Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The (C)razy (R)ace (I) (T)ried

The last wednesday night crit went off tonight at Newton Heights and it was one to remember.

Just the lone 4 NTC riders (Me, Stevo, Scotty, A-Mac) made the trek out to pummel ourselves in what would be a small but talented race.

Right off the gun Britton takes it at tempo up the second climb....what!? no free lap, i was counting on that so i could be say i hung in one more lap then i should have...gesh. 3rd lap Stevo attacks up the first hill..good acceleration...i manage to hang in. 5th lap A-Mac plays his cards on the second climb....strong attack and no one follows. As a result the next two times up the hill are hard trying to reel him in. By this time i was starting to feel it in a big way and i had not even taken a as fate has it i take a pull on the flat leading up to the first climb and try to set a moderate pace up it hoping everyone else would say ok maybe its time we had an easy lap....nope Kenyon attacks and i fade my way to the back of the pack to be spit off. Sorry stevo for inadvertenly blocking you on that one. The remainder of the ride was riden with the soul goal of not having to get off my bike on the first climb, mission accomplished. Stevo rode an impressive race and may well have been in the break had i not done the opposite of what a teammate should do. A-Mac rode with heart and stirred up the pot early on with his valiant break. Scotty pulled around the entire B pack in what was worthy of the red (most agressive) digits.

There was no way we were getting back home without some sugar on the way back. thank-you shell station!

Some pictures from the evening.

Hurts so Good

Returning from Europe i took some downtime to recover from the racing and travel in Whistler with a couple good friends. I was really tempted to hit the glacier for some skiing, but knew i would be in a sorry state if i did. This past winter, my first day back on the boards i went hard and skied the whole day only to wake up the next morning having to roll out of bed, literally cause my back had seized up.

So in whistler i had some good rest and resumed light training on the weekend. It felt fine and loose...but that was light training.

On tuesday this week i realized i had forgotten what real training felt like. Hard swim, hard run and it hurt so good. I was dropped hard by stevo and ap on the 2km intervals. I think i could hear the lactate sloshing around in my legs as i finished off the last one.

After the run i went down to ice in the ocean....turns out i had forgotten how that felt too. My legs ached from the water and i nearly tapped out.

It's ok though. Three weeks before the dance in Kelowna and its time to train hard up till then.

This morning i woke up pretty sore, but hopefully tomorrow i'll wake up a little less sore.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wrap Up


I hope i can come back here and race again, it is a beautifull spot for a race and the organizing comittee is on top of the ball here.

The race was close to being a good one. How close?...5s close. Swim not as good as previous races but came out at the back of the second main group. On to the bike formed a good working group with bucholz, seymour and few more euros. Was good work closing the gap to the main group thru 3 laps. Down 10s on the 4th lap. Take a pull in to a corner...attack by bucholz to leap the gap and i blow up....dropped...bye bye race..haunting really watching the race ride away from you.

Overall though i am very happy with the way this trip went, raced well, developed and got to train, site see and race in great places.

tomorrow things may be capped off with the bang. If it is sunny the race comittee is taking 3 of us paragliding off the kitz horn compliments on the house!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Dream

When i was young i dreamt of racing in a world cup at kitzbuhel. It was the mecca, the race that really mattered. Legs were broken, people died on this race, that made it the be all end all.

Skiing that is.....i never imagined id be here ready to toe the line for a WC triathlon.....triathlon what was that?

I am very excited to race here. The village is very welcoming and is a place id like to come in the winter for some runs and apres.

We are staying in a pension which serves a great breakfast. Then we are off to the pool to get in our laps and some recovery watersliding. Today though we went to the swim site. Rain and 21C it was cold and hard to stay warm.

Lunch is basically and 2nd breakfast as it is all the stuff i have smuggeled out from the nutella nutella nutella.

Dinners i have been eating traditional, which is pork pork and more pork with spatzle, potatoes, saurkraut, cabbage.....hmmmm not the greatest for me and my track record of letting some good ones go.

Today we got a massage at the race hotel, 15€ for 1hr was great.

