Saturday, December 19, 2009

Semester Wrap Up

With the race series ending and the semester coming to a close, the UBCTC held their year end party in a big way!

Andrew Wight, VP External for the UBC Triathlon Club has been working really hard on getting sponsorship and managed to get Ryders Eyewear to donate 8 PAIRS of sunglasses to the club to be given away to race series participants in a draw.

Thanks Ryders!

Matt, Celeste and Scott sporting their new swag!

In order to close off the semester fully, there was a little matter of the awards to be handed out.

The race for the Vincent Lavallee Cup was close and after a brief speech was handed out to Race Series Overall Winner Matt Reeve and Female Winner Lauren Sagadore.

What a nice Trophy

Having their names engraved for the first time on the Vincent Lavallee Cup, Lauren and Matt were very excited. Winston was as well, he just wanted to be near the trophy as can be seen in this next photo as well. Could this mean Winston has his eyes on it for next semester?

Nathaniel Showing up Late Posing with the Cup and his Trophy

With this event finished with, the Fall semester was finally finished and only exams stood in the way of our athletes and their home for the holidays.

What will next semester bring? Will Matt be able to defend? Will Nathaniel make up the necessary ground? Will one of the girls take over the title of series champion? Will Lauren be able to defend her title? Or will Claire and Victoria have something to say along with Melanie who boldly stated repeatedly for anyone who would listen that she "Was going to own the competition next semester"

Should be exciting!

Happy Holidays! And see you all in the new year for a full new series!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Event # 12 Underwater Distance Swim

Unfortunately we didn't get any photos of this event so I stole some appropriate ones off the internet.

With the weather forecast showing that it was going to be cold on the weekend, Nathaniel Janzen decided not to risk it and performed the underwater swim early the Thursday before the event. Uncharacteristically, Spazzz was also not going to make it to Sunday swim and therefore also competed early.

Nathaniel could frequently be heard toting that he planned on winning the underwater distance swim competition and in doing so, make his pool domination 4 for 4 (Aquathon, Team Relay, Swim Set, Distance Swim). A bold statement but could he back it up?

As Nathaniel and Lauren prepared for their attempt, the rest of the team continued swimming the set where Vincent Lavallee proved that he is more than just general good looks, but that he also has a sense of humor as he splashed Nathaniel on every flip turn he had the chance.

With that Lauren went first. Having never made it past the red line (halfway) in the pool she wanted to go further. With sheer determination she made it to the black line! 36 meters down the pool. Definitely a decent attempt to maintain her overall lead.

Next up was Nathaniel. Many swimmers stopped their set to spectate. Nathaniel had been practicing breathing techniques in class all week, and as a Human Kinetics major, knows a thing or two about the body (one would hope). He pushed off and was very slow going, looking very relaxed. As he reached the middle red line then the black line he passed Lauren and looked calm and relaxed, no signs of pain. Although he had been underwater nearly 40 seconds now, he showed no signs of weakness. Rumors had it he had planned on reaching the wall and giving one solid push and popping up. Well as he reached the wall he just kept on going. Eventually (and after Vincent took 4-5 breath to watch underwater), he surfaced at the red line near the lifeguard chair for an astounding 72 meters!

Upon completion Nathaniel was heard yelling:

"Now I am the ruler of all the ocean! The waves obey my every whim!"

Sure it was strange that he was quoting Ursula from The Little Mermaid, but he had just spent 90-100 seconds underwater, so we'll cut him some slack.

Sorry Lauren, no one was impressed with you anymore. Surely this will be the distance to beat on Sunday.

Sure enough as Sunday came around, people already had their doubts. All eyes were on Derek Westra-Luney and Matt Reeve. Derek because of his superior swimming skills, and Matt because his pride usually carries him to exceptional performances. Would his pride carry him through to the Victory?

Vincent Lavallee went first, with the goal only to beat Lauren he reached the black line, gave one strong pull and surfaced around 38-40 meters. Not bad he shrugged.

Rachel Schoeler had gone alongside Vincent finishing right around 41 meters. Now the current leader in the women's field.

Matt Reeve and Derek both went side by side, and impressively made it to the wall, however, neither decided to push off again for the added distance bonus. Surely Nathaniel's record would stand.

Now the interesting competition started. In the women's overall, Victoria Gilbert was 4 points back from Lauren. By beating her by 1 spot she would regain 3 points, but not the overall. She needed to beat Lauren by 2 positions, gaining 6 points in the process and the overall title. Unfortunately the gap between Lauren and Rachel (who was currently in first) wasn't just kids play.

Victoria pushed off, appearing to struggle a little bit, but with sheer determination managed to pull her way along. When she finally surfaced, the overall title was still unknown. Measurements were needed. In conclusion, it was decided that Victoria beat Lauren by merely a foot. In doing so was only able to capture second place on the day, but more importantly only 3 points from Lauren, allowing Lauren, our Spastic friend to retain the overall lead in the final competition for the Vincent Lavallee Cup!

