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Sunday, November 08, 2015

Photo-shoot with Brian T Walters

Late September I had a great photo-shoot with Brian T Walters.











Monday, October 19, 2015

My Games - 2015 World Military Games Triathlon Race-Report

Every time you go to a race, you go through a series of emotions and the only way to get rid of them is by being as ready as possible.  But when this race only come once every 4 years, there is a lot more at stacks and prep is not the remedy.  But when you have amazing team mates and staff, outstanding sponsors, and relentless race organizers, volunteers and spectators.  Everything seems to be that much easier.
Nuun Canada provided us with Electrolyte Tabs/Bottle/Hats

This is my experience at the 2015 World Military Games - Triathlon held in Pohang, South Korea.

The last few days at work before I left were busy, but regardless, my Chain of Command were very good at making sure I had everything I needed to be ready to go, including time and you know time is always what we don’t have in the military.

The travelling started with some issue, I had the opportunity to go to Ottawa the day before my flight and go have lunch with my daughter.  It was magical since I hadn’t seen her in 3 weeks.  Once I brought her back to school I had one last training session which was fantastic.  I was fast and my power output was at its best.

Race start, Canada had #1 to 6
Then it was time to pack the bike.  As soon as I tried to take the seat post off the collar snapped and all the sudden it was go time, trying to find somewhere they could replace it, I had to go from store to store downtown Ottawa for the part.  Luckily there was someone who had the part I needed.  Unfortunately that part turned out to be a little weak and broke as soon as I tried to torch once in Korea.

Training day at Pohang race site

After a great healthy meal in a pub and a sleep downtown Ottawa.  The travel started before the sun awaken.  First flight was from Ottawa to Vancouver, which was very uneventful. Once in Vancouver the whole team met for a little meal before we took the long flight to Seoul, South Korea.  This flight was also very comfortable and uneventful.  I slept most of it so I didn’t mind it much.  Once we arrived in Seoul, and everyone had all their luggage’s and bikes we mounted a bus for a 5 hours ride.  I forgot to mention how amazing the Korea were at getting us the VIP treatment in the airport and got us all through the border control in less than 10 mins.

Once arrived in our Athletes Village, late at night.  We all quickly got our bike together and went to bed.

UN Memorial Cemetery in Korea
Final resting place of so many Royals

The next morning we went for a quick run in order to get rid of the jet lag.  Once that was done, we went to the UN Korean War memorial.  This was quite emotional for everyone.  I saw so many Royals brother there, I could barely contain my tears.

Sleeping quarters
The next few days look just like the others, we got up, went to the beach which was a 45mins drive, trained, got back relax, train a little more, had few meals in between all that and went to bed.  That being said, even if at time there was length of time where we had nothing to do.  We were enjoying amazing facilities.  The Korean were very helpful throughout and the food was amazing.  The local food we got to try was outstanding and the mess food was well prepared and very tasty.

How to make an Omelette Korean Style

The last day before the race, we took the opportunity to get some group training with other countries and get some team photo.

Start of the race

Finally it was race day.  Got up early for a full breakfast and short activation.  Took the bus in the late morning and arrived about 2 hours before the start and got our stuff ready.

Team photo - Thanks Nuun Canada
When we got there we were surprised by 7 foot waves.  Most didn’t like the sight because it meant a very challenging swim, but I have lots of experiences in those kind of waves so was confident.

VRI banner in the Transition

The race consisted of 2 loops of 750m swim, 6 loops of 6.6km bike and 4 loops of 2.5km run.  On the first loops of the swim I was with the pros in the first pack, but my job wasn’t supposed to be up there, I was supposed to be with the rest of my team or at the very least closer to them so I drop the first pack and stayed with a smaller group just behind.  When we came out of the water, to my surprise that fellow teammate were a little less than 4 mins behind so the tactic has to change and my coach asked me to slow the pack down, which to my surprise was way easier than I expected.  The other athletes instead of just try to take off, would spend valuable time getting mad at me for slowing them down which made my job much easier.  By the end of the bike portion my fellow teammates had regrouped and were working very well together and managed to get themselves in great position.

