Thursday, August 25, 2011

Members of the club have had a very successful summer. The entire Subaru series as well as many smaller races have see many competitors from the club perform exceptionally well. Please see the previous post from Shawnigan for some performances from the Sprint, Olympic and Half Iron Distances. However, some competitors have decided to sign up for an even longer event, most because they were too slow to see any success at shorter distances. Instead of actually training to improve their speed, they have selected the cowardly alternative of securing spots in an event that is difficult to register for (keeps out a lot of the competition!) is relatively far away from Vancouver (less likely you will know any of the spectators, avoiding embarrassment) and long enough that no real speed is required to place well.

Vince wrote a magnificent post in March of 2010, just hours before the Storm the Wall Ironman, profiling the competitors. If Storm the Wall is worthy of competitor profiles, surely the real Ironman is. And a glimpse of the competition three days before the event is surely more than adequate, when the original Storm the Wall post was less than a day in advance of the competition. Yes, it is too late try to imitate your competitors’ workouts. But it is not too late to copy exactly what they plan to eat and drink! Preferably, entirely new nutritional products that you have never tried before.

In brackets after each competitor’s profile some odds are given. These are not the odds of winning or beating any particular competitor. Rather they are the odds that this competitor will cross the finish line smiling. With potential elbows to the face in Lake Okanagan, flat tires, broken chains and significant opportunities for chafing, this can prove to be quite a challenge.

In no particular order:

Dylan Stephanian: Has been biking a lot. As in the entire length of Vancouver Island in one stretch. Not slow in the water either. And after having volunteered as a lifeguard in Penticton last year, Dylan knows exactly what to expect for the swim. It will certainly be difficult to catch him later in the race. He has followed a strict diet all summer, even making his own bread despite convenient, sliced loaves being available at all grocery stores at reasonable prices.

Dylan does not want to leave anything to chance, and will certainly not trust Power Bar with his nutritional requirements out on the course. He is likely bringing bread with him for the bike portion of the race. He has already proven that an entire loaf of bread will fit in bib shorts, having tested this on a return ride from the pie shop in West Vancouver. (Odds 2:1)

Carl Reilly: Didn’t actually enter this race. There was a draw for a spot in Ironman Canada at the opening of West Point Multisport. He had to convince a man who won the entry that he was very fat, had no time to train and would surely die if he went to Penticton. The man then declined the free entry and Carl’s name was drawn next, after he had emptied everyone else’s name out of the hat.

He has since bought a new bike and put in more hours on it than he did on skis at Whistler last winter. Which is a lot. Hopefully he will get a chance to use the bike; the two hour swim cut-off might prove to be a challenge for Carl. Michael Phelps took years to learn how to put long limbs to good use in the water, Carl has yet to learn such coordination. (Odds 4:1)

Brendan Naef: Spent ten days in the Swiss Alps to increase his red blood cell count. This was only slightly more expensive than buying an altitude tent. The chocolate there is better, he reasoned.

A philanthropist by nature, Brendan made a substantial donation to a Penticton kitten orphanage, and they invited him to come and run the race.

Brendan took two month to read Chris McCormack’s latest book. Not a slow reader, Brendan must have read it cover to cover half a dozen times during that period. This should ensure that he has no lack of motivation; Chris McCormack has no tolerance for flies in his soup.

He also intentionally bought some Zoot shoes that are 3 sizes too small, to save weight. The resulting blisters have since turned to calluses, and if his knees will cooperate, he has a good chance of running the fastest marathon time of the group. His nearest competitor, Carl, was a full three minutes behind at the BMO marathon. And Carl, never having experienced conditions above 20 degrees, doesn’t do too well in the heat. (Odds 1:1)

Reza Honarpisheh: Has also been training a lot. Signing up for Ironman a full year ago helped ensure he would stay motivated. Reza finished this year’s sun run in just over 41 minutes, a huge PB. And he’s had all summer to get faster. He competed in the Sprint at UBC in March, the Olympic at Shawnigan in May. Slowing building mileage, the proper way, definitely prepared for this weekend. (Odds 3:1)

Kim Seder: The only female representing the club. She didn’t notice the word “man” hidden in the event’s title. Not wishing to settle for the Ironwoman event held a week later (90m swim, 2k bike, 1k run, 600 yard hopscotch course), Kim signed up for the real thing.

All Jokes aside, unlike all the above mentioned competitors; Kim has actually done an Ironman before. Which is an enormous advantage. She has a far better idea what to expect, how to pace, how much to drink. And she has followed a consistent training plan. She’s done stair workouts. She’s ridden the entire Sunshine coast. Having done the VOWSA loop so many times, she has been able to swim it without sighting since July. (No Odds, a guaranteed smile)

Mike Duncan: Is very familiar with the Ironman course after several summers of extensive winery tours in the region. Completed a Half Iron last summer and decided to sign up for the full thing. With some lingering injuries, he is fully prepared if the marathon becomes “the longest walk of his life”. A strong swimmer, he should still be well ahead in the pack even if it is tough to get going after transition 2. (Odds 5:1)

Winston Guo: Will be fine as long as he spends less than 10 minutes getting a slurpie in Keremeos. A bad case of road rash in July cost Winston some precious training in the pool. And he also has a full time job. Which should consume his life, starting in September. So he should put in enough effort on Sunday to warrant taking 5 or 6 weeks off training to be in the office full time.

While volunteering last year, Winston noticed all of the spots on the course where the crowds are thickest; he hopes to fully appreciate their support as a competitor this year. These stretches of the course will be the only places where Winston may take his eyes off of the display on his Garmin. (Odds 1:1)

Tristan Jenkin: Might not be an official paying member of the UBC club. But he did almost beat Vince in the aquathon, so that means he is more than included. And I’m not entirely sure Vince has paid his club fees either.

Tristan’s swim will not leave him far behind the pros. However, his strict Paleolithic diet will not allow him any forms of sugar, certainly no Power Bar products, so don’t be surprised if he runs out of energy before getting to Osoyoos.
He will gladly explain the benefits of CrossFit and foam rolling. Especially if CrossFit gets him to Kona. Lance Armstrong hopes to see him there. (Odds 3:1)

Kory Seder: The only other competitor to have completed the distance before. So his goals for times are actually realistic. Has completed at least one 300k ride, 8k swim and run 35 miles over the course of a day. Granted, there was some rest between those feats, so stringing all three events together will be the challenge.

Kory’s performance might be largely tied to the day’s forecast. Every degree Celsius rise could add ten seconds per mile to his marathon time. Hopefully it is not too much warmer than Ironman Wisconsin. Kory has been closely observing the moon phases, knowing very well that the new moon marks race day. Keeping track for the sake of other racers of course, Kory will almost certainly finish well before sunset. (Odds 2:1)

Kellen Kjera: Will finally be able to prove or disprove the benefits of disgustingly green smoothies. Has gained much from posting every workout, goal, success, new hat and most meals on Facebook. Having an audience to be held accountable to is rather motivating.

With the most well planned and consistent training Schedule and PB’s at nearly every distance this year, Kellen is set for a great race. (Odds 7:1)

The Author: Will keep Kellen in sight for the entire swim, stay exactly 7m behind on the bike, and pull ahead with 100m to go in the Marathon. (Odds 1:1)

Very Honorable Mention:

Johnson Jia: Isn’t going to Penticton. Prefers to get in a couple more weeks training and head to Washington for 5k in the water, 200k on the bike and 50k on foot. A major factor in choosing the “Super Tri” west of Spokane over Penticton was that he would be able to stop in Blaine on the way out and the way back. That way he can pick up items recently purchased over the internet.