Monday, 18 September 2017

Rev3 Barrelman Triathlon presented by Multisport Canada

Leading up to the race

I have been slowly making the transition from short- to long-course racing over the past couple of years. Two years ago, the Multisport Canada Barrelman Triathlon was my first long-course race (half-iron distance; 2km swim, 89km bike, 21km run). It didn’t go well; I ended up having knee pain on the run and walking most of it. My plans to do Barrelman last year disappeared when I had a bike crash one month before the race, prematurely ending my season. This year I was determined to have my second shot at a long-course race. The complete focus of my training for the first time was on long-course this year, and as such, Barrelman (now partnered with Rev3) was my ‘A’ race.

Barrelman takes place in Niagara Falls, which is where I spent the night before the race. Emma and I got a chance to wander around and check out the festivities of downtown Niagara Falls, and most importantly for me, scope out a Tim Hortons that was close to the hotel. This was important so I could get my pre-race coffee and milk for my cereal in the morning.

I got up early in the morning, got my Tim Hortons, and headed to the shuttle location. Barrelman is interesting in that transition 1 (T1; swim to bike) is in Welland, and transition 2 (T2; bike to run) is in Niagara Falls (the bike course goes from Welland to Niagara Falls). We set up our bikes in Welland on Saturday, headed to Niagara Falls to sleep and park our cars (because that is where the race finishes), and took a shuttle back to T1 Sunday morning. Seeing all the bikes in T1 drove home to me that this was the largest race I had ever done, with 1000 people registered. My main goal was to finish in the top 5, and my secondary goal was simply to have a strong race and enjoy the experience.

Early morning swim exit. The calm before the storm
The swim

With the swim being my weakness and relatively the shortest leg of the race, my plan was simply to maintain good form and not burn too much energy. Knowing my swim ability but also realizing I didn't want to let the field put too much time on me out of the water, I was hoping my effort would get me a pace of 1:35-1:40/100m. I ended up swimming 1:40/100m. I came out of the water in 50-something place, which was fine because I was within my planned swim time and knew I had a lot of biking and running ahead to reel people in. As soon as I exited the water I got a pretty bad hamstring cramp in both of my legs. Luckily I was able to alleviate it with a bit of stretching, only losing about 30 seconds.

The bike

Because the bike course is flat and fast I knew it would be tempting to hammer, and that many people would likely do this. Also realizing it was supposed to be 33 degrees by the time we hit the run course, over-cooking yourself on the bike could lead to disaster on the run. My plan for the bike therefore was to not go too hard, especially at the start. I had to trust that if I laid down a solid steady effort I would still be able to work my up through the field. For the first half of the bike I settled into a pace that felt right and was able to pass a few people. The second half of the bike is where it got interesting because some of the faster cyclists started catching up and passing me. Barrelman is a non-drafting race, meaning you have to stay 12m back from the rider in front of you. However, you still get a moderate draft benefit riding 12m behind someone. This added some strategy to the race because I had to determine who I should try and stay with and who was moving too fast that I should just let get away, having faith I would be able to catch them on the run. In the end I think I paced the bike very well, moved up a few positions, and ended up averaging 39.4kph.

Near the end of the bike I started feeling sick to my stomach, so I eased off the pace a little bit for the last 3km, which seemed to alleviate that feeling. As I approached T2 I had a lot of worries about the run. Would I feel sick again, would I cramp up, would I have to use the bathroom like a thousand times (all things that have happened to me on the run in training and racing). I entered T2 not sure what place I was in, racked my bike, threw on my shoes (and socks!) and headed out for the run.

The run

The run was a huge wild card for me. On the one hand, the run is my strength and I have been running really well in training and racing this year. But on the other hand, I had to walk the run portion last time I raced this distance, I have experienced all of the problems mentioned above, and the temperature was 33 degrees; I have a terrible track record racing in the heat. Because I paced the bike well I felt pretty good heading into the run. Knowing it was really hot I didn’t even look at my GPS watch, this run pace was going completely by effort. I figured I would take the first 10.5km lap steady, trying to stay cool with the water and ice at the aid stations (pouring ice down your tri suit is a life saver), and pick it up for the second lap to catch all of the people who took the first lap too hard and those who over-biked. That was the plan anyway. I was in 6th place entering the 2nd lap, but boy would this next lap be a humbling experience.

