December 27th 2014 TCoB is hosting a Mega day Christmas sweat and social at Neworld Indoor Training Center!
All money raised on this day, will go back into the club so that we can continue to purchase uniforms at a discounted price, continue to offer training 6 days a week in the summer, continue to provide health and wellness tutorials, and just continue to push us all to new limits, while make new friends along the journey!
TCoB only works because of you, the members, who wake up early to ride through the sunrises, and rush home from work to sweat through the sunsets! Please come out and support the club on December 27th , this three hour session, will have special guest appearances by Dynamic Health and Performance’s Stephanie Nogueira, who will lead us in a warm up, then three excellent coaches that will push us through our ride to work off that Holiday turkey! There will be team competitions, free give aways, and a social pot luck after for all participants.
This amazing one day, will only be $35 for members and $45 for non TCoB members.
Click here to sign up on line at the website and pay through paypal, inorder to reserve your spot for the 3rd biggest day of the holidays
The Year End Banquet on November 1st was a time to celebrate the accomplishments of the club and its members. Congratulations to everyone for training hard, racing well and being active, this summer. Everyone deserves an award for pushing themselves beyond what they thought they could do. For many, that meant getting out to as many workouts as they could fit into their busy schedules. For others, it was winning their age category and for others it meant crossing the finish line at their first triathlon this summer.
We would like to recognize some members for their contributions to the club, and for their accomplishments over the year…. Click on the link to have a look at this years – Award presentation 2014
This Year’s nominees and Award winners…
Meredith Spirit and Energy Presented by: Claudia
Emulating the attributes of the late Meredith Hagan, this athlete is a positive influence on all members both at workouts and races. They posses a vigorous, courageous and optimistic attitude. Their smile and friendly nature makes them a natural team builder and they help out whenever they can.
Have we ever had a more positive, outgoing effervescent member? Always accentuating the positive and omitting the negative, Sam is truly a joy (and somewhat tiring) to be around. We all recognize that big smile at all our workouts. Starting off as a SO TRI participant last year, Sam made a big jump right up to IM this year. So Captain McLellan of the Burlington Firefighters had an exemplary year that included: Mercedes Benz 5k spring, Welland ½ Ironman, Peterborough ½ Ironman , And a 12:46 finish in her very first Ironman – in her 2nd year of racing!
Rob Perry – is so reliable and eager to help. I always knew I could turn to him when I needed someone to cover for Paul and I at the Saturday morning workouts. Rob has also been instrumental in securing many of the door prizes tonight, as well as being at most races this summer with the TCoB tent. He lead many Sunday bike rides this summer, and organized and lead the fall colours bike ride a few weeks ago.
Paul Hutchinson – loves training with the club and has genuine interest and support for everyone. Paul did the Worlds Sprint Triathlon in Edmonton this year and also qualified to compete in the Worlds Sprint Triathlon 2015 in Chicago.
It may be hard to believe, but Eric hasn’t even been a TCoB member for a full year yet. Joining last winter, Eric jumped right in with an energy and spirit that gets anyone around him going. With his bright yellow shorts (that match the TCoB kit perfectly), Eric was seen at many races cheering on fellow athletes – if he wasn’t racing himself.
And the Award goes to… Rob Perry
Most Improved Athlete…. Presented by Alex Boyer
The recipient of this award has made marked improvements in their athletic performances this year and are a familiar face at many workouts. Their 100% effort is reason for their accomplishments.
Dorothy Worked extremely hard at the track workouts, and made steady improvements over the summer. While its difficult to compare races, Dorothy’s run pace improved from a 5:30 at the beginning of the summer to a 5:02 by the end of the season.
Julie joined the SO TRI group in March and made almost all of the workouts during the 26 week program. Julie was already an accomplished swimmer, and had pretty good skills on the bike. Her run was something she worked extremely hard on, and it paid off – she took off almost one minute from her 1km time trial.
In 2014, Rebecca cheered as her good friend Jenn Kaufman crossed the finish line in the IronGirl Tri. That was when she set the goal for herself to finish the race in 2015. With help from Jen and the SO TRI program, Rebecca not only finished the IronGirl race, but also two other triathlons this summer, and two 5km running races this season. She concurred her fear of open water swimming after realizing there are no alligators in Gulliver’s lake, and pushed herself beyond her comfort zone on the bike. She learned to juggle a busy career and young family to improve her fitness and over all health.
A graduate of the SO TRI program just last summer, Deb finished her first triathlon last year in the middle of her age group. After a dedicated year of training, Deb placed in the top 5 of her age group in all of her races this season. Deb trained hard this summer and continues to improve. She’s running the full marathon tomorrow morning at Road to Hope, and will be training for her first IronMan this winter, preparing for Mt. Tremblant next August.
Tammy was also a SO TRI participant this summer who started off with the group in March. She always gave each training session her best effort, and was never without a smile and positive attitude. Tammy’s hard work and consistent effort in training paid off as she placed 5th in her very first race this summer. She continued to improve over the summer – posting a faster run pace in the IronGirl in August. Tammy helped out as a volunteer at Mine Over Matter and helped prepare many of the door prizes this evening.
