Tuesday, October 27, 2009


...to carve a pumpkin like this:

These are just some of the pumpkins carved by Noel Dickover and his family over the last 9 years. You can find all of his work at fantasypumpkins.com. He even has tutorials and templates for a few designs - all free. Great stuff from a guy who really gets into the Hallowe'en season. I wonder what his house looks like at Christmas.

You can also find a few ideas at extremepumpkins.com, but after looking at Noel's work, this site isn't nearly as 'extreme'.

Send me some pics of your pumpkins and we'll post them on Monday.

Monday, October 26, 2009


A few notes on random happenings....

I hit the road late last week for a quick trip to Ottawa to visit some coaches and athletes. The ByTown crew were hard at work Friday morning, training alongside the Carleton Ravens, under the watchful eyes of Ravens coach John Hawes and ByTown coach Greg Kealey. Everyone looks to be rolling along well and it was good to get a quick visit with Matt V, Jo Brown and Jamie Stephenson.

Joanna Brown was named athlete of the week by the Ottawa Citizen. If I knew about this when I was in Ottawa, I would have asked for an autograph.

The 2009-2010 Quest for Gold Nominees have been announced on the OAT website. Almost everyone is from "eastern" Ontario. Maybe it's something in the water.

Congratulations to:
Ian Donald, Ottawa, ON (PTC)
Matt Vierula, Ottawa, ON (ByTown Storm)
Alexander Hinton, Kingston, ON (PTC)
Andrew Yorke, Caledon, ON (C3)
Tristan Woodfine, Cobden, ON (ByTown Storm)
Domi Jamnicky, Cobourg, ON (ByTown Storm)
Joanna Brown, Carp, ON (ByTown Storm)
Dorelle Hinton, Kingston, ON (PTC)

The C3 club is hosting an awards dinner & dance on November 21st, with keynote speaker Darren Karasiuk. More info here. And congrats to the C3 club on setting a National Record with 1000+ kids running the Kinetico Caledon Running Festival recently. Great stuff.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Hello Triathletes,

The first OAT Training Day is approaching fast. Sunday Nov 1/09 is our first training day. If you are interested in registering please visit the OAT website fill out the registration form. There are some spots still available. Looking forward to seeing you out!

Nov 1st 2009 daylight saving time ends at 2 am. Your clocks will go back 1 hour

Below is a list of items you should bring with you to all the training days. I have also included a broad strokes plan of how the training day will go.

Participants Will Need

Bathing Suit
Swim Cap
Swim Goggles
Shower Items
2 or 3 Water bottles
1 or 2 Sports Drink
2 or 3 Snacks
1 Lunch (ready to eat)
Change of clothing for bike workout (outdoors possibly in April/May weather permitting)
Spare tube, tire and or patch kit
Bike Helmet
Bike Shoes (if you have clip pedals)
Change of clothing for run workout
Running Shoes
Running Hat (optional)
Run Clothing (outdoors possibly weather permitting April/May)
Watch/pacing device (optional)
Any personal medical items such as puffers etc...
Athletes who are attending the talks may want to have pen and paper on hand so they can jot down tips.

Training Day Tentative Schedule

7:30 AM Arrive & Check In -12 yrs and older athletes
8 AM -10:00 AM Swim for athletes aged 12yrs ad older
*8:30 AM Arrive & Check In- 10-11 yr athletes
9:00AM -10:00 AM Swim for 10-11 yr athletes
10:00AM-10:30 AM change & snack, set up for spin
10:30 AM-Noon Spin
Spin for 10-11 yr athletes is a combination of games, spin, bike safety, core, stretching
Noon- 1:00PM Break for lunch
12:30- 1:00PM Speaker for adult group
1:00PM -2:30PM Run
2:00 PM-2:45PM athletes age 11-12 games, snack, clean up
2:30 PM -2:45PM Clean up & tear down
2:45 PM-3:00PM Pick Up
3:00PM Coaches Meeting/Summary

If you have any questions please contact me @ addactivity@gmail.com

Have a wonderful October

Leigh-Ann Rowe
NCCP Triathlon Coach
OAT Training Day Programme Coordinator
OAT Training Day Coach


A conspiracy that drove up the price of ice
Nathan Vanderklippe
Oct 21, 2009

A few years ago, Peggy Perry found herself scratching her head over the cost of ice.

