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.

Event #7, 5K Run TT

Tonight starts the second half or the University of British Columbia Triathlon Clubs Fall Classic Series. As one of the longer events, the 5k run TT could shake things up in the overall standings for in this event, endurance and not speed is what is required.

We will leave the track out of it this week and run a more traditional road race, heading a few blocks east into the endowment neighborhood of Acadia. This 5.5 lap run course is fast paced, but not without its challenges. With 4 90* turns a lap and a short hill, athletes will have to pace themselves to prevent a collapse.

Will Barry Claman be able to make it 3/3 and run his goal of sub 17 minutes? Course record is held by Jaime Orellana Tamez at 17:05 last year (in a full tracksuit for some reason). And on the women's side, who will take the running top honors, will it be Victoria or Claire? Or will there be a new dark horse who wins this race?

Be ready and warmed up by 6:10PM to find out!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Iona Bike Time Trial Event #6

After a very hyped up and exciting Mile Race last Wednesday, it was nice to have a more mellow race in the form of the flat bike TT out at Iona on Saturday. Once again weather proved to be our friend and on a crisp but sunny morning, 25 riders made the trip out to try their luck on the course.

In a competition where technology has been a factor (such as racing spikes and flats in the mile), the bike TT showed a whole new level of racing gear. The most over the top coming from former and current UBCTC Presidents and generally good looking guys Barry Claman and Vincent Lavallee who raced in skinsuits, TT helmets, Race wheels and Time Trial bikes. Pressure was high for these two because showing up like that and not performing well would simply be embarrassing.

Barry and Vince pulling all the stops
After shuffling everyone into position for the start, Matt Reeve counted everyone down and the race was underway.

Racers lined up for the start
Vincent Lavallee about to start
Barry about to start
The racers had nearly perfect conditions, with very little wind the flags were barely moving, this being uncharacteristic for Iona were winds have been known to gust up to 60+kph.

After a series of running events, the cyclist were ready to get their turn. In the men's division, it was no surprise that Barry Claman quickly closed his 30 second gap on Vincent and was charging to his second victory of the UBCTC Fall Classic Series being the only athlete to break the 40kph barrier. The surprise of the day however came from Kory Seder. Kory who has put together some very respectable times in the running events was an unknown on the bike having missed the uphill time trial. Kory thundered home to an impressive second place finish who despite not having race wheels/skinsuit/teardrop helmet was just over 30 seconds back of Barry followed closely by Vincent in 3rd.

The more interesting race probably took place mid pack though. That is the race for the overall title. Matt Reeve cracked the top 5 finishing just over a minute back of the lead, in doing so grabbing some all so important points over Nathaniel and Winston who chase in 2nd and 3rd overall.

In a post race interview with Barry when asked how he felt about this, his second victory in the UBCTC Fall Classic series he said that he was humbled by the achievement, however, that despite his expectations, he would have been disappointed without the victory.
"Showing up with all the aero equipment and not winning would have been an embarrassment, and what would that make me, I would have been like Vince."

On the woman's side, the race for the overall is even tighter. Coming into this event, Claire Haddock, Victoria Gilbert and Lauren Spazadore, the top 3 women were only 11 points apart. A spread which could easily be made up with a good ride.

With Spazadore having to leave early, she raced the TT before everyone else arrived, setting the benchmark time of 18:47 for the rest of her competitors along with prefacing the conditions for everyone.

The women's race was a lot closer than the mens, where the top 8 women were finished just over a minute apart, which can only be said for the top 4 men.

Kim Seder, part of the Seder powerhouse duo brought home the victory in a time of 18:23. Only 8 seconds back was second place finisher Marina Heaton who edged out Celeste Pakstas in third by 6 seconds. Once again the women's field show the men what it means to be competitive.

