Larry's Blog Pages

March 29, 2011

Age Grouper Spotlight - David Frake

This season will mark my sixth year of racing duathlon. During those years, there have been many new faces in the fields I have competed against but this spotlight athlete is someone I have been chasing down since those early races.

Toronto's, David Frake, is an incredibly talented duathlete who has been ranked among Canada's best for several years. Even after suffering a serious, early season set back in 2010 (after a crash in the Good Friday cycling race), he worked his way back to form before the end of the summer. His amazing come back was capped off with an impressive Age Group victory at the World Duathlon Championships in Scotland last fall.

Knowing the dedication and attention to detail this duathlete places in his training, I am sure he will be on top of the sport for many years to come. He continues to push the limits each year and is a huge motivating factor in my training as I strive to reach the splits he is able to post on both the run and the bike.

10 Questions with David Frake

Q1. What was the first tri or du that you attempted?

- First Tri - I was 14 yrs old. One of the original President's Choice Triathlon Series races in Waterloo at the Laurel Creek Conservation Area. I raced in the under 18 category and won. Back then the awards were awesome, I won a bike and still have it.

Q2. Do you teach yourself or do you train under the guidance of a coach?

- To date, I have never had a coach. I have a strong running background as well as science degrees in kinesiology and physiotherapy. Not to say that makes me an instant expert on self-training but I have a pretty good sense of what I need to do. Having said that, I will likely take on a consultant running coach this year just to make sure I'm sure I'm on the right track.

Q3. You had a nasty cycling crash in early 2010 and came back to win Gold in your Age Group at the World Duathlon Championships in Scotland. What kept you motivated during the rehab and the training to get back to such amazing race speed?

- The crash in early April really threw a curve-ball into my season. I thought I was finished for the year with a torn acl, mcl, meniscus and completely separated shoulder. Thankfully, I had tons of support from my family, friends, fellow cyclists and my surgeon, Paul Marks. I owe my Team Manager at Triathlon Canada, Joyce Chiang, hugely as she convinced me to return to Duathlon Worlds this past year, not just as the team physiotherapist, which was initially my plan, but as a competitor as well.

As a physiotherapist, I had a pretty good idea of what needed to be done so went to work at it pretty hard. My motivation came when I realized (by August) that things were feeling reasonably healed and strong again that I might just have a shot at a bit of a season. That's when I decided to go for it.

Q4. Being involved in such a crash, and keeping in mind that we all have to work and help provide for our families, does it affect the way you look at bike racing?

- Cycling, especially road racing, is a sport that takes years of experience and learning. Even with that experience, it can be dangerous. If you road race and think you'll never crash you should get out of the sport altogether. I have had numerous crashes, none as bad as last year, and have learned from every one of them. I have no intention of leaving the sport but have definitely become more selective in what races I enter and who I race with. Doing this minimizes the chances of serious injury and keeps everyone around me happier.

Q5. What is the biggest honour you have received in the sport?

- Canadian Duathlete of the Year (Triathlon Magazine) this year was a huge honour. OAT Duathlete of the Year a couple of times was nice as well but I have to say that winning a World Championship was the ultimate achievement in my tri/du career.

Q6. You have seen a lot of people come and go in the sport of duathlon, what kept you interested in Run/Bike/Run for so long, compared to your competitors?

- I've always considered myself a triathlete but haven't raced in one in a few years so I guess that pretty much makes me a duathlete, for now. I suppose I've just gotten in the groove of running and cycling and haven't managed to break the habit. Running and cycling are my favourite disciplines. I also love swimming but just haven't managed to incorporate it back into my training. What's kept me in it is the constant lure of going back to a World Championship with an eye on the podium.

Q7. What is the training session you love to see on your calendar? What makes it worth looking forward to?