Her store, Calgary-based Willow Park Wines & Spirits, sells bagged ice along with a wide variety of alcoholic beverages. When she sat down to do the math, buying the ice seemed unreasonably expensive.

Ms. Perry, Willow Park's vice-president for marketing and purchasing, figured there was “something fishy going on.”

And she realized “if we made our own ice we'd make a small fortune.”

Ms. Perry was right. For $5,000, Willow Park bought an ice machine. It paid it off in months. The store now sells ice at $2 a bag – less than the Calgary going rate of $2.50 – but still manages to turn an 80-per-cent profit. It is likely the store's highest-margin product, she said.


This almost seems like a joke, except that we spend a fair bit of money each summer at the OAT camps for ice baths.

Full article here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


A great video lecture (or available as audio via iTunes) entitled "Stretching: The Truth", from Dr. Doug Richards. Dr. Richards is a professor with the department of Physical Education at the University of Toronto, and the Medical Director of the Macintosh Sports Med Clinic at UofT. He keeps a busy schedule as a clinician, teacher and researcher. I had the good fortune to work as a TA for Dr. Richards during my grad studies at UofT, back when he was 'only' an MD. Since then, he's completed his PhD, under the supervision of Dr. Stuart McGill at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Doug is a great teacher, and a fantastic lecturer - he stays current with emerging research (some of which he's doing himself), and he's very good at distilling the evidence into practical terms. Good info for coaches and athletes from an expert in the field.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I get a few questions on these topics every year, so I thought I'd create a post for future reference.

Generally, someone will e-mail asking, "How do I race junior draft-legal?", "Now that I'm no longer a junior, what do I need to do to race U23?", "How do I get my elite card?", or "How do I enter ITU races?"

Keeping in mind this is specific to draft-legal racing (and Ontario athletes), here we go.....


Marshalling the Junior Men at Coteau du Lac (2009)

If you are between the age of 16-19 by December 31st in the year you want to race, you are a junior. Therefore, athletes eligible to race junior in 2010 will be age 16-19 by December 31st, 2010. If you want to race in a junior draft-legal event (usually the Canadian Junior National Series), you need to be certified for draft-legal racing. You can be certified for draft-legal racing in the following ways:

1. You can be certified by me (Craig Taylor) or a coach designated by me, at a Training Day, Drafting Clinic, or OAT Training Camp. (Note: the training day/draft clinics usually take place in the spring)

2. If you are a member of the ByTown Storm, C3 Club or Hamilton Hammerheads, designated coaches in your club can certify you, provided that they have regularly observed you in group riding situations.

3. A NCCP Certified Cycling Coach (level 2 or higher) can evaluate you, and recommend to me that you be certified.

Please note that to race junior draft-legal races, you will need a traditional road bike (not a TT bike), with aero bars that do not extend beyond the brake hoods. I would actually recommend that all KOS athletes race on road bikes, rather than TT bikes, as they develop their bike handling skills.

Once you have your drafting certification, you will be issued a 'drafting card', and you can register for any of the Junior National Series races, including Junior Nationals. There is currently no selection or qualification process for domestic Junior Series races. There is however a qualification/selection process for PanAm Champs (aka "PATCO") and ITU World Championships.

The Junior National Series schedule is typically posted early in the new year, on the Triathlon Canada website.

