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 Lavallé’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 Lavallée will race or whether he’ll conveniently double book himself again ; ).

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A BMO Cinde-RUN-na Story!

Perhaps two of the best UBCTC feel good stories of the year deserve an update, which occurred in the BMO race in early May 2012.

Jonathan Heinz and Brendan Naef ran nearly the entire 42.2 kilometre course side by side. What both men achieved in BMO were nothing short of big time marathon marvels, but both are too humbled to admit it even to this very day. Sub 2:44 NBD.

To the untrained eyes, it may have seemed this teamwork of brushing broad shoulders was almost rehearsed. Brendan had even picked-up Jon from the YVR airport the night before.
Jon and Brendan’s race photos are virtually identical, which would offer a nifty 50% savings incentive.

Both had to deal with minor misfortunes. One was quietly disgruntled for missing blankie-blank crème pies earlier in the month due to reoccurring pesky-snake-head-like back spasms. The other couldn’t convince his coach to get any blankie-blank approval for one to compete in more competitive races.

However a miracle had happened in BMO that couldn’t have been better scripted.

It started early in the marathon when Brendan and his running mate ran past two runners at a blistering pace.

One of two runners was the celebrity and not just another-random-guy mr. Jon Heinz.

Jon clued in instantly that his pace partner was deemed too slow to keep up and gladly switched wheels to join the Brendan express. Jon had two wrist bands for pacing (don’t laugh, he hasn’t discovered Garmins yet…) one for 2:46 pace and another for a 2:44 pace. He ripped off his 2:46 wrist band like Simon Whitfield ripping his visor in the final moments of 2008 Olympics.

Brendan ran with the lion’s share of the workload and needed to stay ahead (about the length of a snake-head to be exact) in order to not fade with Jon. Jon was thrilled to be keeping up with this Brendan express wind and would try to do some of the pace-making but then often accidentally kick Brendan’s foot to give him a little extra boost. Both worked efficiently together and left nothing in the reserves when crossing the finish line.

When both crossed the finished line, Jon was very much appreciative of Brendan’s efforts. Brendan singled-handedly helped Jon achieved the impossible - Jon's marathon standard time to rake in a precious track and field scholarship. Brendan conquered his back spasms and improved his PB by nearly 9 minutes. Amazing!

Honourable mentions to Jesse Chao, Christopher Hart, and Derrick Lee for achieving and crushing their very first marathons. Jesse Chao couldn’t have started with more fashion. He appeared at the race start just in time after smoothly fixing his watch. Chris Hart noticed that his time didn’t quite register with coincidently all of the timing mats, and had to heckle the timing officials to put down his three luckiest numbers at the very least 5-6-0. Andrew had ran countless hours this year and posted a solid PB in preparations for the IMC this year.

In the half marathon race, James Montgomery, Kyuwon Kim, and Rachel Schoeler were all champing the new course and earlier 7am start. Nobody can say they did more BMOs than James Montgomery, a long time veteran in the race as he achieved a PB. Kyuwon Kim and Rachel Schoeler achieved new distances as they posted impressive times and re-positioned themselves to more greatness.

Other notables: Sherry Gu was busy working all weekend at the Running Room exhibit to secretly sell her new homemade jel products to randomly lurking UBC tri club members. In case there was any jel/cliff-bars/expired powerbars over-dose, Dylan Stephanian was always looking busy at the medical tent.

Congrats to everyone who ran in BMO!!

15th Overall         1st Male 20-24     2:43:33     Jonathan Heinz
16th Overall         2nd Male 35-39     2:43:44     Brendan Naef
184th Overall         26th Male 25-29     3:12:35     Winston Guo
527th Overall        55th Male 25-29    3:33:08    Andrew Wight
1242nd Overall        111th Male 25-29    3:54:21    Tzu-Cheng Chao
3074th Overall     193rd      Male 25-29     4:43:45     Derrick Lee
3611th Overall        31st     Male 01-19    5:06:00    Christopher Hart

82nd Overall        11th Male 25-29    1:25:30    James Montgomery
1003rd Overall        32nd Female 20-24    1:44:23     Kyuwon Kim
3049th Overall        134th Female 20-24    1:59:27     Rachel Schoeler