Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Race Report: Toronto Island Triathlon

I competed in the Multisport Canada Toronto Island Triathlon on Sunday. I have always loved this race. I get to sleep in my own bed on race night, the ferry ride to the island boasts spectacular views of the city, the looped course means you are surrounded by spectators and you get chocolate milk at the end! This year added a special twist to the day...the race crew was unable to set the swim course due to high winds and wavy conditions. This meant that the Tri was turned into a Du (5km run - 20km bike - 2.5km run). Without my strongest leg (the swim) to give me a head start on the competition, I knew I would have to work hard to continue my streak of never losing a race on Toronto Island. Thankfully, I was able to find that competitive drive that seemed to be lacking in previous races this year and I fought my very hardest to take the win on Sunday.

Highlights

- Running with Nina and Leah side by side for the first 5km of the race. It kind of felt like we were ITU athletes racing hard to win a championship. I may have even fantasized that I was Gwen Jorgenson running with Nicola Spirig at times!

- Actually having the fastest bike split among the women. Knowing that my bike fitness isn't what it used to be, I have worked incredibly hard at being as aerodynamic as possible. My time this year was just a few seconds slower than my time in 2013 and the normalized power was 25W lower. (Or maybe my power meter is broken?)

- Seeing so many of my fellow TTC athletes racing, seeing old friends and meeting some new people.

Learning points:

- So much of racing is mental. I realized that today. In training, I haven't done ANY speed work..nothing faster than 4:30/km. But I told myself today that I could run with the other girls, and we averaged 3:53/km for our opening run (actually 5.3km). Then I ran a 4:06/km pace in the closing 2.5km (actually closer to 3km). So, sometimes a little competition can drive you to reach that next level in a race.

Pictures









Interview with another participant: PIETER

Pieter is new to the sport of triathlon and was 2nd in his age group (35-39) in Sunday's sprint Triathlon turned Duathlon. He is also an active member of the Toronto Triathlon Club.


Q. Name, Age, One word to describe yourself?
A. Pieter Wijnhoven, 34, happy

Q. How long have you been doing triathlons?
A. Since beginning this year

Q. What was one highlight of today's event?
A. The sprint for the finish with three other athletes

Q. What did you eat for breakfast?
A. Oatmeal mixed with strawberries and blue berries with soy milk

Q. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you in a triathlon?
A. To me personally not much, I saw this weekend somebody on an electrical bike and people wearing their bike helmet on the run :)

Q. What did you think about on the bike today?
A. Push harder! But be careful with the wet roads.

Q. What is one thing you are proud of about yourself, either in triathlon or in the rest of life?
A. I am proud of my positive attitude in life and enjoy every day!

Q. What/when is your next event?
A. Next weekend Wasaga beach triathlon

Q. What do you like best about the MultiSport Canada race series?
A. It’s great to have some many races close to Toronto with such a good organization!

Thank yous

- My parents for their continued love and support throughout this crazy adventure of mine.
- Adam, my coach and partner, and just a great guy in general. He keeps me calm when I get anxious and so it helps so much to have him there on race day.
- Saige, Rhys and Mack. They surprised me on the Island for awards after the race and ran towards me with open arms and huge smiles. That they can accept me as their step-mum and give me so much support is amazing.
- My health care team of David Lamy (RMT), Bill Wells (Chiro) and Michael Hong (Acupuncture). I wouldn't have been able to race this one without you.
- All my readers for their support and for following me in my triathlon endeavours
- MultiSport Canada and all the volunteers!
- Fellow athletes at the race and training partners, especially those at WattsUp!
- My other coaches: Kim and Nigel from NRG
- My sponsors: High Rock Capital Management, WattsUp Cycling, MultiSport Canada, The Urban Athlete, Fitt1st Bike Fitting

What's Next? BARRELMAN HALF-IRONMAN!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What would I do without Bill Wells at Urban Athlete?

What would I do without Bill Wells at The Urban Athlete?