Full Results (not exactly reliable for most):

Nathaniel 72
Matt 50
Derek 50
Rachel 45
Andrew 41
Vince 40
Victoria 37
Lauren 36
Scott 31
Winston 30
Claire 30
Kelsey 28
Derrick 25
Celeste 25

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Event #11 Tire Change

As appears to be the trend these days, many UBCTC members awoke to a lovely rain for the Saturday bike ride. This in addition to midterms surely resulted in significantly fewer members coming out for the ride. A special note should be taken, that Jared Penner was NOT detered from riding, as he decided it was advisable to do a quick jaunt with another cycling club before meeting up with the UBCTC. Escape Velocity never knew what hit them. Really, they had no idea who he was.

The main draw on such a lovely morning was the promise of competition in the tire change event! Changing a fast flat can mean the difference between winning a race and even being in contention. As a result, we felt this was an important event for the Fall Classic Race Series.

In total 12 people showed up for the tire change. This is of course including Nathaniel who decided against riding because it was too cold.

In a surprising turn of events, the bravado before the event was quite high. Matt Reeve stating that Friday night while practicing he was capable of changing a tire in 1:18. This is impressive, the competition waited anxiously to see whether this was in fact true.

Due to space limitations and to increase the suspense, the competition was run 2-3 people at a time. With such bold declarations, Matt Reeve went first and Vincent Lavallee joined him. May it be noted that Vincent was phenomenally hung over muttering something about fireball, and the general consensus was that on this morning, he was in fact NOT a generally good looking guy. OUCH!

The start was counted down and Matt Reeve quickly got to work on his tire as Vincent fumbled to stand. 30 Seconds gone by and Matt already had the tire off and tube out. 1 Minute and he was already putting the new tube in. As the clock ticked by 1:15 he already was working on rolling his tire over the rim and by 1:27 the wheel was back on his bike!

Nathaniel Bowing down to Matt's superiority

Matt putting the finishing touches on his tire change

At this point Vincent was still trying to find the stem of his tube, finishing far behind in 3:16.

Vincent fumbling with his bike

Next up was Winston Guo and Nathaniel Janzen. Both starting off strong, Nathaniel has shown that he came prepared for today as well. Finishing in 2:11 seconds with Winston not far behind in 2:44. Following this, Nathaniel could do no more than to bow down to Matt's supremacy.

Winston showing how it will be done

3rd to race was the girls. The most anticipated race of the day. With only a few points separating first and third. The overall female title was on the line. All three, Claire, Lauren Sagadore and Victoria Gilbert psyched themselves up and prepared for the change. Victoria showed the most skill getting the tire off, as Lauren proved to the rest why she got her nickname of Spazzzzzzzz as she broke a tire lever trying to pull the tire up. After a quick replacement of the lever (thats why you always carry 3) she was back in the game. Victoria held a strong lead while Claire and Spazzz were head to head.

Claire looking calm and relaxed. Lauren looking Spastic
Victoria struggled with the valve and decided that instead of dealing with it to simply take the 15 second penalty and finish the tire change. Finishing in 2:30 and being awarded a time of 2:45. Close behind Lauren and Claire fought it out for second place. As they placed their tire on the bikes it literally came down to who could flip the bike over fastest as Lauren Spazadore finished in 3:38 and Claire in 3:43

Claire and Victoria racing

With this move, Victoria edged ever closer to the women's title in the race series. Needing only a few more points to overtake Lauren. This could be accomplished if the last female, Celeste Pakstas finished the tire change between Lauren and Victoria. As Celeste started her tire change, things looked dire for Lauren. The clocked ticked by 2:30 and she was already getting the sidewall placed on her wheel. At 3:15 he tire was almost on, and snapping it over the last lip was all that remained. Lauren realizing the situation she was in became moderately vocal to say the least. As Celeste wrestled her bike to get the wheel back in place at 3:30 Lauren could be heard screaming profanities at the top of her lungs, further enforcing the nickname Spazzzzzz.
Video to follow

Perhaps it was just luck, or maybe Spazadores yelling was a distraction, but Celeste could no finish the tire change in time and ended up completing her change in 3:46. A close call for Lauren.

Scott rocking out without leg warmers

With all the big movers of the day done. It was time for a lovely wet ride out to Iona where Andrew Wight did his 10k time trial. In significantly less than ideal conditions, he toughed it out for a few critical points allowing him to edge out Derrick Lee in the overall to make the top 10.


Matt 1:27
Scott 1:55
Derrick 2:00
Flipper 2:11
Winston 2:44
Victoria 2:45
Vince 3:16
Lauren 3:38
Claire 3:43
Celeste 3:46
Andrew 4:05
Jared 4:06

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Event #10 Run Relay

With such a tight battle for the overall, making the teams was a VERY stressful task. We wouldn't want someone getting an unfair advantage in the relay resulting in some type of physical harm being done towards Vincent Lavallee for making the teams, potentially damaging his generally good looks.

As a result, high school level math was required to compute the most balanced teams possible. With that done, everything was ready to go!

But wait... As the teams were being organized a surprise guest made an appearance as latecomer Kory Seder required a spot on a team. Fortunately for Kory, the teams had a minor inbalance prior to his arrival, and the acceptance of his entry into the race made the numbers work out significantly better.

