Friday, December 7, 2012

Fall 2012 Wrapped Up

Why hello companions!

For the first time ever, the UBC Tri club has a female as the overall winner of a race series. After months of grueling effort and determination, Victoria has earned her spot on the coveted Vincent Lavallee Trophy as the 2012 fall race series winner in the female`s category. Joining her on the trophy will be newly crowned men's winner Nathaniel Janzen. We will soon be etching the names on to two solid gold plaques and placing them on the base of the trophy. Big cheers for the new names on the trophy, but don't worry Vince, your name will still be the biggest. Rounding out the top three in each category are Elise, Karin, Vince, and Winston.

To congratulate everyone on another successful race series, a quite classy celebratory function was held on the night of Friday, November 30th where all of us were being responsible as always. My memory may be a bit fuzzy about what happened afterwards,  but I am just going to assume that we jumped straight back into training mode at Mr. Heinz's house by hammering out a few thousand calories on stationary bikes. What else could we have been doing? We're triathletes!

On a closing note have a wunderbar winter break and we'll see you in January to start it all over again!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New Name on Trophy

The racers were all set to go. Stoked to the limit and ready to race. Everyone was so excited they looked like animals!
The race was on.
Unfortunately, before even starting the race, Winston was tricked by Nathaniel. Winston’s aero-awesome bike had been replaced by a recumbent cycle. 5 minutes into the race – Winston realized the bike really “wasn’t going anywhere” even though the monitor read that he had gone 10km. Winston then jumped into action on his real bike to catch up with Nathaniel and others.
An unknown racer from the so-called “Island” had shown up and was seen taunting Seth Bluman down Marine Drive on the bike. Here’s a quick video to set the scene . Replace the king with Seth and the annoying guard, with Kevin, and you have a clear picture of what was going on. Kevin crossed the line (literally) when he said Seth’s bike was a girl's bike. Luckily Theresa, a proud owner of the same bike was there to clarify that Seth’s bike was girly but clearly unisex. Theresa then went into hyper-speed passing Seth and Kevin. Seth’s anger and frustration had built up from all this taunting and bullying. An eye-witness account by Brendan Naef, who was on the scene to report: "Seth Bluman got angry for the first time ever. It was scary but somewhat relieving - He even started biting my bike!" Here’s an amateur artists take on the scene:
Unfortunately the anger of losing didn’t help Seth to transition because as he got angrier and stronger his bike “smashed” beneath his weight. Chris Hart,on the bike,was spotted being attacked by a bear that had leapt out from the Endowment Lands on the corner of 16th and Southwest Marine Drive. Chris came out of the battle alive, ate 5 gels, the bear, and proceeded to finish the race. His only regret was that the bear ate his post-race ham and cheese sandwich and left marks on his beautiful bike. Meanwhile, back in transition! Reaching the transition, Brendan stated, “I raced the whole bike part without looking behind me but feeling this heavy breath on the back of my neck” – turns out Vince had assembled some sort of bat-mobile contraption so they would be forced to race almost hand-in-hand until reaching the run. Another amateur artist was on the scene to illustrate this for us:
(Left: A less cool-looking version of Vince, Right: Brendan with an extremely deep voice) – The Amateur artist was applauded for his accurate use of spandex costumes to portray the racers. One racer didn’t even think it was worth it to do this whole “transition” thing so he didn’t change shoes or anything - he picked up his bike and started running. Supposedly Winston was spotted closing in on this bike-carrying, warrior-like man machine as they ascended the final hill. The bike carrying man, Sherwood, attempted to draft but then realized he needed to be on the bike to do so. The prize money won't quite allow him to afford a new pair of shoes but he did figure it was a great workout with the 2013 cyclo-cross season being just 11 months away.
Sherry, Theresa and Lyndsey all raced side by side for the run portion until reaching the HILL when things got serious… It was reported Sherry and Theresa started talking about the new marshmallow golden chocolate banana health waffles they had planned to post about for the next nutrition blog post…
Unfortunately this seemingly innocent conversation was done in order to DISTRACT LINDSEY… You see, Sherry and Theresa had made Lindsey so intrigued by the recipe she had to go run to Save-on, pick up the scrumptious ingredients, and then cook theses waffles… Luckily, Lyndsey returned and by sprinting managed to catch up with Sherry and Theresa. All 3 ladies ended up crossing the finish line with similar times.
Coming up to the finish line there was a much more important competition than the brick…. A battle of BEST SMILES! Who won? – You be the judge: Featuring: Seth, Ryan, and Katrina
The winners were: Males: Brendan finished with a time of 19:57 followed by Vince A FULL 2 seconds behind. How embarrassing. The men’s close race apparently came down to aerodynamics. The full spandex as noted earlier, was definitely necessary for this epic race. Females: Victoria with a time of 22:06 and Tiffany up second with at time of 24:19 These girls are now being accused of using the Clif bars in the club office as performance enhancing drugs. If the case is upheld, Elise will be up next to be awarded with the win. A special congratulations goes out to Sherwood for being the first club member to complete the Brick in bike shoes and with a bike over his shoulder for the whole run… you will be astonished to hear he finished with a time of 22:46 – a hard record for any future member to tri(Get it - Ha – it’s a Pun!) and beat. Thanks for coming out. Get excited for the Beer Mile on Friday.
It must be acknowledged that 99% of this blog post’s content came from a guest contributor. The guest contributor may or may not have been criticized for not living up to the title of “most improved swimmer” in a previous blog post. Taking matters into his own hands, written things entirely himself (or herself) ensures that he or she is portrayed in only the best light. Minor grammatical corrections were made. "Triathlon" was spelled with four "R's" and "Marine Drive" was spelled without using any vowels before the first round of editing was complete. Also, the words "there, their and theyur were used interchangeably. Such horrendous spelling made Kevin shiver.
As for the new names on the trophy; in 6 or 8 months when somebody finally drags the Vincent Lavallee Cup to an engraving shop in North Vancouver, expect an immediate blog update as to who the winners were. Hint: Vince's name is already there (though not on the champions list) and it is not being added again.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Ten Lengths of a Pool

