Saturday, June 23, 2012

Words of thanks for Binbrook Tri and Ride for Ilijia


I've too damn tired to post. Yes, that is how I know I am doing the work for Ironman! Today's post has two updates.

First the Binbrook triathlon 2 weeks ago. Rain greeted us in the morning but the temperatures were warm so for me, I was happy. I could care less if it rains so long as it is warm, it is the cold I can't stand! Familiar faces greeted me again in Eon Dornellas and Steve Fleck over the PA and I got down to thinking of the task at hand.  I wrote down learnings from the Woodstock triathlon and pulled them out for one last read through. Things like "better transition" and "read course map" were very clear in my mind but other more subtle changes were in the mix to. At Woodstock I could not get over my gear and I felt like I was leaning into something on my seat vs. on top of my seat on the bike. I adjusted the saddle for/aft position over a few interval rides (for/aft = angle of saddle) in between the two races and felt dialed in. Come race day it made a big difference. I also wrote down "surge" in my race notes. By that I meant to put in some surges on the run to test my speed. Otherwise the game plan was the same; swim hard, bike hard, and try to run sub 30 minutes for 7.5K.

Swim and bike: Andrew Bolton and I again exited the swim together after I had an awful start (again) and a choppy swim across the top of the reservoir. For the first time in 14 years at this sport I stepped on a large rock as I stood up in the water! That bloody hurt!! Andrew pipped me out of transition but I was still on much better footing than Woodstock with my in & out of T1. Out onto the bike Andrew proceeded to ride a minute into me out on the road. Jim Sunners, Francois Cote, and Andrew Buzzell passed me on the bike so I was in 5th coming into T2. I did keep them within 20 seconds throughout the final 10K and felt pretty good coming into transition. Andrew Buzzell in particular was very impressive on the bike and watching Francois run out of transition I realized his 30 years was going to trump my 41. So I focused on Andrew to start.

Run: I hopped out of T2 in my New Balance 1440s (which I LOVE!) and felt far more snap in my legs than I did in Woodstock. The run was a mix of winding grass trail and an out and back road section. Catching Buzzell was a morale boost and closing in on Jim gave me hope for a podium. I decided to put in a surge to pass Jim on an uphill and was feeling pretty good. My diaphragm cramps were lingering and while I felt I could run faster, I had to keep that in check. At the turn around I saw a fast, fast flying Brandon Habermehl charging toward me. I did math and thought to stay with him when he comes. Not a chance!! He flew by me! I tried a surge at the next hill and my side stitch that had been lingering below my diagram decided it was time to say HI! I tried the breathing techniques and slowed down, finally stopping a top the reservoir dam with about 750M to go. Suddenly I was worried about Jim catching me! Finally the stitch passed and I was able to run home for a 4th overall finish. Immediately I took off my shoes as the rock I stood on was now a swollen contusion on the arch of my foot! It was quite painful I have to admit and didn't really subside for 5 days after.

Overall Binbrook has a great race vibe and again the Multisport Canada team put on a safe race with a real community vibe to it. I really love this series. It feels more home than others and the people seem far more friendly and outgoing.

Binbrook Results:

The second update is the Ride for Ilijia Petrovski. Ilijia was a main stay on the Ontario Master riding circuit. A multiple provincial Time Trail champion, great patron of the Ontario Peleton, and deep family man.  I always respected how Ilijia carried himself in the group. I talked a lot more with his team mates in the group, Kevin Davis, Brian Kelly etc. just out of where we usually are in the peleton but Ilijia was always there smiling and passionate about our great sport. Unfortunately he crashed this past winter. His injuries severe from head trauma. So, his friends and family put on a charity 100K ride to raise funds for his health care that OHIP does not cover to the tune of $75/day*365= $27,375 a year.  Ilijia was the family bread winner and recently left his TSN job to be a full time cycling coach so money was needed to keep him in good hands, and his family in decent financial position.

My team mate Cary volounteers with the Share the Road campaign and called Brian Kelly up to offer their services in putting the ride on. What went from a small charity ride and BBQ turned into a LARGE ride and BBQ! What transpired last week exemplified everything that is right about cycling. 300 people turned up and raised close to $50,000. Then 3 anonymous donors matched that and over $100,000 was raised for Ilijia's family. Some days I am really proud to call myself a cyclist. This was one of those days. The riding was hard, driving fast stuff that Ilijia would be proud of. Thanks to all that volounteered, participated, and shared the road to make it possible.

Tomorrow is the Welland Half Iron-distance event. I absolutely suck at this distance. I hope to pull one out of the hat and right some more next week!

Till then, ride safe my friends.

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