This move did not come without consequence though. Kory's arrival made him the 19th participant. Damn prime number. Vincent took the bullet for this one and challenged the teams to a race. He would run the entire relay solo (3X900m followed by 3X500m).

On a dark and rainy night, the 6 teams of 3 lined up and prepared for competition.

As the gun went off Andrew Wight was quick to take the lead, running the first 900 meters in sub 2:50. YIKES! Followed closely by Kory and Liam Harrap. With the handoff the second round of runners took off.

Our unaccompanied hero Vincent pulled through in 4th, hoping to hold on. With the second wave of runners starting, Vincent regained his stride and managed to claw his way back to the top. Reaching the completion of the second lap close behind 1st place in second. As he started heckling Derrick Lee, he realized his legs were no longer nearly as fresh as someone's who has yet to run as Derrick started to slowly pull away. This crushing blow was only magnified as Vincent heard the quick pace of footsteps behind as some of the big guns, Matt Reeve, Winston Guo and Nathaniel Janzen blow by.

Intense handoff

Matt Reeve was seen running through the entire field from 7th into 1st over 1 lap running it in under 2:45. Vincent Lavallee Running in 3:20 laps was definitely feeling the pain in his legs.

As the set of 500m laps began, Vincent thought his chances may improve as his competition may have blown up on their first laps. But as it turns out, they were refreshed after a few minutes rest and ready to sprint. Vincent found himself in a world of trouble as he raced Kim Seder through the middle lap of the 500m. Despite Vince's best efforts, Kim managed to hold him off through the lap for her handoff to Victoria who took it home.

The 500m proved to be the downfall of our underdog hero. 500 meters is simply too fast for the waning Lavallee. Claire made short work of Vincent as she blew by him on her run of 500m.

Vincent being criticized for heels striking

In the end, our President Vincent Lavallee was not able to bring home the victory. His competition was simply too strong for him. This however, he will take as an accomplishment. Being run coach this must simply be a reflection of his coaching skills.

Andrew Wight, showing the effort

In the end the winning team of Rachel Schoeler, Lara Russel and Matt Reeve completed the 4.2km Course in a record setting 14:46, averaging 3:30.9 minutes/km. Pretty fast! Second place team, finished just 10 seconds back, meaning they ran each lap less than 2 seconds slower. Pretty fast group!

Team 1: 14:46
Rachel Schoeler
Lara Russel
Matt Reeve

Team 2: 14:56
Annie Mauer
Andrew Wight
Derrick Lee

Team 3: 15:01
Kelsey Foote
Greta Raymant
Nathaniel Janzen

Team 4 15:06
Celeste Pakstas
Winston Guo
Jesse Chao

Team 5: 15:18
Lauren Sagadore
Kory Seder

Solo: 15:31
Vincent Lavallee

Team 6: 15:38
Victoria Gilbert
Kim Seder
Liam Harrap

Special acknowledgment must be given to Scott Chris who although did not race, took times and photos for the group.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tri BC Gala

This past week a group of the UBCTC and I went to the Annual Tri BC Fundraising Gala at the Stanley Park Rowing Club.

I wasn't too sure what to expect, but it was a lot of fun. All together we had 10 of us from the club, who get along really well and had a good time.

The atmosphere of the Gala wasn't as much "Party" as it was "Socialize and Mingle", nevertheless it was a good time and it was nice seeing some people I raced against in the summer and haven't seen since.

Paul Regensburg and Meyrick Jones

Meyrick encouraged us to come out and I'm glad he did. There was a great talk by Triathlon Coach and Commentator Paul Regensburg. He told a great story about the 2000 olympics and how he announced for CBC Simon Whitfields win.

Winston and I dressed somewhat similarly

Following the Gala, the group of us went over to Matt's place for a few more drinks and games.

All round it was a pretty fantastic Thursday night if I may say so myself and hopefully we can have a lot more team outings like this in the future.

All in all, I would say it was good for the club to have such a big showing. We were by far the largest and ONLY club represented there. Considering the growth we hope to make over the next few years, I think its exposure like this that could really help.

How to Hold your Breath

  1. Now that Nathaniel has gone, I can give up the secrets, here are a few helpful tips for how to hold your breath as long as possible.
  2. Before holding your breath, inhale and exhale slowly from deep within your diaphragm. By doing this, you're ridding your lungs of low-quality air.[2] Spend 5 seconds breathing in and 5 seconds breathing out; do this for two minutes, and be sure that when you exhale, you push out every last "drop" of air.[3]
  3. Take a massive gulp of air and hold it. Don't breathe in so much that you're about to pop; fill your lung capacity to 80-85% so that you still have room to relax.[4]
    • Always do this with a partner watching, since you can lose consciousness without warning.
    • Don't hold air in your cheeks. This method is meant for an air reserve, but you have to "let go" of the air in your lungs if you want to use the air in your cheeks, and exhaling air in your lungs usually gets rid of the reserve in your cheeks. In other words, it's not easy to switch out the air in your lungs and the air in your cheeks without letting both escape. But it can be done -
  4. Splash cold water on your face. It has been observed that putting a person's face in contact with cold water triggers bradycardia, or the slowing of the heart rate, which is the first phase of the mammalian diving reflex.[5] You don't need to actually put your entire head underwater, though. You can splash some cold water on your face right before you hold your breath, or try using a cold, wet washcloth (don't use an ice pack, though; the same study suggests that the shock of something too cold triggers other reflexes). Just make sure it's cold enough (21 °C or 70 °F) and the rest of your body is in a relaxed position.
  5. Relax every muscle in your body. Meditate so that you can lower your heart rate. Your body will consume less oxygen that way.[6] By closing your eyes, feeling, and focusing on slowing your heart beat, it is possible to lower your heart rate significantly and increase the time you are able to hold your breath for. Concentrate on something that's relaxing to you. When you can't concentrate anymore, distract yourself by doing something with your hands, like counting to 99 with your fingers.[7]