The run was a challenging, I suffered from a bad diaphragm muscle cramp during the first 2 loops with made it impossible to get on pace.  I completed the race with a slower run time that I would wish but I am still very happy of my results.

The next day was the closing ceremony.  I was nice to be part of it.  Regardless of the length of the bus ride to get there and back it was worth it.

The only thing I can say about the travel home is middle seat for more then 16 hours.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Race-Report: Triathlon Olympic Esprit of Montreal 2015

Once again this year I finish in the top 5.  Triathlon Olympic Esprit de Montreal, was just a testing race.  A race that had for goal to get the speed in the legs for shorter distance as I am use to long distance triathlon.  The reason for that is the fast approaching of the World Military Games coming up in October in Korea where I will be participating to the Olympic Drafting Legal Triathlon.  This race will bring together all the fastest soldier on the planet.  Everyone’s goal is to have the fastest team mate on the podium.

That being said, the plan to get the speed in the legs worked well.  I was expecting fast, but not that fast.  I had told few people that I was shooting for sub 2 hours tri, but I felt like I was over reaching, not because I couldn’t do it, but just because I felt like I wasn’t in the best shape for it NOW.
Well I travel to Montreal on the Friday and get set up with my race registration and athletes check in.  Then I did a quick activation on the race course.  My bike speed was there, I had reach some incredible speed and power output.  The swim speed was there too. And the run felt light.  So I packed up my stuff and moved to the accommodation arrangement.

On Saturday, the weather wasn’t super, the rain made for a dirty bike crse and I had arrived a little early, so I decided to do something real quick, for a total of 45 mins activation only.  The plan was to do at least one hour maybe more.  But I felt like I was in the way and it was cold and wet.  I just didn’t really felt like it.

On Sunday, I got to the race site super early so I could get a good parking spot.  For me the wake up time still wasn’t too bad since I get up at least one hour earlier for the long distance I take part of usually.  So you can call that sleeping in if you will.

Once I got my truck parked, my family and I proceeded to the transition.  I set my bike with the scrutinizing eyes of my 4 years old daughter, in the transition.  There was so much space it was quiet unusual.  I did a transition recce and visualized my way in and out of the transition couple times.  Once that was done, I got out and spend some valuable time with my wife and daughter while I got some warm-up exercises and stretching done.

As I was waiting there, getting my wetsuit ready, the announcer indicated the race was none wetsuit legal.  See, there is multiple triathlon organization out there and everyone has rules that resemble each other, but there is always one or two things different from one another.  The wetsuit temperature and the wear of a speed suit.  Well I was ready for a “none wetsuit” race and I brought with me a speed suit.  I was fortunate enough to have a local vendor telling me I wasn’t aloud of those either.  Thanks god someone told me, otherwise I would have gone with it and get disqualified.  After such a great results the last thing you want is a DSQ beside your name.

So after few more moment, the race started.  I was in the front most of the swim, one other strong swimmer had spent most of the swim in my feel and I felt like it was my time to rest a little so I slowed down a little to let him past me and I drafted the last 500 meters.  Just enough to catch some rest before the bike. So after a solid swim which took me a little less than 21 mins I passed him in the transition and never looked back.

The bike part was challenging, it rain hard and there was a lot of competitor on the course.  Cornering was stressful as you can’t predict what the other will do and the road was extremely slippery.  I still managed to have a super strong bike split with just a little more than 57 mins.

Has I got out of the transition after the bike I looked at my watch and saw that if I could maintain a run speed just a little faster than my usual pace I could have chances to make it under 2 hours.  I was very excited but also worried that I would go too fast too soon.  So I picked a pace that was just suffering enough but not too much that I would be able to have a great finish.  After 5k like that I felt like I could speed up the pace by few second per km, so I did.  It turns out to be the right move.  I finished the race with a run time of 38 mins which happen to be my fastest time this year and a total time of 1 hour 59 mins 20 secs. 

