Monday, June 9, 2008

World Championships - Race Report


OK, well this will be a different sort of race report.  I'm low on action photos and there are STILL no results up for my category (apparently because there "are too many discrepancies with the results to post them yet") but I can't wait any longer to write this....

So, like I mentioned in a previous post, I think I came 5th and I think my time was 2:25:13.  This is pretty much 100% sure.

The day started very early: 4:30am to be precise.  Ouch... I am fairly accustomed to early mornings but 4:30 is a late night in my books.  I slept at my Dad's place as it is pretty close to the race venue and he was my handler for the race.  Also, as adorable as Viggo is, he is not yet known for his peaceful sleeping habits.

Breakfast:  I took down a couple of packages of oatmeal while staring at nothing and sleeping with my eyes open.  The oatmeal was accompanied by some toast and peanut butter I think, but it's a blur now...

Everything was packed and we were out the door and into a cab.

Transition was already busy and all of our Canadian Team was there and looking focused.  I felt pretty calm and collected.  My Dad and I went through how our transition would work.  Where I would put on my leg, which leg I would use and when.  This is a strenuous mental exercise as there are usually many options and variables to consider as well as a lot to remember for my Dad.  We figured out a great plan that I think saved me lots of time and will become the standard protocol from now on.

Fast forward here....  golf cart to swim start at English Bay.  Wetsuit on.  Chill for a minute.  Say "hi" to race-day supporters:  Llorn and Hayley - thanks for getting up early guys!

Suit on...  chillin' in the Athletes tent (10 minutes from start)

My Dad - Awesome handler all day.  Jack Nicholson eyebrows from swim cap...  

The Water:  Yes, it was cold.  If you read much of the coverage this weekend you probably noticed it was quite the storyline....  I really didn't mind it that much.

The course had been shortened to 1200 metres.  Though we thought it was 900 at the time and only found out later.  No matter, I couldn't tell the difference anyway.

I started well and was second to the first buoy (maybe 150 metres out)...  as I came around it a few swimmers had a better line and passed me but I was up in the front with all but 1 dude who was WAY ahead.

Anyway, as the swim went by a few people passed me but I think I acquitted myself well and I was very relaxed and enjoying it.

The transition was awesome as I mentioned.  Except for my wetsuit being a bit difficult on my ankle it was very efficient.

The bike was the part of the race where I expected to be hurting a bit.  As noted in this blog I have neglected my cycling through the winter in favour of skiing and with the race in early June I haven't had the time or weather to dial it in as I would like.

On race day I felt fine and had a blast on the bike....  I wasn't as quick as I would have liked on the uphills and flats but wasn't going to sweat it.  I crushed the downhills in full aero position and nary a touch of the brakes.  I love the downhills in Stanley Park and I knew them better than many of the folks on the course from out of town.

The piece de resistance was my flying dismount a la the pros.  Practice makes perfect and I nailed it into a full run....  sweet!


T2 felt rapid and I left on the run with a gel in hand.  My legs were a bit heavy to begin with and my right foot was a tiny bit numb (my left was so numb I couldn't even feel it.... ha ha - bad joke).  It is hard to critique the run as I don't know my time and of course it hurt.  Whether it hurt "good" and I rocked it, or I just sucked is a matter of my split time and I don't have that.  I passed one leg amp guy really early in the run and left him behind, I quickly surmised that the guy ahead of me was going to be hard to catch...  I saw him on an out-and-back section and timed the gap at about 4 minutes - and he was running well.  This left me searching for motivation for some time.  I tried hard to run him down but was not closing the gap much....  

In the end I just tried to concentrate on making it 'hurt' - stealing some inspiration from Stephen Holmes' (Triathlon Canada President) speech to the team.  It was basically, you may not be at your best, or you may be, you may not have reached your potential or you may have a while ago, whatever the case, if you hurt on race day you know you have given it everything.  Just hurt.

As I approached the last 600 or 700 metres I saw a leg amp way up ahead and for a moment thought I could catch him, so I gunned it hard....  I gained, and I gained (I had him, I could tell)... then, unexpectedly, he took the turn-around loop to start his next lap....  I thought he was heading down the finishing chute like me and I was going to climb up a spot but no....  oh well, I cruised across the line and felt pretty happy with the race.

Lollygagging....  usually would be sprinting here.  Emptied the tank on the guy who I thought was ahead of me...

Chatting with the other fellas in the finishing area

It is definitely a personal best.  2:25:13 (once I account for the 1200 metre swim) is a time I am VERY happy with.  One I expected would have placed me higher.  The guys in my category are fast and I am proud to race against them...  the challenge remains for next year.

Overall, the experience was a lot of fun.  We were very lucky to get to do a full race with the swim.  Not long after we started they turned the race into a Duathlon (i.e. they cancelled the swim due to unsafe (choppy) conditions).  We were one of the few groups that got to do a 'triathlon' that day.

My next triathlon is the PUSHOR-MITCHELL KELOWNA APPLE which is this year's Canadian National Championship.  I love this race for many reasons - Kelowna is awesome in August, the race is smoothly run and professional and the organizers have gone out of their way over the years to provide an excellent experience for AWAD athletes.  If you are interested in this race drop me a line and I will tell you all about it.  Maybe I'll see you there! 


First I'd like to thank my coaches Rob and James.  Without them I would definitely be a lesser athlete.  These guys inspire me to get the most out of myself and to keep putting in the work.

My sponsors - Innovative Fitness, The Bike Gallery, Rudy Project and Team DHL.  Triathlon and sport generally is expensive - without the help of sponsors I would have a hard time sustaining the costs associated with training at a high level.

Triathlon Canada - for supporting and furthering my initiatives to help triathletes with a disability. 

My training partners - Kevin, the West Van Masters swimmers, the I.F. riders, Team DHL skiers, Tony, and everyone else who makes getting up and out the door for a workout fun.

Supporters - Rian, Sabine, Gary, Anne Marie, Llorn, Hayley, Rick and Heather, Ashley, Dave, Heinrich, and anyone else who screamed as I went past, e-mailed, called or just read my blog....  you guys rock!

Volunteers - all the volunteers, but especially the ones I recruited for the race - you guys were awesome and the athletes you assisted were extremely happy.

My Dad for being an awesome handler and never forgetting anything....  calm and ready to kick ass - great partner.

Last but definitely not least, Sacha, Mattias, Aia and Viggo for supporting me and allowing me to spend the time training that it takes to improve.  You guys are awesome and I am lucky to have a family that supports me the way you do!

MJ putting the reporters to sleep...

Day before the race - left to right Me, Scott Patterson, Mark Vaughan, Chris Bourne, Rob Elliott.  I arranged for Mark and Rob to be Chris' handlers.

The Bourne Trinity, The Bourne Supremacy....  Rob, Mark and Chris....

Mattias being cool...

Me being cool...

A pro triathlete being super-cool - look at the sportsmanship....

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