Event #9 Swim Test Set

On a lazy Sunday morning, the University of British Columbia Aquatic center saw 17 triathletes dip their toes in the pool in preparation for event number 9; the 500m swim set.

To everyones surprise dominant swimmer Nathaniel Janzen was nowhere to be found. Has he given up the chase against Matt Reeve. This could equate to a critical 15 point swing if Nathaniel decides to make up the event.

Ironically, in our first swim with the new tent in place, the sun decided to come out from hiding. There are many mixed emotions towards if the tent is a good of bad thing. Time will tell. The main impact it had for the swim test set was that the pace clock was no longer visible, would this affect the racers? Probably not, but you never know.

Looking over the group, Winston Guo surely must have been seen excited by the turnout. Having voiced his concerns over lost ground in the swim set, seeing that many of the middle range swimmers were not present, this bode well for him.

With the table set, Ivan called the start and the race was on. Leaving on 15 second intervals to prevent drafting, the fastest swimmers of each lane went first, followed by the rest.

There were many strategies, Vincent Lavallee*, followed Rachel Schoeler by 15 seconds where he decided to try and bridge the gap by sprinting the first 100m with the hope of getting into her slipstream, however, he had no luck in such matters as she quickly pulled away leaving him tired and without shelter. This technique may have been more successful in other lanes, but this narrator is unaware if that is so.

By the end of the grueling swim, Alex Lush was a clear winner in a time of 7:00 flat with Rachel finishing in second in a time of 7:20 and Vincent in 3rd in 7:25.

This is the first time in the University of British Columbia Triathlon Club history that the women take the win, and not only that but take second place on the podium as well!

With that done, the race came down to the further lanes to see where the division of rank would come. Matt Reeve who was worried of his hold on first overall maintained a solid showing finishing in 3rd male just behind Scott Chris distancing himself from Winston, but where was Nathaniel?

In the women's race Spazzzzzzzzz or infrequently known as Lauren was capable of holding off her main rivals in the overall to regain her place atop the women's field.

Following the event, speculation of where Nathaniel was started to leak out. The predominant vote was that on his bike ride in to campus he got cold and decided to bus home. But confirmation was still needed for this.

In a follow up, Nathaniel Janzen, Andrew Wight and Kendra Swain did the swim on the following Tuesday, setting two new course records! Kendra set the women's record in a time of 6:31 and Nathaniel, in a time that would have lapped Vincent set a time of 6:11. Those will be two times that may stand the test of time on the record board.

Congrats to all who showed up. And shame on Nathaniel for sleeping in.


Alex Lush 7:00
Rachel Schoeler 7:20
Vincent Lavallee 7:25
Scott Chris 7:39
Heather Enns 7:45
Matt Reeve 7:47
Spazadore 7:49
Celeste Paskstas 7:53
Kelsey Foote 9:00
Claire 9:30
Winston Guo 9:41
Victoria Gilbert 9:41
Derrick Lee 10:00
Eddie Wu 10:20
Debbie Poon 10:55
Jesse Chao 11:20
Yan Liu 12:20

Nathaniel Janzen 6:11
Kendra Swain 6:31
Andrew Wight 8:30

*Generally good looking guy

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Brick Workout Event #8

Oh my I'm behind on updating the blog. Nearly 10 days out of the Brick/Swim set and I'm just getting to it now. Shameful!

There have been many speculations as to why I haven't updated in so long. The leading hypothesis can be heard in this re-enactment of a discussion overhead in the triathlon club office earlier this week.

Make sure your sound is on.

The accuracy of this video is incredible. The space aged office, Nathaniel and Matt wearing spandex, Vince being... Well you know.

No doubt in my mind that this happened.

However, it saddens me to admit this is not why the blog was so delayed. In all truth, its because I've been so busy with lab work. Mixed in with a visit from my mom and I'm just getting around to it now.

But rest assured, I remember all the important parts.

As one of our smaller events, the brick workout only had 14 people show up for the legendary ride on that cold wet morning. The conditions dampened the hopes (hahahaha) of those who had counted on drafting the entire bike course, however, this courageous bunch wasn't going to be deterred by the weather.

Nathaniel Janzen ready to take on the rain
An oversight, due to the weather, the official timer (and security guard for bikes) did not show up. This left the club with somewhat of a conundrum. Fortunately the graceful leader opted out of participating in order to watch over the bikes. Who knew that along with being a generally good looking guy, he was also so giving.