Chris Bhatla and Karin emerged victorious from last week's 500m swim time trial. Chris' sister Jen has won the event before with times in the 7:10 range, so he figured some thirty seconds faster would be all it takes to win the men's division. Certain club members are relieved to learn that swimming speed is indeed hereditary and their choppy, miserable form is no fault of their own. His 6:41 stands as one of the best ever by an active club member. Karin was a full second slower than last year, but her 7:30 was more than fast enough to win the event. Second place went to Fiona in a time of 8:02, while Victoria's 8:21 was good for third place. Since Victoria was not actually present at the event,some accusations have been flying that she actually swam this time in a river, downstream with a strong current. She has never broken 8:40 in a swimming pool under supervision, so the accusations have some merit. For someone who is well on track to win the Point Series overall, Victoria should really turn up at more official events in order to satisfy her accusers. She was recently seen ordering syringes from (they had a big sale recently) and using Paul Ryan's watch to time her solo events.
Nathaniel was always quick, but he has shaved off an additional 18 seconds this year. His 7:00 time from last fall is now down to 6:42. He will however have to settle for 998 points, not 1000. Nathaniel fancies himself to have the cleanest, crispest, quickest flip turn among all members of the triathlon club. The 50m pool was an unfair disadvantage he claimed. In the hot tub after the race, he could be heard loudly boasting about how he would have destroyed Chris had the race been held in a 4, 6 or 8m pool. For all of October Nathaniel had been practicing his flip turns in the small pool at the Holiday Inn on Burrard just in case the 500m time trial was held in an especially small facility. I guess since the third place women got a mention it should be said that Brendan was third in a time of 7:12. Otherwise it was a performance not worth much attention as nobody ever cares about third.
He spent the rest of practice sulking on the bottom of the pool.
One club member didn't really need a watch to get his time today. He swam a time of 9:00 in the Fall of 2010. He matched this feat in the fall of 2011, coming in at 9:00. This time he wanted to show that two years of training have actually done something but did not want to be accused of inconsistency- he swam a time of 8:59. If you haven't guessed already, the following photo should be of help. His name rhymes with Flinston.
In other news, Seth's "Most Improved Swimmer" title awarded last year is being revoked. His 13:24 from last fall is now down to a 13:02, a mere 22 seconds. Nathaniel almost improved by that much and he was already good. I would mention the brick coming up and how the Point Series is almost over but this post was written way too late and the brick is way too soon to be worth talking about.