Marina Heaton (green) and Kim Seder (blue bike) preparing to start

Kim Seder coming to the line

Powerhouse couple Kim and Kory Seder took near top honors on the day with a 1st and 2nd, edging out other leading couple Flipper Janzen and Scott Chris in the points race on this day. In response to this, Scott blamed Nathaniel for not pushing hard enough. Upon inspection Nathaniel had a spiderweb on his bike which was not destroyed during the race. Scott's argument being that Nathaniel wasn't pushing hard enough, all the while Nathaniel rebutted that spiderweb is the strongest known fiber and that it acted like a parachute slowing him down to which people compared this weak excuse to one of Vince's.

After this event, halfway through, the women's race is closer than ever with the top 3 ladies only 5 points apart, with the top honors being shared between Claire Haddock and Lauren Spazadore.

In the men's race, Matt Reeve conceded some points, however, his lead grew over his primary rivals Flipper Janzen and Winstorm. Can he maintain this momentum over the next 6 events? We will see as he starts the second half tomorrow night with the 5k run TT. Hopefully this time Matt won't disappoint his fans and forget to wear the cape for this could be his last event wearing it.

Barry Claman 14:59
Kory Seder 15:37
Vincent Lavallee 15:47
Derek Westra-Luney 16:05
Matt Reeve 16:10
Derrick Lee 16:24
Fabian Jankovic 17:30
Winstorm Guo 17:32
Scott Chris 17:35
Jared Penner 17:45
Tiger Ye 18:07
Nathaniel Janzen 18:17
Carson Cheyne 18:20
Mike Penner 18:21
Kimberly Seder 18:23
Marina Heaton 18:31
Celeste Pakstas 18:37
Lauren Sagadore 18:47
Dwayne da Silva 18:50
Victoria Gilbert 18:58
Greta Raymant 19:02
Claire Haddock 19:06
Kendra Rudibega Swain 19:29
Kelsey Foote 20:53
Kaylee Robertson 21:11

For full event photos, click here.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Miracle Mile

It was only fitting that for the most anticipated event we should see the largest showing of athletes at 29, during midterm season no less. All together 17 men and 12 woman toed the line in what would be a race for the books.

Pre race tensions were running high. Matt Reeve, sporting the leaders cape prepared his warmup to perfection after consulting a freelance professional coach in Jerry from Forerunners. With his warmup dialed in, surely he would be one of the favorites. Who else would try and match him in an attempt to take over the overall lead in the UBCTC Fall Classic Series?

Barry Claman, the overwhelming favorite coming into tonight's event was seeking redemption after a disappointing third in the uphill time trial. In a race that was referred to as "meh" last week, Barry promised to make the mile hurt.

UBCTC President and generally good looking guy Vincent Lavallee was staying quiet prior to the event. After all the excuses he used up in the relay and hill time trial, he was running out and was going to have to race with a clean slate. No more sandbagging excuses.

On such a momentous occasion there were many other dark horses who could cause an upset. Flipper, who ran to an impressive 5th in the uphill TT, was ready to move up this week, and Winstorm the universal pace bunny was a marked man by many.

Newcomer to the UBCTC Fall Classic Jared Penner was tapering specific for this event, opting out of the previous 4 events just to be ready. When asked how he thought this would benefit him for the overall title he replied no comment. With $5 on the line for beating Vincent, you knew he was bringing his A game.

After last weeks display of technological advancement in the sport of running, many athletes decided to try their hand at getting an edge. With Andrew Wight sporting a flashy new pair of racing flats (seen above) along with Winstorm and Jared, they were sure to experience lighter feet.

On top of those mentioned, there were many unknowns. New faces to the UBCTC who have not yet had the opportunity to show their skills.

With the men lining up first, Lauren Spazadore counted down the start!

Barry Claman quickly took the lead. Running the first lap in a blistering 66 seconds, followed a few seconds behind by the main pack of men containing Lavallee, Reeve, Guo, Janzen, Penner and Wight.

The second lap showed a big shake up. Winstorm, impatient with the slow pace-setting of Vincent Lavallee took over, followed closely by Matt. Barry by this point had a demanding lead going through the first half mile in 2:24.

