15 June 2011

Escape From Alcatraz Race Report, Update and Local happenings.

So it has been a week since my first race of the season. I competed in the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco last week. This is definitely a Bucket list race I have had the intention to compete in. I strayed from the usual Draft legal ITU event, extended my shorty Aero Bars and watched the prologue of the Tour De France over and over to see if I can pick up some tips for a fast Time Trial.

Living in a hotel down town I was up at 4:30am for a ride before sunrise through the streets down to Marina Green. It was a little chaotic with 2000+ athletes getting body marked, setting up transition and catching a bus en route to the ferry. Settled on the ferry, the nervous energy was palpable. The boat was absolutely covered in wetsuit material, like seals lounging on an island we all lay stretching and fuelling up for the start. 

The Pro field lined up, dangling off the side of the boat ready to start. I was on the right side of the field when the boat began to drift with the current favouring the Left side. Upon realization of this unfortunate twist we all ran from one end of the boat to the other to squeeze in with the group. So it was a bit of a rough start to the swim. I used the draft jumping from one foot to the next working my way to the front. Once I got to the front, I could see Andy Potts and Dustin McLarty to the left. It was difficult to choose the proper line but those two seemed to have it figured out. Dustin lead out of the water, Andy second and I was third.
T1 was a long 800m run to the transition. I was a little slow but I kept contact with Chrabot, Docherty and Fleischmann. 

The first couple of miles on the bike are flat. Here is where I wished I had a Time Trial specific bike. There were a mix of hills which worked well for me but found it hard to keep contact on the flats. I took advantage of every hill given to me. Upon returning I was caught by Brian Lavelle, Craig Alexander and Kyle Leto. I kept in contact with them to the finish working hard on the flats and catching back up on the hills. I finished the ride in 13th place off the bike.

I felt good legs from the start of the run. I began right away working my way through the pack. Passing Brian Lavelle, Craig Alexander, Kyle Leto, Dylan McNeice, Brooks Cowan and Steve Sexton. I finished 8th on the day. The run was the most difficult 8mile run I have ran. There was very very little flat, a mile and a half stretch on a loose sandy beach and a 400step sand ladder. I feel I ran well.

At the end of the day, I feel this is a race you have to do once to learn and a second time to hit it properly. I know that there are sections in the race I could have pushed through harder knowing the course better. 
Results can be found HERE.

Next Up for me is the Monroe ITU in two weeks.

Back here in Victoria the city has been a buzz! Cycling has taken over the city! Tour De Victoria, Bastion Square Grand Prix, VCL, Jump Ship, Harbour Sprints and Bike Polo. Mix in the fluctuating emotions with the Canucks in the Stanley Cup Finals the city is going crazy.
Jump Ship was awesome, don't get me wrong, you wont see me competing in this but this was an amazing event to see. A barge was pulled into the inner harbour with mounds of dirt formed into an elaborate course designed for big air. Results Here.

Tour De Victoria was a very successful, very well organized event including a 90km and a 140km ride where riders could join Simon Whitfield(90km) or Rider Hesjedal(140km) on a tour around Greater Victoria. You could imagine guiding 1500+ bikes around the peninsula  to be an organizers nightmare but the event went on without a glitch and the photographs show the enjoyment had by all. 

Bastion Square Grand Prix is another crowd pleaser. As much as I wish I could have put my wheel to the line, it did not fit with a race of my own a week later. Congrats to Craig Richey on his awesome final sprint for the win. 

I did participate in a rather casual event called, Harbour Sprints. Last Friday a motley crew of cyclist flexed their muscles in a head to head 300m straight away infront of the Parliament buildings alongside the harbour. Cyclists were a mix of lycra and tight jeans from pro-cyclists to retired plumbers, from a 13 year old on a BMX to an 87 year old on a beautiful 1970's Bianchi. Originally an Alley Cat event it was a fixed gear event meaning no changing gears! Spin outs are a regular occurrence. Always an enjoyable event, socializing and every so often track standing then screaming down the course. Meanwhile beside the course a Bike polo game is being played. Something I would love to try some day. At the end of the events Brianna and I rode through town back home where we accidentally mixed in with the parade of cars/scooters celebrating the Canucks Victoria in Game 5. We had all the right lines like, "who won the match," "Did the Bruins take it?," "Go flames go!" and my favourite, "What sport is this again?" (Just kidding, I'm on the bandwagon....still.)  Go Canucks Go. ;p

Last wednesday I competed in my first Criterium of the season. Tactically I did not race well. I went into it hoping to have a good hard workout. Here is where I went wrong.... I pretty much attacked every lap.... Ya I know. But I did finish with a new level of pain tolerance and a solid workout under my belt. I finished in the bunch sprint but just barely. 

First day back from San Francisco I took advantage of some strong winds in Cadbro Bay where I tested out the new sail. I think the only way to describe this experience is in the following quote.

"To one who has turned lifeless materials into a thing alive and forced it to do his bidding against the resisting forces of nature in silence, without fuel and without defiling air or water, there can never be anything more wonderful than the sailboat. "The sailboat never offends the senses of fish, fowl or man. To make it move faster is to make it more a thing of freedom and beauty."

--Bernard Smith, "The 40-Knot Sailboat," 1963

It is an amazing feeling, the acceleration of a sailboat as you pull in the sheet taking control of the forces of nature. 

Other exciting news, Monday I had my first day at my new job. I am now a Baker at the Broadmead Bakery. The learning curve is steep but the first day was such an awesome experience. The pace is fast and the detail; crucial. I could definitely get used to it.

As for training, the boys and I have been working very hard. The days are long here so it has been perfect for training into the evening. We have been running shirtless and riding without knee/arm warmers. Unofficially, Summer is here. In the past week here we have had a couple of great running sessions. Today I hit up the track for a short but sweet session of 3x(1km 400m). On average I ran 2.57 for the km's and 1.06 for the 400's. Last week was a big cycling week. Including Observatory repeats into a brick, hills and moto pacing with Houshang and of course the Criterium. That with some good shammy time I feel my cycling is picking up.

Well That is all for now,
Take Care n' Ciao for now,

The Astroid Galaxy Tour - The Golden Age

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