Thursday, March 31, 2011


Recovering from Santiago and getting in a few key sessions thru the week had me ready to race again in Chile. This time about 80k NW of Santiago in the port City of Valparaiso.

Arriving on Friday I had two good looks at the beautiful race site for this one. Choppy, technical swim followed by a well paved 8 lap bike with a 1k gradual 3% climb, finished with a hilly 3 lap run.

The swim started well with a good start position on the far right. The loop had 2 bouys and a natural bouy as a set of rocks on the return leg to the beach. This was a very fun swim as the chop really seperated everyone and required good sighting skills. I found i was quite slow on the exit/re-entry and then the run out to transition, losing a few positions each time. On the first lap exit there were two street dogs on the beach waiting to get in on the action. When a few of us re-entered the ocean they came along with us! Salty dogs....

With a decent swim I exited about 20s down of Vasilev and 4 others in a group of 6 including eventual race winner Marek Jaskolka for Poland. This time around on the bike I felt much better. Power was there from the get go and stayed up near the front for the 40k. On lap 3 our group caught the leaders, due in large part to Will Huffman and Quinchara, a rising Columbian commodity, but a few laps later a large chase bridged creating a group of 25 or so coming off at T2. This race had a bunch of fun technical bits, including T2. The last section of the bike included climbing the 1k hill to the turn-around and then bombing back down into T2 (which itself was on a slight downhill). T2 dismount was the fastest i'd ever done and I was very close to not having the leg speed to match the pavement.

Out onto the run i had better speed. At about 1 mile seperation began into a head wind. Although this run went better than Santiago I was stlil a bit unsatisfied with the overall result of 13th.

My stay in Valparaiso was short but I saw quite a bit of the area on my bike. Very pretty, rugged, coastal landscape. Many of the different communities nest on top of small mountains (100-200m vertical). I was staying on top of one these in a B&B. At first I was a little concerned with the brutal climb up to home each time I ventured outside but then I found out they had 'ascendors' for each mtn. Essentially a train car that ascends the slope, I found these very cool and well worth the 75cent fee.

This trip to Chile was a great racing and cultural experience that I would recommend to all. The more and more I travel to races, especially unique ones such as this I find myself realizing how fortunate I am to be doing what i'm doing. A moment during the Valparaiso race I found myself saying 'you are the only Canadian to ever have done this...take it all in.'

Can't thank Felipe and Pam for their gracious hospitality and comfort during my stay, you guys were great.

Travel home was a bit of an adventure. After jetting from the race shortly after I got to the airport Sunday evening in good time. However the flight was delayed delayed delayed and then canceled. Everyone was put up in hotels for the night and would fly out the next morning. At about 3am that night I woke up with that feeling you know where you don't quite know where you are? Pffffew your in the hotel....then things went all wonky and it felt like I was surfing on jell-o.....earthquake! Thank god it was not significant. What is the world coming to?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Piedra Roja

Picture of the Race

ITU Piedra Roja or Red Rock

What a great start to the season. Although my result of 16th is not what I wanted, it is a start to build upon and positives and negatives to take away into this weekend in Valparaiso. The race essentially went like this:

- great swim start
- then vasilev & Farias let loose opening a gap with a few others
- exit in main chase
- hurt like a mofo on the bike hanging 30m off the back until 4k
- finally got feet into shoes after first lap
- found bike surges tough
- mid pack T2 transition
- no speed out of T2
- chugged along run stuck in what seemed like 4th gear

The race was held very well for a first time event. The course is smooth and fast with a challenging run. Great venue, i hope to return.

A lot of the athletes are staying in Santiago to train this week which is great for meeting others and getting in some training together.

The Chilean Federation has opened their training centre, pictures to come, to all. A beautiful 50m outdoor pool in the hills with a great bike studio and a dirt 400m track.

Being hosted by Felipe and Pam has been awesome. They have shown me the best routes to train on and the given me great insight into Santiago and its brilliant culture. Chilean people are most friendly and the cuisine is delicious.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


In 2007 a Chilean athlete named Felipe Van de Wyngard visited Victoria and trained at the NTC for a spell. A very classy and friendly guy, he was immediatley liked by all. Keeping in touch with Felipe ever since and meeting up at races I've had the invitation numerous times to visit him and and his land.

So I have finally made true on that offer and am flying out tomorrow for 10 days in Chile racing two ITU Pan-Am Cups, Santiago March 20 and Valparaiso March 27.

The preperation although not ideal for these bouts has been coming along. I don't necessarily feel speedy but i do feel strong. I look forward to a great visit and some hard racing.

CT tweeted about this being the proposed Valparaiso bike course....8 laps i presume.

Now to make some travel bombs!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Paper

Front Page

The devastation in Japan, surreal events that have shaken all of us. The feeling I get most of by hearing and seeing the carnage that has happened is helplessness and guilt. I feel like I should be over there trying to help out where ever possible. Not endulging in myself day in day out with training....The videos are out there of the destruction, water has never seemed more powerful.


Ran the Bazan Bay 5k last weekend here in Victoria. Always fun and fast, especially with the Saucony TypeA4.

BB5k just after 1k

Been playing around with my Garmin 310XT and Garmin Connect, useful and fun. Todays tempo run of 2x(10/2'r/5'/2'r) at beacon is here. In the woods however this watch is not great, pace fluctuates a lot.


This year I am really fortunate to be a part of the Saucony Hurricane Program once again. Last year I quickly became familar and comfortable in the line of shoes Saucony has from trainer to racers.

The Kinvara was a big introduction last year that I certainly was quick to try. Great shoe for tempo running, however for a bigger guy like me I was searching for a bit more structure laterally and in the heel cup. They must of read my mind because this years addition of the Mirage is exactly that. Very impressed with the Mirage, great shoe essentially for anything and everything.

The new adjustment to the fastwitch line has made the FT5 my shoe of choice for mid-range intervals (5-10'), the shaved heel (now 4mm heel to toe drop) has made the shoe feel quicker off the ground. Completing the shoe arsenal is the TypeA4 flat which remains the same this year; light, responsive and with sole drainage for hot/wet races.