This was the best results I had even have in Montreal, ever.  I also finished 4th overall and 2nd in my age group.  Two teammate from the Canadian Armed Forces Triathlon team passed me at the very finish, but it didn’t matter because I am getting closer.  Those guys have the habit to beat me by several minutes over this distance.  Making it hard for them just made me happier.  Their sportsmanship was also very good, they encouraged me and congratulated me for my improvement.  I couldn’t ask for better friends.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

One last race before I leave Kingston

This weekend was the 32nd Annual K-Town Triathlon held at the heart of Kingston Ontario. This race is the oldest Triathlon in Ontario and is one of the most significant races for points at the Ontario Long Distance Triathlon series.

In the past 2 years, this race has been the dark hole for me; I always suffer from heat or lack of food or both. So since the rule of three often applies, I was very nervous. I wanted to finish this race well this year since it might be the last time I do it.

Well after the gun shot, I started in the lead. Everything was going well; I managed to keep my heart rate low and still pushing real hard. At the second buoy we had to do a right turn. Since the sun was directly in my eyes, I couldn’t see one of the buoys toward Fort Henry so I lined up towards the next one I could see which brought me off course by at least 150 meters. At which point an official kayak came to tell me I was off course and I had to double back. When I finally saw the buoy, I was far from everyone, so I surge back trying to catch up. Once I got back to the led pack, I was spent, so I stayed with the group trying to gain energy a little so I could have a decent bicycle portion has it is very demanding.

The bike course didn’t fail to be hard. Starting with the big hill on HWY 2, I took it easy trying not to explode my legs. Once up the hill I sat back and went to work. Everything went very well. Couple racers passed me, while I could tell in their faces they were working extremely hard, I knew it was not the best thing to do. HWY 2 has this crazy wind that will crush everyone who doesn’t respect it. Once we passed the turn around, there was the wind. For those who worked so hard on the way out, got surprised but I knew better and I was ready. Little by little I moved closer and closer passing one racer and getting real close to the other. Unfortunately the course wasn’t well marked and that athlete ended up not taking the right turn and got removed from the race.

Finally back into the transition, got into my running shoes quickly to hammer the run course. The course was challenging as usual and the lack of volunteered made this a little difficult to say the least. I started the run with a very fast pace, I wanted to slow down to conserve energy right off the transition but for some reason I felt really good and so I went for it. The first 5km were real good. Just under 20mins split has been my fastest 5k this year. The next 5 km was challenging, up down turn, etc were there for our pleasure. At this point I could feel the other athletes coming close, I was getting really nervous. The final 5 km was real torture. The heat was hitting me, and the lack of energy started to manifest its self. But I held on for dear life. I got passed by one other racer which I was ready for and tried to draft off of him for couple minutes.

The final sprint had to be inexistent. I had no energy left, I looked back and there wasn’t anyone. Even if I always want to give an extra push at the end, this one wasn’t going to be. I just held on and cross the finish line.

Finishing 3rd in my soon to be ex hometown, in front of friend and family and also very important, local sponsors, made this day very special.

Thanks for everyone’s support.

Thanks for my friends and family!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

CAF Long Distance Triathlon Prep Camp

Over the last 8 days, the Canadian Armed Forces Long Distance Triathlon Team has been undergo a vigorous camp in a goal to get ready for various long distance events happening in the next few weeks and months.

During that week plus, 12 athletes participated and organized the camp; Maj Joel Maley, CWO(ret) Geoff Williams and Civ David Harju ran it while LCol John Giguere, Cpl Alex Boule, LCdr Dave Dallin, MCpl Benjamin Guillemin, MCpl Martin Larose, Capt Isabelle Allain, Sgt Pierre Laporte, Cpl Francis Bachand-Mayer and myself were the primary training audience.

This camp ran from 05 to 12 July 2015 based out of Mont-Tremblant but had us swimming, biking and running through other places such as St-Donat, St-Jovite and Ville de Labelle.  All had in common great views, nice people and amazing (nasty) hills.  I have recorded just about following totals: 35hrs of training; 1,000km; 30,000 Kcal; 12,000m Total Elevation Gain.