And the Award goes to…… Debra Lazaro
Rookie of the Year………. Presented by Helene
The recipient of this award is a new member to the club this year, as well as new to the sport of triathlon. They may have a strong background in one or two of the disciplines in triathlon, but this was their first year of competing in the sport. They have finished in the top 10, and/or on the podium in their age group in many races. All of these nominees share a new found passion for the sport of triathlon.
Olivia loves to run. So much so that she has completed a 50km ultra marathon this spring, and plans on doing many more. She also loves to swim and bike, and so, after a summer of working out with the club, and having never competed in triathlon before, she raced in her first sprint, and then decided to do a half ironman at the end of the summer. She finished 8th and higher in all of her triathlons this year.
Mike was a SO TRI participant this year, coming to the sport of triathlon with a background in a bit of each of the three sports. His natural ability as a runner (he can run a lot faster than he lets on), allowed him to place well at all of his three races this summer.
New to triathlon this year, Leah has been a runner for a while. She completed many half marathons with her dad and then took some time off to have two little boys. She now balances training for three sports, work, her family and does it very successfully. Leah did 5 races this summer and ended up with two firsts, a second and two third place finishes.
Diane comes to triathlon from a discipline that may seem unlikely to produce results in our sport. Diane was a ballet dancer for most of her adulthood, and has translated that grace and dedication into some winning results at triathlon races this summer. She raced her first try-a-try in July and won her age group. She then raced in the IronGirl and finished 6th. She was a SO TRI participant this spring and summer, who always gave her best effort.
And the Award goes to…… Leah Ricciuti
President’s Award….. Presented by Margaret Dorio
The recipient of this award has been a significant presence in the club, has volunteered their time and talents and workouts and special events. They have been a special assistance to the president over the past year.
This year, there are two people that are receiving this award….
Hélène Desrosiers: Created the look of the Triathlon Club of Burlington with an outstanding new uniform design.
Shawna Button: Has been instrumental in planning and organizing many social events over the last year.
Life Time Achievement Award – Paul Allingham
Paul’s “Lifetime” in endurance events has really been limited to the 20 years between his 50’s through his 70’s.
Who really starts the journey on their lifetime at age 50+? It just goes to show you how you can be “mature” chronologically but still be vital, young and targeting new goals and activities in your youth – even if that youth begins at 50.
Paul’s high school sports were the fairly typical basketball and football. What wasn’t typical is that Paul continued to play each sport well into his 40’s and football til he was 50 years old.
Paul started his endurance sport participation in 1994 with his first sprint tri in on a rusty garage bike in St Johns.
He moved into longer endurance runner in 1998 with his first ½ Marathon.
As part of the Canada Fit program in 2002 he became a marathoner.
This Marathon training had a huge impact on Paul and his family. He talked wife, Joanne into taking part in the marathon walk, his daughter Tara began running along with her husband Jason. Tara’s first marathon was with her 3 month in vitro baby (to be named Elle). So I guess Elle did her first marathon at minus 6 months old!! Alongside (or inside) her mother and alongside her grandmother, Joanne.
Paul got back into triathlon on the behest of his posse of ladies – Anne Beales , Mary Louser and Nancy Brown. These ladies had a vast impact on Paul, keeping him accountable, motivated and forward focused.
So Paul has really influenced many of his colleagues, compatriots and 2 younger generations into endurance sports.
At 70+ Paul has had a miraculous 2014 with a formidable race schedule for someone half his age:
Victoria ½ ironman – won his age category, Toronto Sprint tri – won his age cat and raced with his daughter, Magog national championships – won the sprint race, Edmonton Worlds – competing in Aquathon, sprint tri and Olympic tri – represented Canada as our team Flag Barrier on home turf, Mont Tremblant World Long Course championship , And finishing the season with a win at the Barrelman ½ Iron where he raced again with his daughter.
Paul has packed so much into his Post-Fifty year old “Lifetime”, his energy, enthusiasm and forward focus are still vital and still influencing so many people around him. Paul is a true ambassador of our sport, our club and those in the much admired 70+ age category – with lots more to come.
Male Athlete of the Year…….. Presented by: Greg Pace
This member consistently places on the podium for their age group in races. They possess attributes such as positive attitude, perseverance, drive and determination. They are and an active member of the club, participating in workouts and special events. The recipient of this award always strives for the best and gives top effort.
Despite a demanding job with long hours Tim trained hard on weekends and did very well in his races peaking at the Bracebridge triathlon with a first place finish amongst a competitive group. He qualified for the Worlds Sprint Triathlon 2015 in Chicago and competed this year at the Worlds in Edmonton.
The attributes described in the criteria for this award fit Alex to a T. He has been a very active member of the club for more than 7 years, leading workouts including the Wednesday swim, off road mountain biking and many times filling in for Greg at the track and brick workouts. In each of his races this season he ended up on the podium in second place – finishing among the leaders overall in each race. You will never see Alex without a smile during a race – except at the end when he’s trying to catch that first place guy in front of him !