Barry surged on, having only the clock to motivate him. Rounding the last corner and racing for a sub 5 minute clocking, he achieved a 4:57. Behind him however the race got interesting. With 300m to go, Penner, running behind Vincent in 5th inquired if this was in fact already the 4th lap. With a grunt, Vincent replied and Jared started his kick as though he had just been cruising to this point. Jared Penner moves from 6th position passing Winstorm, Nathaniel and Matt all over the following 200 meters developing a gap of 10-15 meters on Reeve. Matt won't give up so easily however and gives one final push. With meters to go, the race for second is INTENSE as Matt edges out Jared within the final stride.

Barry pushing to a 4:57 clocking
Jared with a 10 meter gap

create animated gif
Matt (shirtless) edging out Jared at the line

Jared and Matt were not the only sprint finish, three more took place between Liam and Tobi then between Ceilidh and Eddie and finally between Derrick and Jesse.

Barry Claman 4:57
Matt Reeve 5:05
Jared Penner 5:05
Nathaniel Janzen 5:09
Winstorm Guo 5:11
Vincent Lavallee 5:13
Tiger Ye 5:14
Andrew Wight 5:26
Liam Harrap 5:30
Tobi Volkmann 5:30
Scott Chris 5:36
Kobi Seder 5:38
Eddie Wu 5:58
Ceilidh Curtis 5:59
Jesse Chao 6:05
Derrick Lee 6:06
Fabian Jankovic 6:18

Following the mens race, the Woman had a competition of their own. In a competition even tighter than the men's, the top 3 in the woman's race were only points apart, especially after strong running by both last weeks winner Claire Haddock and runner up Victoria Gilbert. Tonight's race was anyone's game. Lauren Spazadore, who was saving energy for the individual Time Trial this coming weekend, would try to stay close enough to the lead in order to fight another day on her own turf: the bike.

With 12 on the line, this proved to be the second largest female race of the season.


Claire Haddock took off to an early lead followed by Rachel and Victoria. After a short bout of confusion about running in the third lane, Claire moved to the inside lane and really started to push.
Going through the half mile in 3:05, Claire was on record pace holding a HUGE lead. After 800m Victoria Gilbert started to move up, running an impressive negative split.
Claire running off the front.

An artistic shot of Lauren.

In the most impressive comeback of the season Victoria caught up to Claire's shoulder as they came out of the last bend. At this point it was anyone's race. Would Claire repeat, or would Victoria finally see another victory since the opening event.

In what required a photo finish review, Victoria Gilbert captured the win by less than a foot with Greta Raymant finishing off the podium in third.

create animated gif

Victoria Gilbert 6:10
Claire Haddock 6:10
Greta Raymant 6:20
Rachel Schoeler 6:20
Alana Schick 6:22
Sarah Klain 6:28
Lauren Sagadore 6:35
Kimberly Seder 6:47
Celeste Pakstas 7:08
Kyuwon Kim 7:22
Brittany Buchanan 7:22
Debbie Poon 8:34

On a night with many new PB's in the mile, impressive doesn't even begin to describe the events that took place.

During a relaxing cooldown the inevitable began. With Matt's runner up finish and Nathaniel only seconds behind, whispers of the 2010 Storm the Wall competition have begun. I'm sure there will be more to come.
In the end, Matt Reeve was too strong to dethrone from atop the UBCTC Fall Classic Series. Cockiness is building when, during his post race interview amidst coughing fits he stated:
"Well what did you expect? I'm Matt Reeve!"

Stage winner Barry Claman achieved his redemption from last week, however, his press-statement didn't even mention the race:
"I thought there were going to be bagels at the finish! Where's my bagel?"

Another race done. One away from the halfway point. It appears as though Matt Reeve has a sizable lead over second place, however, with many races left and the competition shifting towards longer runs and cycling, everything is still up for grabs.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Correction Time

Hey, so after our undisputable results from the uphill time trial, the executive decision making council convened and it turns out that we messed up Claire Haddock's time. As a result, instead of running a 3:5X as we previously had her down for, she ran a 3:43 to take the victory on the day.

