Tuesday, 25 August 2009


I guess I feel as if I've reached the symbolic end of my season. Sunday was the climax of 12 months of training, coming off of 4 months of racing, my first as an Elite.

Hands down the fastest flowing 12 months of my life, so much has gone on, so much has changed. One thing though stayed the same, a constant of the past 10 years and something that probably wont change any time soon. At no point did I question why I was doing it. It's healthy every once and a while to sit down and reaffirm, compound to yourself why your doing the hours day in day out.

I guess a few times I stormed in after 3 hours in the rain ... in January ... threw my helmet on the ground and professed "never again". But I knew, like my audience, that it was in joking and I would happily dry off, get fed and be up the next morning at 5am for swimming.

I also had faith during the winter months that they would come in handy, that at some point during the intense racing of summer I would be able to think back to that rain soaked day in March when all seemed lost but I kept on trudging.

And boy did they, at one point on Sunday afternoon, just as the wheel in front seemed to be creeping away, inching up the hill on yet another lap of the 42km my mind suddenly flew back to the cold days of the Vancouver winter and the times when I very nearly stopped a session early, threw in the towel for that day...but decided against it. Kept on going and just got through it, gritted the old teeth for 30 more minutes.

That's what I did, gritted the teeth and buckled down because as sure as day the pain subsided and my legs were still there at the end of it. It's easy to convince yourself you are coming to the end of your tether and it's even easier to stop. The hard part is remembering, during the pain, while you're struggling to hold that wheel, why. At that moment when it feels as if limbs are about to fall off you can remember why you're doing it, the pain has no chance, no hope of succeeding. If you can get out of your saddle and push for an extra minute, mile, hour to get you to the end when all the reserves seem to be emptied ... you've done it.

I have a long way to go, those boys flew past me in the run alright ... as they have done all season. But it didn't discourage me, not because I knew I can go faster...more training and more hours are needed, but it will come. More because even though I was trudging along with Olympic champions flying past towards the end, I was still going, I hadn't stopped, hadn't yet let go. I guess without that all the training in the world wouldn't make a difference, if I gave up or let go when the going got tough, the words of a Champion would be wasted on me.

Sunday, 23 August 2009


It's done!

First ITU race under my belt and I'm knackered. Simon Whitfield, Paul Tichlaar and Brent McMahon were all on the start list and the rest of the field was damn fast too. Had a great day with a top 25 finish and have just showered ready for a night out with my family.

Dad raced very well this morning in the AG Sprint taking off 4 minutes from his time last year. The girls cheered on dad then stayed out in the sun until 4 watching me race, dad cheered like mad too! Thanks to everyone else out on the course who were cheering me on also, saw a lot of friendly Vancouver faces.

I have some classic pictures to share tomorrow once I get back to my laptop including one of me and Whitfield tensing the guns!

Thanks to everyone for the season, especially Blair who has taken me from a top 10 age group sprint distance athlete to a top 25 ITU athlete in 18 months. Cheers dude! It's been a long road over the past 12 months but it paid off today,

I'm heading out for a beer :)

Thursday, 20 August 2009


Hey guys,

Heading off tomorrow morning for my ITU debut, Pan American Cup and Canadian Elite Nationals in Kelowna, BC. Will try and do a proper pre race post before the race Sunday but if not then I'll keep everyone updated with the results as they come out.

Big race and a great field so very excited,


Monday, 10 August 2009

Epic of the Interior

Well after a stressful few days out east my friends at Speed Theory decided to take me out with them to Penticton, BC for a weekend of riding. A group of about 10 guys had planned a route for the Saturday taking us all over the area hitting the three biggest climbs around, Mt Baldy, The Anarchist and Richter Pass.

8,000 feet of climbing :-)

It was to be my longest ride ever so I was under strict instructions to take it easy and just get through the day making sure not to kill myself on any of the 20km climbs we were to take on!

Of the 11 guys riding there was Jeremy and Mike from Speed Theory, myself from Speed Theory, Jim the organiser, Gary, Dez, Drewsome, Grasshopper, Derek, Carlos and Joe. Awesome group of guys, a few were over 60 though (no names mentioned) and still very very strong.

First climb took just over an hour and had sections at 17%, second climb took closer to 90 minutes but was a steady 7% the whole way, the final being the easiest with sections at 8% but it had flatter parts for you to recover on (the final climb is met 60km into Ironman Canada). So made for a killer day but one that will hopefully add a bit more strength to my legs ahead of the race in 2 weeks time.