- I love group bike rides. I ride with an amazing group of guys who call themselves the Morning Glory. They ride every Tues and Thurs morning at 5:30am in midtown Toronto. The group has grown to nearly 50 riders. The lead group are quite competitive so we all go head to head. It's like a training ride that becomes a race. I love and thrive on any kind of competition, anywhere, anytime so I love this ride! The other one I look forward to all week is the La Bicicletta/Midweek Thursday Night Time Trial series in Markham. Some of the Province and Country's best TT racers show up every week. It's uber relaxed yet uber favourite combination.

Q8. Do you think there is a chance of you returning to triathlon now that you have achieved such success in the duathlon?

- I'm always thinking about Tri. I've been back in the pool a few times this winter so who knows...??!

Q9. Is there a long term goal that you have set in triathlon, duathlon, running or cycling that you would like to accomplish?

- Long term, I'd definitely like to race a triathlon at a world championships. I'd love to defend my World Duathlon Championship. Racing a season as an elite on the international scene would be great. I'd like to place top 5 Nationally in road and or road TT one of these years and would like to run a 32:00 min 10k so I guess I have my work cut out for me.

Q10. Is there something about Dave Frake that many of your co-racers would be surprised to learn about?

- I'm a physiotherapist and practice owner of Balance Physiotherapy. My physiotherapy practice donates a minimum of 15% of it's services to those without adequate financial resources as well as a portion to elite athletes as a part of a sponsorship program. I'm French-English bilingual and can read basic Chinese. I love traveling and have lived and worked in Hong Kong and sub-Saharan Africa. I'm also passionate about great food and wine, it's something I'll never give up, not even during the race season!

My sponsors are Neal Brother's Foods, Clif Bar and Octto Cyclo components. I'd love to thank Triathlon Canada for all their great work and support over the years and would love to mention my practice-

March 18, 2011

Age Grouper Spotlight - Tommy Ferris

Overcoming obstacles is nothing new to my next spotlight guest. Tommy Ferris has battled back from a string of injuries over the past few years to prepare for another season of high level competition against the best age group athletes in Ontario.

I met this highly motivated athlete a few years ago as we jockeyed for position during a few early season duathlons. After he caught my attention, with a very strong effort in the Milton Sprint Du (the first time we were in the same field), we spoke a few times online to discuss training, future races and lots of other duathlon stuff.

We then met up again that summer for the Ontario Duathlon Championships in Gravenhurst. In this race, he showed off his efficient running form to pull off a gutsy pass, finishing one spot ahead of me in 5th Overall. I knew from this late race surge that he had the heart of a winner.

Even though we have only raced head to head in one race since Gravenhurst (due to injuries, my attempt at triathlon, different race schedules, etc.), we have kept in touch and offered up support for one another.

As this Toronto based Graphic Artist prepares for a return to triathlon in 2011, I will be cheering him along, hoping he reaches all his multisport goals!

10 Questions with Tommy Ferris

Q1. What made multisport an attractive recreational outlet for your post graduate years?

- I actually competed in triathlon before starting post secondary ed, so I was hooked on multisport long before I'd finished school. After graduating, I moved to Toronto to start my career. I was broke (my first apartment was a closet. I'm not kidding!) and couldn't afford a gym membership so the only training I did was some running with a few running groups here and there and riding my bike throughout the city. I always wanted to return to multisport and, after a couple of years as a competitive rower, I began competing in duathlons at the end of rowing season. I started with duathlon because it had been years since I'd done any swimming other than jumping in the lake at the cottage. What made multisport so attractive for me, at that point especially, was it was something I could do on my own. Rowing is a team sport and if your crew is one rower short, the entire team is affected. Another attraction with multisport was it's a sport I could take with me anywhere; all I needed was a pair of running shoes or my bike. I had to give up rowing in early 2008 so it was at that point I started training full-time for the duathlon.

Q2. You have had a number of tough injuries over the past few seasons. What motivates you to continue training as hard as you do?