Due to weather conditions, the duathlon turned into a brick workout as the team opted out of doing the first running leg.

Quickly on the bike, a small trio of Barry Claman, Derrick Lee and Kory Seder took off the front. They worked hard and managed to open a gap on the rest. At the turn around Kory missed the turn only to venture another 700m down the road (Correction, Barry turned too early and everyone else followed. Kory is the only one who did the correct course). At this point Barry was able to distance himself from Derrick and came in to transition with a solid cushion of time.

Following this leading trio was the main pack of men, with Nathaniel, Winston and Scott all following not too far behind.

In the girls race, it was a little more of individual efforts as Kim Seder biked away from the group finishing the bike course with a demanding lead heading into the run. A little ways back the main pack arrived led by Victoria Gilbert with Lauren Spazadore and Celeste Pakstas just behind.

Kim Seder Leading the women's race

Female Peloton coming in to transition

Barry rounded out the finish in an impressive 21:31 with Kory having an adjusted time (due to the detour) 30 seconds back.

Barry Claman Coming in to finish

Nathaniel with a strong run, was able to break away from the pack and rounded out the podium in third.

In the girls race, Kim led from the gun finishing the run nearly a minute ahead of second place, where Victoria was able to break open the pack and lead Celeste to the line by just over a minute.

Woman's chase pack

Winston looking freakishly happy despite the weather

Derrick's finish

In a controversial turn of events, 4 members of the UBCTC partook in the brick the following Wednesday with the aid of Spazadore timing. The weather forecast was terrible, rain and cold, and therefore it was agreed that these conditions were fair to be similar. However, as lucky twist of events, Wednesday turned out to be a beautiful day. A little windy but otherwise amazing conditions. Since this was clearly no longer a fair battle, a new scoring system was put in place. Individuals racing an event after the original event has taken place, DO NOT GET PARTICIPATION POINTS. With that, we felt the advantage was neutralized, because although conditions were better. This would result in a net 13 point loss at the end of the series.

Quartet of make up session

That being said, a different tactic was employed by the men on this fateful Wednesday. Matt Reeve, Vincent Lavallee and Andrew Wight decided to work as a team rather than trying to break one another on the bike. Doing so result in the fastest bike split of the week by over a minute. As the hit the run, Matt pulled away and won in a new course record of 20:34 with Vincent 7 seconds behind.

Claire also took part in the make up session of the brick workout. However due to some navigational issues her time had to be doctored, her time works out to 26:16 but please don't ask me how I came up with that. There is a lot of hand waiving involved.

Full Results

Matt Reeve20:34
Vincent Lavallee20:41
Barry Claman21:31
Kory Seder22:03
Nathaniel Janzen22:27
Derrick Lee22:53
Winston Guo23:12
Scott Chris23:22
Andrew Wight23:37
Kim Seder24:47
Victoria Gilbert25:20
Ceilidh Curis25:38
Jesse Chao26:08
Celeste Pakstas26:44
Lauren Spazadore27:02
Kelsey Foote29:50


Monday, November 16, 2009

Fall Classic Half Marathon

Congrats to everyone who raced yesterday!

We had a decent sized showing in the half marathon and another few athletes running the 10k.

In the half marathon we had a few first along with a few personal best finishes despite TERRIBLE running conditions. Race morning was COLD (4*C), RAINY, and WINDY!

When I woke at 6AM up for the race, I checked the weather network and this is what I saw

I realize this says Monday Nov 16th, but fortunately for the blog today had the same warning as Sunday

At 6AM this is not what you want to see. Despite this, it was still a great day. Times were a little slower than normal but spirits were still high.

Congrats again to everyone who raced!

Half Marathon

23 1:26:27 Vincent LAVALLEE
33 1:27:50 Liam HARRAP
48 1:31:23 Eric SUESS
55 1:32:29 Winston GUO
80 1:34:42 Tobi VOLKMANN
106 1:38:06 Nathaniel JANZEN
140 1:41:29 Clara GOMEZ
154 1:42:59 Chris SCOTT
433 1:58:10 Ceilidh CURTIS
522 2:01:11 Sarah SIMON

7 36:16 Derek WESTRA-LUNEY
11 37:18 Matt REEVE
100 46:28 Victoria GILBERT

If I missed anyone let me know and I'll add you on.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Event in 2010 Spring Race Series

Super Sprint Triathlon

I saw this on Chuckie V's blog and think its a great idea.

Triathlon, by its very design, is an endurance sport. In general, the capacity to go fast is inferior to the ability to last. But it needn't be this way.

And so it is I hereby propose a true sprint triathlon, the Tri-Dash. And this is what I have in mind…

First, the rules. Then the events.

The rules are essentially like any other swim-bike-run triathlon but for one primary difference: there are no transition areas or transitions. That is to say each of three events is a separate entity, occurring as its own competition. Each event is separated by a number of hours, though all three of these events are to take place in the course of a single day. The results of each event are judged not on a points system (as per decathlon, heptathlon, etc) but strictly by time standards. Athletes qualify for the final through a round of qualifying heats. There would be a women's race and a men's race, of course.