Day 1 (Sunday 5 July): was a post-race active recovery day from the CAF National Short Distance Triathlon held in Lake Leamy.  That day we went to the Gatineau Park for an easy ride just to move the legs before we all made the trip Mont-Tremblant.  This nice hilly ride was fun for all of us, personally I really enjoyed that ride since last time I was in the gats it was raining and windy, so those decent were fast to say the least.

Once we were all done, we got back to the University housing, packed our vehicle and drove to Tremblant.  Once we arrived and our rooms were setup, we quickly went for a swim before dinner time.

Swim: 3,500m 0:45:00 │ Bike: 65.1km 2:21:31 │ Run: 0km 0:00:00

Day 2 (Monday 6 July): we kicked off the day with an early intensity run, the weather was perfect to help us push the speed.  I was faster pretty much at every interval which was a great moral booster.  Once we completed that run, we got ourselves ready for a nasty hilly ride that brought us o St-Donat for lunch and return.  This 120km had us climbing a total of 1,500m of total elevation gain.  Finally to polish the day we had an easy swim.

Swim: 1,750m 0:30:00 │ Bike: 122km 3:40:00 │ Run: 15km 1:12:00

Day 3 (Tuesday 7 July): looked almost like day 2 mixed up a little. Started with a endurance swim, long ride that finished with climbing Duplessis 3 times and a transition run for good measures.

Swim: 3,209m 0:46:00 │ Bike: 139km 4:13:51 │ Run: 3km 0:14:00

Day 4 (Wednesday 8 July): That morning was different, we started with a race start specific swim training.  Followed by a tempo run and finished with an easier bike where we tried to keep everyone together.  We were lucky, as the rapped up the day, the weather started to act up.

Swim: 1,670m 0:37:44 │ Bike: 74km 2:21:31 │ Run: 16km 1:17:24

Day 5 (Thursday 9 July): was the first test day, kind of a longer brick to see the progress of the camp.  Started with a 2k swim then a 130k bike and 8k transition run at mild intensity.  This was just to see what kind of nutrition was going to work best for the event of Saturday “Epic Man”.

Swim: 2,100m 0:35:00 │ Bike: 133km 4:07:02 │ Run: 8km 0:38:42

Day 6 (Friday 10 July): was a recovery day and some sort of race prep day.  Normal size swim followed a short bike to activate to legs.

Swim: 3,000m 0:45:00 │ Bike: 67,6km 2:12:44 │ Run: 0m 0:00:00

Day 7 (Saturday 11 July): was “Epic Man” day.  This event wasn’t an official race but was treated as such.  Epic Man consist of 3km swim, 180km bike and 21km run.  To make sure we really test our self, mother natural added a little twist, the hottest day of the year in Tremblant 33°C + humidity.  On a course who has little to no shade and only a warm breeze.  The weather, although nice to the beachers and boaters, has an opposite effect on us.  I completed the swim in less than 41mins, the bike in 4h52mins and the run in 1:33mins.  This blistering pace was amazing considering all the mileage made all week.  I also completed the half marathon in an all-time personal best (PB).

Swim: 3,000m 0:40:50 │ Bike: 182km 4:52:37 │ Run: 21km 1:33:37

Day 8 (Sunday 12 July): was departure day, but not before we tasted the water one more time.  Short swim it was before sitting in the truck back to reality and family.  Not gonna lie, I was looking up to that for few days already.  This day was made all worth it with the end of camp gift, a cup of Gelato at a local ice cream vendor in the Mont-Tremblant Village.

Swim: 2,500m 0:30:00 │ Bike: 0km 0:00:00 │ Run: 0km 0:00:00

This week was great, we all met new people from all corner of Canada and gain new skills which will help all of us for the future race.  This camp would have not been possible without the support of the CAF Sports National Office and NPF.

Thanks to all athletes and organizer for a great second edition of the Prep Camp.