- Yes, injuries have been a huge struggle for me. My 2009 ended early with a stress fracture, 2010 ended early with a torn AC joint as a result of a bike crash, and 2011 started with some fairly debilitating tendinitis in my knee as a result of running too hard in slippery conditions. I feel like I'm constantly walking a fine line... if i push myself too hard and go too far over that line (in an attempt to get faster) I'll hurt myself, and if i stay on this side of the line my run speed won't improve but I'll remain injury-free. In the past, I was a strong runner that struggled on the bike, but because of my injuries things have now done a complete 180. My riding is my strongest discipline and running is my weakest. In fact, I feel it's awful and it's nowhere near where I'd like it to be. What motivates me to keep going is the belief that there's a strong runner inside me trying to come out but keeps getting set back.

Q3. Which race do you believe is your best overall performance? Why do you pick that particular race?

- In terms of athletic performance I'd have to say my race in Welland (2010) was my best so far. My goal heading into that race was to let someone else set the pace on the first run, average more than 40km/h on the bike, and then run a faster time on the second run. All three of those things happened and it felt like the perfect race. However, the performance I'm most proud of would be my race at the Duathlon World Championships in September 2010. I had a good first run (almost setting a 10k PB), made up 12 spots on the first lap of the bike, and was on my way to a top-10 finish... I was having the exact race I'd wanted. On the second lap of the bike I went down hard in a nasty crash. I was traveling more than 60km/h when I wiped out and I thought I was finished. Spectators ran over to help and gathered up all of my things (including the lens that had popped out of my sunglasses!) and called the paramedics. While I was lying on the ground letting my spinning head and nerves settle, I closed my eyes and the letters "DNF" flashed before me in black and white next to my name. I'd worked so hard and traveled so far to be there that I had to try getting up. I ended up finishing the race covered in dirt and blood on my mangled bike, and the fact that I was able to fight through that and cross the line on my own two feet is something I'm quite proud of.

Q4. Who (if you could pick anyone in the world) would you love to have as a coach or mentor for this sport?

- It seems too obvious an answer, but I think Simon Whitfield would make a great mentor. He's an incredible athlete and having him guide me through the ins and outs and ups and downs of the sport would be amazing. There isn't anyone out there I can think of off the top of my head, so if I had the opportunity to pick any coach in the world I'd have to do some research. What I do know is that when I first took an interest in triathlon in the late 1990s, Peter Reid was the first athlete that sparked a flame inside me. I didn't know anything about the sport, and little information was available back then, but I somehow knew he was sponsored by Reebok. I remember going to the Reebok outlet in Cookstown and asking if they had Peter Reid posters for sale, and they were like, "Who's Peter Reid?". I wouldn't turn down an opportunity to be coached by him for sure!

Q5. After a number of successful years as a duathlete, you want to focus on Half Ironman Triathlons this season. What made you want to get back into the water?

- A few reasons. The first was I was feeling ready. It's been more than 10 years. I didn't want to start my swim training from scratch and get back into triathlons until I felt like a strong enough athlete on the bike. Swimming will likely be my weakest event for a long time, but as long as I can come out of the water in a position that isn't dead last, I'm confident enough with my riding that I'll be able to make up some ground and have a solid finish. I race better when I'm chasing people down from behind, and since the ride is the largest portion of any triathlon, I'll have plenty of time to do just that. The second is I've always wanted to race the 70.3 distance. The third is there's nothing like Kona for duathlon. I want to go to Kona someday to race in the Ironman World Championships, and I can't do that as a duathlete.

Q6. What is the one piece of equipment you wish you had in your arsenal?

- Power meter. As I'm transitioning into longer distances, race management will play a huge roll in my success on race day. A power meter is an excellent way to track and manage your power output when riding such long distances.

Q7. It appears the duathlon is losing many of it's competitors to the triathlon. Do you have any ideas that would help improve the duathlon?