At 70+ Paul has had a miraculous 2014 with a formidable race schedule for someone half his age – Victoria ½ ironman – won his age category, Toronto Sprint tri – won his age cat and raced with his daughter, Magog national championships – won the sprint race. Edmonton Worlds – competing in Aquathon, sprint tri and Olympic tri – represented Canada as our team Flag Barrier on home turf. Mont Tremblant World Long Course championship. And finishing the season with a win at the Barrelman ½ Iron where he raced again with his daughter.
Chris is in one of the largest and most competitive age groups out there. Being male and between 40 – 44 years old is almost like racing in the pro category. Yet, Chris competes and finishes consistently on the podium. He came 7th out of 355 in his age group in IM Wisconsin this year, 1st out of 146 in the Missassauga Marathon (2nd overall), and 8th out of 567 at Around the Bay.
And the Award goes to… Alex Boyer
Female Athlete of the Year….. Presented by Shawna Button
At every race Sonja had big smiles and words of encouragement for everyone. Sonja qualified for the Worlds Sprint Triathlon 2015 in Chicago. She finished in the top 10 of all her races this season, with podium finishes in 3 of 5 triathlon races. Sonja has been a very active participant in many TCoB special events and training days, including Peach Bud brick, Fall bike ride, Vertical mile and much more to come for sure.
Aside from being a busy Mom and a full time Doctor. Lori has been racing triathlons for almost 10 years now. She has consistently been at the top of her age categories, often times finishing in 1st, 2nd or third. She was able race in over race in over 5 triathlons this sumer and post these fantastic results: 2nd in the Binbrook Sprint, 1st in the Welland ½ Iron, 2nd in the Tim Hortons Peach Bud 10km, 1st in the Lakeside Olympic Triathlon, 4th in the Austin Texas 70.3 just last week
Aside from a questionable Professorship at U of Calgary (like is she ever at work?) Doctor Walsh has this amazing easy going attitude, light view of the world, mainly because Chris views RULES and the conventional simply as guidelines. This gives Chris a unique refreshing view of the world which makes her a joy to be around and she will always keep you thinking. Chris’s race season was truly out of the ordinary. Starting the season with a 2nd place finish in Ironman Austria, then a third in the Niagara Sprint, then off to Edmonton for the Worlds, jetting back to the east for the Mont Tremblant 70.3 worlds and concluding her season with a 3rd place finish in the ½ Iron Barrelman. A great season and a laser focus on her 2015 makes 2014 a foundation for what comes next.
Tanya did her research and made her plan then executed it superbly. She trained hard and did 11 races (9 triathlons and 2 running races) and placed first in all except 1!!! Tanya competed in both the Provincial and National Sprint Triathlon Championships and was first in both races securing her spot to compete in the Worlds Sprint Triathlon 2015 in Chicago.
Along with her husband Piers, Kim was a familiar face at many races this summer. Starting her season with the Raleigh 70.3, Kim finished in the top 10% of all her races this season. She competed in all levels of triathlon from sprint to half IronMan distances making the podium in 4 out of 8 races, with a top 10 finish in the rest.
Bethany – At the Valens duathlon the run course was not marked well and Bethany ran something like 8K instead of 6 so was pushed out of the running for a medal. She handled the incident with grace and the following weekend she came back even stronger at Guelph Lake duathlon to win the race. Bethany qualified for the Worlds Duathlon Championship 2015 in Adelaide, Australia.
And the Award goes to… Tanya Hewson
Race day began with a beautiful sunrise and warm weather. It made for a lovely drive across town to the race site, by Ming Lake. I almost had the wide, nicely paved roads all to myself too as I passed orchards, berry fields and vineyards. This is the fruit valley of North America. (Ever heard of Driscoll’s farm? Next time you buy berries at the grocery store, you’ll likely see the name.)
I had registered the day before, at Action Sports store, so it was a leisurely transition prep time as the Sprint Triathlon race was to start at 8:30am and I had arrived and parked by 7:15am. The Olympic triathlon start was at 8:00am. There was ample parking and it was well marked. Transition was stationed at the end of the parking lot and less than 10m from the lake’s edge. As I paused to look around, I couldn’t help but catch my breath in awe; the lake was calm as glass and was reflecting the beautiful golden coloured mountains surrounding it. What a view! “And that’s where I’m going to swim!” I suddenly realized. “How blessed am I?!”, very.
Transition set up was very simple with a laid back format: station your bike and paraphernalia wherever you wish and everyone was friendly and accommodating. Take note, zero stress for what is normally a time of bundled nerves ready to unravel! So I got sorted and settled in what felt like a wink. I walked around the area to familiarize myself with the ins and outs of transition, then made my way to the water’s edge to test the temperature. I have only ever raced in a wetsuit and was mildly worried the water might be too warm for one. Then I noticed the triathletes for the Olympic were just as divided, half were in wetsuits and half without. Turns out it was individual preference as the water was just perfect for either way. Warmest, nicest swim conditions ever! It was a wonderful feeling when I later entered the water for my warm up swim and didn’t recoil as the warm water entered my wetsuit, a first, and I revelled in it!