The course has a big hill that we ride up 8 times so there will be some blood, sweat and tears on the climb come august 23rd!

Up in Whistler, BC for 10 days of training before the next race so will keep you all posted,


Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Pictures : Training camp + Mike in Manhatten

Picture 1 : Day 1 in Gerardmer, France for the 3rd part of the summer training camp
Picture 2 : British Triathlon boys causing trouble in Luxembourg
Picture 3 : Getting ready for our first open water swim
Picture 4 : Walking to the Luxembourg/Germany border...invading
Picture 5 : Planning our German invasion across the river
Picture 6 : Open water swimming in France
Picture 7 : Rockafeller centre NY
Picture 8 : Grand Central Station NY
Picture 9 : Chrysler Building NY
Picture 10 : Rockafeller centre
Picture 11 : Crowds for the NYC Triathlon on West 72nd Street
Picture 12 : Crowds at the entrance to Central Park for NYC Triathlon
Picture 13 : Matty Reid and myself
Picture 14 : Greg Bennett and I after the race



It's been over a week since I last posted, since then I've raced in NY at the NYC Nautica Triathlon, done the touristy thing through NY for a day or two, flown up to Ontario and spent a week with my girlfriend Denise in Hamilton just south of Toronto. 

Tomorrow I fly out to Vancouver where I'll stay for the rest of the summer. I have two more big races to do and some hard training to get through as well. On Saturday my family are flying out to meet me and we'll all drive up to Whistler to spend a few weeks together. 

The race in NY went well I think. The main aim for the day was hammer the swim, I have raced some great triathletes in the past year but none of them matched up to the quality of the field in NY. Greg Bennett, Matty Reid and yes the big guns of Andy Potts. In my mind I don't care who I can beat in the water except Andy Potts, he is the front runner and the big name in the sport, for sure the one I want to be beating. Anyway...

...race morning came around, non wetsuit swim, already 75 degrees and it was about 430am! Pretty humid in NY too so lots of sweating triathletes running around frantically at 5am. My race was to start a 0550 but lightening put the start off until 0610. I was feeling good and nerves were definitely not an issue, I'd been sharing a few jokes with Greg Bennett so a mixture of star struckness and having fun were the main feelings before the race. Almost everyone racing though were rocking the fancy swim skin suits that are all the rage these days. Being a complete toddler in the sport I have not invested (been given) a swim skin, according to some reliable sources they rock socks and make a pretty decent advantage however. 

That aside I didn't have one...but I think I will soon! Got a great spot on the starting pontoon, Potts was way off to the right, then Bennett, Reid, Stuart Hayes ... then me. Off we go and the state of the Hudson river becomes apparent, its black! You can't see a thing ... but I wasn't complaining, I was in the lead. 

Settled into my stroke and started flying down the river, downstream so it's quick (12 minute 1500m). Leading for the first 1000m, can't explain how cool that felt, made my year for sure :) Eventually though I felt a hand hit my foot and slowly the big shape of Potts crept up beside me in his slidey swim skin (slidey as it was impossible to grab ... not that I was grabbing). He is a master of evading, he'd slither off to the left, then right, then left again, trying to drop me. As we approached the exit he got a good 5m on me and off he ran towards transition. The mats were a bit along so he had a 10sec gap on me by the time I beeped in, Bennett was only 5sec behind by that point too. Boy those guys run fast into T1!  

At this point I got onto my bike as quickly as possible and got into the rhythm. I settled into 8th place but then my Sis gel fell out of my tri suit at 15km and I was subjected to the Nazi regime of the officials and put to rest for a 60sec stand down penalty (Illegal to drop anything on the bike course). Essentially I lost about 2 mins on the road faffing with the penalty and then another 2 on the bike after trying to get back into the zone. At this point I new my chances of a top ten were scrapped but I was determined not to let it ruin my race. I got to T2 as quickly as I humanly could and went on to run my fastest 10km run split yet. The run was nowhere near quick but it definitely wasn't walking, all good signs. 

Managed to meet Greg Bennett too who was a pleasure to talk to, race alongside and joke around with. He called me a "boy" which was good for a laugh, me being 17 years his junior, but he gave me some good advice and a decent pat on the back. Great athlete. 

Can only be summed up as an AWESOME experience, I met some of the hero's of the sport, raced them, had a cracking swim, decent run, saw an amazing place and made some friends in the process. If that's not what sports about then I don't know what is.