Friday, November 9, 2012


The sixth event of the Fall Classic is now complete and the series is drawing to a close with just the 500m swim and the brick left for the darkest, likely wettest days of November. Seth's preparations for Wednesday's mile began on Tuesday with a reminder alarm set in his phone- giving him 24 hours to prepare for the event. While he had been informed that a single day was a bit short to be able to prepare properly for such a challenge, Seth still managed to shave 16 seconds of his time from last fall, finishing neck-and-neck with Vince in 5:31.
An equally close finish was seen on the women's side with Katrina and Karin both finishing in 6:11. For any avid readers of this blog, apologies are made for recycled cartoons and images. It is extremely difficult to find new and exciting running related material on the internet. If the humor of some cartoons has worn off, the reader has likely been reading this blog far too often and should really look elsewhere on the internet, there is a lot of good content out there.
Our top three women's finishers were Jen Moroz in 5:41 and Theresa close behind in 5:46. Eliza was nipping at their heels in 5:49. Theresa has really improved her speed over the course of this past year, bringing her time down from 6:32 last fall. The only possible difference is her diet, and her position as VP Nutrition is clearly taken to heart. If anyone else would like to shave 45 seconds off of their mile time; just incorporate a few of these recipes into your diet : Two or three servings a week of any of the recipes mentioned in the link would be enough to see results. Theresa has been seen eating entire 2 liter jars of orange-ginger cranberry sauce before swim practice and is rumored to have a full gallon of Lentil soup after every bike ride, so maximum benefits are only achieved with these massive quantities.
Despite spending three hours of his afternoon at the pool and swimming a hard 12 or 14k before the mile race, the club president still managed to run his fastest ever mile. A single apple and half a banana after getting out of the pool were all that was required for Nathaniel to fully recover and have his legs ready for the run. This should be a lesson to any club members who have been accused of taking point series events far too seriously- don't worry too much and good things can happen. Vince's highly structured, detailed, planned 4 week taper before his Iona time trial this past September now seems ludicrous. Nathaniel would have had the club record with his impressive 4:47 it should be noted. However, one other participant had attended an Ethnobotany laboratory earlier that afternoon while Nathaniel was exhausting himself at the pool. The lab dealt with "stimulating plants" and no fewer than 4 kinds of tea, Yerba Mate, 3 different roasts of coffee and cocoa leaves were served. The caffeine mixture was just barely enough to fend off Nathaniel's late charge from 1200-1500 meters, and despite failing a urine test after the race, the magic 4:47 barrier was broken by three tenths of a second.
The prize for most consistent runner goes to Barry, hitting 4:53 right on the nose as he did last fall, likely with the exact same lap times as well. Winston was a little off of his consistency game, having shed 3 seconds over the past year to finish in 5:18. Before anyone gets too excited about their results, I would like to point out that several types of Japanese vegetables have recently been reported to be running sub 4 minute miles. Humbling, I know. There are no reports of cycling or swimming vegetables yet so the sport of Triathlon is still safe for now. The club exec is however in touch with a Japanese farmer to see if he can lend us one or two of his radishes to lead some running technique clinics next spring. These sessions are planned for Wednesday nights and email updates regarding signup for these sessions will go out in early January.
ChrisB 5:01 Vincen 5:31 Jon 4:46 Barry 4:53 Nathani 4:47 Seth 5:31 Mirko 5:44 Ben 5:17 Crl 5:07 Brian 5:17 Perneet 5:16 Jordan 5:45 Winstoe 5:18 Marcus 5:48 Ryan 5:16 Victori 6:03 Katrina 6:11 Elise 6:08 Theresa 5:46 Sherry 6:55 Eliza 5:49 Lindsey 6:21 Lise 6:06 Emily b 6:13 Naly 6:26 Meghan 6:28 Karin 6:11 Jen 5:41 If your name was too long, letters were omitted to make the paragraph look more balanced.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

U Can’t Touch Seth at Victoria Marathon

This past weekend marked an epic battle between two unlike UBCTC warriors. They would finish a measly second apart despite the two’s contrasting training styles. 

The battle dominated the headlines, attracting the likes of Simon Whitfield, Gillian Clayton, and a crazy fan running the entire marathon in a business suit. Whitfield was thrilled and pulled out a couple couches onto a driveway to catch a glimpse of the exciting battle. Clayton didn’t want to miss a step of the action by participating in the race herself. Theresa Price also paid a visit to Clover Point to cheer everyone** on. 

**but REALLY Theresa was there to secretly cheer on Victoria with her awesome sign “Must DESTROY Bluman!”

The idea of the battle prompted when Seth joked that he would match Victoria’s goal of going sub 3:30. Victoria was odds on favourite with home field advantage, running as steady as one can be. But was Seth out of his mind? He specializes in short distance sprints and had only started his training in late August (so much for taper).  