Sorry Claire, sometimes we aren't too smart at math.

Photo a little blurry from mile, sorry!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mile Showdown

The Mile. Amongst the most grueling physical activities ever designed by man. On Wednesday October 21st, 2009 the UBCTC will be running a Mile on the UBC Track.

There is much speculation as to how it will unfold. Will it be a predictive victory, or will a dark horse prevail?

Already the taunting has begun. No matter how much is said, it will all be decided out on the track.

To commemorate this awesome of evenings, a social gathering will be had at the Gallery after the event where stories can be told to describe the pure athleticism that was seen that night.

Show up at 5:30 to prepare your warm up for the event at 6PM.

To elevate the excitement around the mile, I present to you the Miracle Mile, run not 20 kilometers from where we will be running 55 years ago.

Swim Relay Results!

With the swim relay approaching, the chattering between competitors increased. Who would reign the victor? Many questioned Matt Reeves capabilities to hold the golden cape in a quest for the Vincent Lavallee Cup.

One anonymous athlete, lets call her Lauren... No wait, forget that, we will call her Miss Sagadore was overhead taunting Reeve by saying his new hardware would be such a hinderance that he would sink to the bottom of the pool, face first. To this, his only rebuttal was to remind this Miss Sagadore of a game of cribbage from the night before, were victory was easily achieved, as it would similarly be on the morning of the race.

Being a swim competition, the dynamic of the day was very different from the uphill time trial, Nathaniel "Flipper" Janzen was by far the favorite team leader for the relays. Upon the announcement of the teams, an observant fan claims to have seen a single solitary tear matched with a silent fist pump from Andrew Wight as he heard he was paired with Flipper. Would this team be too much to beat?

Flipper and Andrew paired with Celeste Pakstas and Melanie Van Soeren were up to the challenge of being the "team to beat".

Not to be outdone, Rachel Schoeler, along with newcomers Heather Enns, Kyowon Kim and Claire Haddock toed up to the line next to lane number 1.

Lauren Sagadore after a late and rather difficult night filled with loss at cribbage would not be silenced on the far side of the pool. Together with Carsen Cheyne, Annie Mauer and Jesse Chao, their lane easily provided the most smack talk despite the fact that 3 members of the relay were mostly silent during the events.

As would be expected, local favorite and generally good looking guy Vincent Lavallee was obviously already laying down excuses of feeling light headed. He slept through his alarm and had to rush to the pool having to pass on breakfast. His team of Scott Chris (the man with two first names), Derrick Lee and Jason Chang did not heed to Vincent's excuses and prepared for the fierce battle at hand.

Vincent Lavallee with excuse #37: My beard slowed my down

Finally and surely not least, Alex Lush and her team of Bandits, including Golden Cape Wearer Matt Reeve finish up the list of teams. Paired with Winston Guo (lacking his trusty Harmin the Garmin), and Lara Russel, they would try to distance themselves atop the leader board.

Winston showing how to perform his patented streamline

In a classic countdown fashion, Ivan started the racing. Scott Chris reaching the wall first in a decisive manner tagged the wall for Derrick to follow. After 2 swimmers it appeared as though leader Matt Reeve was in danger of losing his title to Flipper Janzen whose team was in the lead. That was until Reeve pulled himself up from 4th overall into 2nd with some fierce swimming. Legend has it, that Matt Reeve did not even breathe, instead he just side swam all the while smiling towards his competitors with his new headware. Defying any of them to make fun of him.

Matt Reeve moving up the ranks... in the pool.

After much more smack talk from Vincent Lavallee on the blocks, Rachel Schoeler declared:
"Your slow, I caught up to you by the wall, we flipped together and I beat you back"

Vincent Diving in

Followed by Rachel

Into the second round of 100's, the athletes were getting tired. By this point lane number one was adequately titled for Flipper Janzen along with Melanie, Andrew and Celeste were far in the lead. Many spectators in fact mentioned that Flipper really had no affect on the outcome of today, his team carried his weight as he struggled through the water, fortunately with enough buffer from his teammates to seize the victory.