First, I lost about 2 minutes having to take a bathroom break. My average pace was 4:05/km for the first lap (20 seconds per km slower than my goal – that’s a lot), and for the 2nd lap I couldn’t seem to get the pace any faster than 4:16/km. I figured, ok well going slow now means I’ll probably be able to finish really strong in the last 3km or so. That 3km went by slower than anything I had ever experienced. I wanted so badly to walk the last 1.5km but knew I had to hold whatever pace I could in order to maintain my current position. I felt a huge sense of relief and accomplishment when I crossed the line (maintaining my 6th place). I was greeted by race director John Salt and then had a Facebook Live interview with Cody Beals. I was so physically and emotionally exhausted I don’t remember a word I said during the interview, mostly just gibberish and slurring I would imagine.
Complete exhaustion

Despite being the hardest thing I've ever done, this was the most fun I've had at a race. It truly was an experience. I can't say enough good things about the Multisport Canada crew and how well this race was put together. From my perspective everything was flawless. I didn't get my top 5, but I have a ton of respect for the 5 guys who finished ahead of me, and for everyone who did the race.

That caps off a great season and the most fun summer of my life. I'd like to thank Multisport Canada and the Loaring Personal Coaching crew for being a large part of that. I would also like to thank Zizu Optics for the sunglasses, they came in extra handy today.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Multisport Canada Wasaga Beach Olympic Triathlon Post-race Report

Leading up to the race

Wasaga Beach was the host of the Triathlon Ontario Provincial Club Championships, and I was excited to join a large group of LPCers participating at the event. This year was a little different than previous years in that Multisport Canada decided to host both the Sprint and Olympic race distances on the same day. I don’t typically like this format because the races tend to overlap, meaning you have finishers from both races finishing at the same time, which makes it confusing for both the racer and those watching to decipher what position you are in relative to others in your race. Wasaga Beach was not like that however, because the sprint went off at 8:30am and the Olympic at 10:30am. They were far enough apart that there was no overlap but close enough together that racers and support crews stayed for both races to watch and cheer, making for a very fun atmosphere.

My first time doing this race 2 years ago I did not have a good race, and last year I had to drop out during the run due to a nagging injury I acquired from a bike crash a few weeks before the race. The goal this year was to finally put together a strong race at this venue and really just enjoy the atmosphere and the competition, knowing that I had some teammates that were similar in ability to me racing and many others watching.

The swim

My goggles fogging during the swim has been a consistent problem of mine my entire triathlon career. Based on a suggestion from a teammate I ordered anti-fog spray, which came in right before the race. I tried it out once at the pool and again during this race and it worked fantastically. My goggles were clear the entire swim, making that leg of the race much more enjoyable. As planned I drafted most of the swim, but exited the water in about 24 minutes (1:39/km by my Garmin), which was a little slower than I was hoping.

My hairs are standing up, that means I'm
about to attack
The bike

The bike course headed out of the ‘party central’ beach area and into the rural roads of northern Ontario. The flat, exposed and non-technical course played to my strengths because I could get into the aero position and just focus on pushing big consistent watts. I knew teammate Dylan Pust would be out in front after a strong swim, so the goal was to just do my thing: grind and slowly reel him in. After making a bunch of passes early in the bike I was in 3rd at the turn around, still well behind Dylan and 2nd place Len Gushe. This was concerning knowing Dylan was a strong runner, but I stuck with my plan knowing there was still plenty of race to go. I finished the bike in 1:00:00 (40kph), still in 3rd.

The run

Leaving coach Mark in the dust
The run is a flat two lap course that starts and finishes along the sidewalk of the main stretch of beach. I have regretted in previous years feeling like crap on the run and not being able to enjoy the fun atmosphere of the run leg at this race. I started the run in 3rd, 4-5mins behind Dylan and Len, but far enough ahead of the rest of the field that, pending some sort of disaster, I was pretty sure my 3rd place was safe. My goal therefore was to push it hard, but feel strong and stay in control the whole run, so I could really just enjoy it. This strategy actually worked very well. I ended up having my strongest run of the season, capturing the fastest run of the race (and a new pair of Sketchers Performance shoes for my troubles), finishing just 10 seconds behind 2nd place, and being able to really enjoy a hard earned 3rd place. I was greeted by high fives as I ran down the final stretch into the finish line.


I spent the afternoon chatting with teammates and other racers about their races, and spent
the evening camping with friends near the beach, sitting back and enjoying a well-executed, hard fought race. Thank you Multisport Canada for putting on such a great event, Triathlon Ontario for hosting the club championships, LPC for the comradery and making this past-time so much fun, and Zizu Optics for providing me with only bit of triathlon gear that doesn’t look dorky.

