Thursday, June 30, 2011


Having the luxury to drive to an ITU race is always a plus. Just a ferry buffet and a 2hr drive away made Monroe (scottish for Hard Hike) an anticipated race on the calendar.

Arriving Thursday night I was welcomed by homestay Jose and his family. Their home was just off the race course in the small town of Monroe, about 1hrs drive from Seattle, Washington. Jose and Margaret made me right at home and I thank them for the great weekend. The kids kept me occupied and relaxed as I prepped for the race Saturday afternoon.

The man-made lakes temperature fluctuated quite a bit with its shallow waters and rainfall. In typical fashion of the precision of TD Ulf Schuetze, 1hr before the start the temp was measured to 4 sig figs at 19.77C (wetsuit legal).

My race plan was quite simple. Do as Kemper does for as long as possible.

Ranked #2 i had second choice behind Hunter on the startline. Looking at the start area the day before I was convinced the left side was shorter to the first turn bouy so when Kemper choose the right side I was a bit muddled. I went with my gut and went left....well there goes the race plan i guess. There were quite a few strong swimmers in this field and they all proceeded to go right, i was starting to get a bit nervous I would be seperated from the pack until Fishies Andrew McCartney and Kalen Darling joined me on the left side.

Out to a great start I swam in clear water for 150m before slowly merging with the pack. Very little contact in this swim, was a nice change. With wetsuit swims you do not have as clear a picture of who you are swimming beside or behind. Prior to the start I made a mental note of a few of the stronger swimmers wetsuit and goggle type to recognize them in the water. The pace was fairly solid for the first 1000m, then a slight lull for 300 before picking up for the exit. I found myself right where I wanted to be, in the mix of the front group.

On the bike a group of 10 formed quickly. Teammate Jon Bird and Dustin McClarty had about a 20s gap that we managed to close within about 2k. There were a few notable absentees from our group that I think most of us noticed. This motivated the group to work together and have the gap grow. As Simon calls it 'Playin the Game' on the bike was my focus and I did everything I could to ride as smart as possible while contributing to the group.

The run turned into quite a tactical affair. Hunter was long gone from the first 100m. Then was Ben Collins and then was a group of 6 of us. A decent cross wind was coming off the field adjacent to course. I in essence 'drafted' off others in the group to conserve the first 5k. I wanted to negative split the run, at least effort wise to finish strong. At about 6k I was on my own in 3rd with Ben, the carrot, hanging in front of me by 15s. I just could not close the gap, it seemed like whenever i surged he instinctively did the same, maybe he could smell me? No oldspice next time.

Crossing in 3rd I was stoked for my first ITU podium. It was quite an honour to stand up there with Ben and Hunter.

Congradulations to Chantell Widney who won the womens race the same day. I feel she could have a great race in just under 2 weeks in her hometown of Edmonton.

That being said, Edmonton is fast approaching and I am eagerly looking forward to this one. Marked as my first 'A' race, the challenging course and field will be a great test. Edmonton was my World Cup debut in 2007, where I was rocked beyond this galaxy from the horn. I value that experience very much though as it gives me confidence in knowing the course and what/where to expect the surprises.

Will keep you posted

Monday, June 13, 2011


Ruin the Bruin.....Tonight!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Today was my 29th birthday and this is how it went down in true tri-geek fashion:

Breakfast of Oats and Coffee to a beautiful sunny morning

Ride up to Commonwealth pool to meet Jon, Andrew and Coach Houshang for a long ride. It was one of those rides, lets call it a 'kitchen sink' ride, where it seems Housh throws everything at us; Observatory, Willis Pt., The Darkside, Moto-pacing it was all there and I was quite spent by the end.

Get home and roll the legs out. Next, devour some deluxe Waffles (recipe upon request) and scrambled eggs. Some online result creeping, there were I count 8 elite level races this weekend so it was easy to waste an hour doing this.

Then it was coma-nap time. Coma-nap is anything over an hour. This one turned into a solid 2hrs complete with ridiculous dreams. No troll on chest though, whole post on its own, so that was good.

Roll out of bed and have a powerbar, cereal and coffee. Procrastinate a good while and then prepare a stew, throw it in the oven and head out for a long run.

