled with lots and lots of great memories that I’ll never forget.

What’s next…Next year I’ll be running my 6th Boston marathon in April, I’ll be competing at the Ironman Mont-Tremblant 70.3 in June as part of my training and the main focus will be in September where I’ll be representing Canada in London, England at the ITU World Championship.

Thank you to everyone who supported me during this journey: my husband Charles, my son Philippe and my daughter Julie, my family, my friends, my training partners, Pace Performance, The Triathlon Club of Burlington, The Oakville Masters Swim Club, The IronDames, Spinervals, Conner’s runners, Canada Get Fit and Claudia Hutchison for helping me with my nutrition plan.

The Ironman World Championship 2012 will be forecast on NBC on October 27, 2012 and December 3,2012.- Don’t forget to set your DVR!



Running in Kenya

Dear Runner,

Imagine running in Kenya with a local Kenyan runner. Imagine being paced by your Kenyan running guide in an international race. Talk to and learn from local runners about running goals, training programs and lifestyle. Complete your experience with a breathtaking safari to witness some of the most beautiful scenery, and majestic animals in the world.

Standard Chartered Nairobi Marathon/Half Marathon/10k – October 27th *

Why run in Kenya:

  • Improve your running: your running guide will tailor the high altitude sessions to you, and push you to your ability. Runners of all abilities can do this run
  • Vacation experience unlike any other: your trip to Kenya includes a safari in search of the Big 5, a visit to a local Masai village and breathtaking scenery. Non runner spouses and family members are welcome
  • Directly impact the life of a local runner: each runner from Canada will bring with them a pair of running shoes and run clothes to donate to the running guide. Shoes that fit and clothes that look good enhance the self esteem and sense of pride in the runner. A gratuity to your running guide ($50 USD minimum) will enable them to train and enter another race to improve their ranking and financial stability
  • Kenya is a democratic country and our guides keep a close eye on the normally stable political climate and road conditions, thereby ensuring constant feedback on security concerns


Our mission is to leave you with an experience of a lifetime, an insight into the culture and diversity of the Kenyan people and provide employment for local Kenyans. Let us spoil you. We will show you OUR Kenya.

Cost for this 10 day, once in a lifetime opportunity, excluding international airfare is $2950 per person based on double occupancy.

Limited spots are available. If you are interested in an information session for you or your running group please email me at


Janette Kirch

Season’s over!!… “Were you overtrained???”, By Kevin Giuledas, Registered Physiotherapist, Movement Solutions Physiotherapy

Overtraining Syndrome

So the season’s over and you’ve had a decent season? A good season? Or maybe a pitiful season!  Is there any chance you were overtrained???  Be HONEST! You are a triathlete after all!!!  Unfortunately, there are no definitive tests to determine when a triathlete has overtraining syndrome.1  Common sense can be utilized in these cases however as they say, “…forest for the trees.”  Stepping back and taking a look at some of the common, definitive signs and symptoms can be helpful.1,2  These signs and symptoms include….


  • decreased physical performance
  • pronounced fatigue or malaise
  • insomnia
  • change in appetite
  • mood changes  (anxiety, irritable, depression)
  • loss of body weight
  • insatiable thirst
  • joint aches and pains
  • lack of mental concentration
  • decreased lactate response
  • nausea, GI upset
  • headaches
  • impaired muscle strength
  • increased frequency of upper respiratory illnesses



These symptoms do overlap with other medical illnesses and ailments and would need to be excluded before a diagnosis of overtraining syndrome was determined.  However, at this time of year as most of you scale back your training, be cognizant if any of the above symptoms show marked improvement.

The timing of this article is deliberate as recovery from overtraining may require several weeks to several months.1,2 Consequently, being aware of the signs and symptoms, as well as the causes are paramount to prevention.

Causes of Overtraining

The main causes of overtraining are high training intensity, high training volume and insufficient recovery.  Fatigue is a predominant feature in overtraining and can be a result of both physical and psychological stressors.1

Overtraining Prevention and Treatment

Prevention is the predominant treatment methodology in avoiding overtraining.  The key strategies to prevention are proper nutrition, hydration and rest.  Appropriate training volume and intensity are also vital to prevention.  Consulting with an experienced coach can help to provide that ‘outside’ objective viewpoint on your training.  (The TCoB’s head coach Greg Pace, of PACEperformance can help in this area.)  Negative mood changes and fatigue often coincide.  Monitoring changes in mood and fatigue may help in reducing the incidence of overtraining.1

Once an athlete develops overtraining syndrome, treatment involves rest, good nutrition and stress reduction.1 Recovery is specific to each individual and is dependent on many factors including the degree and duration of physical and psychological stressors.3

Overuse Injuries

Studies have reported that between 47% and 75% of triathletes can suffer an overuse injury.4  Most injuries occur in the lower limb, affecting the knee, ankle and Achilles tendon.  Running has been the main culprit in development of these injuries.4,5,6 Injury in running is thought to be a combination of errors in biomechanics and overtraining.6 Contusions and abrasions are most common with cycling.  Poor bike fit and overtraining produced the most frequent overuse injuries while cycling.  Swimming demonstrates the least amount of associated injuries in both training and competition.4,6,7 There were inconsistencies in the studies in determining if training or competition resulted in more frequent injuries.4,7

Prevention and Treatment

A combination of adequate warm up, cool-down, gradual increase in training intensity and duration, and flexibility appear to be key factors in preventing overuse injuries.4,5,6  Analysis of running mechanics, shoe wear, proper bike fit, and rest are also important in preventing and treating overuse injuries.  Some overuse injuries can resolve on their own with rest and changes to the training regimen.  Others may require treatment from a health professional.

While the above information may seem fairly self explanatory and common sense, it is amazing how often some of these small details are overlooked in a triathlete’s training program.  Keeping these points a little more in the forefront of your brain can help to limit the chances of a ‘pitiful’ season!!!!


  1. Purvis D, Gonsalves S, Deuster P. Physiological and Psychological Fatigue in Extreme Conditions: Overtraining and Elite Athletes.  Pm & R. 2(5):442-50, 2010 May.
  2. Armstrong LE. VanHeest JL.  The unknown mechanisms of the overtraining syndrome.  Clues form depression and psychoneuroimmunology.  Sports Medicine. 32(3):185-209, 2002.
  3. Kellman M.  Preventing overtraining in athletes in high-intensity sports and stress/recovery monitoring. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. 20 Suppl 2:95-102, 2010 Oct.
  4. Burns J, Keenan AM, Redmond AC.  Factors associated with triathlon-related overuse injuries.  J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2003 Apr;33(4):177-84.
  5. Wilk BR, Fisher KL, Rangelli D. The incidence of musculoskeletal injuries in an amateur triathlete racing club. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. 22(3):108-12, 1995 Sep.
  6. Cipriani DJ, Swartz JD, Hodgson CM. Triathlon and the multisport athlete. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. 27(1):42-50, 1998 Jan.
  7. Egermann, M. Brocai, D. Lill, C A. Schmitt, H. Analysis of injuries in long-distance triathletes.  International Journal of Sports Medicine. 24(4):271-6, 2003 May.