Race site by morning, beach by afternoon

That caps off my Multisport Canada series races for 2017. Based on my performances at Welland, Gravenhurst, Kingston and Wasaga Beach, I think I have secured 3rd place in the elite series standings. Now all that’s left is the Multisport Canada Rev3 Barrelman Triathlon, the focus of my training all year.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Kingston Long-Course Triathlon 2017 Post-race Report

Leading up to the race

This was my 3rd year in a row doing the historic Kingston Long Course Triathlon, and 5th year in a row competing at the venue (I had done the short course the 2 years prior). It is one of my favourite races because it is my hometown race and I love the feels-like-long-course-but-isn’t-quite-long-course vibe. The 2k swim, 56k bike and 15k run forces you to apply long course racing tactics (in-race nutrition, proper pacing, learning to deal with the inevitable unforeseen issues that occur during a long-course race) while not taking the same toll on your body as a half iron distance race. This is not to downplay it's importance however. It always ends up drawing very solid competition from local up-and-coming pros and was indeed one of my 3 'A' races this year (the other 2 being the Welland Long-Course and the Rev3 Barrelman Half coming up this September). I was tapered, felt very strong and was confident going into this race.

Note: the Kingston Tri isn’t just well known among up-and-coming pros. It draws people from all across the spectrum looking to challenge themselves on a scenic course in a supportive environment.

The swim

The water in Lake Ontario was very choppy. As a result, Multisport Canada made the call to change the 2k swim loop to 2, 1k swim loops so we weren’t venturing out too far into the lake where the water would be increasingly choppy. This was for sure the right call. Even with the change the water was very choppy and caused me all sorts of grief. The challenging swim conditions were compounded by the fact that I still haven’t seemed to figure out how to keep my goggles from fogging (please send advice my way). Earlier this season I got a pair of Speedo Vanquishers, which worked really well for a couple of races but fogged right away in this race. I couldn’t see a thing, I ended up going off course multiple times, having to stop and look around multiple times (which is both embarrassing and a confidence killer), and eventually decided to just swim the last loop with them on the top of my head because I couldn’t see a thing with them on. I ended up swimming 37:30, 5:30 slower than I was hoping. Needless to say, my confidence was destroyed by the time I reached T1.

The bike

Despite a very disappointing swim, I had been feeling good on the bike and still wanted to test myself and see what I could do on the bike course. The Kingston bike course is fun because it is a mix of fairly challenging rolling hill terrain, but it’s not so challenging that it can’t still be biked fast. I felt strong the whole way, averaged 39.5kph and obliterated my previous bests on this course.

The run

At 3km into the 15km run I considered dropping out because my stomach didn’t feel great and it was very hard to muster up the motivation to grind it out on the run knowing I was already so far back from where I wanted to be because of my swim performance. After some mental debate I decided to tough it out. At the turn around I was surprised to see that I was in 6th place and not as far behind 3rd-5th as I thought I was. This gave me the motivation to pick it up a bit and try to run myself into 5th place. Despite running 15 seconds per km slower than I was hoping this run, I couldn't seem to run any faster. I would have to settle for 6th on this day, but it was behind 5 guys who I have a great deal of respect for so I'll take it.

This season I have run very well off the bike in Olympic distance races but have run poorly in the longer distances, despite that being the focus of my training this year and having run really well in practice. It goes to show that long course racing is more than just being fit, you have to put it all together in the race, and to put it all together takes practice. That is why the long course race distances at Multisport Canada Kingston and Welland are perfect and should be taken advantage of.


Despite not meeting the expectations I set for myself in this race I still had a great time, got to catch up with some triathlon buddies that I usually see here every year, and had a fun road trip with teammates Ben and Stumpy, not to mention a night on the town in the often talked about but never visited Belleville.

Thanks as always to the LPC Hurdle Project, the Multisport Canada Ambassador program and Zizu Optics for the support.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Gravenhurst Olympic Triathlon 2017 Post-race Report

Leading up to the race

Two years ago today, Multisport Canada Gravenhurst was my first ever Olympic distance triathlon. I made a few rookie mistakes that race, including waiting until the night before to put my new latex tubes into my also new racing wheels and pinching one of them. Needless to say I still had a great time 2 years ago and kept coming back. This weekend was my third year in a row racing the Gravenhurst Triathlon. Probably my favourite part of this race is simply that it gives you an excuse to come up and visit Gravenhurst.

At Welland a few weekends ago I had a very regimented plan for my race, probably because it was one of my A-races. This weekend at Gravenhurst I took a much more relaxed approach. I wanted to just see how the race unfolded and have some fun with it, because yes, I do find pushing my limits to be a fun Saturday morning activity.

The swim

The Multisport Canada ambassadors got a sweet pontoon boat escort to the race start,
Heading to the boat
which was uniquely in the middle of the lake. Once the race started I caught some feet right away and drafted them for almost the entire swim. The pace felt easy, but I wasn’t sure whether that was just because I was drafting, or because we were moving slower than I was hoping. I am still learning when to keep drafting and when to go for it and leave a draft. For today I played it safe and kept drafting. According to my GPS, I ended up swimming 1:39/100m, which isn’t terrible, but I was hoping to swim closer to 1:35/km. So in hindsight I maybe should have left the pack I was drafting and picked up the pace a little. The good thing about an easy swim though is that I felt fresh going into the bike.