U23 (Under 23)

Kyle Jones runs to 9th place at the 2005 ITU World Championships

The U23 category includes athletes aged 18-23, who race in International Triathlon Union (ITU) events. This category was created to facilitate the transition of athletes from junior racing (sprint distance) to the Olympic distance, with "U23 racing" typically referring to draft-legal Olympic distance ITU events. Most athletes generally wait until they are 20 years old (as of Dec 31st) to move to U23 racing.

The U23 category is really only recognized at National, Regional (ie. PATCO) and World Championships. In fact, the ITU World Championship is the ONLY time that athletes will race in a separate event against other U23 athletes. For National and Regional Championships, the U23 athletes toe the line with the other elites (ie. Simon Whitfield, Kyle Jones, Lauren Groves, Kathy Tremblay, etc.), and they are listed in the results as U23 athletes, with a separate podium presentation. For example, at the 2009 Canadian National Triathlon Championships, Paula Findlay finished 3rd overall, but 1st among U23 athletes - so she was recognized on the podium twice: once as the bronze medal winner in the Elite race, and also as the 2009 U23 National Champion. In 2008, Paula was first overall in the Junior National Championships on Saturday, and first overall in the Elite National Championships on Sunday, so she was the 2008 Junior, U23 and Elite National Champion.

At all other races (outside of National, Regional and World Champs), there is no separate U23 category, and no separate U23 podium. For example, ITU Continental Cups, World Cups, and World Championships Series Races do not have a U23 category, unless the race is also serving as a National or Regional Championship, or World Championship Grand Final.

Before you go signing up for an ITU Race, you need to get some paperwork organized:

The first step is to apply for an OAT Elite card.

After you have successfully obtained your OAT Elite card, you can apply to Triathlon Canada for an International Competition Card (aka ICC). You'll need this, because the only way to enter ITU races is through Triathlon Canada (contact: raceentries@triathloncanada.com) If TriCan doesn't register you for an ITU race, you won't be on the start list.

In most cases, you will be able to enter almost any ITU Continental Cup via TriCan. Occasionally however, these races fill up, and priority is given in order of athlete ranking. If the race registration reaches capacity, and you aren't ranked high enough, you won't be able to get to the start line.

For entry into ITU World Cups, you must meet Triathlon Canada's World Cup Criteria.

For entry into the ITU World Championships Series, you need to be on the National Team.

For a list of ITU Events, follow this link.


Kathy Tremblay runs to a 3rd place finish at 2006 ITU Mazatlan World Cup

The story for the elites is essentially the same as the U23s. You'll need a provincial elite card, and then an ICC from Triathlon Canada. After that, you can enter ITU races via TriCan, provided you are ranked high enough, and meet TriCan's criteria. Note that Triathlon Canada may reserve entry spots to targeted races for National Team and/or National Development Team athletes.

Friday, October 16, 2009


....is yours worth catching?"

A great quote for athletes AND coaches (and parents, administrators, support staff, etc.). from a sportscoachingbrain.com piece on motivation, attitude and excellence.

Another quote from the article:
Leading USA Swimming Coach Mark Schubert said recently, “A coach told me that he had a poor taper and subsequently his swimmers had performed poorly at their state championships. I replied, “You didn’t have a poor taper – you had a poor season of training”. “It’s the little things your athletes do everyday in training, their attitude to every training session and their commitment to every task they attempt in their program that determines how well they do in competition. A great taper will not save you from a poor training effort”.

There's certainly a clear and simple message from top coaches in different endurance sports: Your confidence on the start line next year will be determined by the quality and consistency of your preparation, starting now.

Train smart.

Monday, October 12, 2009


(edit: Title change, Steven raced in Indonesia, not Philippines. My Geography teacher would be disappointed)

Congratulations to Steven Hewick on his 3rd place finish at the 2009 Palembang ITU Triathlon Asian Cup. Next up is the ITU Premium Asian Cup in Hong Kong, next weekend.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Team Ontario just updated their Flickr account with photos from the Canada Games Triathlon - some great shots in there, and you can find links to pics from all of the other events.

