Saturday, May 31, 2008

BIG DAY

The Big News on the Ontario triathlon scene is the wedding of James Loaring and Breanne Sharrat, later today. It looks like most of the triathlon community will be there to celebrate the newlyweds. Congrats to James and Bre, and all the best on your future adventures.





Thursday, May 29, 2008

MEET ALISTAIR and HOLLIE

Monday's post included a short reference to the amazing performances of two young British athletes at the Madrid World Cup last weekend. Alistair Brownlee (20) and Hollie Avil (18) have likely punched their tickets to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Slowtwitch interviewed Allistair Brownlee, and Hollie Avil has updated her blog on her experience at Madrid.

Brownlee: '06 Junior Worlds Gold, '07 Junior Worlds Silver, '07 & '08' World Cup Podiums


Avil: '06 Junior Worlds: 11th, '07 Junior Worlds: Gold, 08' World Cup Circuit: 3rd, 2nd, 4th


TRI CAN AWARDS

On May 26th, Triathlon Canada published the list of 2007 Award Winners. I'm a little late to the party in writing about it, but better late than never. Special congrats to Canada's junior, U23, and elite (all disciplines) triathletes - it's difficult to go down the list and find anyone who isn't a podium threat at a major international race - a testament to the work and dedication they put in on a daily basis. Congrats also to Joel Filliol, elite coach of the year.

There were several Ontario athletes selected, including Andrew Yorke (Junior Male Triathlete of the Year), Nick McGraw (Junior Male Duathlete of the Year), and Lindsay Anderson (Junior Female Duathlete of the Year). Andrew is a member of the C3 Club, Nick McGraw is coached by Steve Boyd, and Lindsay Anderson is coached by the Peak Centre in Ottawa.

Andrew Yorke out of T1, 2007 Junior Nationals




IN THE NEWS


MACKINNON AND FORBES TWINS PEAKING

May 28, 2008
TONY FITZGERALD
THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR

Perhaps it is because they got a running start on competition or maybe it's their desire to compete.

Whatever the reason, Chelsea Mackinnon and the Forbes twins, Austen and Taylor, are the future of high school track right now.

Chelsea, 14, a Grade 9 student at Westdale, is the city's best in the midget girls' 800m and 1500m.

Austen Forbes, 14, a Grade 9 student at Highland, is the best around in the midget boys' 800m. He's right there with twin brother Taylor in the 1500m, but Taylor owns the gruelling 3000m title.

The three runners have much more in common than just age.

They all started in track early.


Read the full article.

In addition to their high school teams, Chelsea, Austen and Taylor are members of the Hamilton Hammerheads triathlon club. Congrats to all three athletes and their coaches.


Monday, May 26, 2008

OFF TO THE RACES....

A busy weekend of racing here in Ontario, and it's just the start of the season.

I went to the Caledon race on Sunday to watch the races. First off, congrats to the C3 club for putting on a quality event - it takes an enormous amount of work to put an even together, and they did a great job. Without race directors, committees, and volunteers, we wouldn't have races, so be sure to thank the organizers at your next race. A simple thank-you goes a long way.

There were too many strong performances to list at Caledon - results are here - so I'll just post some quick notes:

From everything I saw, almost every KOS athlete had a strong race, and showed improvement over last year - congrats to all athletes.

There is a growing trend of clubs attending these races. In addition to the C3 club, we saw the Hamilton Hammerheads, Guelph Marlins, a large school team (SAC), Waterloo Wet Jets, Speedplay, Lorri Zagar's group (do you guys have a team name?), and more than a few individual coaches. It wasn't too long ago that it was rare to see even one coach at a local triathlon, but there's definitely a trend of more NCCP certified coaches, and more triathlon clubs - great stuff.

The younger kids really look up to the top juniors and elites. It was great to see the elites hanging out with the kids, and spending their day volunteering, after competing in the duathlon in the morning (or in Yorkie's case, racing the duathlon in the morning and the triathlon in the afternoon, and winning both).

