Thursday, March 3, 2011


The UBC triathlon Club’s downhill time trial was canceled today on account of numerous injuries experienced by club members during the warm-up. A final tally of 6 broken hips, 2 fractured jaws, 18 cracked ribs and numerous scrapes and bruises were reported. A temporary ban on running of any kind on or near any sort of declined surface has been put into effect until the club treasurer can collect 3 more waivers from all club members that acknowledge the incredible risks associated with downhill running.The one kilometer course is rather grueling, some tree roots, a few stumps and rocks, and the occasional errant dog that has strayed from its owner. While the steepest section of the course has a 5 foot railing along the drop-off, this comes near the end of the course where participants have reached maximum speed and the finish post is almost in sight. After 4 competitors broke through the railing and landed in the creek at the bottom during the warm-up run, the event was called off.Most club members were feeling rather depressed about heading back to campus without some sort of number with which to compare themselves to others, so in the spirit of competition, an impromptu uphill time trial was arranged. With less impact on the joints, less chances to twist an ankle and far more searing pain in the lungs and throat; the uphill time trial may become a regular event with the club.Several club members were unable to make it to the event tonight, but fortunately had recorded times on the downhill course from the previous week to add to tonight’s results. Times ranged from 1:33 to 2:55 and thankfully, all competitors also had the forethought to record their times going back up the hill, just for kicks. Individual Downhill times are omitted for the sake of brevity. Kaley rounded up a couple of the fittest, most handsome timers she could find and managed to shave 23 seconds off of Jen’s record from September. While Kaley was off doing a few strides, Vince and I discussed the timing strategy, “So, she’ll likely finish just under 5 minutes… let’s have 2 watches going and run up with her”. Her timers made a better pre-race assessment of her fitness than she did, as Kaley was a bit shocked to see that there was no “5” before the other 2 digits on her watch at the top of the hill. The searing lungs and throat confirmed that it must have been fast. Her 4:57 certainly eclipsed the old record, but it would be nearly a week before she could be sure to hold onto it.Stephanie Flynn and Sherry Gu both took advantage of the Monday night run to get their time trials out of the way. Under some rather slippery conditions and 20-30 foot stretches of snowy trail, the girls managed to run 5:41(Steph) and 6:16 (Sherry). They were then given 15 seconds of rest (10 would have been more appropriate) before being marshaled back into the pack for a run down to Blanca and back to campus.On Wednesday morning I’m sitting on my couch shortly after cutting and filing my toenails. I have my gorgeous new race flats in hand, cutting out the labels with an X-acto knife (Ok, It’s official, I’m taking the Spring Fling too seriously), when Ben calls. “Can you time my uphill run?”. I readily agree, and faced with the prospect of running the hill a third time this week without actually racing myself, I decide that I must run it with Ben. And so we set off shortly after noon, with a bit of light rain on our way to Spanish Banks. By the time we had arrived, conditions were warm enough to do away with shirts and allow us some substantial weight savings for the time trial. Both Ben and I ran some fast times (3:58 and 4:33), but it would be six hours before we knew how they would compare with the group. I paid for simultaneous breaking two cardinal rules of running with some cut up heels. 1) Never wear new shoes for a race. 2) Certainly not if it is your first time going sockless in shoes. A near record 34 competitors competed in the uphill run. Of the 16 athletes with times to compare from September, 12 saw improvement tonight. Kim and Karin were only one second away from their Fall Series uphill times, so really with 14 returning competitors either improving or holding even; the Spring Fling continues to looks like the most competitive of the point series to date. Brendan made the biggest improvement in his time this semester, his 4:35 being 25 seconds faster than in the same event in September.The top three on the men’s side were myself (3:58), Max (4:05) and Vince (4:18). These times kept Barry in the overall lead for the series, with Vince making up some sunstantial ground and me being able to put an even more confortable buffer between Kellen’s overall points and my own. Without the added cumbersome mustache weight, Vince could have perhaps taken the overall lead from Barry. I fear the 10.2k in Iona, Kellen has just acquired a net set of lighter, faster, much more comfortable tri bars. And he drinks disgustingly healthy smoothies in the morning. And he’s taller than me. Both Kaley (4:47) and Stephanie Urness (5:15) would finish faster than Jen’s record set in September. Victoria hit the previous record right on, finishing in 5:20 on the nose. All confusion of where the finish line may be (Parallel trees? Any two trees form a straight line…) was erased by a purple bandana and a shallow trench dug by Derrick. With two or three twisted ankles resulting from the finish line trench, Derrick had better watch himself at the next practice. Thankfully the finish lines of the last four events are either on pavement (Brick, 10.2k Bike) concrete (Aquathon) or very well marked (Mile) so no more treacherous finish line trenches will be required.The Vancouver Sun’s forecast for “gale force winds in the Straight of Georgia” and “100km/h winds to topple trees, power lines” fortunately did not hold true. The only sign of destruction was a single fallen tree on the Salish trail that was certainly not there when Ben and I ran by that point earlier in the day. Also notably absent was Windstorm, who has not missed a point series event this year and can be expected to make up the time trial in the coming weeks.If we take one ‘hill’ to be a standard unit of measurement, the uphill bike and run times can be compared. Disregarding length, grade, surface and many other important factors, let’s see who can climb a hill faster on foot than with the aid of the wheel. Vince is dead even, at 4:18 for both time trials. Kellen is 7 seconds faster on foot, followed by me (22 seconds), Max (28) Drew (35), and Ben (60). For the ladies, both Seanna (1 second) and Kaley (20 seconds) both posted faster times without a bicycle to get in the way.Well after sunset, many of the finishers still found themselves lost in the forest. While the order of sacrifice was being determined if things were to result to cannibalism (Kellen- too bony), (Brendan- too pretty), one wise club member pointed out that the finish of the run is just 80 feet from a major road, we were not in fact lost, and we would not have to resort to such extreme measures. In other news, an exciting new AMS club has been formed due to popular demand. The UBC Duathlon club will meet at 5:25 on Mondays and Wednesdays for runs as well as Saturday mornings at 8:55 for 60-80km rides. Tuesdays (1:30), Thursdays (8:00) and Sundays (9:30AM), the club will meet in front of the wall of mirrors at the Bird Coop to flex their muscles and complement each other’s physiques. Wife Beaters with the club logo are included with the administration fee. The club exec is also looking into starting a Duathlon specific yoga class on Friday afternoons where absolutely no emphasis will be placed on shoulder flexibility. This exciting new club promises to better than the similar, outdated UBC triathlon club in every way.