I also forgot to post a link to Bruce Hammond's pics from the Can Games, too.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


ITU Imposes Six-year Ban on Triathlete Mariana Ohata
October 7, 2009

The International Triathlon Union (ITU) today announced it has imposed a six-year ban on Mariana Ohata a triathlete from Brazil, after committing an anti-doping rule violation in an out-of-competition doping control test in Iowa, United States on June 26, 2009.

The ban begins October 2, 2009 and prohibits Ohata from entering or participating in any competition or activity authorized by ITU, its National Federations (NFs) and/or any other signatory to the World Anti-Doping Code. This is the athlete’s second anti-doping rule violation. In 2002, Ohata was sanctioned to a 60 week ban from competition by the Brazilian Sport Court of the Brazilian Triathlon Confederation.

Full press release here.

Additional coverage here.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Some entertaining/informative insight from High-Performance Training for Track & Field, authored by coaching legend Bill Bowerman & Bill Freemam.

The two greatest characteristics of champions have always been dedication and hard work.

The runner's equipment is almost as meager as the swimmer's, with one exception: the shoes. Every experienced runner should have three pairs of shoes, if possible. One is for wearing to and from the track and during roadwork, the second is for regular practice, and the last is for competition. For training clothes, lightweight materials that protect from the weather yet still "breathe" should be used. The running trunks and jersey should also be very light. Names or emblems can be silk-screened rather than sewn on, avoiding useless, weighty junk. The only necessary stripe across the chest is the one at the finish line. Stocking caps are good protection against the cold, but a sweatshirt with a hood attached is probably more practical because the hood cannot be forgotten or lost. All of the training clothing should be kept clean, washed as often as possible.

Some athletes can handle more work than others. Some show more improvement with intervals, others with fartlek. The two are combined with a little speed work until we learn what kind of fertilizer makes our flowers grow best.

One cardinal principle should never be forgotten: Variety is the spice of life. Every runner needs variety, if for no other reason than to prevent mental staleness. The system must always recognize that individuals are different. Schedules are only guides. Just as a balanced diet makes for a healthier, happier person, so does a varied and balanced training schedule make for a more efficient, eager runner. A continuous, non varied schedule usually makes an automatic, unimaginative runner.

An athlete who runs the opponent's race will have a very bad experience because it is a devastating way to run a race. An athlete should not offer him- or herself as a lamb for the slaughter. One should never try to fight an opponent on his or her own choice of battleground. Whenever an athlete is tempted to try to beat an opponent while letting the opponent use his or her favorite club in the contest, the athlete should remember one thing: Wisdom and judgment are a great deal more important than determination. There is more pleasure in being a wise victor than a determined loser.

The "15km, 1,200m drill" (10-mile, 3/4 drill) is a 10-mile run on the roads. At some point during the run the coach appears and has the athlete run a timed 3/4-mile (1,200m) at close to mile pace. This teaches the runner to combat a long, hard surge by an opponent or else to be able to drop an opponent by forcing the pace for a very long surge. Runners such as Steve Prefontaine sometimes ran the 1,200m in 3:05 or faster. Note that after the 1,200m, the athlete slows down only to the earlier running pace, not to a slow jog. That is what makes the drill very difficult. It is primarily a drill for runners of the 5,000m or longer distances.

Friday, October 2, 2009


Cooler temps, grey skies, and rain - Fall must be here. So long Summer of 2009, we hardly knew you. Here in Guelph, the PTC squad is easing back into training, and enjoying the start of the XC season (as fans, and runners).

Alexander Hinton races with the Gryphons Cross Country Team at the Paul Short Run at Lehigh University today. FloTrack will be covering the races (video below), and results will be here.

Some other running news:

How's this for a workout? Dathan Ritzenhein runs faster than U.S. record for 10 miles in a workout.

Guelph Running attracts more talent. As usual, some great insight from DST.

Finally, a sobering article on Marion Jones - the best liar in the business.