At the other end of the province, the junior athletes from Ottawa and Kingston were putting in a strong race at the Ottawa 5k (results here) and out on the west coast, Connor Hammond gave National Team athlete Paul Tichelaar a run for his money at the Shawnigan Lake Sprint.

Finally, some of you probably followed the World Cup in Madrid on the weekend. There's been a big battle between a bunch of countries on the mens' side to determine which countries will have 3 spots at the Olympics; the battle will be decided at worlds, but currently, triathlon powerhouse Australia is on the outside looking in. The Aussie cause wasn't helped when their top athlete in the race crashed during a heavy rain storm - see picture below for the epic conditions. The other big story of the race was the amazing strength of the young British team - 2006 World Junior Champion Allistair Brownlee (age 20) and 2007 World Junior Champion Hollie Avil (age 18) were some of top British athletes in the event. Brownlee finished 3rd, earning his second World Cup podium, and beating 2006 World Champions Tim Don (elite) and Will Clarke (U23) in the process. Avil finished 4th (her worst World Cup finish in 3 starts), beating 2007 U23 World Champion Lisa Norden, and missing the podium by 9 seconds. Both Brownlee and Avil will likely be considered for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.




Congrats to the athletes who qualified for the 2008 Ontario Games. Have a good week, and train smart.




Friday, May 23, 2008

WEEKEND VIEWING, RACING, and UPDATES

It's shaping up to be a busy weekend of sports coverage and racing:

(edit - dates corrected)

SAT MAY 24th

CBC ITU World Cup Coverage, 2:30pm EST, back-to-back coverage of Simon's win in Ishigaki, and Carolyn Murray's win in Richard's Bay.

Stanley Cup Finals, Game 1, Penguins and Wings. What could be more Canadian than hockey in May (and June)?


SUN MAY 25th

ITU Madrid World Cup. Live coverage at 4:15am and 7:00am EST. No Canadians in this race, but all of the big Europeans will be there, and it will be interesting to see how the US men do as they scramble to secure 3 spots on the pontoon in Beijing.

Caledon Triathlon: KOS Provincial Championships and Ontario Games Qualifier.




RECENT RESULTS

....and some recent results - not comprehensive, but a good sample.


ITU IXTAPA Continental Cup

A good showing for Canada with Andrew Russel 4th, AP B-Smith 7th, and Andrew Yorke 22nd on the mens' side, and Tenille Hoogland 8th, and Rachel O'Reilly 10th among the women.


2008 XTERRA West Championships

Mel McQuaid wins again, with Danelle Kabush (4th) and Christine Jeffrey (6th) firmly in the top 10. On the mens' side, Kelly Guest takes 8th.

TRACK

The following triathletes are now in the middle of their high school track season, and posting strong results.

NCSSAA
Joanna Brown 3000m(1st), 1500m(3rd) Junior Women
Ian Donald 3000m(1st) Senior Men
Lindsay Anderson 3000m(1st), 1500m(2nd) Senior Women
Sarah Boyd 1500m(1st) Senior Women

EOSSAA
Tristan Woodfine 3000m(1st)*, 1500m(1st) Midget Men
Blair Morgan 1500m(3rd), 800m(3rd) Midget Men
Alexander Hinton 3000m(2nd), 1500m(4th) Senior Men

*new EOSSAA record: 8:51.76


YORK REGION
Kaitlyn Oliver 3000m(1st)*, 1500m(1st) Midget Women

*new YRAA record: 10:27.8


Congrats to all athletes on their efforts. Updates and race results always welcome from coaches, athletes and parents.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

ON BEING TOUGH...

Man plays dead as grizzly chews
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
May 16, 2008


Mr. Case did his best to play dead as the bear mauled him: It grabbed his left elbow, let go and then bit through his right arm, coming millimetres from slicing through a major artery (the animal had “bad teeth,” Mr. Case discovered afterward). Mr. Case dropped to the ground in the fetal position and the grizzly began gnawing on the back of his head.

