Sunday, May 24, 2009

Shawnigan - a good day

Kilshaw and Mensink with the wins.
James Fry 3rd (first on the left) and Rachel Kiers (2nd from the right)

I'm tired and I must go to bed but I needed to write a short one before retiring.
Today was the Shawnigan Lake 1/2 Ironman.
I was suppose to do a relay with Sara Gross. She was to swim and bike and I was going to do the run but last night but she got a stomach bug that kept her home so I was at the race with a coffee in my hand instead of sneakers on my feet.
I was disappointed to start the day but in the end it turned out to be a blessing.
I had several of my athletes out there and I couldn't have been happier with how things went.
I would not have been able to watch and support some great performances.
I had one athlete in the Olympic race today. Cathy Noel is a new triathlete with a goal of finishing Ironman Canada this summer. She's been working hard and making big gains across the board. She finished the Oly (with a 44k bike) 6th in her age group and about 5' faster than our predicted finish.
My newest athlete, James Fry, ended up coming 3rd with a 4:31 in the Half. A solid performance with lots of room for improvement for him!
Taking the win was Steve Kilshaw, a young man I have the pleasure to work with in the Victoria Elite Long Course club we have going here.
I've been working with Lysanne Lavigne for a few years now but this was her first venture into the long course. She's a full time massage therapist with a healthy attitude towards work and sport. 15 hours is a big week for her and her 4:56 was intensly satisfying for both of us.
Rachel Kiers was back defending her title. When she won last year, she did it with a 4:41. This year the competition was a little stiffer. The win would be more elusive. Olympian Lisa Mensink was vying for the title, along with Katya Mayers, Edmontononian Annett Kamenz and Miranda Alldritt to name a few.
Rachel came out of the water almost four minutes down from Mensink's lethal swim but managed to get off the bike almost a minute up on the crowd. Lisa overtook the lead and kept it but Rachel was able to hold onto 2nd place and finished a full five minutes faster than she did last year.
It's days like today that make coaching so worth while.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Good Cause!!

Was chatting with Jasper Blake the other day and he was telling me about his efforts to get some folks together to race for MS. He's got a hell of deal going and if I didn't have my summer booked I'd jump on it.
I thought I'd pass on the word and see if anyone else might like to take advantage.

Here's the website:

In a nut shell you raise a very reasonable amount of sponsorship money and you get a great package deal to IMC.
From Jasper:
"Ironman Canada Entry and Entry fee covered
Team cycling kit
Team racing kit (both by Hincapie)
Highest Fundraiser gets a bike
Second highest gets a wetsuit blue seventy
Third highest gets some 7systems product
Team brunch on the thursday before the race
Team swim clinic with me on the thursday before the brunch
Ryders Eyewear for everyone on the team
Any other swag i can pull together from my sponsors this is TBD (Ryders eyewear is already here)
Freedom to email me anytime with questions about IM Canada"

MS is an ugly disease that is close to Jasper and over the years has touched several people who have run in my circles.
If this opportunity is available next year I'm going to do what I can to be a part of it.
If you're on the fence about doing an IM or have missed an opportunity to get an entry this season - PLEASE consider this option!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Welcome to the sandbox

For more than a year now Jasper Blake and I have, with some regularity, discussed the possibility of forming a long course specific triathlon group. The idea was to create a series of workouts for the long course athlete - specifically the "elite" long course athlete.
Victoria is a great place to train. The roads are hilly and endless. Nice trails vein the entire island and there are two solid 50 meter pools within a twelve minute drive of each other.
Victoria is also thick with training groups. Throw a rock in this town and you hit a tri coach with a club. If you're a complete beginner there are several soft places to start out.
If you're a young Canadian athlete with dreams of representing the country on the international scene then you might get lucky enough to work with Pat Kelly at the National Triathlon Training Centre.
But if you're a long course triathlete training in this town your options have always been limited. Pete Reid and Lori Bowden swam with a morning masters group that seldom cracked 3500 m.
Jasper has been training with the junior national team for the last few years. They swim hard and have second to none coaching but the swims are designed for 18 year olds hoping to make the next Olympics.
Jasper's dream was to have workouts with the Ironman in mind instead of trying to make short course pegs fit into a long course hole.
He saw 12-15 athletes with regular coached sessions - supported rides and group runs.
Financing such a group would be a tall order. The team would need a paid manager. Lane space needs to be rented and scooter time isn't cheap. It was a big dream.
But on April 14 2009 the birth of VELCA occurred.
On that Tuesday morning nine of Victoria's Elite Long Course Athletes met at the Crystal pool and swam 4700 meters with a main set that was 2800 meters. There was little rest and a lot of work. 5 of the 9 athletes cracked on that set but none of them got out early.
Now, three weeks later, we're up to twelve, swimming twice weekly and we've had a few visitors from Vancouver join us for a session or two.
I've got a good feeling about this thing but it won't be without its challenge. A dozen elite athletes all with different race schedules, different coaches and different personalities.
Joe doesn't want to work with Bill and Coach Al doesn't want his precious Sam to work with Coach Elliot's crazy Sally.
There are some bloody hatchets in this town and if this thing is to work then we may need a front end loader to bury them deep enough but I believe we can do it. I'll have a rusty blade or two to drop in the pit myself but it's going to be worth it and the long course athletes in this town are going to get in some quality work.
We just have to make sure all the kids in the sandbox can play nicely together!