The events…

The Swim: The swim consists of a single 100-meter freestyle sprint, from the blocks. It takes place in an Olympic-regulation-size 50-meter pool and each athlete competes in his or her own lane.

The Ride: The ride consists of a 1-kilometer flat, straight time-trial. Tri(athletes) are to start individually from a standing start.

The Run: The run consists of a single 400-meter dash. It takes place on a 400-meter track and essentially follows the rules as that of the International Olympic Committee's track and field rules: each athlete competes in his or her own lane against seven other runners.

How I see things…
Fast and fun! Any male capable of breaking 3-minutes would likely be deemed "world-class" and perhaps can consider himself one of the truly fastest triathletes in the world. Female times would likely hover within seconds of the male individual event times.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Tips on Swim Stroke

A few helpful tips that will improve most everyones swim stroke.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Claire's Basketball Game

With this lull in Fall Classic Series events, I decided it was a good time to recap on some team bonding that took place just over a week ago.

A team alumn, Claire Askew moved to Toronto and goes to Ryerson University now. Fortunately, she has joined the basketball team there and had an exhibition game against UBC so a group of us decided to head out and watch.

She knew a few of us may be coming, but had no idea of what we had planned. Sure enough, as half time ended and the teams were coming back onto the court, 6 SHIRTS WENT FLYING and a rambunctious group of cheers started yelling at Claire.

Despite the looks of embarrassment, I think she liked it. And I'm pretty sure most of her teammates did as well. I mean come on, Just look at us!

Left to right: Vincent, Winston, Matt, Lauren, Grant, Andrew, and Kaylen (Andrew's daughter)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Event #7, 5K Run TT Race Report


On a day that looked dry and crisp, the Gods decided this wasn't to be the case for the 5k Run time trial as only 15 minutes before practice started, the skies opened up and unleashed a storm!

Despite the horrible weather 26 athletes participated making it the second largest event thus far.

The team ventured East towards Acadia Blvd where the 5.5 lap run would take place. The general atmosphere was much more relaxed than last week at the mile, as jokes of eating Red Burrito and Subway where passing through the air. Andrew Wight was even going to far as to blame Safeway and Halloween candy until he called himself out on the lame for using classic Vincent Lavallee excuses.

Group shot during warmup, with Team Seder prominently in the front

After a rather short warmup due to the cold weather the 26 athletes were off! After a rather"quick" start by an overexcited Claire, Barry Claman, 2 time defending UBCTC event champion quickly took over the lead never to relinquish it. After being out-kicked in the dying meters of the Mile last week, Claire was not going to let this happen again as she distanced herself by 90 seconds over her competition by the finish line, edging out any ideas of a quick finishing sprint getting by her.

Victoria Gilbert finished in second with Rachel Schoeler just over 15 seconds back taking third.

With this strong finish, Claire moves up in the standings to be tied with Flipper Janzen for second.

On the men's side, behind Barry, Vincent Lavallee led out the charging group. Giving short 100m surges to break apart the group, Vincent managed to drop all the chasers but one, Matt Reeve. Then it became a race within a race, with Vincent and Matt Dueling and Winstorm, Flipper and Liam HARRAP close behind.

With 1 lap to go, Vincent gave one final powerful surge on the long backstreach uphill to finally snap the elastic that was holding Matt, and managed to distance himself 10-15 meters coming into the finishing stretch. Behind these two, a true race unfolded as Winstorm managed to open a gap on Liam and Flipper, Flipper managed to hold off Liam HARRAP in the sprint for the line.

Flipper sporting conflicting clothing, some running flats and a tuque

This was not the only sprint finish, as behind this group a minute or two down was the race between Evan Cheng and Matt Robinson with Cheng edging the win at the line.

On a hugely successful night for all, there were multiple personal best achieved:

Matt Reeve, Winston Guo, Andrew Wight, Nathaniel Flipper Janzen, Scott Chris along with many others (tell me and I'll put your name up) despite in being rumored a long course.

Image showing Dark/Wet/Cold conditions racers faced

Comparing the three GPS wearers, Winstorm and team Seder, the average distance covered was measured at 5.13km. However after all the votes are in, no corrected times will be given for the time trial. Although the GPS watches give readings of 5.1+ km, the arguments were made that everyone was running wide and with the leaves/wet ground etc. it was just lack of tight cornering that resulted in the long distance. Also, you don't want to have to justify your result in the future if ever someone asks.

To remedy this situation, many UBCTC members are rumored to be running another 5k TT but this time on the track. No questions there (other than how many laps have been done). Hopefully the previous three weeks of racing won't hurt too much, and the athletes will still have the juice in their legs for a good run. Any company will be encouraged and welcome, an e-mail will be sent out with some warning as to when.

In a post race interview with series leader Matt Reeve, he was asked about his thoughts on the race:

"Well, I've been pretty confident in my running after the uphill time trial and the mile race. I knew that I had the form for a good performance, maybe even a PB. I decided to go out strong. Immediately I saw Vincent take over the lead of our chase pack and figured that I would simply hold him and then when he started to fade I would take over and run in for the win. Well who would have thought Vince had it in him. I mean, we all know he's a decent runner and a generally good looking guy, but the kick he put out at 1km to go was just a little too much today. I have to be happy with the 3rd."