“The pain was so excruciating. … I said to myself, ‘He's eating my brains.'”

It was all Mr. Case could do not to cry out, but he knew playing dead was his only chance. Next thing he knew, the bear was pushing him into the marshy ground, after which it covered him partly in mud and sticks – “seasoning,” he calls it – and left, presumably planning to return to snack on its prey.

Full article.

Monday, May 19, 2008

ONTARIO FALLING BEHIND

An interesting story from the Hamilton Spectator on the weekend. This is why we have the full time program at the PTC, in addition to the camps and training days. We've got a long way to go, but we're working on it.

No Games to Play

Ontario's steady decline as a source of elite Canadian athletes has seemed in danger of becoming a free fall.

The province that is home to almost 40 per cent of Canadians once contributed half of our Winter Olympics athletes and more than a third of those at Summer Games.

With participation dropping to almost a fifth in recent Games, the alarm bells finally rang at the Canadian Olympic Committee.

Full article here.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

JUNIORS - VISIT THE FORUM

I'm off for a week; hopefully James' won't burn the PTC down while I'm gone. This will be the last vacation for my wife and I before we welcome a baby into the world in July - that's her foot below. The mother of one of our juniors told me today that she took a trip before the arrival of her first child, and the next time she stepped on an airplane was 2 months ago (17 years later). Oh dear. I guess we'll have to savour this last quiet vacation.



More importantly, it's a good time to re-post an important link. I've set up a free forum for Junior athletes (and parents and coaches) to co-ordinate our travel to three Junior draft-legal races this summer: Pinawa (MB), Summerside (PEI), and Kelowna (BC). Unfortunatley, I don't plan on being at the Gatineau race (Provincials), because it's very close to the delivery date, and it's a long drive back to the hospital from Quebec. I am trying to organize a designated coach to support the Ontario athletes at the race, but athletes will have to make their own transportation and accommodation arrangements. If someone wants to take the lead on that, just start another thread on the forum to get it rolling.

Either way, please visit the forum if you want some help traveling this summer. The offer is open to ALL juniors who are draft legal certified and planning to attend these races.

Have a good week, and train smart.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

WORLDS TEAM ANNOUNCED


Press release here. Congrats to all athletes and coaches. Go Canada.

GIDDY-UP

I was mildly disappointed to learn that my new secret training idea isn't new, and isn't secret - but at least it works. With all of the horse farms and harness racing tracks I pass on my way to work, I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. Maybe it was the 10 feet of snow we had all winter. In recognition of the fact that I'm actually behind the curve on this one, I'm proposing we kick it up a notch, with the following modifications:

1) I'll feed my athletes oats in between the intervals.
2) Anyone who pulls up lame will be appropriately dealt with.

I like the triathlon-inspired aerospoke wheels, but don't expect me to wear those pants.

Continuing with our ultra-serious theme today, I've done some blogroll maintenance. I've removed those who have been guilty of infrequent blogging (Yorkie, you're next), and added Connor Hammond who is currently training with Joel's squad in Victoria. Suggestions always welcome for blog links - short course, long course, or other sports - to Canadian athletes.

Enjoy the reading, and get out there and train.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

BACK TO BUSINESS

It's business as usual at the PTC. Today's workouts, and some quick updates:

Swim this morning
WU: 1000m + 10x50 band@0:55" (EDIT: pace time was 0:50")
MS: 40x50@0:50" w/paddles, best average
CD: 300

Good swims for our small group, including James getting down to 31's

Brick this afternoon
Threshold Ride or Speed River Group Ride + run off bike

Updates
-Adrian DelMonte has joined the PTC, and is making good contributions to the group
-Angela is healthy after a prolonged bout of pneumonia
-Tom is a little under the weather after a tough round of gardening (I'm not making this stuff up)
-Danielle has been healthy and consistent
-Dorelle's training in Kingston is going well, but she misses her training partners

Monday, May 5, 2008

BIKE DISMOUNT

A short set of videos on progressing to a proper bike dismount.