BREAK IT DOWN (More on this story later…)!

In the half marathon race, the race was all about getting to finish start line due to the early start.

New comer Jing Zhi believed that banking sleeping miles would get him farther. He napped for a decent chunk of the night in his running attire. Despite showing up to the race 4 minutes late, Jing would later smash his pb by 20 minutes and with a negative 7-minute split. In another close battle, Dylan Stephanian and Eliza Christie raced each other getting to the start line. The actual run component didn’t matter, since both recorded exactly identical chip times.  

Eliza was spotted registering as an elite athlete to gain the advantage against Dylan.

In the marathon race, Nick Sunderland led the way with a 2:50 even performance. Not far behind was Bryan Andrews, who came out of retirement to smash a PB. Sean Conner was “tapering” in this race for his 80K ultra in two weeks (no typo, just best of luck to him and Jing). But the real attention was the race between Seth and Victoria. Pace bunny Ben Kresnyak completed his job at 30km by successfully pacing the Victoria and Seth show. 

Ben avoided all nipple chafing incidents with his lucky tape.

Seanna Martin got lost trying to find the donut truck and consequently missed her ferry sailing. However she can be forgiven for her poor navigational skills, since she somehow ended up doing a marathon in Portland on the same day. 

Research on whether mental training can boost running performance is largely non-existent. But don’t contend this to Seth Bluman. 

“It’s 90% mental,” Seth admits after consulting a few trusted friends from the UBCTC, when he explained why he was caught carrying his study notes in public. The remaining components were just trivial (i.e. physical training, carb-loading and recovery – ALL OVERRATED). 

To Seth’s credit, he is the hardest working person (albeit it all being mental training). On the ferry, he was making notes; in the car, he was scribbling more notes; at the race expo he was…

…you’ve guessed it!

If the race was the final exam; Seth has already aced 90% of it. Now, I blame him for (brain) washing dishes with fat beats, and this tune is stuck in my head.


PS - Congrats to everyone who raced this past long thanksgiving weekend!!! And huge thanks to Kevin for letting us stay at his place.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fall Race Series - Uphill Run

It was a cold, gloomy day as we marched down the hill.  Lined up, we shivered, and were told to ignore John, as he alone ran sprits and forsook his shirt.  A few other men could not let display this go unchallenged and also stripped.  Winston complained that those wearing less clothing had a weight advantage, and it was noted that everyone who weighed less than anyone else had this advantage.

Those still in line watched lone runners sprint up the first ascent, probably - once out of sight - to turn the corner and collapse.  The trail is dastardly confusing, and while Chris attempted to pin it down with a simple, "Turn Left, then Left, then Right," there remained multiple cases of newbies arriving at corners only to scream, "Which Way???"

The trail flattens in the third middle quarter, but soon is continued by a string of sharp, steep turns.  Standing on the final of such stood a small bundle of cheerleaders who said nice, helpful things such as, "Pick it up!" "Pass her!" or "On your toes!"

The finish line was marked by a log, a hastily drawn line in the dirt, and a crowd of people doubled over, heaving.

Without further ado, here are your 2012 top male and female times for the (approximately) 1km hill sprint.  (As far as I know; if you have contentions, take it up with Chris).

1. John Heinz - 4:04
2. Chris Bhatla - 4:18
3. Ben K - 4:20

1. Eliza Christie - 5:07
2. Theresa Price - 5:10
3. Tiffany Bilodeau - 5:20

Sunday, September 23, 2012

4th Annual Fall Classic Race Series!

Good news everyone! The fall classic race series is almost upon us. Less than one more week left to squeeze in your last workouts with the desperate attempt to gain the edge on your opponents. Or, for others, this is the time to really brainstorm and come up with some mighty excuses as to why this may just not be your year. I know I've been working real hard (I'll leave that up to you to decide on what front)

For those of you new to the club, let me take a minute to explain the race series in full.

The race series is a fun way to test out your fitness and keeps you motivated even as the weather begins to deteriorate.

There are typically 8 events in the race series:

- 500m swim
- 5k run
- mile run
- uphill run
- 10.2k bike
- uphill bike
- brick
- aquathon

Unfortunately this year due to construction, we are still undecided if the aquathon will be possible. As it stands now we have introduced a new event, the Super Sprint which may have to take the place of the aquathon.

