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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.

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