Step 1. You'll need the following things: an athlete, a bike, a helmet, a quiet road/parking lot, and running shoes (skip the bike shoes for now).

Step 2. Ask your athlete to perform a dismount. If it looks like this (below), skip steps 3-8, and go train. If it doesn't look like the video, proceed to step 3.

video


Step 3. Stick with the running shoes for the duration - it's safer, and it removes a degree of complexity. Riding in a straight line, with eyes forward, hands on the hoods and weight evenly distributed, simply stand up, with non-dominant leg extended straight to support body weight.

video


Step 4. Next, have the athlete stand up, eyes forward, bike coasting in a straight line, and extend dominant leg directly behind. Hold for 3-4 seconds, and maintain straight line riding.

video


Step 5. From standing position with dominant leg extended behind, swing extended leg across center line of bike. Continue to coast in a straight line, with eyes forward. Hold position for 3-4 seconds to confirm balance. Note that right hip is to the left of the saddle.

video


Step 6. Stand up, extend dominant leg backwards, cross over, touch down, swing back over, sit down, pedal. Repeat.

video


Step 7. Perform touch-downs on alternating legs, with the goal of equal competence on both sides, and straight line riding throughout. (NOTE: Coaches may need to go back to step 3 and repeat the progression with the other leg before moving to this drill.)

video


Step 8. Dismount the bike with a short hop. Shoot the saddle forward to the hand. Run tall, one hand on saddle, eyes up. Piece of cake.

video

Modifications
- add a dismount line
- dismount from both sides
- dismount with a group of athletes and a dismount line
- switch to cycling shoes, unstrap shoes while coasting to dismount line, place feet on top of shoes, dismount while leaving shoes attached to pedals

Thanks to Myles Zagar for demonstrating the progression.



BIG WEEKEND


A big weekend on the ITU World Cup circuit for Canada with Carolyn Murray (AB) leading the way with her first World Cup Win! You can read Carolyn's race report here. Kathy Tremblay (QC) finished 4th (her second best World Cup finish ever), and Kyle Jones (ON) finished 4th in the mens' race (best World Cup finish ever), only 10 seconds behind first place finisher and reigning World Champion Daniel Unger. Congrats also to Lauren Groves (13th) and Brent McMahon (18th). Canada currently has 2 women in the top 10 of the World Cup Rankings (Tremblay: 8th, Murray: 10th) and 3 men ranked in the top 10 (Tichelaar: 5th, Jones: 9th, Whitfield: 10th). I don't think Canada has ever had so many athletes ranked in the top 10 before. Congrats to the athletes and their coaches.

Brent McMahon (2nd from left) and Kyle Jones (4th from left) driving the front run pack.


Back in Ontario, we wrapped up our last training day of the year on Sunday; I'm looking forward to seeing everyone race this summer. Karsten Madsen has been doing a little racing recently, and Alexander Hinton showed some good early season run speed with PBs in the 1500m and the 3000m.




Friday, May 2, 2008

DEVELOPMENT TEAM and SUMMER PLANNING

Earlier today, Triathlon Canada announced that Connor Hammond has been selected to the 2008 Teck Camino National Development Team. Congratulations to Connor and his coaches! Let's see how many more Ontario triathletes we can put on that team in the next two years.



With the race season fast approaching, I've set up a forum for us to co-ordinate transportation and athlete support at three of the 2008 Jr Series Races. My goal is to lend some support to Ontario Junior athletes if they need it, but all athletes are strongly encouraged to discuss these opportunities with their parents and coaches.

You can visit the forum here. You will need to register to post replies, but it's a quick process, and free.

EDIT: Parent & Coaches, this means you too. Visit the forum, log in, and post questions, confirm your athlete's registration, or volunteer to help with the trip.