Solid summer racing!

September 25, 2013

I’m so amazing at this blog stuff, eh? NOT! If you’ve been following along on Facebook and Twitter, I’ve been having some incredible late-season racing:

Squamish Tri, National Champs, Ironman 70.3 Calgary and Muskoka, and Rev3 Branson.

Here’s a month-to-month recap. A little lengthy, but there are lots of great images and some vids for entertainment. 

JULY

Three races in four weeks meant basically living in my Compressport gear to keep the body solid. Apparently I’m smashing some local course records here these days! Back to back weekend racing was highly successful with 2 WINS, National and Provincial Champion titles and a breakthrough race for me at the Vancouver International Half Iron. Huge thanks to David McColm for the amazing race shots. Coach Bjoern, teammate Nathan Killam and I hosted a free pre-race clinic for local triathletes in Squamish.Squamish tri clinic

Squamish triathlon bike 2

Squamish triathlon run 2

Post-race with Xterra pro Brandi Heisterman – a great sportswoman who helped push me to the finish and break Mel McQuaid’s course record for a time of 2:04:25!

Rachel and Brandi Heisterman

Squamish Triathlon race organizers: amazing. Volunteers: amazing. Prizing and shwag: amazing. I highly recommend this race as one of BC’s most awesome Olympic distance events. I was also proud to see West Point Multisport out supporting this race. The next weekend I was back in Vancouver for the Canadian National Long Course Championships. This hometown race is truly memorable for me as I’ve raced it the past 2 years – winning in 2011 and racing as a relay team with my dad last year where we had our proud father-daughter podium moment. Once again, I led the race from start to finish, claiming the course record from previous champion Magali Tisseyre!

Rockin' one of four times up Spanish Banks Hill by UBC.

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Stronger than ever I pulled out a performance that surprised both Coach Bjoern and myself with a PB 20km run split of 1:18.Untitled

Podium with the distinctly more girly Sara Gross and Gillian Moody.

podium

Two weeks later I scored yet another Ironman 70.3 podium finish in Calgary - 2nd to the Canadian superstar Heather Wurtele. I had a great start out front amongst a field of very strong swimmers. Sighting and following a good line was key in this swim, and I had done some very effective scouting the day before. I exited the water in 4th place with a PB swim time (25:31), less than 1 min down from the lead.

On the bike I was hot in pursuit of the few women ahead of me and was in the lead by the time I reached the top of the climb at the halfway mark. I kept the power on for the descent back into town and came into T2 with a fastest split of the day (2:21:11).

I am once again beginning to count on holding my own on the run instead of hoping I won’t get caught by those behind. Running strong to the end in my Hoka One One Bondi Speeds, I finished just 2 minutes behind Wurtele.

A rather photogenic moment on the run

Calgary organizer Paul Anderson sure does it right, with a fun little champagne ceremony for the top-3 pros at the finish. Seriously, spraying bubbly over anyone in range never gets old! The more civilized podium ceremony.Calgary 70.3 podium

That night my family and I celebrated with big, tasty Alberta steaks. I am so incredibly fortunate to have such amazing support from my family. A huge thanks to Aunt Carol and Uncle Gerald for their generous hospitality and to my dad for taking time out of his precious boating summer.

Post race with my uncle and dad

.Smiling at the finish with my uncle and dad

AUGUST

I took a quick plunge back into my bike racing days and headed down to Oregon with my boyfriend and some of his Mighty Pirates for a little 100-mile (160km) bike race with 5,800 ft of climbing called Tour of Aufderheide. I held my own in a group of boys until getting dropped on the last major climb at 100km. I soloed the last twisting, turning 59.8 km towards the finish only to get swallowed in the last 200m by a pack of about 10 who suddenly appeared behind me – including another woman who took the female win. Frustrating, but as they say: that’s bike racing! I drowned my sorrows in a free beer and won an entry into Dark30’s next race the Gravel Epic. I was thoroughly impressed with the race organizers – they really have a good thing going with this series.

SEPTEMBER

On a roll! Another 2 major podium finishes at Ironman 70.3 Muskoka (2nd) and Rev3 Branson (3rd). Finishing less than 2 min down from multiple world champion Mirinda Carfrae and 14 min ahead of the next pro woman, Muskoka was probably one of the most solid races of my career thus far. Fastest bike split on a very challenging course.

I had a huge smile on my face coming into T2 with a couple minute lead. (c) Finisher Pix

All smiles finishing the bike in 1st place

Held off Rinny until almost 2/3 through the run!

Rinny catching up on the run

Muskoka 70.3 finish

Podium bubbly with Carfrae and Lisa Mensink

Cheers!

Thanks to the connections of my Team Ossenbrink-mate Christina Osler, I made some wonderful new friends. My Muskoka homestay the Barnes family treated me to quiet cottage accommodations, unbelievable race day cheering and lots of poking fun at my experimental tuber-heavy pre-race cuisine. Huge thanks to Kevin, the mysterious wife “Julie” and their sons!

Glamour shot! Completely spoiled with a boat ride to and from the race.

Glamour shot!

Photographer extraordinaire Ben and future world-class archer Matt.

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Then it was off to muggy Branson, Missouri for my 1st venture into the Rev3 race series. Revolution3 really does a great job with engaging pre-race media, live streaming during the race and great post-race recaps to keep fans, supporters and friends updated from afar.

I was really happy with another solid podium finish. This race was quite challenging for me and a big learning experience (well, really – what race isn’t!). Although my swim has improved immensely this season, I’m still a bit further back from the front than I’m used to when it comes to a non-wetsuit swim. However this was the first time I got to put my Blue Seventy PZ3TX to the test and wow does this suit feel super fast!

Like Muskoka, there is little-to-no flat on the Branson bike course, with some fantastic sweeping long climbs and descents – just my style!

I eventually closed the 4-minute deficit on the bike to take the lead coming into T2.Rev3 Branson bike (c) EricWynn.org

Unlike my incredibly solid runs in the last few races, I felt really flat and fatigued early on as we pounded the pavement. Holding on to second place for the majority of the run, I was caught close to the finish and crossed the line in 3rd. Rev3 Branson bike(c) EricWynn.org

Although my Eload nutrition during the race is pretty dialed at this point, insufficienct pre-race nutrition probably played a big roll in my lack of energy later in this race. It’s often challenging to get in proper fueling while one is traveling. I’m learning more every time how to keep up my high-maintenance nutrition needs while on the road.

Of course the race wouldn’t be complete without some fun social times after with an old friend. With a free day in town post-race, crazy Branson randomness ensued! Breakfast bandits, zip lines, giant cocks

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