How do the points work? The winner (Male and Female) of each event gets 1000 points. And the % off from the winner is the amount of points you lose. If you run 10% slower than the winner, you get 900 points. For a more detailed description of the point breakdown, clickhere

In continuing with last years addition, if any team record is broken, that individual shall receive 25 bonus points!

The schedule of events can be found on the right sidebar.

Best of Luck!

Past Winners

Fall 2009: Matt Reeve / Lauren Sagadore
Spring 2010: Matt Reeve / Claire Haddock
Fall 2010: Matt Reeve / Victoria Gilbert
Spring 2011: Barry Claman / Kaley Strachan
Fall 2011: Barry Claman / Claire Askew
Spring 2012: Brendan Naef / Victoria Gilbert

Could this be Vince's year? With Matt Reeve moved home, Brendan possibly focusing on other B races, and possible sabotage towards Barry, Vince may finally get the win! Unless of course there are some new young guns. Or something comes up. Then rest assured you will hear all about what was standing in his way. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

First Practices and Fall Schedule

Beginning Fall 2012
UBC Tri Club

Hello and Welcome (back) to another year of pleasure, pain, swimming, running, biking, and excessive amounts of fun with the UBC Triathlon club!

This is our tentative schedule for the fall term, but if you are cool enough to know already that you want to be a buff, lean, storm-the-wall, triathlon machine, come out to our FIRST PRACTICES, which are:

  1. WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4th, 5:30pm – an easy 30 – 45min Run, leaving from the Tri Room (SUB 107B *)
  2. THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5th, 8pm – an easy Swim of less than 60min.  Meet on the indoor pool deck (tell the front desk that you are with the Tri Club, or if that doesn't work, show them your student card and walk free anyways).
    * Can't find the Tri Club office? (Neither could most of us). Go to the space in between the UBC Pool and the SUB, walk towards the bus loop, and we are at the far back corner of the SUB, inside the final set of doors on the wall which faces the pool.

Tentative Regular Schedule

5:30pm – longer steady state/ social run

5:30pm – interval training


9am – interval training OR long ride


7pm - 8pm

8pm - 9pm

Notes regarding schedule:

  • ALL runs meet at the Tri Club Office (see starred note above for location).
  • Usually after runs a dedicated group of Ab-enthusiasts do some core conditioning. Join us : )
  • Swim practices meet just outside the change rooms in the indoor pool.
  • Saturday Bike Rides meet at the office. Groups split based on intention and ability. If you are riding your beater bike, it is perfectly OK to come out and try! You will probably be doing interval training, which takes place on and nearby the campus.


“If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise."       - P. Z. Pearce 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Saunders Subaru Victoria Triathlon- June 17th 2012

Well, what a weekend for the UBC tri club! A whopping 16 members journeyed over to Vancouver Island for the Saunders Subaru Victoria Triathlon, the 2nd race of the series.

We brought the rain over with us on Saturday but luckily had dry conditions on Sunday. Wind picked up early in the morning however and even blew the team tent over knocking down a couple members later in the afternoon.

Before the start of the race members were seen stuffing their pockets with Clif product, spraying themselves with PAM (for easy removal of the wetsuit) and waiting in line for their final PRP (pre race poop).

SPRINT: 500m Swim, 20km Bike, 5km Run

Barry, Eddy and Steph rocked the sprint with a respective 4th, 17th and 7th place finish overall. Steph cut her foot on some rocks coming out of the water but was able to tough it out and still have a stellar race despite leaking blood all over her shoe. Both Barry and Steph represented the club on the podium receiving medals for their 2nd place finish in their age group. Way to go Barry, Eddy and Steph!

Barry Claman: 4th overall; 2nd in age group                  1:02:44
Eddy Wu: 17th male overall; 6th in age group                1:13:48
Stephanie Flynn: 7th female overall; 2nd in age group    1:15:55

OLYMPIC: 1500m Swim, 45km Bike; 10km Run

Representing the club in the Olympic distance race was Kevin, Tyler, Ben, Karin and Theresa.  Karin and Theresa were excited for their first open water race and were happy to find the warm waters of Elk Lake much more appealing than the frigid algae ridden water at Kits beach, where they had previously tried their new Xterra wetsuits. Of special note is Kevin’s 19th place overall and Tyler’s 2nd place in age group finish. Karin was just shy of a 3rd place in age group finish coming in 4th. The three women ahead of her placed 3rd, 4th and 5th overall, two of who were reported to be members of Team Canada. Congrats Kevin, Tyler, Ben, Karin and Theresa!