Flipper cruising in to victory
Former teammate Andrew Wight upon winning his first UBCTC Fall Classic Series event could be seen once again performing a fist pump, however this time, it was not silent.

Andrew Wight (left) holding back tears

In a post race interview Andrew could be seen crying tears of joy while Melanie van Soeren described the days events.

"This was really a great effort by everyone in lane 1 today. Well except Nathaniel, we think all the Flipper names have gotten to his head. We really needed to make up a lot of time for him, otherwise I don't think we would have won."

After Sundays events there was a big mixup in the overall. The results from the day can be seen below.

Nathaniel Janzen
Celeste Pakstas
Andrew Wight
Melanie Van Soeren

Alex Lush
Matt Reeve
Winston Guo
Lara Russel

Rachel Schoeler
Heather Enns
Kyowon Kim
Clara Haddock

Vincent Lavallee
Scott Chris
Derrick Lee
Jason Chang

Lauren Sagadore
Carson Cheyne
Annie Mauer
Jesse Chao

The Look of Champions: Flipper, Andrew, Celeste, Melanie

With this we see the closest the Fall Classic has ever been for the female leader with Lauren Sagadore and Melanie van Soeren tied for first place.

In the overall title Matt Reeve managed to stretch out his lead on all the competitors but Nathaniel, however he managed to retain the overall title. This is what he had to say about it.

"Well you know, there was a lot of smack talk coming into this event, some people were making fun of my braces and they just really thought they could beat me. But I knew in the end I just had to pull out all the stops and take it home. Although I didn't come out on top, I still have the overall points lead and I'm happy with that. "

Golden Cape Wearer: Matt REEVE

A special mention must be made to Scott Chris for hand stitching the Golden Cape. An Icon of the UBCTC Fall Classic Series

Monday, October 19, 2009

Royal Victoria Marathon and Half

UBCTC had 7 athletes racing; Ceilidh in the full marathon, and Winston, Kelsey, Melanie, Kori, Kim and Vincent in the half marathon.

It was quite a successful day for everyone!

Ceilidh finished the marathon in a time of 4:23:30 to start his training for ironman in 2010!

Kelsey Foote, running in her second half marathon wanted to run it in under 2 hours and succeeded by running in 1:56:09. In a post race recap she was quoted as saying that her favorite part of the race was that at midway there were people serving beer. How could she not have a good time.

Kimberly Beck also ran the half marathon, in a time of 1:55:46. Unfortunately I don't know if this was a pb or not, you'll have to ask her yourself.

Melanie Van Soeren ran herself to a personal best with a time of 1:44:08 falling below her target time of 1:45!

Kori Seder ran himself to a PB in the half marathon with a time of 1:38:08. Not only that, he snapped a pretty funny picture.

Winston prior to the race was worried that he may not be able to run a pb, his previous pb was from two years ago when he was in "better running shape". This I find hard to believe, especially since he set a 19 second PB with 1:28:32 along with being runner up at the uphill TT this past week.

Vincent Lavallee was the last of the racers also running a pb in the half with a time of 1:23:57. Seeing as how Vincent had never run a half marathon without a 90km bike first, a pb was in the works.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Rivalry Continues!

On the eve of the swim relay Matt Reeve, Vincent Lavallee and Lauren Sagadore embarked on a night of duelling wits. In an attempt to weaken the competition Reeve introduced a few bottles of Wine which Sagadore gracefully accepted. As Lavallee slipped under the radar of alcohol consumption, Matt Reeve sip by sip diminished Lauren's chances of victory. This became even more evident during the foreshadowing games of Cribbage where in the first round Vincent and Matt Skunked Lauren and in the re-match things got ugly. Lauren became so inebriated that she became belligerent and even violent. Smacking the competition, they became scared as the screams of "I"m winning" increased in volume as the hours went on despite the fact that she had lost both her pegs under the couch. Eventually, Lauren succumbed to the alcohol and passed right out. She will no doubt lose tomorrow as she will be far too hung over to compete in the the relay race. How unfortunate. I feel true pity for her team mates.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Uphill Run TT Results

On a wet rainy night, the UBCTC approached the running route Spanish with conquest on their minds. This 1km long grueling climb, the venue of the first running test, would surely shake up the standings of the Fall Classic Series.

