It is amazing to have a world class event right in our own backyard now. The Ironman brand puts on amazing events and this past Sunday was no different, with over 2000 people participating! The men’s, and to a lesser extent the women’s, pro fields were stacked with Canadian athletes. Congratulations to the top 5 finishers who were all Canucks – Taylor Reid, Trevor Wurtele, Stephen Kilshaw, Elliot Holtham and Nathan Killam (see you boys again in Whistler).
Coach Lance Watson put together a great build up for this race, I was very consistent in training and since January I have been hitting personal bests in training across all 3 disciplines. I also had some personal best running races including a 15:28 at the Synergy Bazan Bay 5k in March. After the Ironman 70.3 Texas in early April we began to focus our bike training on being very specific to the bike course, and one luxury of living here was that I was able to get off my bike and do brick runs right on the run route as well. All in all the preparation went well and all things indicated I was ready to race well.
It was a real treat to get to spend some time in the booths of two of my sponsors. Aquasphere and I began to work together recently and I am very excited with this relationship since their wetsuits are truly industry leading in many ways – not only do they use the latest technology (Yamamoto 39 rubber of course) but they have incredible
quality and design since they manufacture all their product in their own factory in Italy. They do not outsource to factories in foreign countries where uniqueness in design and quality control can be lost. I have quickly come to love their Phantom wetsuit and Kaiman goggles, if you are at Ironman Canada in July I urge you to take the opportunity to test their wetsuits, Steve will be there with his test fleet and he will fit you up properly – you won’t be disappointed. Steve from Aquasphere is also very supportive of his local athletes and offers up a cash bonuses at a handful of the Ironman branded races on the West Coast, Shawnigan Lake was one of those events and as the overall winner I was rewarded with a nice cheque, Steve was hoping I may podium at the 70.3 and then he would give me two cheques, alas I did not he presented me with my Shawnigan bonus.
Skechers Performance Running Shoes had their tent setup and I got to spend some quality time chatting with the west coast and head office reps – Jamie and Laurent are extremely nice people and their footwear and clothing support has been fantastic. The GOrun4 has become one of my all time favourite running shoes over the 5 months I have been using it so far, please see my previous blog post for an review of 3 of the Skechers Performance models. I was impressed to hear that they have made improvements on the current model and are continuing to be industry leading with their forward thinking technology.
Race Day – Swim
My warm up for a race starts 3 hours and 15 minutes prior to the gun going off. I begin the day with a light jog before breakfast – I am the type of athlete who’s engine takes a while to warm up. After you wake up your core temperature rises over the first few hours and doing a light workout can speed up that process. Breakfast was a banana and cup of tea while I warmed up my rice and left over chicken breast. Off to the races!
I set up my transition, did another 12 minute light building jog, put on my wetsuit and headed down to the water. It was nice to be able to get in the water about 10-12 minutes before the start, so I got in and did a shortened version of regular swim warm up – I felt ready to go by the 4th pickup effort.
Coach Lance and I had discussed my race strategy in detail and so I knew what I had to do to have a good swim. It was too bad the swim was shortened because the 50 second lead that Jarrod Shoemaker and I had coming out of the water could have been bigger. Ah well, it was a neat to exit the water right behind and ex-ITU athlete! I was mentally in a great place running through transition and starting the bike.
Race Day – Bike
On the bike I settled in and new the race was about to really start. At about 10km Taylor Reid and Nathan Killam popped past me, it was now game on. We wound through Mt.Doug and down into Cordova Bay before Trevor Wurtele came by and took the lead on the bike. Eventually Steve Kilshaw and Elliot Holtham joined the group.
Shortly after that I went to make some passes and was given a penalty for “taking too long to pass”. This is a Blue Card and therefore requires me to stop at the penalty tent at 40km, get off my bike and stand there
for 5 minutes. Needless to say this is most frustrating. The group I was in contained all the eventual top 5 finishers and I had the painful experience of watching them disappear as I stood in the penalty tent. But, that is racing, I made a mistake and got dinged for it. This is my first ever penalty in my entire career as a triathlete.
Once I was able to get back on my bike I worked my way through the rest of the bike course battling some mental frustration but also trying to not let it get to me. I race the rest of the bike course as best I could and got off the bike ready to run.
Race Day – Run
I slipped on the Skechers GOrun4s and was off. I was pretty excited to be running a serious race on a running trail that I frequent almost weekly. At this point in the race I had dismissed the negative mental state that had come from the bike penalty. I just thought about what I tell my
son “just do your best and that is all that matters”. So I got into a rhythm and started ticking off the kms as quickly as I could. Eventually I caught up to a Yu Hsiao and Jonathan Shearon, we continued to run together for quite a while, I can’t remember exactly how long we ran together but I it seemed like an eternity that they were clipping at my heels and breathing down my neck. Around the 17km mark I got a little side stitch and I continued to battle that for the remainder of the run. As you can see from the results below both Jon and Yu ended up pulling away – congrats on strong finishes by them.
Ironman Canada – 6 weeks
The focus now shifts to some Ironman Specific preparations for the big show in Whistler on July 24th. I am looking forward to this block of training and eager to continue to improve my fitness so that when I line up against a bunch of the same guys as this race I will be ready to race head to head.
It is important for me to not forget to thank all the people that support me. A sincere thank you to all the following groups of people.
Purica – my employer and sponsor – makers of a unique line of extremely high quality natural supplements.
Synergy Health Centre – the group of practitioners at this award winning centre keep my body functioning through all the physical stress from training and racing. It is not possible to compete as an elite athlete without a team like this behind you.
Lifestyle Markets – the most comprehensive health food store on Vancouver Island. These guys have been around for over two decades and they have it all. It is a one stop shop for grocery, supplements, body care products and much more (don’t forget the deli!).
Nova Probiotics – the research and evidence continue to show that a person with a health gut microbiome is less prone to sickness (of all types), is more alert, has more energy, digests food better and absorbs nutrients more efficiently. Furthermore, pertaining to the specifics of the endurance athlete, a healthy gut microbiome can help eliminate GI issues on race day.
Aquasphere Wetsuits – industry leading technology throughout the entire line up. Their masterpiece – the
Phantom – has helped me to personal best swims at all my races this year. The range of motion and comfort level is unparalleled from what I have tried over the years. If you already have a good suit then give their goggles a try – they dominate the goggle market, for real!
Skechers Performance Running Shoes – they are breaking into the triathlon world with a bang, the shoes are very well designed, comfortable and priced well. Straight up loving running in them!
Frontrunners – Vancouver Islands #1 running stores! Thanks to these guys for the support, they have everything you could need from great nutrition products and fuel/hydration systems to self massage tools. Check out one of their 4 island locations.
Lastly, a big thank you to my coach Lance Watson. Although I have only been working with him for 6 months it feels like a lot longer since we have learned a great deal in that time. I am extremely happy to be working with Lance and almost have a hard time living in the present since I know the future holds much better things for me as a triathlete as Lance and I continue to forge me into a better athlete both physically and mentally.
|NAME||COUNTRY||DIV RANK||OVERALL RANK||SWIM||BIKE||RUN||FINISH|