Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ironman Melbourne

Photo: Delly Carr

It has now been a month since Ironman Melbourne! I am back in the swing of things and working hard towards my next Ironman title.  Below is a collection of some of the post race media. Thanks to everyone who took the time to help share my story and promote both our amazing sport and lifestyle!  









Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Australia Prep Video

Thanks to Chris Stenberg for putting together this video about crossing the Pacific to come race in Australia.  Training has been great here in Bendigo and I am looking forward to racing Ironman Melbourne on March 22nd!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Argon 18 E-118 Next

I wrote this up in response to a Slowtwitch Thread asking about the new Argon 18 E-118 Next. If you are in the market for a new speed machine check this bike out!


I had the opportunity to test the E-118 Next prototype this spring. I racked up a ton of miles on it and absolutely loved it! I might come off a bit biased as I am Argon 18 Athlete, but I wouldn`t go out of my way to post on here if I was not 100% thrilled with the bike!

I loved what they did with the front end of the bike. The first thing I noticed was the stiffness. Everything just feel precise when you are riding. This is a very Canadian thing to say, however it is the best analogy I can think of, I the E-118 makes carves like a skate blade where as other bikes I had were more like a hockey puck. It is confidence inspiring and I found myself feeling more in control and taking corners in the aerobars I otherwise didn’t. The increase in stiffness comes from the aero bridge and also the way the aerobar spacers screw into each other. Argon 18`s are known for being beautifully balanced bike and this bike adds to that reputation.

The basebar of the E-118 also has less of a drop than the previous generation and can be flipped up or down to making climbing a little more relaxed. I also really like the shape of the bar for comfort in different hand positions. The shape of the bar let you effortlessly slide you hand around without distracting from your focus on the road ahead.

I ride with my aerobars tilted up 16 degrees. It is a position I find way more comfortable and powerful. For me it was also validated in the wind tunnel a couple years ago. The E-118 Next allows me to have my aerobars at a 16 degree tilt while keeping base bar flat. This alone should be a 3-4 watt savings over my current setup. With the high level a front end adjustability every can get there fit dialed in completely.

Aerodynamically the bike is on par with other its competitors. I personally tested it with my bike Shop Speed Theory in the University of Washington wind tunnel and with me on the bike, there was less than a watt difference between E118 Next, the P5 and the 2014 Speed Concept. This was with the aerobars and basebars flat. The E118 Next has gotten rid of the exposed noodle and has also improved the head tube shape to help clean up the bike.

Before riding the E-118 I was a little hesitant about the TRP brakes. However, Argon 18 has done a great job of keeping the cable routing simple enough that rear brake works well compared to some of the other TRP bikes I have ridden. Adjusting the brakes is tougher than I was used to with Shimano but I was able to learn it pretty quickly. I am not the most mechanically inclined person, so if I can learn, than anyone could do it. The rear brake also lacks the feedback that I like and have come to expect with Shimano brakes, but the stopping power is still there. It took a little while to get fully used to this feeling.

I took the prototype to Kona for some training in April. It handled great in the cross winds and it is one of those bike where you just feel like every bit of power is immediately transfer to pushing you forward. The E-118 Next was by far the easiest bike I have traveled with. The basebar screws flat into the stem with four bolts and has a three mini-bolt cover over top. There is no worrying or doubt about, did I get my handlebar tilt 100% correct or is the wheel perfectly centered. I am a little OCD usually about this, but with the E-118 Next you just torque the bolts and you position is perfect!

For the most part the rear triangle is the same as the older generation but I like the addition of mounting bolts on the top tube. I will be taking advantage of this rather than gorilla taping my PitStop. I also like the paint Argon paint scheme. Badass matte black mixed with the Canadian red and white!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Challenge Bahrain

One of the odd parts of being a professional athlete is it’s a job that requires me to rest – I get to watch a lot of films and have a pretty good recall for movie quotes! So as I jetted east from the continent for the first time, I remembered Sam from Lord of Rings, saying “If I take one more step, it’ll be the farthest away from home I've ever been.”

I’d never flown across the Atlantic before, and my exotic destination of Bahrain would take me to the Middle East for the first time.

In 21 hours. On board three different planes.

My physiotherapist Sean Campbell even had me wear a Humidiflyer and had to give me exercises to do to keep my muscles fresh (which also meant I looked like a transformer and got some strange stares).
The "Humidiflyer"
 I don’t know what I expected Bahrain to be like, but I thought it would be different than it is. It’s far more like the Californian desert than I expected, with its dry air, flat roofs and dusty plains.
And the people, well, they’re not so different than Canadians in their hospitality and warmth. Everyone I met that I asked for help from was kind and generous, and they genuinely wanted to help me out.
This guy got us through security and customs fast by saying something like "These are not the Droids you are looking for"
Whenever I was out training during the week people were waving or giving me thumbs-up; they haven’t seen triathlon before and were truly intrigued.
The weeks leading up to this trip ticked along in the way they usually do when I’m training. Every athlete has their ups and downs and elite athletes are no exception. We are also, definitely, not immune to food poisoning as it turns out...