This summer has been marked by niggles and injuries that have really taken a toll on my running. So, I thought I would take a moment to thank the individual who has been there to ensure that I can get back to full training ASAP: my amazing Chiropractor, Bill Wells at The Urban Athlete.

Someone referred me to Bill saying that he knew a Chiropractor who could tell your injury just by looking at you and cure you just as fast. In 2010? I was three weeks out from an important race and was not able to run at all due to a knee injury, so I booked an appointment with Bill ASAP. Sure enough, on my first visit I was in awe at what Bill could tell by just looking at me! Among many things, he knew that I had been a swimmer and that I must have specialized in breast stroke without me even mentioning this fact. Not only this, but I was back to running within a week, which allowed me to compete in the race that qualified me for the World Championships. Since then I have struggled with MANY injuries: strained muscles, IT band syndrome, a bruised tailbone, a stuck fibula, strained peroneal muscles, hip flexor issues...you name it, I’ve had it. All of these injuries might have kept me from training and even racing, but Bill didn't only keep me on my feet, he kept me in the pool, on the bike and in my running shoes throughout them all!

Most recently, I had a strained peroneal muscle in the weeks leading up to Calgary 70.3. I was booking 2-3 appointments a week with Bill. He'd fix me. I'd train hard. I’d reinjure myself...he'd fix me again and the the cycle continued. Even though I knew that rest was probably what I needed, he NEVER told me to stop training. He would just keep fixing me. So, not only was I able to complete the race in relatively good shape, I was also able to get back to training right after and compete and win the Bracebridge Olympic just two weeks later.

I whole-heartedly recommend Bill Wells to any of my athletes, family, and social media followers. You won’t be disappointed.

The team at Urban Athlete also includes physiotherapists, massage therapists, naturopaths, and personal trainers (check out: www.theurbanathlete.ca for a complete list or their services).

Thank you Bill for helping to keep me going!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Race Report: Bracebridge Olympic Triathlon

What a weekend in Bracebridge! On Saturday I got to watch the racers complete the Try-a-Tri and the Sprint distance events as a volunteer. I had a few athletes I coach race in both events, saw some familiar faces and got caught up with athletes I hadn't seen in awhile. That's why these events are so great. Local races really bring ALL Ontario triathletes together and help to keep our triathlon community strong. Let's keep the participation high!

On the Sunday, I got to take part in the Olympic distance event in Bracebridge. I have always loved this race. I competed in this race back when it was a half-ironman, and anytime it fits my race schedule I aim to participate. Last year I competed in the swim-bike (knee still recovering), so this year it was great to be able to complete the full race.

1. The highlights of the day included:

- My swim. I think I finally am back on track with my swimming!! In looking at the results, I won this race based on my swim time!
- Seeing my sister (Sara) finish 1st in her age group (F25-29). Sara has been training consistently and very steadily building her fitness, while balancing her role as a mum and teacher. It was great to see her patience and dedication pay off!
- Running pain-free! My long run in the past month was at the half-ironman 2 weeks ago. I have only run every other day in the past 4 weeks. So, putting together a half-decent run that was relatively pain free (still had some tightness in my hamstrings) was HUGE! I hope this means I can run consistently until Barrelman.
- The venue and course itself. What a beautiful place to host a race. The swim course was easy to navigate, the bike course was varied and challenging, but not too hard, the run course was along the river and mostly on paved roads (not gravel - I am not a fan of gravel!)

2. Learning points:

- I need to work on my mental state on the bike. In training, I have been able to consistently perform at the level I want to be at. On race day, however, I seem to lose confidence in my ability and I can't hold my power at the same level as I should. This only causes me to lose about 5W, but still, I want to be able to tolerate pain a little more so I can bike stronger on race day.

3. Pictures:







4. Interview with another participant: SARA



Q. Name, Age, One word to describe yourself?
A. Sara, 28, Outgoing

Q. How long have you been doing triathlons?
A. 5 years

Q. What was one highlight of today's event?
A. Winning First Place in my age group as well as taking about 7 minutes off my time from last year.

