Larry's Blog Pages

April 16, 2012

Spring into Motion 5k - Race Report

The 9th Annual Spring into Motion 5k was hosted by Brad Mailloux and the Feet in Motion Staff at the Gellert Community Centre (Georgetown, ON). The race heads out from the walking paths of the Community Centre and then follows a stretch of the bike path along Eighth Line before snaking through the local subdivision and bringing the runners back to the Gellert Centre.

A full day of rest could not revive my body from the damage of a Friday night out with the guys. It had been a long time since we all got together and I must have thought I could still carry on like my youthful days. Bad mistake.

Not being able to fuel or hydrate for much of Saturday did not give me a lot of confidence as I went through my warm up on Sunday morning but I figured I would give it a whirl and see what I could make out of the situation. I tried to talk myself into going after my goal of sub-17 minutes and knew a few racers were going to be out ahead pacing that effort. Tim Shannon (multiple defending champ) and Sean Bowen (McMaster track athlete) were in attendance so the pace would be brisk for sure.

At the starting line, the light rain didn’t seem to be much of a factor due to the warmer air we were greeted with on this spring morning. Learning from last year, I got right on the line as the lead out to the bike path is a little tight with a lot of young, spirited athletes hammering out of the gate.

As the horn sounded, I moved onto Tim’s heels and just let him work around the teen runners setting the early pace. After about five hundred metres, the speeds dropped and the more experienced athletes seemed to filter out of the crowd to establish the lead pack. There were three runners just a few metres ahead of me following the lead bike up the slight hill making up the first kilometre. At the 1k marker, I was through in 3:18 but was already feeling drained. My legs felt fine but my stomach just felt empty.

When we made the next right turn, I was slipping back from Tim and Sean and following third place by close to 20 metres. We were now moving gently down slope so I was hoping I could maintain the time cushion set in the first kilometre and then work through the final three km’s to get to my goal. Unfortunately, my system was not cooperating and I slowly started to fade back from the youngster as we reached the second kilometre sign.

With survival mode in full order, I ignored my watch and just tried to make back time on the runner ahead of me. Tim and Sean were way up the road and on pace for a blistering time so I knew I had to toughen up if I wanted a piece of the podium. During this middle portion of the race, we zigged zagged through the surrounding neighbourhood where we seemed to be shelter from much of the wind by the taller homes of the community. Even with this relief, I could not get up enough speed to cut the gap and my target slowly drifted away.

Finally, the chase seemed fruitless as he made his turn off the streets and onto the park pathways for our final five hundred metres. When I made my turn, I could see Sean had a slight lead over Tim as they raced down the finishing chute for an incredible 16:07 and 16:13 dual, respectively.

With the finishing line in sight, I tried to muster some last minute speed but even that request was declined and I turned the last corner to watch third hit the line in 17:02. Thankfully, I finally reached that line in 17:40 and fourth place overall (a full 15 seconds off last year’s time).

The disappointing part was that this year’s weather conditions were much easier for running and Tim took 19 seconds off his time from 2011 so I should have had a better result. Oh well, have to look forward and be ready for Sporting Life 10k on May 13th.

A big thank you to Brad and his Feet in Motion crew for another great race. They always make the event worth putting on the calendar with their charity donations, volunteers, prizing and solid, local competitors.

April 11, 2012

Good Friday Cycling Race - M3 Race Report

Surprisingly, I had very few nerves going into the first race of the season. As long as the bike was working well, I knew I had put in the work to stay close to my teammates so we could stick with the majority of the riders in the M3 field.

After my warm up, I did get to the start line behind most of the others in my category so this created a little worry but Coach Kris from our team, , gave me a game plan to work my way up the pack to align with Richard and Phill. I really wanted to be up much closer to them on the start but the Commissionaires were being very strict with us staying on the right half of the road and forcing all late riders to the back of the pack. Oh well...

So the race starts and several guys go zooming up the other side of the road for the next few kilometres trying to get away from the back. I didn't want to risk a DQ so I "patiently" picked away at the right side. Once out of the tree lined section of the course, we were getting hit with a minor side wind that many were trying to avoid so the right side eventually started to open up, although I was wasting more energy than most of the other riders, I still felt that I was well below my usual race effort so continued up the side of the pack.

By the time we made our first right turn I had moved up into the top fifteen and could see Richard and Phill lurking up near the front. We were now into a head wind and the pace dramatically slowed as nobody wanted to lead out the group. This short stretch leading to a steep, twisting hill tested our braking abilities again so I just stayed put and waited for our first climb.

I dropped down to my small ring up front and spun up the hill with no worries. I was making good time up the hill and was actually getting caught in some of the guys starting to stall, which caused some drama but I strugged it off and crested the hill for my decent. During the decent, I passed a good number of athletes and made it up to see Richard and Phill both in around the top five.

Deciding I could give them a lead out for a while, I settled in behind the lead rider and made the next two climbs on his rear before making a little move as we headed down the hill after turning onto Safari Road. I was hoping Richard and Phill would pick this up and give me a signal to hammer but I think too many others were too close at this point to really make a major move this early in the race. I just kept pulling and monitoring my effort to make I was not burning too much too soon.