(Note, the swim is usually my least favourite part, but this day I was actually looking forward to it!) Having settled the wetsuit matter, I was ready to check out the run course or part thereof. So I set off, following the white chalk line, towards a trail path. It was nothing like our trails; sparse greenery and trees with wide open space, mostly gravel and packed sand, a great surface if one has running injuries. The trail gently rose up a hill and meandered along the side of it with a spectacular view of a river below and mountains off in the distance. I continued following the chalk line (a very well marked run course!) which brought me through a park with people camping and cooking breakfast. Many waved and shouted a jolly good morning as I trotted by, so I happily waved in return. The park trees parted and I was once again bathed in warm sunshine and open fields. By this time I had long passed the one mile marker but hadn’t reached the two mile marker (another important note: when racing in the states, everything is in miles so it’s a bit of a mind warp to adjust to and recalculate if you’re not used to it). I looked at my watch and decided I had better turn around and head back even though the trail was beckoning me to continue. Coming back was just as pretty, running into the sunlight.
Back in transition, I put on my wetsuit and did my final equipment checks as the first Olympic wave started. There was plenty of room for the sprint athletes to warm up in the water, super! I took my time, got comfortable and took in the amazing view. Imagine seeing mountains and blue sky each time you take a breath (bilateral breathing too) and no waves, perfect swim conditions. Well, eventually I had to get out of the water and head to the start line. Looking out at the stunning scenery, I was able to keep my jittery nerves in check. The horn blew and my wave started running into the water. Splish! Splash! Dolphin dive. Repeat. Then swim like mad! (I’d swim like a fish if I could but I haven’t grown my fins yet… working on that.) I soon found my rhythm and was breathing deeply.
The big orange buoys were easy to spot on the rectangular course. I had someone drafting just off to my right for most of the way until the last turn, then I remembered Miguel’s cornering cues and went in tight, then swam with gusto and finally dropped them but I almost dropped myself! Mastering the balance of pushing hard without crossing the danger line is a fine art that sometimes eludes me… but what triumph when I get it right (and don’t drown!).
Once my feet hit the sandy bottom, I began the wetsuit stripping run-dance on my way to my bike. This is always the spectators’ favourite part. I’m sure I gave my share of a show with the short run up. Entertainment segment finished, it was time for me to have some real fun on the bike. My amazing friend, Kerry, lent me his brand new blue TT Trek Speed Concept and I was eager to let her rip on the fast, mostly flat course. My excitement got the better of me as I ran passed the mount line by several meters and surprised the Marshall. No matter as this gave me lots of room to mount. Navigating the turn out of the parking area, I then began the first and only steep climb on the well paved bike path. A good warm up I thought. The rest was on fast, open roads along the smoothly paved highway (repaved for Stage 5 of the 2012 AMGEN Tour of California) with a very wide shoulder. The out and back route took us by Hart park with rivers, ponds, fountains and flower gardens. I saw people fishing, walking their dogs and just really enjoying the day, that made me smile. Plus, I was loving the bike and the ride. There was a bit of a head wind going out and I factored that into a speedy return; yay! I’ll get to go even faster! I had no bike info so was riding on feel which I enjoyed as a challenge and something new. I remembered the steep downhill finish with a rather tight turn at the bottom and didn’t pass the dismount line. I ran my bike into T2 and was soon running back out along the trail with the still visible chalk line.
Familiar ground is always a bit comforting during a race. The run was hilly in sections and tough with the increasing heat as the day progressed. I missed the first water station as the volunteers were still not fully systemized; I was behind another runner and they couldn’t figure out how to get me a cup of water… oh well so that didn’t work out, I’ll make sure to get some at the next station. I ran along the winding path, looking at this and that and let my mind wander. I usually run more focused so I think this was my way of taking in the whole experience. I eventually saw the 2nd water stop and planned my water-grab. By this time I was really feeling parched. I mustered enough energy to yell “water!” and then held out my hand for a cup…bingo! Got some in my mouth and splashed the rest on my head. Phew! That was cold but felt good. I was now getting a feel for the mile versus kilometre and how far the next water station would be, which felt far! I was beginning to miss the Canadian race style as well as the often shaded runs. The run eventually joined up with the paved bike path which was a welcome change. It also took us by some baseball fields and soccer fields where games were in full swing.
It was nice to see other people out being active and hearing their cheers. Just the boost I needed as I headed up a hill. I was feeling tired after a couple ascents and began calculating 3 miles = 4.8km, “Almost at the end” I told myself, as I had asked earlier if the run was 5km and had been told “yes” it was. I started to push harder to finish fast and when I reached the 3 mile marker, I could tell something was terribly wrong, I knew the finish line was nowhere near me! I was running along the top of a scenic hill, following a zigzagging trail bordered by long wild grass that was heading away from where I suspected the finish line was. Oh nook! Talk about a mental challenge! I really struggled to get past this news for what felt like too long, but happily, I got my positive thoughts back and focused on running well no matter how far it was going to be. It’s a Sprint, how far can it be, really?! Of course I could finish it. Then the downhill sections came and I was in my element, woo wee! I didn’t want this to end! The trail was winding and steep enough for me to let gravity do the work. This was fun and I was flying!