Tonight they had a team triathlon in the village centre, but it was very unique and i think a great way to promote the sport. This was the format:

3 people to a team

1 swimmer

The swimmer is set up in an endless pool, or swimming flume. The biker on a stationary bike and the runner on a treadmill.

Everyone starts at once. The runner and biker have to go as fast as they can and rack up as much distance as possible because the swimmer in the flume has the speed gradually increased until they drown, or go under becasue it is too fast. Once this happens the bike and run mileage as well as the swimmers are added up. The biggest total wins!!

All for now.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

tizzy and kitz


i am really liking this trip.

hungary was rustic, hot, tough and another great experience. I think i may have been my best itu race top to bottom. Great swim start, fought hard to stay in theh group, bridge up on the bike and ran well in the heat. Taking turns at the front with colucci was just too much fun. On the run there was some heat to add to the heat. I rubbed shoulders with JJ from Cze and he retaliated with a shot to the kidneys and a shove to the back, which actually pushed me forward and got me fired up, thanks JJ.

I had an adventure getting out of hungary though. 5am monday i get to the train station and aparently there is a strike! What, well i start to make my way back to the hotel and then a young guy comes up to me and says

Hi i am borrand my mother works here at the station and told me you need to get to austria. well my dad and i are driving to budapest we can give you a ride there where you can take a bus.....

ok, sure i hop in the car with my bike box on my lap and go to budda. I metro through the entire city, catch a bus to gyor, catch a train to salzburg, get picked up and BAM i am in bitzbuhel not too much longer than i had initally planned. funny how things sometimes work themselves out.

Some more pictures here:

My massage therapist Yelga, she may look like a teddy bear but she was one tough momma.

Awards with the one and only

My turn to taste the podium

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hungary pre-race

34C here today, not what i had anticipated but there is no avoiding it as tomorrow the predicted high is again 34.

We had time to check out the swim course today which is in a very small pond. From the pontoon to the first bouy in 350 and i dont think they could squeeze out anymore.

The juniour euro cup was today and they did an interesting format:

2.5k Run
10k Bike
750m swim
10k Bike
2.5k Run

Weird order you say, but the reason for it was because the swim they had was in an even smaller lake which they set up lane ropes in! I would say each lane was 150m long or so. Watching them put their swim caps on while running from the bike to swim was interesting.

Some good food was eaten today, more pig knuckle, but last night i think i caught a mild stomach bug from something. Last night i woke up twice wanting to puke, but ended up just laying by the porcelain throne. Today has been a day with a stomach ache, so hopefully tonight it makes its exit.

This field at this race is 65 or so. The top 30 i recognize names but the remainder is unknown. A lot of those racers though i think are strong, just underranked becs of the competitive euro cup series here and difficulty in scoring consitent points. It will be a crabshoot i think.


Thats what i gotta do.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More HAM photos

After the Race

Thank god there were no trolls under this bridge

Lisa Mensink Running for the Olympics
A downpour came on during the womens run!

From my seat at Transition

Auf Wiederesen!

Hamburg photos

Dont worry, this is as close as i got

I spent all week looking for the Russell vs Unger poster but i think they thought is was going to be too expensive to pay me for a photo

These freaks had loooooong legs

Transition on RAce DAy


After my race on Saturday I had a great dinner at an Afghanistan buffett, interesting food, followed by some dalmathes which put me over the top. Turks have a big population in Hamburg and an area i frequently hit up for food were the Turkish lanes and streets. Dalmathes are the bomb! So small, so inconscipuous yet pack a punch like no other. They are basically many many many layers of pastry densely packed together in the shape of an ipod video. Then they must spread the pastry with coconut and mint and some other stuff. Then they gotta soak them in honey for days to get that amount of saturation. They sell em by the kilo for 8 euros but i could only take on 1/4kg for dessert. Id like to try a kilo for say an afternoon snack, it would be a good test.

Sunday i watched the women race, see pictures below. I got to be part of the noisemakers and cheer on the ladies. In the field were no Canadians except for Lisa Mensink who has dual citizenship with holland and races for them. It was a big day for her with her making the olympic criteria of a top 10 finish, fingers crossed everything is approved. If it is approved Lisa, then ill sell you your qualification moment that i have on video for a resonable cost, say an olympic medal?