Q. What did you eat for breakfast?
A. Blueberry Muffin from McDonalds, thats what I eat before every race.

Q. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you in a triathlon?
A. It was my second triathlon (Bracebridge Sprint Triathlon), I was coming out of the water, after the swim, and saw my family cheering, but didn’t see my husband. So i yelled really loud, “Where’s Kevin?” He was running late because he was up late the night before and didn’t set his alarm. I can laugh about it now.

Q. What did you think about on the bike today?
A. Winning & that these hills are killer

Q. What is one thing you are proud of about yourself, either in triathlon or in the rest of life?
A. I am proud to have finished all the Triathlon races I have competed in: Sprint, Olympic and especially Ironman 70.3. I am proud of making podium in two of my three races this year. I am proud that my sister is able to coach me and be there at all my races, either cheering me on or racing with me. She is my inspiration! I am proud that my husband, Kevin and daughter, Maddy are there to support me through my training and for all my races. Especially when I keep saying, “Just want to do one more race.” I am proud of Family and everything that they do!

Q. What/when is your next event?
A. I am thinking about Barrelman, but will be competing in the Scotiabank Half-Marathon.

Q. What do you like best about the MultiSport Canada race series?
A. The organization, all the great people who put it together, the volunteers, these races wouldn’t be possible without them. And the chocolate milk at the end ;)

5. Course Information







6. TrainingPeaks/Quantitative Race information for those interested

WARMUP: 30 minute bike, practicing getting my feet in and out of shoes while they were in the pedals, 5 minute run, 400m swim warmup with 3x40 strokes fast

SWIM: 1500m, 20:33 (~1:20/100m)*I actually managed to stay on course!*

BIKE: Speed - 35.85kph, NP - 185W (3.4W/kg, 90% of FTP), Avg Power - 176W, Avg HR - 164bpm, Avg Cadence - 83rpm

RUN: 10.35km (according to my watch), 43:59 (4:15/km), Avg HR - 168bpm

7. Thank-you:

- My parents for their continued love and support throughout this crazy adventure of mine. Yes, they drive 5 hours to be at Bracebridge for the race
- Wheels of Bloor for coming to my rescue the Friday before the race. I had a broken elbow rest (not the pad, the actual rest) and they came up with a solution that worked wonders!
- My health care team of David Lamy (RMT), Bill Wells (Chiro) and Michael Hong (Acupuncture). I wouldn't have been able to race this one without you.
- Adam, my coach and partner, and just a great guy in general. He keeps me calm when I get anxious and so it helps so much to have him there on race day.
- All my readers for their support and for following me in my triathlon endeavours
- MultiSport Canada and all the volunteers!
- Fellow athletes at the race and training partners, especially those at WattsUp!
- My other coaches: Kim and Nigel from NRG
- My sponsors: High Rock Capital Management, WattsUp Cycling, MultiSport Canada, The Urban Athlete, Fitt1st Bike Fitting

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Race Report: Ironman 70.3 Calgary

About 1.5 years ago, on Feb 23, 2015, I woke up after having knee surgery. For whatever reason, when I woke I cried, violently, and even started screaming. The doctors had a hard time controlling me. I still am not sure why I cried so hard...but I think that it was all the pent up tears that I had held back during the struggles of the year before: being injured and not knowing what the injury was, being frustrated, watching girls I had beat win Ironmans and qualify for Kona, feeling lost and out of control. I tend to hold everything inside until I burst. So, perhaps it was the effect of the anaesthetics that made me lose all inhibition and react the way I did. Unfortunately, the struggle was far from over on that day. My prognosis was grim. The surgeon said that if I was lucky, I might be able to run again, but never over 10km.