At one point, I could see the finish out of the corner of my eye and just opened up the throttle, go legs go! This was by far my favourite part of the entire race and worth everything I did to get there. It was a moment I will likely remember for years to come. Priceless. Entering the parking area on the final stretch, I was all smiles. The race announcer was upbeat and getting everyone into the cheering spirit. He even pronounced my name correctly as I crossed the finish line. Bonus. I was greeted by other athletes at the finish, shook hands and we congratulated one another. Such great spirit. There was a kids triathlon that began shortly after most of the sprint athletes had finished. I saw kids of all ages participating, some looked quite young, maybe 5 or 6 years old. What a great course for them: a swim along the shore from point A to B (200-300m), then they rode around the lake, which seemed far to me! They ended with about a 2km run along the trail like the adults. The kids had a blast and the adults were cheering like crazy for them. It was wonderful to see. The finish area had the best post race recovery drinks ever: Fluid’s chocolate, blueberry pomegranate, and strawberry, coconut water and chocolate coconut water (imagine that!) Bananas and oranges were piled on the tables too. Help yourself! There was a post race BBQ that ranks number 1 for quality and quantity, in the short course races (I know there are buffets at 70.3 and Ironman). A feast of pulled turkey in gravy, potato salad, pasta salad, green salad, beans, fresh buns and butter, a huge selection of cold pop (cherry Coke zero anyone?) energy drinks like Powerade etc. and water. No one went hungry that’s for sure.
The awards presentation commenced once most of the Olympic athletes had finished. Medals were handed out to the top three fishers in each age group category. Pictures were taken by family and friends. Nice not to be hurried in those special moments. A young 20-24 year old guy came in first overall and I happily came in second, about 2 minutes behind him. There were some very talented athletes that posted fast times, especially in the Olympic distance. I wasn’t the only Canadian, another girl, Lori, formerly from Saskatchewan, was there and we had a great time chatting together. She placed second female overall, so we said the Canadians ruled the podium, yeah! She also pointed out, while receiving her medal with a red ribbon, that in Canada first place is traditionally a red ribbon whereas in the USA it is blue. And yes, my ribbon was blue. I found that tidbit interesting! The Bakersfield Triathlon has been running for 34 years I believe, and in previous years they have had several well known triathletes compete: Paula Newby Fraser, Mike Pigg, Scott Tinley, Chucky V, Chris Lieto and Kenny Souza to name a few. It really is a great triathlon. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to do a destination race of a shorter nature than a full or half. I had a blast, made some new friends, saw new sights and enjoyed a little vacation too. A perfect way to end my triathlon season. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my exciting journey, the injuries and the triumphs, the cold and hot, the wind and rain, the snow and mud, the pools, lakes and rivers, the races close by and those further away, the rides, the runs, the drives etc… What a full and wonderful journey! I could not have done it without you!!!
Well I did my first half iron distance this weekend but it was no small test for me.
Let’s take a step back. As a youngster, I raced multi-day bike races and multi-day MTB races. Did road and off-road triathlons for fun without much training. In 2010, on a bet, I started running again. While I always enjoyed running, the first outings were very painful and let’s just say hard on the ‘heart and lung system’. Of course I could bike and play hockey and keep up with 3 kids and work 60+ hours a week but could I run a 5k again under 23 minutes… It happened within 2 weeks and I have not stopped since – that summer I ran 3 ‘5-K races’ and did 2 ‘try-a tri’.
So 4 years later (May – June 2014) when I started planning my season, I was unsure if I was going to finally put my ‘big boy pants’ and sign up for a half iron distance race. Yes I booked a hotel for Muskoka 2 years in a row and never signed up for the race… SO I challenged myself and signed up for 3 Xterras and a number of sprints for the summer – you have to understand that I hate swimming in a lake so the Olympic distance never entered in the picture. Following JD, Piers, Kim, and other members of the TCoB doing the half distance motivated me. After having a chat with my wife (who is the voice of reason and knows me too well) and team members, I agreed to meet with Ana and sign up for the ‘Barrelman Half-Iron Distance’. Now – remember – I hate swimming in a lake – I had 12 weeks and had to get going on swimming OWS. I also had to cancel my beloved Xterra racing schedule. With dedication / motivation to finish one, I embarked in a very organized training program developed by Ana. I realized I was training but not really training.