Barry Claman 17:10
Vincent Lavallee 18:08
Matt Reeve 18:17
Winstorm Guo 18:35
Nathaniel Janzen 18:43
Liam Harrap 18:44
Andrew Wight 19:04
Scott Chris 19:36
Kory Seder 20:02
Evan Cheng 20:32
Matt Robinson 20:32
Ceilidh Curtis 21:46
Derrick Lee 22:18
Jesse Chao 22:26
Fabian Jankovic 22:41
Claire 20:28
Victoria Gilbert 21:58
Rachel Schoeler 22:16
Alana Schick 22:32
Melanie Thompson 22:45
Kimberly Seder 23:05
Lauren Sagadore 23:28
Annie Mauer 24:17
Kelsey Foote 24:34
Celeste Pakstas 24:35
Debbie Poon 32:30

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cyclocross for Triathletes

This was in the latest issue of Cyclocross Magazine (Issue 7 or those interested). I did not write it, it was written by Chris Gescheidle. He talks about some great points. If you're interested and want to learn more, check out

It was a nice late spring afternoon and although my triathlon training plan called for a bike ride with intervals, I decided to break out the 'cross bike and hit the trail.

"Wow! Look at those beautiful Texas wildflowers!" crowed one of the mother-son duo as I rode my Bianchi Cross Concept past them on a local trail not far from my house.

I passed them a few miles into the trail at an open field skirting a lowland creek, where Texans roam the fields looking for wildflowers all year long. Spring happens to be one of my favourite times to mount the 'cross steed and get off-road. The funny thing is I'm a triathlete and it's the middle of the early triathlon training season. So why am i even thinking about cyclocross?

Since I first tossed a leg over a 'cross bike and raced, I knew I was hooked. I’m sure most of you can say the same thing! And at the end of my first ‘cross racing season, I knew I had to incorporate it into my triathlon training. And why not? Triathlon and cyclocross share two common elements: cycling and running, so why not use cyclocross to my advantage year-round?

Dallas isn’t known for its cyclocross racing by any stretch of the imagination. Don’t get me wrong, Texas does flourish with some of the best cycling—on and off-road—you can find in the whole country. And for Teas, ‘cross makes a good showing from Dallas to Houston. So, I’ve decided to use the mild winters and warm (OK, hot) summers to my advantage. And I mean my advantage for triathlon and cyclocross.

The Basics

You’ve probably heard the stories of how world-class cyclists have proclaimed that ‘cross racing made them better at road racing. It’s true. Extending your riding through the winter makes you a better rider. Period.

It’s hard to most triathletes to continue to ride during the off-season without structure, while continuing to improve our skills. Sure, you can tell yourself that you will work on interval training, on-leg drills, close quarter riding and so forth throughout the off-season, but when it comes down to it, you will probably just ride.

Long, slow distance rides have their place, especially in the off-season. However, sprinkle in some cyclocross and watch your early season form climb the charts like a new Jonas Brothers CD.

When I trade my road bike or time trial bike for the ‘cross bike during my heavy triathlon training season, I remind my body and my mind of the skills that will make me a better triathlete. Let’s look at the different ways ‘cross helps me in a triathlon.

Handling Skills

One of the biggest and most visible improvements is bike handling skills. This oft-neglected talent of experienced riders comes shining through when you race ‘cross. Having to negotiate fatter tires through tight corners, through sand, or along the mud makes you learn how to handle the bar, pedal and brakes.

I remember the first time I tried ‘cross. There was no mud, sand or “trash dump
like I saw in later years, but the descent on the first U-turn caught my by surprise. It wasn’t that steep; heck, it wasn’t even a “descent” for the veteran racers that day. But with a triathlon background, I was used to mostly flat, time trial like terrain! Speeding down that creek bed had me holding on for dear life instead of holding my bike in a relaxed manner.

I realized that if I was going to get better at cycling, whether at road racing, cyclocross, or triathlons, I needed to hone my handling skills. In the end that made me better on race day and in training.


One of the key elements in triathlon that is often overlooked is the transitions. This is the place that the racer transitions from the swim to the bike (called “T-1”) or from the bike to the run (“T-2”). At the beginning of the race, the transition area is filled with bikes on their respective tacks, waiting for the participants to exit the water, grab their bikes and get out to the bike course. Of course, there are rules to follow when inside the transition area, as well as when one exits and re-enters that area. One of the rules is not being able to mount your bike until you are clear of the transition area and across the “mount/dismount” line.

I love watching triathlons from the “mount/dismount” line. I can tell from watching who has practiced mounting their bike (most don’t). if you’re good, ou can run out of transition with your bike, cross the line, mount your bike and go without ever stopping. If you’ve not practiced this, however, you will probably cross the line, stop to find your pedal, swing your lef over, slop on your cleats and lose your chain as you back-pedal. Then, as you almost fall over, get totally frustrated, you find you are starting your bike with a lot of stress. A fluid mount and dismount can save a few dozen seconds… more than a lot of equipment upgrades.