- First and foremost, people need to start taking duathlon more seriously. I can't count the number of times people have said to me, "Oh, you only do duathlons." Well, I can tell you that as a duathlete I train just as hard or, in many cases, much harder than most triathletes. Duathlon is very tough. In triathlon your running legs are fresh and ready to go once you're off the bike, but by the time the second run rolls around in a duathlon, your legs are dead. Some series in Ontario are much better than others, but on a grassroots event level, race organizers need to stop treating duathlons like nothing more than a formality. From a big picture perspective, I think duathlon needs an annual event or series of events in North America with a large prize purse and lots of promotion that appeals to the world's top multisport athletes. Such an event would generate a lot of buzz and really get people excited about duathlon at every level.

Q8. Are you able to stick to a healthy diet or do other factors in life make it difficult to eat the way you would like to?

- I have a raw food-focused diet and do my best to always eat as healthy as possible, but just like everyone else I cave into those cravings for fast food every now and then. Life's circumstances make it difficult to always eat the way I'd like to, but I don't stress out about it too much. On the whole my diet is very good, so eating food that isn't so great every now and then won't have much of on impact on things overall.

Q9. You traveled to Scotland last season for the World Duathlon Championships. What was your overall impression of racing at this level?

- My overall impression of racing at that level was that there are truly some incredible athletes out there! I doubt I'll ever race a course as tough as that one in Edinburgh, and the fact that people were able to pull off the times they did still amazes me.

Q10. What is the one thing you hope to accomplish in the next 3 years of triathlon/duathlon?

- Over the next three years I'd like to climb my way up the rankings in my age group and qualify for the 70.3 world championships. In order to do that I'll have to get my injuries under control and really get a handle on my running. That's what I'm focusing on right now.

Please show your support of our local Age Groupers! You can follow Tommy Ferris on as he tackles the Half Ironman world this season.

March 17, 2011

Injury Update

It has been a month and a half since I started to feel a pinching pain in my neck and upper back area. I got on with treatment right away due to a past experience with that region. It was definitely something I did not want to go through again.

Thankfully, things have not been as bad as three years ago, although, I still went through weeks of discomfort. The past 8 to 10 days have been much more manageable with Physio and Chiro helping a lot to keep the region loose and mobile but the iinflammation around the joint/nerve has to settle down on it's own terms. The end seems closer but there is still mild pain to deal with so I am trying to keep any unneeded pressure away from the area.

With the mild temperatures now hitting the GTA, this is going to be very tough to continue as the outdoor cycling season should begin soon. Slumping over the roadie bars is not the best position to be stuck in for an extended period of time with this injury and aero is strictly out of the question. I really hope major progress is made ASAP as I need to get used to that position in a hurry or I will be entering the season at a huge disadvantage.

Other than that, training has been decent but obviously I have not been able to keep up the pace that I was hitting before the start of February. My upper body strength is fading after a lot of work Tyler and I put in during the winter. That is disappointing as I had enjoyed the circuit training sessions he had us moving through. Hopefully, everything will settle down and I will get my core and upper body ready for the big races in the middle of the summer. It sure helps to have those muscles on your side when you are pushing the limits in the triathlon or duathlon.

As it stands, I have been reluctant to sign up for any duathlon races. The sites have now opened their Online Registration (Subaru and MSC) but I don't want to pay out the fee for races, just in case. I would really hate to miss Victoria's this season so I am crossing my fingers for full relief before mid-April so that I can confidently prepare for the season opener. If not, I guess I will have to take it day to day and hope I can get enough races in before the Ontario Du's to be up to speed with the rest of the field.

Talk soon,

March 15, 2011

GARAGE SALE - Hockey Collectibles and Cycling/Running Items

Folks, I have a few people interested in my hockey stuff that I am trying to clean from storage so thought I would post here first to give followers first dibs. If items don't sell, after a few weeks, I will post on Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks - Larry

Hockey Card - Collection

No pics, yet. Mostly early 90's Upper Deck cards with a few full sets, many Autographed Cards and over $1000.00 in Rookie Cards (Full Beckett value) included in the lot.