So the calls / emails started – who is going swimming outdoors. Thanks to JD, Tanya, Patti, Piers, Kim, and Olivia who showed up for their swims but also to motivate me to keep it going. First outing at Gulliver – I did the raft swim (4-3-2-1) in 27 minutes non-stop about 1.6k. So I said it is not that bad… As the weeks went by, always with my buddies, I started swimming 2 loops under 40, 38, 36, and then 34 minutes non-stop. Hey I am onto something – if I don’t lollygag and focus, I can do this 1.9k swim. Then the longer workout started – love the long rides but the long runs… not so much. I saw tremendous improvements in my running form and tolerance / speed etc. as I increased the mileage. Started to play with nutrition – hey I am doing pretty good so I think I am ready.
As race day approached, I started to worry about if I am really cut for this type of endurance sport. So I tapered and followed the program to a T for 12 weeks. Got organized the day before / morning of race and drove to Welland to register and rack the bike. Then I drove to Niagara Falls T2 in Chippewa along the Niagara Parkway and attended a pre-race meeting. Then I learned that we would swim counter-clock wise in the canal (so right to left for those who have done Welland Half in the past) – over half of it against the ‘current’ and biked 92.5k because of construction. The wind on the Saturday was also unbelievable and we all hoped it would calm down…
Slept poorly at the 4-point Sheraton Saturday night, got the race gear sorted out and picked up Mike at the parking lot in Niagara Falls. Got to Welland to prepare in the heavy rain but no thunderstorm yet. Weather calmed down and it was off to the races… got the transition bags sorted out and BAM it was here. I had a goal – be a finisher and hopefully under 5:30.
New wetsuit and 100+ people in my wave, I was ready for this. Down the river for 300m with a hit in the face / split lip but I kept on. Got grabbed a few times and one guy even pulled me under as I was drafting for a bit. Got a (R) calf cramp from kicking hard to get away from him then made a wrong turn. Instead of cutting in at the last buoy, I crossed the canal – so swam an extra 175m I think… Came out of the water in just over 35 minutes 11 out of 51 in AG… so take away the 175m extra, I was on fire and ‘killed the swim’.
T1 was slow as we had bags to empty / refill and get the HR down before I embarked in the 92.5k ride with gust of up to 60k at times. Bike went well, passed numerous people from wave 1 and some in my AG. The first 30k were hard as the wind was relentless. Drank a little every so often and ate some of the things I used in training every 30 minutes or so. Then at 65k I hit the wall, time for a caffeine gel… hey tasted funny. Finished one bottle from bottle exchange – HEED – still had a bottle of water from the exchange in my saddle carrier – but I forgot all about it. Ride picked up as hovering around 40-45kph with a nice tail / side wind. Then the Parkway arrived – more wind and something funny happening inside my stomach and my left shoe / pedal felt funny… T2 arrives 2:39 – saw my crew – happy that I survived and ‘killed the bike’ – good dismount… and search and rescue for bag 358… 8 out of 51 off the bike!
T2 by now my HR is through the roof as I am looking around for my ‘bike to run’ bag – 50 bikes in T2 (including some swim bike racers…) – I am doing great for my first half-iron distance. Checked the watch and I am at under what I expected – ~3:15 at T2, so I am thinking 5:15 – 5:20… 5:17 was more like it!!!
The run started very well and I kept faith that I would finish. Still no sign of Mike and Allan who started 5 minutes after me but who are machines on both the bike and the run. Saw JD and Meghan (his daughter) at about 5-6k and was encouraged by being told that I was in the lead pack – meaning the AG pack. So more smiles on my face. Then it all started to fall apart – 6K had to walk, got caught by an AG at 7k (it was about time as he is Mr. Canada according to a conversation I had with him last year at a race …). Then Mike caught me at 8k – asked me if I needed anything from his ‘Pharmacy on Wheels’. At that point I was running 5 and walking 1. I felt horrible, I was having cold sweats, my stomach was acting up and my mental health was not where it usually is… Back to T2 for the second loop saw some TCoB / Pace racers starting their first loop and that motivated me a little – also seeing my crew at T1 gave me a ‘little’ boost as by then I was ready to quit. Then I remembered, they have ‘COKE’, so I started ‘doing COKE’ every aid station. Paced picked up but by then I knew 5:15 to 5:30 was in jeopardy. I did not care, I just wanted to finish, saw Allen at 13k and was waiting for him to catch me quickly but he only showed up at almost 15k – what took him so long… I think he walked Burning Spring hill (but don’t say anything). By then I am feeling ‘Hey I am not doing too badly now’… another false illusion. More hills, more COKE, and less motivation to keep going. As the Ks went by I realized I was at 19k, no more stations…
So I finally arrived at the finish line at 5:31.26 – 23 out of 51 after run; 15 out of 51 in AG (102 out of 488). I was happy to have finished but also had mixed emotions. I was laughing, I was crying, I wanted ice, water, food, chocolate milk, sit down / stand up / stretch… Holy cow – slow down Charlie… I promised myself that I would do a Half Iron distance race and I did it. Happy with how I handled the training, family life, busy private practice, 3 kids with busy schedule, and having enough time and energy to spend time with Karen. But the question remains – AM I PHYSICALLY SUITED FOR THIS DISTANCE?