As we made the next right onto Brock Road, the huge peloton remained right on my tail. We had a tailwind along this fairly flat part so the speeds started to pick up and everyone held tight until we made our last turn of lap 1 back to the start/finish line.

At this point a few guys decided to pick up the pace and seemed to want to sprint for the line. Not sure what they were thinking but we all jumped on and nothing was established as we started lap 2. Not too much further up the road, my momentum had taken me back up to the front with WOB rider, Stanislaw Bielak. Kris told me to stay with him as much as possible as he had won the past few Good Friday races in this category. I was hoping he was ready to roll but he was not too interested in pulling so I basically had to roll to a stop before he would pull through.

Eventually, a few other riders grew tired of the slow pace and took the lead as we corned onto Westover Road. This was the head wind portion so their efforts were pretty much smashed by the breeze that was showing signs of waking up. I was starting to think this was going to take a sprint to win the race, which is not in my favour, so I was starting to plot a strategy to take off, hopefully with my teammates in tow.

I figured I would wait until we got through the three hills and then pick it up on the flats to see what would happen. With this plan set, I just tried to remain calm on the climbs to reserve my energy for the upcoming effort. Unfortunately, as we were descending on the Safari Road hill, our race was neutralized by an official to let the S4 group pass us. The pace car destroyed any chance I had as the group became like a can of sardines waiting for the race to start again.

Once the S4 group had passed, and gapped us, we were set free but it was chaos for the rest of the race as we had too many people trying to share a lane of this country road. Many were getting edgy and making their move on the other side of the yellow but I did not want to risk this. Especially, after watching one dude almost eat the front grill of a car coming up the other side of the road. Scary...

So the rest of the last lap was just a bunch of grapes floating along the course. I could see Richard and Phill just a couple bikes ahead of me but I was stuck dead centre with nowhere to go. By the time the group started to move along Brock Road for the last few kilometres, things were really getting pushy as I could see a lot of jockeying for position in the couple rows a head. This is when things got really crazy, just to the right of my bike, I saw one guy go down and the rider beside me could not avoid the mess. I was just hoping my teammates were OK but I could only see Phill still riding. I had a bad feeling Richard was a part of the carnage and started to get very cautious.

Around the last corner, to the sprint finish, all I could think was just get me to the line with the rubber side down. Thankfully, this short section opened up to the full road and the group spread out with most grabbing wheels on the right hand side. I saw an opening on the left and hammered down that side of the road passing a few people from the massive peloton. I ended up with the same time as the leader but back in 22nd place. Phill had a nice sprint just a few wheels back of the leaders and ended up in 9th place overall. Jon Westwood had a solid debut in the S4 category getting his feet wet in the sport with a 32nd place showing. Nicely done guys!

Thankfully, Richard ended up being cleared by the medical staff and is back at it already. It was a nasty tumble he took and can be read about on his blog

From the results page there were 52 riders that finished in the main group and 97 athletes that started the race in M3.

Also, it was good to see a bunch of tri and du folks out on the course. I know the roadies don't like to share their sport very much but we put in some good results. Congrats to Alex Auld, David Moore, Ryan Power, Derek Snider, Evert Lamb, Kevin Tearle, etc. ( I am sure there are more but too many names to sort through...)

April 5, 2012

Local Races to add to your calendars...

Run4Hope - organized by the FMCT Falcons

There are both 5k and 10k options for this event on Sunday, April 29th in Brampton.

This is the 8th Annual Run4Hope Road Race. Fletcher’s Meadows Cross Trainers have been organizing this important community race since 2005. It has grown from a race with less than 100 participants in 2005 to over 450 in 2011.

With the support of the City of Brampton and our title sponsors, we encourage local residents to come out for fitness and at the same time help sponsor the Sky's the Limit charity.

Please visit the site below to learn more and to register...

Spring into Motion 5km Road Race and 1km Kids Fun Run - organized by Feet in Motion

The 9th Annual Spring into Motion road race will take place Sunday, April 15th at the Gellert Community centre on 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 8:45 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 5Km road run begins at 9:00 sharp.

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

Contact Feet In Motion for further details. Or register online at

April 3, 2012

It's been a long time coming...

Well, it is the lead up week to my first race of the season and I am not sure what to expect. This is often the case for my cycling events as I am still learning the ropes and very green behind the ears with these strategic races.

There are a number of factors out there that would suggest it is going to be a tough day. I have kept a strong run schedule of late as I am registered for Sporting Life 10k on May 13th. I have not been out with the group as much as I would have liked due to work and family commitments. There are a lot of strong riders in M3 at Good Friday that technically should be in M2 or M1 but do not have the points to move up.

I could name off many more reasons but I am not going to look for any excuses come race day. I am going to use my ability to hurt to keep up with my teammates and hope to give them a spark when the call comes for a break or a bridge. The sprint will then be in their hands as long as we work well together to set up a favourable finish. We have two solid M3 racers in our club (Phill and Richard) that will have a great opportunity to accumulate some points this weekend so I hope Dave, myself and the rest of the crew can lend a hand to get them to the line in a podium position.

Wish me luck!