Lots of copies of Sakic, Forsberg, Selanne, Koivu, Kariya, etc. included in those rookie cards. My other sports cards are thrown in as well.

$500 (OBO)

Ron Francis - Easton Gloves

$120 (OBO) - these gloves were made for Ron Francis while he played in Toronto. He never used them so you could use for hockey or as collectible for this HOF member.

Mats Sundin - Framed Picture

$100 (FIRM) - This picture celebrates Mats' point to take over the All Time Leafs Scoring title. It has an actual piece of the net he scored into for that point included in the matting. Very nice limited edition piece.

AKI BERG - Hockey Pants

$50 (OBO) - These are actual pants worn by former Leaf player Aki Berg. They are in very good condition and could be used to play or collect. I got them to play in but never ended up player forward after purchasing (I'm a goalie usually).

DENIS POTVIN - Auto'd 8x10 Pircture

$30.00 (OBO) - This is an 8x10 autographed by Denis Potvin from a session at Cloverdale Mall.

MIKE BOSSY - Auto'd 8x10 Picture

$40.00 (OBO) - This is an 8x10 autographed by Mike Bossy from a session at Cloverdale Mall.

DON CHERRY - Auto'd Hockey News

$20.00 (OBO) - This is a Hockey News with the Top 50 Players of all time. Don Cherry was on the voting panel and signed this magazine for me in person.

WENDEL CLARK - Auto'd Beckett

$20.00 (OBO) - This is a Beckett magazine that Wendel signed in person for me.

MIKE WEIR - Auto'd Score Magazine

$20.00 (OBO) - Mike Weir signed this for me in person at a Canadian Open tournament.

March 11, 2011

OHL Player taking to triathlon to promote Brain Injury Awareness

KITCHENER — Hockey may be on trial over serious head injuries.

But Ben Fanelli, whose hockey career has been stalled by a hit that resulted in severe head trauma, declines to sit on the jury.

“It’s not my duty to change the game,” the Kitchener Rangers defenceman said Thursday as he discussed his plans to run, swim and cycle in a triathlon this June to raise funds for brain injury awareness.

The game may be beyond changing.

In Tuesday night’s NHL game between Boston and Montreal, the Bruins towering defenceman Zdeno Chara drove Max Pacioretty’s head into the turnbuckle stanchion at the Canadiens bench.

Pacioretty suffered a severe concussion and fractured neck, the same injuries Colorado’s Steve Moore sustained seven years earlier – to the night – after Todd Bertuzzi drove Moore’s head into the ice in Vancouver.

On Wednesday, as the NHL refused to suspend Chara for putting Pacioretty in hospital, Fanelli prepared to take media questions for the first time in nearly a year.

It’s been 16 months since Fanelli, seven games into his now-dormant Ontario Hockey League career, almost died on the ice at the Aud.

Strafed and sideswiped by Mike Liambas of the Erie Otters, Fanelli’s head slammed into a stanchion supporting the glass at the Zamboni entrance behind one net. His helmet flew off on impact. Fanelli spent a week in hospital with skull fractures and severe head trauma. Liambas was banned from the OHL.

Fanelli, who turned 18 on Wednesday, skates weekly with the Rangers as part of his remarkable recovery. But he is no longer on the active roster for this season. The reality is his hockey career may be over.

As Montreal police promised a probe into the Chara hit on Pacioretty, Fanelli spoke of his progress and the need to transform himself from “bulky” hockey player into a “slimmer” triathlete. He is taking business courses now in preparation for university.

The likelihood he must embrace a career outside hockey, is something he is prepared for. Initially, after his injuries, he was determined to return to hockey.

But if the game will not change, the victims of its devastating legacy will have to.

Fanelli has re-assessed his life. Pacioretty may be next to.

“I’m not his doctor,” Fanelli said of Pacioretty. “I don’t really have a comment on everything he’s going through.