Practicing transitions, perhaps especially the mount and dismount of your bike, is ammunition in your arsenal. And because cyclocross incorporates mounting and dismounting, it’s a great way to practice specificity. If you can dismount quickly and efficiently for a barrier, then mount the bike after clearing the barrier, you will be better at properly mounting and dismounting your bike in triathlon.


Of course, you can’t race triathlon without running. Well, OK, you can, but your chances of cross the finish line ahead of others will be mighty slim! And, although ‘cross has less running than it used to, it’ll help you keep a bit of running fitness throughout the off-season.

Many cycling-focused triathletes dread the run portion of the race. That’s a shame, too, because running is actually a great way to cross train between cyclocross and triathlon. Different muscle groups get used, which can help joint stability and lessen overuse injuries.

If you do decide to incorporate running into your training regimen, be sure to get your shoes fitted by a professional. Begin by adding running to a walking routine, and then gradually increase the mileage of running over time. Ultimately, you will sprinkle in speed work, sprints and even ‘cross-specific drills (i.e., hopping barriers) to improve your skills.

Riding in a Pack

Although most triathlons are non-drafting races, knowing how to safely pass someone or avoid a collision as you pass is is an often overlooked skill, too. I’ve often seen collisions, or near-collisions, on triathlon courses simply because someone wasn’t comfortable with another rider in close proximity. Instead of welcoming the change to their environment by practicing riding in a pack or passing, they freeze-up in fear, often to their own detriment.

Cyclocross puts a rider in the think of close-quarter drills. Unless you just get dropped early on, you will probably have chances during the ‘cross race to be close-up and personal with another rider The more you do this, the more comfortable you become with other riders around you during a race. Becoming at ease in this environment makes you a better rider in other races, including triathlons. When you’re out on you next group ride, practice rubbing shoulders (literally!) with other riders. Once you get used to the bump-and-grind of elbows and shoulders, you’ll be much less nervous when this inevitable part of cyclocross occurs. Plus, when you give someone a little bump on the tri course (or receive one), you’ll be less likely to go down. Note: Please check with the rider you’re going to practice this skill on before leaning into him; failing to do so will get you ejected from the group ride faster than showing up with your aero bars.

“Cross” Train

So, how do you get started? Well, first check Cyclocross magazine’s comprehensive race calendar from ‘cross clinics or races in your area. A clinic is an invaluable way to not only see proper technique, but also to have someone watch you, give you specific pointers and answer your questions.

Then, see if you can find a group with which to train. Contact race promoters or clubs for information on any groups training ‘cross on a regular basis. You man even find a group on Cyclocross Magazine’s online community site. Some groups host a series of practices races or workouts, for example every Tuesday evening, where you can come back weekly to the same course, hone your skills and actually progress.

Don’t have a cross bike? No problem! Your mountain bike or hybrid will do. Or, if you have a bit of clearance, simply install some narrow cyclocross tires on your road bike and get out there. Here in Teas it is fry, you can get away with running a road frame with 28 or 30c ‘cross tires. The Schwalbe CX Light and Ritchey Speedmax 700x30 are two of the narrowest out there. At your first race, you’ll see all sorts of bikes, so don’t be intimidated if you don’t have a ‘cross-specific bike. Just makes sure whatever you se can handle some off-road terrain, run-ups, cambers and, at the fun races, mud.

As far as the dismounts, remember your skills as a triathlete. If you’re an accomplished triathlete, you know how beneficial it is to approach the dismount line at a race and be able to “run in” because you’ve left your shoes on your bike. In cyclocross, it’s the same principal, except this time you’ll leave your shoes on your feet, dismount the bike on one side, run over the obstacle or barrier, then do a flying mount, the same as you would in triathlon T-1. Check out Cyclocross Magazine’s brand new newbie section on their website.

And when it’s necessary to run, you will probably have the advantage coming from a tri background. You’ve trained for triathlon using “bricks,” (a workout that involves running directly after coming off the bike), so the payoff in ‘cross will benefit you, too!

Getting Serious

Don’t get me wrong, it won’t be that easy. And you may experience a higher heart rate during the race than you do in triathlon. The constant accelerations and the cheering and jeering crowd will keep you at the redline.

You’ll have to practice your dismounts and the jumping over obstacles. You’ll also want to practice carrying your bike on your shoulder and carrying it up a hill. Now this is something you obviously don’t do in triathlon. In fact, we get really good at pushing our bike through the transition, but in cyclocross, you will need the skill of carrying your bike. That’s because there are so many sports on a ‘cross course where you cannot ride it.

For both the run and the bike, practice short, quick accelerations (think interval training on steroids). You might be lucky enough to get into a rhythm somewhere on the course, but most likely you will be hammering the entire time. Remember the duration versus intensity principle? This is intensity and duration!

But you can—and should—add ‘cross to your repertoire. Use the triathlon off-season to hone your cycling skills by adding a little cyclocross into the mix. Join a group ride. Attend or volunteer at a race. Join the community. Pretty soon you’ll see what the fuss is about. And you might just end up trading in that tri bike for a pair of matching ‘cross bikes.