Sunday, 21 September 2014

Army Run - 2014 Edition

So seeing as I was already in the province of Ontario for a course I decided that I would spend an extra day, travel to Ottawa, and enjoy racing with 12,000 others. I travelled up from Borden on Friday after our course was over and had dinner at Mom and Dad's and then went down to race registration at City Hall. The athlete check-in process was quick and then I spent a few minutes touring the expo before heading home. I of course made a point of stopping by A-1 Imports to check-in and say hi.

I took it easy for the remainder of Friday and got a good nights rest. Saturday morning I did a light 5km run with a few race intensity excels. Seeing as my course in Borden had wrecked havoc on my bike training in the last couple weeks I figured I should try and get a solid ride in at IM race intensity. I headed out for a plan 100km of riding but shortly after 75km I hit a pothole which effectively shreaded my rear tire. Thankfully I was only a couple kms from a restaurant and a phone....Dad to the rescue.

I had a good nights sleep Saturday night and woke at 0530hrs for beakfast and then went back to bed for an hour. We headed downtown at 0745 and picked up my oldest sister, Kelly enroute. We arrived at the race start shortly after 0815.
Prerace with Mom and Dad.

The 1/2 marathon started at 0930 and I was fortunate to be able to line up at the front and right next to Alex Boule, a great CAF runner. Alex told me he was planning to run 1:15 so I figured I'd try and run with him for most of the race. My goal going into the race was just a solid "training" run but I was optimistic that I could 1:15 and was hoping top ten. The howitzer went off at precisely 0930 and we were off. I settled in behind Alex for the first few kms and there was a group of about 8-10 of us running together. They were running a little faster then I wanted, but knew running with a group was mentally easier then running alone. The group slowly broke up and by the time we hit the 10km marker I was struggling to hang on.

Awaiting the start!
I decided to let the gap open and start running my own race. Alex was still just ahead of me and I figured I'd just try my best to keep him in my sights. He was running very strong, which was no surprise. The last 5kms were a real struggle and the rain in the last couple kms caused the road to be quite slippery. I finished in 1:16:18 which was good enough for 8th OA, and 4th in M30-34. Totally happy with the result given that the current focus is Kona.
And we are off!

The Army Run is a fantastic race and the support from the crowd is always top notch. Running through the Governor General's residence, Rideau Hall, was always a cool addition this year.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

IM 70.3 WC Race Report - Solid Execution

So I’ve finally managed to sit down and write out my race report from the Ironman 70.3 WC that occurred in Mont Tremblant, QC on 7 Sep 14. Yes, yes I know I am a little behind.

So this year was a little different as the Canadian Armed Forces(CAF) had started a Long Course Triathlon Team and those of us who qualified on our own got to race supported by the CAF. There were five of us racing. Dave, Alex, Nick, Robert, and myself. In addition to the athletes we had Michel looking after us for the weekend. Claudia and I flew into Ottawa on Wednesday and spent the night at my parents in Ottawa. On Thursday morning we hit the road early and made the ~2hr drive to Tremblant. We settled in at the Chalet and then headed into town for athlete check-in and a light swim for me. We had rented this amazing chalet about 10km from Tremblant as my parents and oldest sister were also coming down to watch the race.
Our amazing home for the wknd!
Thursday – I hit the water early for a light swim and then followed that up with a light ride later in the day. I mostly tried to stay off my feet and get some rest.

Friday –I did a light swim and then took it easy for the remainder of the day. In the evening we had the athlete dinner and all the CAF athletes got to sit in the VIP area together which was quite nice.

These folks paid us a few visits at the Chalet.
Saturday – I did the typical D-1 race prep but due to the rain I changed it up a bit. I did a light swim in the morning and directly followed that with a run. Once the rain had subsided in the early afternoon I did a light ride and then proceeded to bike check-in.
Hanging out with my amazingly supportive wife before the race!

Race morning was quite uneventful and we were thankful for the bus transportation to the race start. I was in the first AG to start and we hit the water at 08:12.

Swim 29:33. The swim start was chaotic to say the least and I managed to get kicked multiple times and had to fix my goggles a few times within the opening 200m. By the time we hit the first turn buoy the field had spread out enough that there was a little room to manoeuvre. I was able to get a good draft for a good portion of the course and was happy to be exiting the water in under 30 minutes and now have a new PB of 29:33.
Thankfully the fog dispersed before the start.
After the long transition (which took almost 5 minutes) I was onto the bike.

Bike 2:20:33 
I thought the bike would be cold but it was quite comfortable. I was able to settle into a solid pace and quickly noticed athletes bunching (drafting) instead of riding legally. I didn't realize the extent of drafting until shortly before the turn around on the highway. Shortly before the turn around a group of 40 or so riders was heading back the other way. I was pretty frustrated with the blatant drafting but pushed my frustration aside to focus on my own race. The last section of the course was by far the hardest. VI of 1.03. First Half: 239W Avg, 247W NP. Second Half: 236W Avg, 246W Avg. This was by far my best executed ride of the year.

The last descent before the hardest section of the course!
Run 1:21:50 I knew the run would be tough, but didn't realize how tough it was going to be. The hills were pretty much relentless, though thankfully most of them were just rollers...that is with the exception of the section in town. I was able to hold a strong pace throughout and averaged 3:50/km on the first loop and 3:51/km on the second loop. Though this was not the fastest run of the year it was the most consistent.

Heading out for the best part of any race...the run!
Overall 4:17:37. 130th overall, 19th in M30-34 and top 100 amateur. Totally satisfied with the result. 
Post Race Pic w/ the Awesome Trevor Wurtele

Overall this was a first quality race and it was by far my best executed race of the season. I look forward to racing this course again next year…presuming the CAF is provide slots.

Others highlights of the weekend (besides hanging out with the wife, my parents, and oldest sister) was checking in with the crew from A-1 Imports (Cdn Distributor for Compressport) and of course checking out the 2015 Argon 18 E-118 at the Argon 18 booth at the Expo!