People have asked me if I'm happy with my performance in Calgary. I will be honest, at first I was disappointed. The Miranda from 2013 would have run faster, placed better, been a podium contender. But then I think back to that day of my surgery, when I never thought I would compete in triathlon again, and I think, "yes, I am so HAPPY!" To be able to finish a half-ironman was a dream on Feb 23rd. And I came 10th and clocked a 4:35 for a competitive 70.3, with a top 5 swim performance, a bike performance comparable to pre-surgery and a run that I did with a strained peroneal muscle! So, I am really freakin' happy :)

Unfortunately, the after effects of this race have left me with a lot of aches and pains! Apparently 31 year olds don't recover as quick as 27 year olds :) I'm currently dealing with a peroneal strain, medial knee pain on my left and a possible strain in my right lateral quad and hamstring! Not sure where the season will go for here, but I will take it one race at a time!

Next up (hopefully): Bracebridge Olympic Triathlon!

Normally, I leave my thank-yous until the end of my post, but the following deserve a HUGE thank you early on in my report:

- One Capital and One Sports: One Capital Management has included me on their team of elite age group triathletes and supported me so much in the past few years. I've been able to train in California in the past and I got to visit and compete in beautiful Calgary for the first time.
- Bobby Libin: Thanks for opening your home to us and being such an amazing host and keeping the house supplied with lots of carb and good food pre-race.
- My parents for their continued love and support throughout this crazy adventure of mine. They travelled all the way to Calgary to be with me on my race, and that's just a small example of what they do for me every day.
- My health care team of David Lamy (RMT), Bill Wells (Chiro) and Michael Hong (Acupuncture). I wouldn't have been able to race this one without you.
- Adam, my coach and partner, for being designated sherpa and driving everyone everywhere this past weekend.
- All my readers for their support and for following me in my triathlon endeavours
- MultiSport Canada for getting me race ready for this event!
- Fellow athletes at the race and training partners, especially those at WattsUp!
- My other coaches: Kim and Nigel from NRG
- My sponsors: High Rock Capital Management, WattsUp Cycling, MultiSport Canada, The Urban Athlete, Fitt1st Bike Fitting

1. Pictures:















3. Interview with another participant: TROY

Q. Name (first name only is fine), Age (or age group):

A. Troy out of San Diego. 55-59 AG

Q. One word to describe yourself?

A. After asking several people, the best word to describe my self is "Determined", it was a toss up with "obsessed" and " Plain Crazy" coming in Third.

Q. How long have you been doing triathlons?

A. 20 years this month

Q. What was one highlight of today's event?

A. going out of T2 and the announcer saying I was down by one minute on the leader in my AG. I thought I was 4th or 5th with a bad swim, but glad to hear I made it up on the bike. I caught first place guy (Miles out of Calgary) at 17k, and went by as he was walking aid station, at 19K I heard footsteps and pushed harder thinking he was about to pass. My left hammy was going into a cramp and did not know if I could hold on for 2K. He stayed right behind my until the last K when I started up the slight hill and ran like I was on fire to win by 16 secs. I collapse at the finished and went immediately into cramps. I was taking to Med since I could not walk and my competitor, Miles came over and stayed with me which showed great sportsmanship. We will see each other again in the 70.3 World Championship 2017

Q. What did you eat for breakfast?

A. I always have my Bagel with Nutella, 2 Ensure drinks with Beta Aline, and a salt pill mixed in. Us old folks don't eat much.

Q. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you in a triathlon?

It’s not why you may think. On the morning of IM AZ race with little time to go until the start I realized I forgot my salt in my car so I needed to run about a mile back to get it. By the time I got back the pro's were just talking off so I hurried to fill my dry clothes bag, put my wetsuit half way on and started to run towards the truck to drop off my bag when mother nature routed me to the nearest porta potty. I set my after race bag next to me while I did my business. When I stood up the bag fell over and my cap and goggles dropped into the forbidden hole. YES!! I was HORRIFIED to say the least!! I looked down and stared at my bright green cap on top and quickly retrieved it throwing it out the door with no sight on my googles. At that time I heard Mike Reilly announce 6 minutes to race start. It was still dark out and even darker in the potty. Basically I could not see anything. So for 2 seconds I started thinking of options and came up with only one that made sense. I went for it.....I plunged my arm down the hole and started fishing. They always tell you to expect the unexpected in Ironman, but this was ridiculous. I finally found the goggles in the bottom right corner where I quickly grabbed them, grabbed my bag (with the other hand) and open the door with about 50 athletes waiting to use the potty. You should have seen the look on their faces when they saw me opening the door standing there with one blue arm all the way up to my shoulder. I quickly ran to drop my bag off when a volunteer said they would take it to the truck. I immediately used water bottles lying around the ground to clean myself and the goggles off the best I could while running to the water’s edge. I made the front line within 30 seconds to the start!!! All I could think of was some disease I would have in my eyes by the time I started the run, Haaaa! Note to self: Never take your race bag into the potty!! Woohoooo!!!