Flanked by teammates Gabriel Landeskog and Ryan Murphy, Fanelli also spoke of the inevitability of hockey’s grimmest moments involving bruised brain matter.

Recent head traumas threaten the careers of Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Boston’s Marc Savard. Both top centres have serious concussions. If and when they do return to the NHL, they may never be what they once were on the ice. Or off the ice.

Even Murphy said he was uncertain of playing Friday’s game against Owen Sound after taking a head shot in Kingston a week earlier.

"Concussions or, which they say now, head injuries, that’s part of the game and it happens,” said Fanelli, an Oakville kid who is taking business courses this year in preparation for university in the fall.

“On purpose or not, it’s going to happen. Not only in hockey, other sports and daily life. You can hit your head.”

So Fanelli will run, cycle and swim to help those who face the same daunting recovery he has endured. The program he created, Head Strong: Fanelli 4 Brain Injury Awareness, is to be a permanent part of his future.

“This is more to treat those concussions, as opposed to prevent them,” Fanelli said.

“I can’t do that. I’m only one person. But I can raise the money to help those people that have those concussions.”

Physically, Fanelli says he is just as he was before.

Emotionally, he has difficult days. That’s where friends like Landeskog and Murphy help out. They were on the ice with him when his helmet flew off and the Aud fell silent on Oct. 30, 2009.

They sat beside him on Thursday, wearing Head Strong T-shirts and taking questions.

“Me and Ryan, we just want to be there for him,” said Landeskog, the Rangers captain.

Dan Lebold, the Rangers trainer who helped save his life, was there too.

So were most of his coaches and teammates like Cody Sol and Mike Morrison. His agent, Waterloo’s Rob Hooper, also watched Fanelli’s winning performance in front of the media. Things are about to change for Ben Fanelli again.

He used to be the kid who missed the party to go to hockey.

“Now, I’ll miss the party because I have to train for the triathlon,” he said.

He will do a 750-metre swim, 30-kilometre bike ride and 7.5-kilometre run. That’s his agenda in Milton on June 5. There will be no skates involved.

“After three or four concussions, parents think their kid’s sporting career is finished,” said Harry Zarins, executive director of the Brain Injury Association of Canada. “This is a prime example that you can switch into another sport. You don’t just stop being active.”

If hockey won’t change, the Ben Fanellis of the world have to.

Just don’t ask him to testify in the case against hockey. It’s not his duty. He’s been through enough. And don’t ask the hard-hitting Landeskog, sure to be a top NHL pick in June, to make a ruling in the Pacioretty-Chara incident either.

“It’s not up to me to judge that,” Landeskog said.

No, it isn’t. The game goes on. You take your chances.

One shift, your whole career is ahead of you.

The next shift, you’re a triathlete in training. If you’re lucky.

March 8, 2011

Spring into Motion 5km Road Race and 1km Kids Fun Run

Here is a great local event brought to you by Brad and his Crew at Feet in Motion.

Spring into Motion 5k Road Race and 1k Kids Fun Run (Sunday April 17, 2011)
Gellert Community Centre - 8th Line, Georgetown.

**Pre- registered racers can pick up race kit the morning of, beginning at 7:30am
**Race day registration begins at 7:30am.
**Race day entree fees are $30 for the 5km Road Race and $15 for the 1km Kids fun Run. Remember all proceeds go to Canadian Tire Jumpstart.
**Kids 1km Fun Run begins at 8:45am and the route stays on the Gellert paved paths. Kids get a bib number, finishing medal and……….ice cream compliments of Get the Scoop!
**The adult 5K road run begins at 9:00am sharp.

Race will go on rain or shine…..(wish for shine!)

The 8th Annual Spring Into Motion 5Km Race will take place on Sunday April 17, 2011 at the Gellert Community Centre.

Contact Feet In Motion for further details.
Georgetown’s Running Store

Contact #: (905) 877-3201
Address : 72 Main St S, Georgetown, ON , L7G 3G3

Email: fim @ spectranet. ca