2009 has been a huge step forward for me athletically. I coached a marathon running class, competed in two cycling road races, became a member of the Fletcher’s Meadow Cross Trainers, been victorious on the duathlon circuit and currently lead my AG on the Subaru Du Series.
A lot of the goals I worked on over the past few seasons have been finally achieved but one will take a little more time and effort before it can be stroked off the list, becoming an Ironman (and in a competitive fashion!). Yes, triathlon appears to be my future in multisport, after three great years in the duathlon world, so I must now add swimming to the training mix.
During the past few years, I have put in a lot of kilometres to learn how to cycle (before the fall of 2006 I did not even own a road bike and had no previous cycling experience), continued to push down my running times and worked hard to bring respectability to my transition splits. This has taken a great deal of hard work, an unconventional training schedule and a lot of understanding from my wife and very young family.
As I progressed in the sport, I realized just how much effort it takes to being a top player in this game, even on our local scene. I have been very fortunate to meet many athletes who do this for a living and I have seen the amount of time they dedicate to get to the next level. It often knocks me back down to reality and makes me wish I had been directed to the sport when I was younger and also makes me wonder, “what if”. What if I had stayed active through my twenties? So many “wasted” years!
I have always maintained that I will not allow the sport to become bigger than family so I must stay realistic in what I can achieve with the time I can set aside for training. That being said, winning races may not be in my triathlon future (too many amazing pros in the Subaru Triathlon fields) but I am going to set some pretty high standards for next season, eventually leading to that Ironman race when I feel the time is right.
So now that I have made up my mind and “technically” committed (opened my big mouth and told everyone my plans) to learn to swim, it is now time to get organized and set up a calendar so that I reach my next set of goals. I will not totally leave duathlon behind but a majority of my races next year will have an element of water before jumping on the bike.
Thinking about the path I have followed to get to this point, I was reminded of some of the defining moments of my short multisport life. There have been some results and performances that I am truly proud of but I always try to put the lifestyle change ahead of the pb’s or accolades. I really do not know where I would be without this positive influence in my life but I am sure the destructive road I was traveling would not have had the same impact on my family life that this healthy living does!
Here are a few of my duathlon highlights -
-Sept. 2, 2006 – Guelph Lakes 2 Sprint Du – first ever multisport race, purchased my first road bike the week of the race. 32nd of 130 Athletes. I was hooked!
-Met my coach Syd Trefiak in the spring as I prepared for my first “full” season on the Subaru Series.
-Raced in 8 Duathlons (6 Subaru, 1 HSBC, 1 Trysport), finishing 9th in 30-34 AG for yearly title.
-June 3, 2007 – Milton Sprint Du – first race on a Tri-bike (Cannondale Slice Aero) and averaged 36.5 km/h, finished 6th of 159 Duathletes, my first Top 10
-June 17, 2007 – Binbrook Sprint Du – first time I led the field on the run to the bikes, chasers quickly caught me on the ride but still finished 4th of 66 for first Top 5.
-Sept. 15, 2007 – Can. Du Championships in Parry Sound – last minute decision to test my skills and ended up 23rd overall, 6th in my AG behind some very talented athletes from all over Canada.
-Competed in 11 multisport races (9 Subaru, 2 HSBC), finishing 2nd in 30-34 AG Standings.
-June 1, 2008 – Milton Sprint Du – finished 3rd of 142 duathletes for my first Top 3 result.
-June 15, 2008 – Muskoka Long Course Du – first time leading a Subaru Du onto the bikes with a 3k run averaging 3:39/km. Ended up 3rd overall of 66 competitors.
-June 22, 2008 – Guelph Lakes Olympic Du – had best splits for both runs of the race and ended up with my first 2nd place overall finish out of 70 racers.
-June 29, 2008 – Welland Sprint Triathlon – completed my first ever triathlon and finished 15th overall of 190 triathletes, 1st in my AG. Used the breast stroke to get around the 750m swim.
-July 6, 2008 – Peterborough ½ IM Du – finished first Half IM distance race and was 3rd overall of 60 athletes. 90k bike split was 36.9km/h which was much higher than my initial goal time for the bike.
-Aug. 23, 2008 – Ontario Du Championships – had knee injury but raced anyway, 6th fastest bike time, finishing 8th overall of 92 racers, 2nd in AG for Provincial Championship.
2009 (so far…)
-Attended 6 duathlons (5 Subaru, 1 HSBC), currently 1st in 35-39 AG Standings
-Three Duathlon Wins (Muskoka, Guelph Lakes 1, Niagara) in the year.
-May 18, 2009 – Victoria’s Sprint Du – had a very strong showing in a race with many of the triathletes and pros (even after a 2 minute “drafting” penalty), first podium in a race of this class (417 athletes), 2nd of 41 in 35-39 AG.
-June 14, 2009 - Muskoka Long Course Du – first time having the fastest bike split in a race, first ever multisport victory, 1st overall of 59 duathletes.
-June 21, 2009 – Guelph Lakes 1 Olympic Du – best bike slit in the race with 37.4km/h average, second win of the year, 1st overall of 68 athletes.
-July 18, 2008 – Ontario Du Championships – had 4th fastest bike splits at 37.6 km/h in strong field, finished 6th overall, 2nd in AG for Provincial Championship, fastest Olympic distance time of career.
-Aug. 9, 2009 – Niagara Sprint Du – third win of the year, 1st of 136 duathletes.
Motivational Photo - May 2005 (pushing 220lbs and never wanting to return!)