Q. What is one of your top achievements, either in triathlon or in the rest of life?

Have been fortunate to have several achievements in life including bat boy for the LA Dodgers, my Pro card in Supercross, Free ride Pitching for San Jose State Spartans Baseball, but the biggest achievement was getting to the start of Kona 2013. In Feb of 2013 my father received news he had stage 4 lung cancer. I was getting ready to do Los Cobo Ironman in March. We were sitting together on a Sunday and he mentioned how proud he was with me throughout my athletic career, but would really like to see me race in the World Championship before time was up for him. I told him I will try my best to qualify to get him and Mom over to Kona Well I Finished 4th in Cabo with only 2 spots given so I signed up for Kentucky to see if I can still qualify for 2013 race. I had to take Dad in for a check up on a Sunday which was weird, and we were sitting in the waiting room on April 14th 2013 and I get a text, "Man, couldn't happen to a nicer guy" Huh? From a good friend Ron Anderson, I asked him if he was drinking or what? He text "congrats, in getting chosen in the legacy program of going to Kona".....WTF???? I forgot I signed up for the legacy program several months before so this came out of no where.. Well needless to say I am looking at my dad with his oxygen mask on, in a wheel chair, thinking, boy old man do I have some news for you.... and tears started to roll. I am going to Kona... for HIM!!!! That night I took out the family to dinner and wrapped up the email I received inviting me to Kona and gave it to the old man. He just said, I knew you would make it there with a tear in his eye and yelled, right on!....Woohooo!! Months went by and in Sept dad started going down quickly, He no longer could make the flight to Hawaii, but sent me off telling me he will be tracking me all day. Nothing can stop me from starting Kona, Not the double hernia I managed to sustain 9 days from the start, nor the Bee sting I received 4 days from the start while on a training ride. My face was swollen for 30 hrs with 103 body temp. Race day morning I felt tired and lethargic but nothing was stopping me to get that medal around dads neck..... The race started and by the time we were heading back on the bike I felt 100% Even the duct tape around my hernia wasn't hurting...Ha!! I finished in 11:20 and as soon as I crossed the line, My daughter handed me the cell with dad on the other line, we cried together that both of our dreams were achieved together. When I got home I placed the IRONMAN Medal around his neck and it was the last picture we have together. Dad died one month later.... So Kona 2013 was my biggest achievement and always will be. Woohooooo!!!!!

Q. When is your next event? Q. When is your next event?

A. Next Race is IM CDA followed by Kona followed by IRONMAN Cabo Oct. 30th to see if I can get a spot for 2017 Kona

4. TrainingPeaks/Quantitative Race information for those interested

WARMUP: 550m swim warmup with 3x40 strokes fast, then 3x20 strokes fast

SWIM: 1871m, 26:35 (~1:25/100m),

BIKE: Speed - 36.6kph, NP - 175W (3.25W/kg, 85% of FTP)**forgot to calibrate power meter, so this may not be accurate**, Avg HR - 160bpm, Avg Cadence - 85rpm

RUN: 21.1km, 1:39:10 (4:41/km), Avg HR - 174bpm, Elevation gain ??