Kevin Chiarot: 19th male overall; 6th in age group         2:38:42
Tyler Woodbury: 22nd male overall; 2nd in age group     2:40:18
Ben Kresnyak: 46th male overall; 5th in age group          2:53:10
Karin Olafson: 24th female overall; 4th in age group       3:02:30
Theresa Price: 51st female overall; 6th in age group       3:21:50

HALF IRONMAN: 1900m Swim, 86km Bike, 20km Run

Another seven club members took on the Half Iron distance. A remarkable (but not surprising) 3rd place overall finish by Brendan did the club proud, finishing only behind two elite athletes.  Although this wasn’t his fastest time, nor did he win a hat, who couldn’t be happy with a bronze medal finish? Victoria also had a star performance with a 7th place overall finish in the women’s field. Also, both Brendan and Victoria finished first in their age group!

A unanimous highlight of the weekend was watching Victoria chase Winston to the finish line. Victoria’s determination helped her make up a lot of ground but Winston held his own and finished 4 seconds ahead, with an even more than usual beaming grin.

Michael attained a PB at the race despite having what he called an ‘epically embarrassing fall’ off his bike. Rumor has it he dropped a gel wrapper in between his wheel and break pad causing the bike to break uncontrollably. His attention was so focused on getting the bike in control that when he finally came to a stop he had completely forgotten to clip out and simply feel sideways once stopped. Thankfully he suffered no injury besides a few minor scratches. Derrick also had a great race and seems to be in good shape for the full Ironman in August. Awesome job Brendan, Winston, Victoria, Michael and Derrick!

Brendan Naef: 3rd overall; 1st in age group                  4:20:29
Winston Guo: 39th male overall; 5th in age group         5:03:49
Victoria Gilbert: 7th female overall; 1st in age group    5:03:53
Michael Duncan: 57th male overall; 7th in age group     5:15:36
Derrick Lee: 73rd male overall; 9th in age group           5:24:31

Special mention goes to Scott and Johnson for partially completing the Half. Unfortunately injury kept them from completing the run but both were looking strong in the water and on the bike. Johnson also had his tire blow not long before the start of the race, after which his name was frequently heard over the P.A. system. Scott, king of the open water braved the lake without a wetsuit. We wish you guys a quick recovery.

Also thanks to Vince for coming and supporting the team as well as to the Gilbert’s and Price’s for hosting! We hope to see YOU at the next race in Vancouver July 8th…until then, happy training. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Shawnigan Lake saw the start of the true triathlon season on May

Shawnigan Lake Triathlon marked the start of the true triathlon season on May 27, 2012. UBCTC had a huge turn out and was represented well by its members and by a much improved club tent, complete with banners, Cliff products and a wonderful little table. The weekend was highlighted by former president Matt Reeve and Max’s last hurrah, a BC Ferries buffet , and the return of Naiely (self-identified as Sexylicious) and “lowlighted” by Barry’s obsession with destroying the dreams of innocent young triathletes and all-smacktalk-no-action Vincent LavallĂ©’s absence. The race provided the first open water competitive swim for a couple of the members and saw the team uniforms racing in the Sprint, Olympic, and Half-Iron distances.

UBCTC showing off its presence at Shawnigan

Given that rest is integral to a triathlete’s strong performance, the actual competition began more than a week before the race with the booking of the cabins at a certain divinity inspired establishment. Some of the racers from last year remembered almost freezing to death in the cabins and opted for the luxurious Laura Butler building. Others were simply spooked by a recent murder in the cabin Dylan booked and chose not to risk the same fate. In the end, the warmer weather made the cabins bearable and once Matt stopped insisting on playing truth or dare, everyone drifted away peacefully – minus the quiet arrival of a hard working Mike Duncan.

The same can’t be said for the poor souls that chose the Butler room as an earthquake shook up the dorm for most of the night. To no avail, Carl tried to appease the disturbance by poking at it. Winston was scared stiff, convinced his race number of 56 meant “no happiness” or “die young” in Chinese culture and that the rumbling was a sign of his demise. Ben slept through it all.