Uphill Run TT Spring 2011
John Heinz 3:58
Max Stallkamp 4:05
Vincent Lavallee 4:18
Kellen Kjera 4:26
Barry Claman 4:23
Brendan Neaf 4:35
Nathaniel Janzen 4:37
Drew Senay 4:44
Dylan 4:44
James 4:46
Liam Harrap 4:48
Jake Alleyne 4:57
Winston Guo 4:56
Kaley Strachan 4:57
Dirk Haupt 4:59
Reza Honarpisheh 4:59
Rodrigo Samayoa 5:00
Tim Tewsley 5:02
Jesse Chao 5:11
Eddy Wu 5:12
Stephanie Urness 5:15
Victoria Gilbert 5:20
Lauren Slattery 5:28
Seanna 5:30
Theresa Price 5:36
Karin Olafson 5:39
Stephanie Flynn 5:41
Johnson Jia 5:49
Kim Seder 5:54
Keely Hammond 6:04
Jen Bhatla 6:06
Sherry Gu 6:16
Dina Balfone 6:37
Matt Reeve DNS
Thomas Belshein phenomnia


Kellen Kjera said...

hahahah!!! Too bony!!! :) I'm going to put in a nomination that you become the blog VP for the club. :)

Benk said...

I think I went 4:33 on this one, my name's not on the list