ON Monday i made the journey to Tiszaujvaros beginning dark and early at 03:17 from Hamburg station. The train is a great way to travel here. it is easy to sleep, get up and stretch and eat without trouble. The 17hrs riding the rails to Tiszaujvaros went by much quicker than expected.

Tiszaujvaros is a cool town. It is about 15000 people inbetween two rivers on the flatlands of northern Hungary. It is about 30C here but with little humidity. The area is also known for its wine which i can approve of.

Tuesday was spent doing a little bit of all 3. 90minute ride thru the quiet farm roads, a 30min transition run and later that night a short swim at the sport centre. The sport centre is quite a nice facility here for such a small town, although Tiszaujvaros was labeled a sport town of Hungary about 10 years ago making it a spot for national teams to train.

Tuesday night kerry arrived from Canada! We spent wednesday with some training with the 3rd canuck here, kyle jones. We swam at the outdoor pool this time, a nice 50m pool and some riding around the farmlands again.

Today another swim at the outdoor pool, but this time early. I was feeling pretty tired this morning so i came back and had a big big breakfast to knock me out for good nap. Then it was time to do the run intesity for the week. It took me some time to get out of the hotel but after 20 min Warm up it was time to get it done. After the workout i felt great, it is interesting how this happens sometimes. I find especially after running you get this sport induced high where you feel great.

This afternoon kerry and i went for massages at the spa. 15 dollars per hour, not bad. Yelga was good, she even massaged your eyes, weird feeling.

alright time to upload some photos so you can see some of this stuff.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Hamburg Race Report

I feel shattered right now, absolutely.

The race went well i thought overall. I made the time cut off, barely, scoring some valuable points!

The swim was going well to about 400m where i was hanging on the back of the pack. ok it will ease up now i thought, boomza! off the back. Note to self: world cup swims never never let up. Swam to bridge solo and then was caught by a group behind. CAme out with 6 or 7 others who worked well together on the bike. We caught up to the first chase group of 4 and they helped us keep the leaders within 1minute.

Good T2 and onto the run. I forgot to put a gel with my shoes so i had no carbos for the run, oh well i thought i can still do it. Legs felt good for the run but i had some harsh ab cramps from lap 2 onwards. The run is somewhere i need some more work with in terms of relaxing i think and letting the rhythm come as opposed to fighting my way thru it.

Coming to the finish i knew i was flirting with the 5% cutoff to score points but when i saw on the clock the time gap counting up at 5:00 i got into a few out sprint. I made the cutoff by 3 seconds, wow that 3 seconds could have been lost anywhere and my mood right now would have been totally different. As it is im content with this and ready to improve on the run in tiszzy.

This race was out of control for fans. On the swim everybreath i could hear noismakers, on the bike noisemakers and the run it was deafening on one section. The fan base here is big for triathlon and it shows.

all for now!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


A friend commented recently how McDonalds has totally changed their marketing strategy. Maybe because he did a marketing degree is how he noticed this but he bang on. Gone are the days of Ronald, Grimmace, the fry kids and best of all Hamburgerler. Is that what a thief is called here in Hamburg?

I Arrived in Hamburg late Monday night and had a great first impression with the city. Midnight and i am dragging around my bike box getting lost. The streets are quiet but i felt as safe as could be. There just isnt the same intimidation factor of the german goth guy wearing an iron maiden shirt at midnight as there is in Canada. I continued to get lost until asking a middle aged women for directions, i gave in. She was having a little trouble reading my map so she said to just come with her and she will drive me there. We squeeze the bike box into her car and set out. It took a little while but she was one of the nicest persons i have come accross, let alone at this time of hour.

The last few days ive had a look around and done some running and swimming at the schimmhalle. Some nice facilities here. Hotel is great within walking distance to everything and clean.

I cant wait for this race, i feel very prepared having a great week of training prior to leaving. A good big island TT, good crit, and some good brick running out in Sidney, JP pushing me to the max on the last k. :49 thats Gomez speed dude, well just that he averages that over the entire 10k. Getting there.

If i can figure out how to load up some pictures somewhere ill do it soon.