I admire all of you HIM and IM racers and I still cannot understand how you can do more than one a year… Thank you to my wife Karen for supporting me during the last 3.5 months for that aspect of my life. I would also like to thank Ana, JD, Patti, Tanya, Piers, Kim, and Olivia (not in any preferred order) for helping me during the last 3.5 months and Margaret for asking me to write a little (long) something. Thanks for the thumbs up and good vibes on Facebook.
One thing I know for sure – you are never prepared for the unexpected during a race or in life in general. Now it is up to me to decide if I am prepared for next year’s challenges and what I will challenge myself with… Who knows what JT will do in 2015? One thing for sure is that ‘while I trained smart and controlled only what I could control, “the run killed me”’.
Don’t miss this awesome celebration of your triathlon season. Join us for Cocktails, Dinner, Awards and Presentations all followed up by a great party with D.J. and dancing.
Date: Saturday Nov. 1st, 2014
Place: Burlington Golf and Country Club, 422 North Shore Blvd. E., Burlington
Time: Starting at 5:30 with cocktails, Dinner at 6:30, Awards, Door prizes, Presentations and dancing to follow.
Sometimes, it happens that you get to try new stuff even if you weren’t planning on it. Saturday at Wasaga beach was a great example of this. Just one hour before the start of my second Olympic triathlon, which I prepared for and even set some goals to achieve, they canceled the swim. The wind was too strong, waves were too high and the river (our back up swim course) too dirty. Just like that, we were doing an international distance duathlon. It does consist of 10k run, 40k bike and a 5k run in case if you are not aware. Yeah-yeah just in that order. Needless to say, I didn’t train for that. And, anyways, who runs 10k before getting on their bike? So I decided to go out as hard as I can and see how long I can hold on.
Putting my running shoes on and standing at the starting line in my trisuit felt weird, but my first run went really well. I ran a new 10k pb with 39:51 on a two lap flat run course. At at that point I knew I was in the top 10. This was the part I didn’t practice for and now I respect the duathletes even more. It is tough! Switching from run to bike was actually quite hard and it took me a while to get comfortable. But nevertheless, the bike was fun even when the wind made it quite challenging. When I dropped off the bike and headed for my second run, my the only goal was not getting passed. I succeeded with the encouragements from Tanya, who took time to drive all the way past Barrie to see us race. In the end I finished 8th overall and second in my division. Really not bad for a surprise race.
What did I learn from that experience? I will say it again: everyone should try something different at least once a season. Sign up for a different race, travel to a new site, or try a new sport. Just get out of your comfort zone!
Come mountain biking with us at Kelso! Join us at 5:30pm every Tuesday at the summit parking lot for a fun ride in our local trails. Everyone is welcome, it doesn’t matter how expensive is your bike or how good you are. We will ride until the light or the weather doesn’t let us, don’t jump on your trainer so fast you will have all winter for that. Possible weekend rides at Kelso or other venues if some riders are interested.
Rsvp to firstname.lastname@example.org
Most Triathletes have heard the word Periodization before. It simply means organizing a yearly activity plan to yield the maximum training for each energy system at the correct time in the season.
P-1 – Start from the finish
Pick you’re “A” race for the season, and work back from there. Set up the appropriate taper (Generally – 3 weeks for Ironman, 2 weeks for half Ironman, Marathons and half marathons, 10 days for Olympic triathlons and one week for Sprints, 10km runs and your first Tri-a-Tri).
P-2 “B” organized
Pick your warm up events – i.e. your “B” races – ideally they should match your “A” race in some regard i.e. terrain, distance (maybe), organizational considerations may be appropriate like mass swim starts, multi-loop technical bike ride or choppy/cold water. Set these “B” races into your program outside of your taper and within the last 12 weeks of your “A” race.
P-3 Do the math – match the training
Two considerations here – if you are competing against yourself and you have a goal time in mind, calculate what your event times (including T-1 and T-2) need to be to hit your goal. Now you have training targets to compare yourself to. Devise your workouts to match these targets.
If you have a performance/podium goal, do the research. If you want to come top 3 in your event look-up all past results in your age category and the category younger. Come up with the top threes finisher’s split times, then come up with the “best in class” times i.e. the fastest individual swim , bike and run times. Use a combination of these as your benchmarks and strive to hit those times in your training.
P-4 – Timing is everything
Here you need to prioritize your energy systems training periods. Most systems need to be worked on year round. However there are times when one takes precedence over another. Base training focus happens in the first training blocks of the season. Power building in the middle training blocks and threshold focus occurs 12-14 weeks out form your “A” race day.
P-5 Train your Weaknesses (to a point)
So we know we are only as good as our weakest link – if that link is swimming then that should be your first priority and your focus early in the training. HOWEVER – keep in mind the percentage of time that is devoted to that activity in the event. So should you swim 5-6 days a week if you sink like a stone? Well maybe, but there is the law of diminished returns. When you can swim well enough to get the job done reasonably well then it maybe time to focus on the activity that requires a greater percentage of time in the event (typically the bike). Once you have identified your strengths and your weaknesses and the time devoted to that activity in the event then set your periodized time line and focus.
