Thursday, March 13, 2014

The UBC Triathlon and Some Sponsor Updates!

Photo: Björn Ossenbrink

One race, one win.  Can’t complain about that!  The UBC triathlon was the 3rd triathlon I ever did back in 2006.  Looking back at the results it was quite the solid field with Trevor Wurtele, Andrew Russell and Adam O’Meara.  I remember thinking that Trevor (though I only knew him as the guy in the white and black shirt) must have cut the course because he came out of nowhere on the swim to be right behind me on the bike.

Racing, how I missed you!  Mainly, how I missed Getting Ugly Out There on the run!  It has been a long road back from my crash at Challenge Penticton.  The impact on my hip caused problems in my sesamoid bone and kept me from racing until this past weekend.  It was awesome to get back on a start line and go through the emotions.  I know, I changed the saying, ‘emotions’ just seem so much more fitting in this situation. 

Just last week the course looked like this.   

The roads cleared up over the last couple of days and sun was astonishingly brilliant for race day.   I am not one for lame poetic sentences, but a week ago we thought it was going to snow race day, and it turned out to be shirts-off weather! Only in Vancouver…

Shirts Off!

The swim is done in a 50-meter pool.  Normally I hate pool swims because I can NOT count laps.  300 meters is my limit; I don’t swim 400’s, I swim 400’s-ish. But don’t think I have gone soft on you, I always err on the side of too much.  So if I had to count a 1500…. no chance.   Thankfully UBC has solved this problem by having swimmers go up and down each lane for the 8 lanes of the pool.  You then get out after the 8th lane, run (it’s a race, there’s no way I’m going to follow pool rules and walk) back to the beginning and swim 7 more lanes.   To change lanes you do the always-sketchy flip turn under the lane rope.  Negative side effects include: flip turning the wrong way, one-foot push offs, grating your head on the lane rope, or heading back into oncoming traffic.  All of which make things more fun, all of which I manage to do every time I’ve raced at UBC.   

The start of the swim is a time trial start; each person 10 seconds apart. I swam hard to catch the one guy ahead of me. He had written down 18 minutes for his 1500 time so I had hoped to draft off him to a good time. Although he looked like the kind of ex-swimmer that spent more time working on technique then anything else. Needless to say, he started fading HARD. That was when I decided to make the move to pass him and when “The Claw” came out! 

The CLAW!  Photo: Björn Ossenbrink

This is my new mission – to get rid of my claw.   No matter how hard I try I always do it.  I have purchased two beefy aluminum rulers and some duct tape to splint my forearms to practice. I am not kidding. Duct tape fixes anything and everything right?

Once you’ve finished your laps, you jump out of the pool and run outside to T1. The bike leg has a lot of turns and the roads were pretty slick from the torrential downpour we experienced on Saturday.  I took the corners fairly conservative as I was under strict “Don’t crash this time” instructions from my girlfriend.  I also made sure to give plenty of room as I lapped people, especially to the guy with the Alexander Gustafson like Bad Boy shorts.  I figured if we got tangled up he probably kick my ass as well.  

With the time trial start you can’t tell exactly where people are in the race so you just keep pushing hard right until the end. Once I got out onto the run course, it took me a bit longer to settle into my race pace then usual but managed to get there within a few kms. This was quickly disrupted when I was trying to pass someone and managed to loose my balance and fall (seriously, what is wrong with me?!). I quickly surveyed the damage, shook it off, and kept going. Managed to loose some skin from both knees but luckily nothing serious. 33 minutes later I crossed the finish line thinking “Oh right, so that’s what it feels like!” The running hard and suffering reminded me of what makes this sport so awesome.

Nathan, Nathan and I

Congrats to my fellow Okanagan athletes for kicking ass as well. Nathan Champness came 2nd, Chris Young 4th, Jen Annett won the womens and Robbie Smith with a comeback appearance won the Sprint Distance. 

It’s great to be back to racing and I am excited about the 2014 season!

Photo: Björn Ossenbrink

On the sponsorship side of things, at the end of 2013 I said goodbye to Orbea and welcomed Argon-18 to my team. I am so excited to be working with the guys (and gals) from Quebec! Thanks to Jonathon Caron, my French-Canadian interpretation skills I gained from him will finally be put to good use! I’ve already spent a good amount of time with the Argon-18 team so look out for more info from that! And as always, I have an amazing team of Asics, Shimano/Pro, Powerbar, Ryder’s, Klean Athlete, Champion Systems, Swagman Racks, and Kicker Endurance on board for another year of good times and fast times!

Photo: Björn Ossenbrink

Lastly, I want to say a big thank you my physiotherapist Sean Campbell from Campbell Health for put me back together after the crash.  Not only have we put the pieces back together, but we have made some improvements as well! 

Next up is the St. Patricks Day 5k at Stanley Park. Race starts at 9:00am, party starts at 9:15am!

Keep Gettin’ Ugly!

1 comment:

Garth Kennedy said...

Great read, good luck this year in your races. Nice to follow a great BC racer.