Dinner, get an ever so cute happy birthday chat from niece Stella, watch Dirk et al. win a well deserved title, write this, roll legs, bed.

Great day for a newly 29'er.

Finishing up a good training week with my fav, some post run leg swings

It is Caterpillar season, they are EVERYWHERE!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Any Questions? Any Answers?

Neil Harvey is back on deck for our group once again. Its been a two year gap between visits but it sure is nice to have the motivating figure and expertise he stands for watching over our strokes.

Today we had an introduction to a Harvey set that i thought i'd share. Thursday swims are a quality one for us and this set was quite that:

5x (2x50 hard / 100 'efficiency' / 100 hard / 100 ez float )

At first glance the key components of each round were the hard pieces. But once into the set I quickly found that the 100 'efficiency' was equally as important. After one round I found that the pace fluctuations really allowed efficiency to be found in the 100 that called for it. The contrast from hard to efficient gave a heightened sense of feel and smooooothness in my stroke. I was surprised at how easy the 'free speed' came in the efficient 100.

Looking forward to more of these sets as we roll along through the summer.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

First Dip

Just over 4k done in Thetis Lake this morning as our first open water swim for 2011. About a month late due to a ridiculous cold spring and racing the temp was quite nice. No rattling bones.

It was essentially a hot tub for Jon (swam in a Calgary skating rink this weekend) and Andrew Mc fresh back from his solid race in the frigid Bay waters of Escape from Alcatraz.

Great to have Neil back out there on the kayak. Open water master.

Monday, June 06, 2011


Too long for me without an update....very Dano Wells of me.

Two races came up in May that both took place in the adventure that is Mexico.

After a great altitude camp in Flagstaff, special thanks to Paul Brinkman for hosting me, I headed down to Monterrey for race #1. Great TriCan support for this race made everyone feel at ease. It truly gives you the best possible preparation when you have staff looking out for you.

Having done the race last year I knew exactly what to expect off the pontoon. However, I found myself being very complacent in the race and never really feeling that desperation and drive. I accepted where i was in the swim and bike and didn't really do anything to change it. It was clear when off the bike that I just wasn't in the shape needed yet to run to a top 20 WC result, placing 41st.

Here a few pictures from Monty:

Brent at the bow

Finishing up with the fans

Tri-Boat headed to dinner and some unexpected sprinklers!

Back to Victoria and we rolled right back into some decent training. Two routine weeks with some speed intro had me excited to do it all over again in Mexico, this time in Ixtapa. AP hooked up a great condo in Bay View Grand that was ideal for race prep.

On race day I felt much more 'spunk', as Barrie Shepley would say, and got after it right from the gun. The swim was just a lot of fun. I really like ocean swims with some rolling waves to them. Being a horrible kicker i find the salt water lets me get away with a 2-beat kick and not lose body position.

Out of the water near the front we had a 800m run over sand, wood and asphalt to the bikes. Normally i suffer with T1 runs but this one felt healthy good.

On the bike i fumbled a bit with my mount and found myself chasing for a bit. Once I was able to get on the wheel of my training mate, Jon Bird, we rolled up to the lead 5 where Brent McMahon was tapping out a strong pace. I helped with what i could, but our group of 10 became 25 after 10ish k. The remaining ride was so diverse. You had everything from significant coasting to spinning to steady to attacks. Just what you would expect for a pan-am cup in Mexico.

T2 was a bit tricky with the larger than normal ixtapa pack barreling over the grass/tree boulevard. On to the run I built the first mile and settled into a rhythm and feel that i felt i could sustain and build upon on the last lap. I did just that and ended up placing 5th. Its a good progression from Monterrey and gave a good indicator of where my fitness is at. Great races by Kyle and Brent to start their 3-week point chase trip.

I've just had a somewhat chill week dialing the intensity back and visiting my family. The newest family member, Adel May Bollans, was met this week. Another niece that I will marvel at as she grows.

The next two and a bit weeks look to be a heavy plate of meat and potatoes. If i'm lucky i'll get some gravy with a good result in Monroe (Seattle) June 26th.

More frequent posts to come.

Marveling at how much sand is already in my suit at the start

coming in for T2