Although I’d been training for full-distance triathlons, preparations for the half distance in Bahrain were coming along nicely, and I was pretty confident about the race.
One thing I hadn’t prepared myself for was the hotel buffet. It certainly beat my own cooking at home – it was unreal. It had every type of food I could imagine.  The lineup at the buffet was the who's who of triathlon! It was also pretty neat to see what they all ate in the days leading up to the big event.  Rumor has it Pete Jacobs spent 4 hours at the breakfast buffet on day one!
The most incredible chocolate fountain that hung out in the hotel lobby. Tempting you to get the $27 dessert buffet!
Traveled half way across the world only to eat Richmond's finest cereal - Nature's Path cereal (my favorite!) being served at the buffet.
The race itself was incredible. Challenge Family triathlons are known for providing an amazing experience for athletes and the Bahrain team worked hard really hard to make it a special race. They dotted every ‘i’ and crossed every ‘t’ from a smooth check-in experience to erecting giant inspirational billboards along the course.
Help desk at the Bahrain Airport for anyone taking part in the race.
We stayed at the Sofitel with most of the other Pro's, friends, family members, and media folk. The hotel was unreal!  The views were incredible and the staff super friendly and accommodating. Highly, highly recommended next time you find yourself stopping through Bahrain. Next December perhaps?!
View from our balcony - it was alright I guess.

The triathlon fan in me was definitely star-struck for the majority of the week. On the first day out to the outdoor pool and Pete Jacobs, Tim Reed, and Tim Berkel were swimming laps.  The pool was a tight circle and ended up being perfect for laps.
The Aussie's getting the work done in the hotel pool.
Selfie with Pete Jacobs and Tim Don...
There was no doubt in anyone’s mind about the Challenge Family’s signature colour, red – and our hosts pretty much painted everything in the town! Even the course itself included a unique feature: an F1 racetrack!
As fast as I like to think I am, I wasn’t quite at F1 speeds – I felt more like I was in a game of real-life Mario Kart than anything – but it was a dream-come-true.

The run course took us in a wildlife reserve that had ostriches running around. I was looking forward to that experience, too, until I saw some in the corner of my eye. Now I always run pretty hard, but I certainly got a little extra speed when they caught me in their field of vision.  Just liek Kevin Hart...

And I’d certainly never raced alongside a prince before! Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa is one incredible guy. He’s actually the reason the race – and even the sport – came to Bahrain.
You can’t help but have respect for a prince who’s not only racing, but investing in triathlon, and youth and sport development in his country. The indoor 50m pool alone is super impressive! The influence he’s had on his people inspires me.

The Prince and his entourage rolling into athlete registration

I think one of my responsibilities as an elite athlete is to encourage new people into the sport and celebrate the achievement of all athletes who sign up for races – young, old, fast or getting faster.
The day before my race I met one of the young people the prince has inspired. I went down to the kids’ race to volunteer and cheer them on, and met a 16-year-old Bahraini named Abdulla.
“Abs” is new to triathlon, from swimming. When I was talking to him, I realized he’s been having the same experience I used to have watching full-distance triathlon in Penticton when growing up. And was he ever lapping up the event, just like I did!
He loved meeting all the other athletes, sharing about what he’s been learning and all of his hopes and dreams for his triathlon career. After the race I learned he came out of the water in second place in the relay category – so I’ll be keeping a close eye on his development in the coming years!
Handing out medals at the Kids Junior Race. Always so much fun!
Abs and I at the awards banquet.
Whenever I read articles like this, I expect to hear the athlete’s strategy and am always inspired to read how closely to plan it went. But really, my strategy was quite simply just to go hard, get the most out of myself and to Get Ugly at the end. I heard Jan Frodeno said that I looked like I had been pushing the hardest when I was running down the finish chute and that is exactly the look I'm going for!
T1 Race morning

I was happy with my swim (although an elbow to the eye courtesy of Tim Berkel wasn’t one of my planned tactics!). I went a little harder than I normally would on the bike, but I wanted to take some chances and see what could happen.
I started to notice the Middle East heat on the run, but I figured everyone else was suffering too. I picked off as many athletes ahead of me as I could, but couldn’t quite get myself into sixth place.
But I was stoked to finish in seventh in such an amazing field. I found myself right in the middle of outstanding athletes and triathlon legends.
We also got incredible Challenge Bahrain transition backpacks as well as finisher jackets that looked like something you would find at MEC. Super light-weight, packable and really warm.  
Probably one of the cooler parts of the race was hanging out in the doping control tent post race with all of the pro's (male and female) and blurting out to Tim Don that my girlfriend Sophia has told me that his hair should be my hair-spiration...