P-6 Resting is your best workout!
Simple – we do not get stronger from working out and overloading. We get stronger from working out, overloading then recovering from that stress. No rest, no recovery, no adaptation. It is a fine balance to know what is overtraining and what is “over recovering”- each person is different, each season is different for each person – it is vital to find your seasonal stress balance. Once you have found it work this into each training block (i.e. 1 easy week after 3 harder weeks, 1 in four, 1 in five – what is right for you?)
P-7 Workout with friends but Train on your own.
It is fine to find likeminded people to workout and spar with, but be clear on what your goal workout is for that day. Warm-up and cooldown with your buddies, however your main set needs to be about you and what you need to achieve that day, that workout, that rep. Got the idea?
Building these concepts into your yearly program will ensure that you get focused on your big event. Practice your skill sets in minor events and lazar in on your desired outcome.
These concepts are important for performance based athletes as well as recreational and participant athletes. Achieving your goal is so much more rewarding if you create a plan and train to that plan, like creating a list and crossing things off as you complete them.
Remember to enjoy the process. Regardless, who you are this is still your recreation!
On August 24th I completed the 32nd Lifetime Chicago Triathlon, competing in the Olympic distance event, this is my 3rd year in a row racing in Chicago in one of the largest triathlons in North America with over 9,000 people competing in this event spread out over the sprint and international distances. Most of my races have some form of humorous anecdotes or weird experience to them and this race was no exception. The events actually began the day before, when the rains drove in, the storm was one of the most ominous storms I have seen, at one point it looked like Sharknado 3 was about to begin! The rain and high winds began and it rained steadily, heavily and biblically for hours, bringing back memories of the Great Flood of Burlington 2014.
The morning arrived and I headed down on my bike to transition at 4:00am, transition is located on a grassy knoll in the Monroe Harbor district of Chicago, once getting there and clearing security and bag check I entered the transition area, instead of finding firm footing the grass had given way to pools of mud and water unlike any I have seen before. It was a mess, trying to lay out your gear in an area that had any patch of ground that was not thick deep mud was impossible. Off to the swim start, following the US national anthem the first wave of pro’s was in the water. The swim was going to be a challenge high winds had created choppy conditions, where the swim is located is in the harbor along the shore wall, the choppy conditions were magnified as you were tossed from both sides making the swim tougher than normal. I went into the water in wave 14, the temperature was a balmy 74F decent temperatures to say the least. I was surprised at the number of people I saw hanging onto life boats, kayaks and the shore wall along the 1.5k swim, several times I saw lifeguards jumping off the shore wall to rescue swimmers who were struggling. Upon exiting the swim you have a 500m run to transition on a carpeted pathway, upon entry into T1 the mud was thicker now and footing was precarious at best. I saw several people falling as they raced to get their bikes, running in here I was like a 3 legged cat trying to bury crap on a frozen pond. Once I reached my bike and donned my helmet I grabbed my shoes picked up my bike and carried it to the mount line to avoid running in my cleats and trying to push my bike through the deep ruts in the mud carved from other participants.
This year is the first year in 18 years they have adjusted the bike course, part of this year’s bike course took place in the tunnel and busway section of downtown Chicago for approx. 18kms of the race it was very dark, I had clear lenses on which permitted me to see much better than the dark lenses would have, glad I paid attention during the pre-race briefing the day before, there was a horrible crash in one of the tunnels that had paramedics resuscitating one of the riders as I went by.
Upon returning to transition it was the same drill take shoes off pick up and carry bike and run in barefoot, exiting I put my running shoes on and tried my best to run out of transition to the run course, but the footing was so poor it made me slower than my normal Flash like pace, hard to believe eh? The run course is flat and winds through the museum district of Chicago, the heat had reached a blistering 105F it had become so hot, insert “how hot was it” here.. the Chicago fire department had set up water cannons along the route to keep runners cool, misting fans were used at some of the aid stations, plus they added several more aid stations this year, to try and keep runners hydrated.
All in all this is a first rate race with over 9,000 people competing in it and thousands of fans lining all aspects of the race course, even some of the people who live under the bridges in some of the areas were watching the bike section of the race which made me reflect for a moment as I watched one shirtless man who had been sleeping on a piece of cardboard stand to watch the riders, how fortunate I am to have what I have and be where I am, it was certainly a contrast when you consider the number of riders going by, all on bikes worth thousands and in some case tens of thousands of dollars with all the Tri-geek paraphernalia on, and this individual had his worldly possessions in a Walgreens plastic bag sleeping in a tunnel on a cardboard box.
All in all a great time and great race extremely well organized the event runs flawlessly given the numbers and logistics of putting this together, if you have an opportunity to put this race on your calendar you will not be disappointed and Chicago is not a bad city to spend some time in as well.
Participating in Tcob is something I dont think i could do without. It offers a hugely supportive environment creating a team atmosphere for what most people would think is an individual sport. The feeling of community at any TCOB event is so strong I think of the group as my other family... My super fit family! I am not just a better athlete for being a member but a better version of me.