Once again, not only would the half-iron competitors prove their superior resolve in the distances being run, but also by waking up earlier than the rest for their start. This raised the question as to why Winston didn’t change to the sprint (as he had signed up for the Vancouver full marathon over the half in order to get an extra hour worth of sleep). On race morning, Carl made it to transition at 5am, Johnson brushed his teeth seven times, and Winston tried to get in some desperate extra sleep. JJ may have spent too much time preparing at the camp as he was forced to do his final PRP in the woods seconds before the gun went off – hope no one wandered from the path between the camp and the lake.
Calm weather, a slightly short course, and a ton of laps over the winter meant for some impressive times out of the water. Winston was promoted from Storm to Hurricane with his new suit, Carl, Brendan, Matt, and Victoria  PBed their open water swims, Kevin was 3rd out of the water (or something like that), and no one drowned.

The Shawnigan bike course was far from boring with its rollers, hills, and hicks. Despite trying his best, Winston didn’t manage to run over a cat this year. Dylan was unfortunately a victim of his own power and had to drop out due to technical issues – this was actually good for the rest of the team as it allowed him to take awesome photos and pick up some jerk’s bike shoe. Carl used the ride to get reacquainted with his bike, neglected over the winter in favor of mundane activities such as downhill skiing and ice climbing. Carl also revealed over the weekend an important anti-theft device on his Felt: reversed brakes, causing a would-be thief to flip over the handlebars upon escape.

The run course was loved by most (despised by one very important member for its low grip). Depending on their distance, tri club members had the pleasure of passing each other on several occasions, allowing for high-fives and encouragement between those who weren’t really trying hard. Those of us about to vomit couldn’t commit to such pleasantries and were accused of having a bad attitude.  Brendan and Ben solidified their soon to be roomie status by pacing each other (ie slapping each others butts) from km 7 to 10. Being smart racers, they successfully drafted behind a truck for a while. The truck was wearing spandex.

Although Barry killed the Sprint, he would have preferred to kill the 14 year old future Olympians invading his distance and actually turning it into a competitive event. He would now have to actually work for his podiums. His newfound determination would see him return to his secret lab to create a sunglasses holder and large banana holder for his Cervelo in order to destroy his competitors in Victoria.

As mentioned, Carl drastically improved his swim – he also had the 4th fastest time overall in the run. Matt Reeve had a fast and flawless swim (and was only edged out ever so slightly by some random guy). Matt duked it out with a pro biker throughout the ride but unfortunately had to pull out prematurely (or preventatively) after the bike in order to avoid a nagging injury from bugging him during a little unsupported ride across the country he planned for the following few days…he still won his age cat though! The gap between Winston and Victoria narrowed (Winston finished 3 minutes ahead), setting up a showdown for the Victoria tri. Victoria eased into her new bike, gaining confidence lap after lap and getting more and more speed out of the concept. Victoria, was followed my Michael Duncan, who once again showed that one CAN be a party animal, work 6 days a week, and be a successful triathlete! Johnson impressively powered through the swim and bike, only to be hampered by his broccoli-only diet during the run. Always hard-core, Johnson nevertheless completed the half marathon. Max, in the midst of packing and selling his life’s possessions in preparation for his return to Germany, finished in an impressive sub five in his first half-iron (his secret training definitely paid off).

Everyone knew Kevin could swim but Shawnigan gave him the chance to show off his legs – he did not disappoint posting a top ten result in the Olympic. Not yet a UBCTC member, Wayne Little finished 15th – imagine when he fills out forms and has to put his family name first? Tyler was an impressive 6th out of the water, showing that wearing less in the water may actually pay off – besides the hypothermia. Naiely showed up out of the blue, having opted to travel around the world instead of sitting on a trainer all winter, and tore up the Olympic.  Both Kelsey and Naiely podiumed in their respective age categories. Chris Hart overcame his previous night’s over eating at the pasta party to post a solid result on his awesome new bike…oops, no, on his old bike.

Cool people posing with their sweet swag for winning their age group

The ferry ride back and accompanying buffet overindulgence came as no surprise. Winston recruited a record number of athletes to contribute to the financial woes of BC Ferries. Mike Duncan hadn’t even finished his meal before he fell asleep at the table with his pants open. Unrelated, an erroneous, but enthusiastic, whale sighting occurred.

Next up is Victoria. Derrick will be back and will be gunning for Winston. Winston will likely also be in the sights of Victoria as she aims to go sub 5. Mr. Guo, for his part, will try to repeat his 2010 victory over Brendan. Of course, the big question is whether Vince LavallĂ©e will race or whether he’ll conveniently double book himself again ; ).