The party didn't stop in the doping control tent either - Challenge Bahrain put on an unreal awards ceremony followed by the wildest triathlon after-party I've ever been to. Well, lets face it, the only after-party I've ever been to. Akon, Dire Straits, and Canada's own Massari were performing live. Yes, live. For about 200 people. Take what you're imagining this concert to be right now, and multiply it by 10 and you've got it nailed. There was even a dancing robot and the best break-dancer group I've ever seen.
Akon. Found myself thinking "Oh right, he sung that song too!" all night long.

 I've been home now for 24 hours and I still can't believe what an amazing experience I had over there. Challenge really knows how to treat their athlete's with respect and dignity and are doing great things for the sport of Triathlon across the world and especially in the Middle East.

Still figuring out my race plans for 2015 but you can be sure that it's going to include a few more of these races - this is one to put on your bucket list!

Huge shout out and thanks to everyone who was able to make this trip (and this season) such a success including Mike Brown (Great White North & Challenge Penticton Owner/RD) and Darren Hailes who traveled with me from Canada and were under the watch of the palace with me...we think it had something to do with 3 guys sharing a hotel room together. Everyone at Challenge Bahrain and Challenge Family for all of their hard work getting the race organized and all of us pro's organized. All of my sponsors, supporters, family and friends. And of course, my best friend Sophia who does more for me and my career then anyone could ever imagine!

Until next year Bahrain!! 

Sunset on our last night.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Triathlon Magazine Canada Articles

I have thrilled to have been asked to be an online contributor for Triathlon Magazine Canada.  I have linked my first three articles below.  From now on I'll be contributing an article every week and watch out for the occasional work in the written magazine.

Five Books Every Triathlete Should Read 

How to Survive the Recovery Workout

Five Questions All Athletes Should Ask Themselves 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

BMO Okanagan Half Marathon and Tri Power Harvest Run

This weekend Sophia and I doubled up on running races competing in both the TriPower Harvest Run and the BMO Okanagan Half Marathon.  With two races on consecutive days, it goes without saying that we earned our Thanksgiving Dinner! 

First up was the Harvest Run.

The Harvest run is a 5.5k and 3k cross country race at Covert Farms. Covert farms is the perfect venue for a cross country race.  The course went through vineyards, up and down hills, on dirt roads and up into some fun single track trails. Just an awesome spot to run!  The race is a fundraiser for the the kids group that I coach with TriPower, so I was thrilled to be a part of it!  This also meant my arch rival Keagan would be racing.  Keagan is a 12 year who I coach at TriPower.  He is super fast and like all of the TriPower kids, has a great attitude and passion for running, triathlon and hard work! He out kicked me at the Challenge Penticton Fun Run (photo of us below) some say I didn't have the Eye of Tiger that day ;).  This time around he threw down some WWF trash talk at the start line and it was on.  I was able to finish ahead of him and win the race but it is only a matter of time, probably 5 or 6 years, that he'll be taking me down for real! That is what the Harvest Run is all about. Inspiring the younger athletes so they can one day kick my ass! That and winning a great bottle of Covert Farms wine for Sophia!

Keagan and I at Challenge Penticton Fun Run
Game Face!

Sophia in a Sprint Finish

Mere moments after receiving my wine prize, Sophia has already taken it!

Next up was the BMO Okanagan Half Marathon

I have done the Half Marathon portion of this race 3 times before and it is the perfect way to kick off Thanksgiving Sunday.  You get a great run in the morning and can then chill out all afternoon and hit Turkey dinner hard like your name is Joey Chestnut! Unless you are a triathlete, then you also fit in an afternoon ride.  Between the Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k the event had 2672 people out running and getting ugly on Sunday.  The staggered start and loops of the course work, I think I crossed paths or ran past all of them! This is always awesome as it leads to people cheering and giving words of encouragement to each other. It keeps you motivating and having a blast!  It was great to be able to win the race for the fourth time.  Sophia picked up a PB so she was pumped!

Link to Post Race Newspaper Article

Next up Ironman 70.3 Austin!  Stoked!

Pre Race Goal!
Photo from Wave Physio

Asics HyperSpeed 6.  Fastest Shoes I've Ever Worn!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Challenge Penticton Video

I am thrilled to have defended my title at Challenge Penticton! It was an unreal day out there. Chris Stenberg put together an awesome promo video for next years race.
Challenge Penticton 2015 from Challenge Penticton on Vimeo.