Thursday, October 22, 2009

Some Photos from the HK Trip

IO liking the Juice. Big Dog Fan is IO

D.Smurov and 2xB setting up Transition at 6am

Jelly Fish at Ocean Park

Hong Kong Triathlon President giving the guided tour meeting and explaining this is where we will be riding on grass!

Drink of Choice in Asia!

Back to the Rock

Hong Kong ITU

16,000 miles for a flat tire....

Let me explain.

Swim went off as a deep water start. Knowing that this field had some strong and weak swimmers I decided to take the far right and try to get clean water off the line. It worked, I separated myself from the others around me then drifted over to the pack which had gotten off to a quick start. I had been swimming well up to the race and had confidence I would swim well here. However I think a lack of open water training hurt my positioning and tactical sense during this portion of the race. I was pinned to the outside of the pack and was not getting a draft. I essentially had to swim the leaders (D.Polyansky) pace, which was pretty swift. The exit from this swim was unique in that you had to climb a ladder, maybe 3 or 4 rungs out of the water. I exited just behind Barrett Brandon from the USA in about 7th spot 10s down from the lead out.

The T1 was a long one, and I got gapped here from the front 6. I had to really lay down some anaerobic power to bridge up quickly before they got organized on the bike. I was able to do so and started to began to find a better heart rate zone. The bike course was quite challenging with a longish big ring climb (maybe 4%) that was to be hit 14 times in the 40k. Unfortunately my race had only just got interesting with a good feel and some surges before the dreaded sound of a puncture occured. Your first thought is "was that my wheel", then " no, thank god" , then "oh wait it was me, crap"

That was it, I was a long ways from the wheel pit where I still probably would not have been able to get a wheel from another country. I watched the race ride away and was now a spectator.

I have learned though to accept this as part of racing. Sometimes you race well, sometimes you flat, sometimes you race horribly. It is all part of the game.

The remainder of my stay I had a great time with Ikko, Erica and Makoto. We went to the infamous Mongkok marketplace where you name it they have it. From chickens to bowling balls it can all be found there. Ocean Park, a large aquarium/amusement park was a good time as well as the final dinner we had at a Schezwan restaurant. My first impressions of eating jellyfish were that it is unique....very unique.

Flying home I was delayed again in San Francisco to no surprise. Hmmm...two trips, both involving SF and both resulting in flat tires. Note to self: Next year avoid SF when possible

Thank you to Ikko, Erica, and Makoto for hosting me during this time. You showed great hospitality once again. Another thank you to Champion Systems for helping out with this race, it was great to meet some of the staff at the race, it was unfortunate that I couldn't complete the race in front of you all. And thank you to everyone for their kind words and support. Racing at this time of year can be difficult to find that umph, but you have been very motivational.

I am not done yet, no sir. In two weeks I will travel to Huatulco, Mexico for the last World Cup of the season. The following week I will end the year in Clearwater racing the 70.3 World Championships. Then it will be time for a deserved break indeed.

Back in Canada I got a quick jolt to get some solid training in before these next races from the following Big Willie Special:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hong Kong Arrival

San Francisco....what a gongshow.

Trip plan was Vic -> SF -> HK

Vic to SF went well, small plane was thrown around when descending but I managed to keep my no puke streak alive when flying.

However it was a monsoon in San Fran, heavy heavy rain and 60mph winds.

Looking at the departures board in the airport the HK flight was on schedule, great!
Board the 747, change watch to HK time, well time to sleep.....
Wake up, need to pee...stand up and walk back to the toliet but the stewardess stops me and says to go back to my seat...turbulence i guess. Sit back down and then have a look outside to see where we are. Hey we are at an airport....and its raining and windy...wait, this is still San Francisco!

I had slept for almost 4hrs yet we had moved perhaps 100m!! No wonder I slept so well.

We continued to sit there and then the pilot thought he had a chance to take off with the winds favouring us, but still no dice. 747s are quite heavy and don]t like the wind so much

In the end we deboarded, waited for new crew and pilots and then reboarded. Leaving 10hrs after schedule.

I was able to let my friends know I was going to be very late. I arrive at 3am and there is Ikko waiting for me outside the gate!! I could not thank him enough.

Ikko and Erica have moved slightly since my last visit. They still are in a ginormously tall apt building of 45 floors. Ikko showed me his complexes pool this morning and I went for a splash. Nice pool, awkard length.

It was quite nice to walk out of the apt this morning with 25C. The humidity isn:t too bad either yet so it is nice.

Had a look around the Ho Hum Marketplace and had a street noodle breakfast. Most interesting food item I saw would have to the eel tank, big suckers.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Preparing for the Orient

Time to post, time to travel.

Tomorrow I will fly over 8000 miles to do a race. Why?

To Compete.

Originally I thought of racing at the Dallas and Los Angeles LTF races. Closer to home, little time change, but the ITU allure was too much, ITU is just too compelling that I had to fly 8000 miles to do one and then fly 8000 back home.

What is my plan for this race?

The same as almost everyone else. Swim like a fish, try to get away on the bike and as Jarius put it so well, run from the hip. But in ITU that plan can change in the first five strokes and can continue to change throughout. So there really is no plan....just race like a Canadian and believe in my ability.

My training has me very confident right now. I need to travel smart, activate, and prepare for this race like it was my last.

I would like to thank Champion Systems for helping out with this trip. I have had nothing but 100% support from them from July. It is a home race for them and I would love to represent them well.

I can't wait to toe this line and go to work.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Our Nordic Team Getting Ready for Whistler

Nordic Medals may have seemed like a long shot in previous olympics but with this group of skiers I think we will see our first mens Nordic medal ever and continue on with Chandra's success in torino.