Lastly, I'm going to close this blog with the lyrics from "Try Everything" by Shakira:

I messed up tonight | I lost another fight | I still mess up but I'll just start again | I keep falling down | I keep on hitting the ground | I always get up now to see what's next | Birds don't just fly | They fall down and get up | Nobody learns without getting it wrong

I won’t give up, no I won’t give in | Till I reach the end | And then I’ll start again | Though I’m on the lead | I wanna try everything | I wanna try even though I could fail | I won’t give up, no I won’t give in | Till I reach the end | And then I’ll start again | No I won't leave | I wanna try everything | I wanna try even though I could fail

Look how far you've come | You filled your heart with love | Baby you've done enough that cut your breath | Don't beat yourself up | Don't need to run so fast | Sometimes we come last but we did our best

I'll keep on making those new mistakes | I'll keep on making them every day | Those new mistakes

(Source: http://www.directlyrics.com/shakira-try-everything-lyrics.html)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Here we go!

My first half ironman in about 2 years is just 10 days away! So, I thought it a good idea to post a little update...

I'm not the same pro triathlete as I was 3 years ago when I was at my peak fitness. Since 2013, I have been battling injuries, recovering from surgery, going back to school full time, working more, struggling through the stress of significant life changes and trying to be the best stepmum I can be. This is markedly different from being the (mostly) care free triathlete I was. Back then I got to head south in the winters to train and my biggest worry was how to best recover for the next training session or whether my Garmin was working :) As a result, I know my fitness is not as good as it was - but I think it's still good enough to compete at the Pro level. I get to put that to the test on July 24th in Calgary and I'm looking forward to it!

So - what has my training been like in 2016? Well, I've been lucky enough to get some local races in! I placed second female in both Multisport Woodstock Sprint and Multisport Welland Long Course. We are so incredibly lucky to have the Multisport Canada series in Ontario. They put on the best organized races and ensure that everyone, from the beginner to the elite athlete has a great day. Since Welland, I stepped it up to 20 hours of training/week. Whether that was a good idea remains to be seen. It's always tough to find a balance between overdoing it and under doing it.

My swimming endurance has definitely improved (I'm swimming 5-6 days per week instead of 2-3). I get in 1 OWS with NRG on Wednesdays where I try to stay on the feet of speedy Brandon and Nigel. In the pool, I was even able to do 10x100@1:25 pace time again!

My cycling seems to have gone up a notch based on my last training session, where I held a NP of 183W over 55km (within a 105km ride) on the hottest day of the year - and split a PB for 40K of 1:03! This has largely been due to consistency. I built a strong base with regular training over the winter at WattsUp, without overdoing it. All the short, high intensity work on the trainer helped to develop my top end power. Now that school and exams are over (3 weeks ago), I have been able to get in some longer outdoor rides and develop better endurance. I'm hopeful this will allow me to put together a pretty strong 90k in Calgary!

My running, however, has taken a small step back. I have had some lower leg issues recently, possibly stemming from a stuck talus and fibula, that then caused all my lower leg muscles to tighten up. As a result, my running hasn't been very consistent. I did run a 4:20/km for 15km in a descending run on Monday - but have paid for it! I've been unable to run since. So let's hope all is well for Calgary.

So that's where life is at! Thank you for following along.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Race Report: Welland Long Course

What a day in Welland! I had forgotten how hard long course racing is, how important nutrition is and how much more time there is for things to actually go wrong. Nonetheless, I am very happy with my performance in Welland. It's been a long road back from injury and it feels like I'm inching closer and closer to my goals.

1. Pictures:

Pre-Race:












Run: Wow! This was hot. I knew that I would have to be extra focused on this run. I stayed cool with sponges, water on my head, ice down my top...everything to stay cool. I definitely got a boost at every aid station and would slowly fade until the next one. I made up about 3 minutes to Angela on the run, but it wasn't quite enough. Still good for 2nd!



Finally, the finish!