In a UBCTC Fall Classic series first, we were seeing the introduction of technologically advanced athletic apparel to try and sneak any bit of advantage the racers could get in this ultra competitive contest. From racing flats to cross country spikes and even global positioning systems were all in action on this fateful night.

The atmosphere was set with many of the favorites laying down preventative excuses of too much turkey over the long weekend and no fitness from the days off.

One first time UBCTC Fall Classic participant and generally good looking guy went so far as to lay down a solid foundation of excuses over tired legs as a consequence of running the Victoria Half Marathon on the weekend.

A small surprise met us as the bottom (steepest) part of the climb was closed due to mysterious repairs. With that a quick change to the race was made and the route was cut 200 meters short. This could prove to be a critical change due to the lack of leg burning steepness at the beginning of a 5 minute gruel fest.

Standing in the rain at approximately 6PM Barry Claman started off the racing, setting the tone with a blistering 3:09 clocking. Who would dare to test against this?

Matt Reeve, who suited up with his running flats, was up to the challenge!

Matt possessed pulverizing the spirits of his competitors

As the 23 competitors completed the course, the task could not be summarized in words, and for this the age old saying; "A picture is worth a thousand words" works perfectly. I present Andrew Wight upon completion!

Look at the exhaustion

After much confusion and photo diary replay to conclude the final order of the competitors, the officiating committee finally came up with the non disputable results.

The look of confidence

There was a strong showing in both fields, Male and Female. With 9 competitors in the female division, we don't think the UBCTC has seen a race so close. With 1st and 9th separated by only 29 seconds and the top two only 1 second apart.

Newcomer Kimberly McMurtry took home the glory in the Female division over second place finisher and Overall Female points leader Victoria Gilbert. Unfortunately we don't have a photo of winner McMurtry.

Victoria smiling as she must clearly know she moved up in the overall standings with a stellar performance

In the mens race, sandbagging Matt Reeve dropped his bag of excuses at the starting line and was pounds lighter as a result, soared to victory in a crushing time of 2:59.

Probably the surprise of the day came to Vincent Lavallee, as his iron clad excuse of tired legs was blown away by a Winstorm! It would appear as though Winston Guo took our Windgust jokes to heart and stamped his dominance with a second place finish in the hill time trial despite also having "tired legs" running a PB on the weekend in the Victoria Half Marathon.

Winstorm in his trusty multi-purpose shorts crushing dreams

After todays results, there is a big shake up of the overall standings. Absent Dan Clouston drops down to 6th overall with Matt Reeve holding a 1 point advantage over Victoria Gilbert, and with Lauren Sagadore and Nathaniel Janzen close in their wake.

At an all time high of 42 competitors taking part in one or more events, this proves to be the largest UBCTC Fall Classic in history! With 10 events left, it's still anyone's game.

Men's Results

Matt Reeve2:59
Winston Guo3:08
Barry Claman3:09
Vincent Lavallee3:13
Flipper Janzen3:14
Andrew Wight3:18
Scott Chris3:20
Tobi Volkmann3:24
Derrick Lee3:35
Kory Seder3:36
Evan Cheng3:44
Steve Yau3:45
Matt Robinson3:46
Liam Harrap3:48

Women's Results
Claire Haddock 3:43
Kim McMurtry 3:49
Victoria Gilbert 3:50
Naiely 3:59
Lauren 4:03
Rachel Schoeler 4:06
Melanie Van Soren 4:07
Kimberly Seder 4:10
Shannon Woods 4:18

Complete Race Photos.