2. Highlights:

- The first 1300 to 1500m of the swim! (See learning points).
- All the people on the course cheering my name! The NRG guys I've been training with were super supportive, as well as some of the athletes I knew from WattsUp, and the volunteers! Every time I heard my name I got a little boost of energy.
- The venue and course itself. What a beautiful place to host a race. Accessible, clean, showers on site, swim and run were spectator friendly and the bike course was on relatively smooth roads with little traffic...this makes me VERY excited for Barrelman and Welland is definitely a race I would like to repeat.
Learning points:
- I need to take in more nutrition. 320 calories on the bike and 150 calories on the run was too little for the 1700 calories I burned during those to segments of the race. I thought I would be able to tolerate more on the run, and I was wrong. So...during Calgary 70.3 I am going to aim for 650 to 750 on the bike (eLoad and JUJUBES!) so I can afford to consume a bit less on the run.
- I need to swim more than 3km in a workout. I was in a draft pack of about 4 guys. Unfortunately, my lack of swim fitness showed when I was dropped in the last 500 to 700m of the race. So, I likely need one longer swim of 4-5km once per week, with a 2km race pace set on another day.

3. Interview with another participant: MURRAY



Q. Name, Age, One word to describe yourself?
A. Murray Cass. Age 61 (although my triathlon age is 62 apparently). I think the word would be stubborn. I'm sure my "friends" would choose a less printable word.

Q. How long have you been doing triathlons?
A. My first triathlon was in 2006. I did a kayak/bike/run because I could barely swim. Triathlon was my wife's idea. I had no interest. Triathlon seemed like a dumb thing to do. I just did as I was told.

Q. What was one highlight of today's event?
A. Well it was my first age group win. That was big, but more importantly I executed my race plan really well - a rarity for me. I am still a weak swimmer so I just tried to get through the swim. My cycling these days has not been up to par for some unknown reason. I actually have been training. So my plan was to just have a decent bike to set up a solid run. The forecast was for a hot day so I figured being small I would have an edge on the bigger guys in my age group. I left T2 about 10 minutes down and ended up winning by over 6 minutes. You might think that in the M60-64 age group competition would be easy. In triathlon competition is never easy.

Q. What did you eat for breakfast?
A. McDonald's hotcakes, hash browns and tea. I also had a bowl of fruit. My preference would have been bacon, eggs and toast, something I've been training with lately but it's hard to eat when you're not at home.

Q. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you in a triathlon?
A. It must have been last year when I crossed the finish line at Ironman Copenhagen. Michelle Vesterby the top female shook my hand and asked whether I was ok. I thought i was fine so I casually said "yup." A couple seconds later I threw up. Just missed her.

Q. What did you think about on the bike today?
A. Great question. I was focusing over and over again and how bloody lucky I am to be able to compete in such a fun event. I've had a rough year with friends' and relatives' illnesses and I am just incredibly grateful for being able to swim, bike and run. All my complaints are so trivial.

Q. What is one thing you are proud of about yourself, either in triathlon or in the rest of life?
A. I do not have an athletic background. To me athletes are those other guys, the guys who lapped me - with a smile - on the track in gym class many years ago. I feel uncomfortable when anyone calls me an athlete. So I am quite proud that I can actually participate in triathlon. Having gotten through three brain tumour surgeries between 1982 and 2002 and being seriously injured while cycling when hit from behind by a drunk driver doing 100 km/hour back in 1976 makes it even more special. I consider myself extremely fortunate. A nice thing about triathlon is that, although the details of my history are unique, the theme is fairly common: people, often overcoming adversity, to extend themselves and accomplish what they never thought was possible. That makes for an interesting group.

Q. What/when is your next event?
A. I am registered to do Ironman Maastricht in the Netherlands. It's in five weeks so this was my last prep event.

Q. What do you like best about the MultiSport Canada race series?
A. The races are very well organized. John Salt is responsive and cares about the participants. (See. I can't use the word athletes.) Personally I like being greeted by John at the finish line. The new Welland Rose City course is one of the best I've raced on. Again, my wife's idea.

4. Course Information

5. TrainingPeaks/Quantitative Race information for those interested



WARMUP: 10 minute bike, practicing getting my feet in and out of shoes while they were in the pedals, 550m swim warmup with 3x40 strokes fast

SWIM: 2093m, 28:51 (~1:23/100m), ~ 39 strokes/min

BIKE: Speed - 36.8kph, NP - 186W (3.4W/kg, 90% of FTP), Avg Power - 183W, Avg HR - 167bpm *including stop*, Avg Cadence - 85rpm

RUN: 15km, 1:08:27 (4:34/km), Avg HR - 172bpm, Elevation gain 192m

Thank-you:

- My parents for their love and support throughout this crazy adventure of mine. Papa has always encouraged me to make a career about what I am most passionate about. That happens to be triathlon, and I couldn't do what I do without my parents.
- All my readers for their support and for following me in my triathlon endeavours
- MultiSport Canada and all the volunteers
- Fellow athletes at the race and training partners, especially those at WattsUp!
- My coaches: Adam and Kim and Nigel from NRG
- My sponsors: High Rock Capital Management, WattsUp Cycling, MultiSport Canada, The Urban Athlete, Fitt1st Bike Fitting


Next up: Ironman Calgary 70.3!

Welland Interview: Murray Cass

In advance of my Welland Race Report, I wanted to post my athlete interview.

Featured participant: MURRAY



Q. Name, Age, One word to describe yourself?
A. Murray Cass. Age 61 (although my triathlon age is 62 apparently). I think the word would be stubborn. I'm sure my "friends" would choose a less printable word.

Q. How long have you been doing triathlons?
A. My first triathlon was in 2006. I did a kayak/bike/run because I could barely swim. Triathlon was my wife's idea. I had no interest. Triathlon seemed like a dumb thing to do. I just did as I was told.

Q. What was one highlight of today's event?
A. Well it was my first age group win. That was big, but more importantly I executed my race plan really well - a rarity for me. I am still a weak swimmer so I just tried to get through the swim. My cycling these days has not been up to par for some unknown reason. I actually have been training. So my plan was to just have a decent bike to set up a solid run. The forecast was for a hot day so I figured being small I would have an edge on the bigger guys in my age group. I left T2 about 10 minutes down and ended up winning by over 6 minutes. You might think that in the M60-64 age group competition would be easy. In triathlon competition is never easy.

Q. What did you eat for breakfast?
A. McDonald's hotcakes, hash browns and tea. I also had a bowl of fruit. My preference would have been bacon, eggs and toast, something I've been training with lately but it's hard to eat when you're not at home.

Q. What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you in a triathlon?
A. It must have been last year when I crossed the finish line at Ironman Copenhagen. Michelle Vesterby the top female shook my hand and asked whether I was ok. I thought i was fine so I casually said "yup." A couple seconds later I threw up. Just missed her.

Q. What did you think about on the bike today?
A. Great question. I was focusing over and over again and how bloody lucky I am to be able to compete in such a fun event. I've had a rough year with friends' and relatives' illnesses and I am just incredibly grateful for being able to swim, bike and run. All my complaints are so trivial.

Q. What is one thing you are proud of about yourself, either in triathlon or in the rest of life?
A. I do not have an athletic background. To me athletes are those other guys, the guys who lapped me - with a smile - on the track in gym class many years ago. I feel uncomfortable when anyone calls me an athlete. So I am quite proud that I can actually participate in triathlon. Having gotten through three brain tumour surgeries between 1982 and 2002 and being seriously injured while cycling when hit from behind by a drunk driver doing 100 km/hour back in 1976 makes it even more special. I consider myself extremely fortunate. A nice thing about triathlon is that, although the details of my history are unique, the theme is fairly common: people, often overcoming adversity, to extend themselves and accomplish what they never thought was possible. That makes for an interesting group.

Q. What/when is your next event?
A. I am registered to do Ironman Maastricht in the Netherlands. It's in five weeks so this was my last prep event.

Q. What do you like best about the MultiSport Canada race series?
A. The races are very well organized. John Salt is responsive and cares about the participants. (See. I can't use the word athletes.) Personally I like being greeted by John at the finish line. The new Welland Rose City course is one of the best I've raced on. Again, my wife's idea.