The bike

I have been very fortunate this season to be able to borrow Emma’s father’s (Alan's) Pinarello fp8 (a much needed improvement over the blue beast, which I will eventually donate to an ancient history museum). And for Gravenhurst, Emma let me borrow her Campagnolo Bora Ultra TT disc wheel.
This bike practically rides itself
There was an issue with the previous bike course and the Multisport Canada team did a fantastic job thinking on their feet and improvising the route right before the race, which ended up being a faster bike course than the previous route anyway. By my watch I averaged 40.6kph, which I was very happy with. I am finally able to consistently exceed 40kph for the bike, which has been a personal goal of mine and seemed impossible when I first started triathlon.

The run
Look at those Zizus

"Oh would you
look at the time"
The run in triathlon is so fickle because sometimes you feel good and sometimes you don’t and I haven’t yet figured out how to control for this. Luckily today the run felt great. The run course at Gravenhurst is rolling hills through cottage-country, which makes it challenging but scenic (both things that I appreciate in a run course). I ran the course in 36:10, which I was happy with. This was good for a 4th place finish.


I once again had a great time in Gravenhurst and plan to be back again next year. The weather was great, the competition was fun, the race was put on well, and I got to chat with local legend Cody Beals at the finish. I want to thank Multisport Canada for having me as an ambassador and giving me the opportunity to come and compete in these amazing races, and the LPC Hurdle Project and Zizu Optics.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Welland Long-Course Triathlon 2017 Post-race Report

Leading up to the race

Getting the bike ready to go
The Multisport Canada Welland Long-Course Triathlon was my first A-race and first long-course race this season. More than any other season, the focus of my training over the past 8 months has been on long-course racing. That means more lonely long steady effort intervals at a pace that's just slow enough to be boring but just fast enough to be difficult. That being said I really like long-course and think it really suits me.

Welland long-course triathlon is perfect for anyone looking to build up to the longer half-iron distance races. It's distances (2k swim, 56k bike, 15k run) are a nice stepping stone from the standard distance. You add that it is flat and fast, and Welland becomes the ideal early season race for the those looking to get their feet wet (ha, puns) and test the waters (ok that's enough) of long-course racing and for others looking to hone their skills, pacing, nutrition etc. to be competitive in a future half-distance race.

The swim

It's amazing how spectator friendly the swim is at Welland and how many spectators come out to watch. The grandstands that overlook the Welland Canal were full of people which made for a very fun atmosphere. My swim has been feeling good in the past few weeks so for the first time I was excited to get into the water as opposed to nervous. My goal was to catch a draft and hope to swim around 1:35-1:37/100m. Also, for the first time ever I was just as worried about those who would be chasing me out of the water as I was about those I had to try and catch on the bike and run. I'm usually the hunter not the hunted (which is just a cool way of saying my swim sucks). But with guys like Matt Straatman (who ended up having the fastest bike split) and Chris Balestrini (who ended up having the fastest run split) coming out of the water after me, I had to be ready for a role reversal.

Once the gun went off I ended up catching a draft off of someone going about 1:30/100m and challenged myself to stay on their feet as long as I reasonably could without burning too many matches. I stuck with them on the way out and was dropped at the first turn (so about 900m out). I swam solo on the way back and averaged 1:37/100m for the swim. Overall, a good swim in my books (and over 2mins faster than last year). I'll keep working hard in the pool and maybe at Kingston Long-Course in August I'll be able to stay on the draft for the whole time.

The bike

The bike course is flat and fast. That being said, we had a decent head wind on the way out and a tail wind on the way back. It was important to be disciplined on the first half so you didn't burn all your matches for the potential speed gains on the second half (wind or no wind there's not much you can do if your burnt out). For some perspective, my average speed on the way out was 36kph and was 46kph on the way back (not including the loop). I was able to catch about 5 people throughout the bike, and was passed by Matt Straatman at about the 40km mark. I knew that his wave started 1min behind mine, so I worked hard not to let him pull away too much because not only would I have to pass him on the run but I would have to put another minute on him on top of that, which is not easy.

The run

As I started my first lap of the run course I looked up into transition and saw Chris Balestrini coming in off his bike. It was difficult to stay disciplined in the first km of the run knowing he was coming after me and that I had a few people ahead to try and chase down. I'm going to pause here and say that this is one of the things I love about the Multisport Canada races, that they attract strong local competition but do so in a friendly supportive atmosphere. It makes for very fun racing.
Look at those Zizus shine
Anyway, back my story. Chris passed me at about the 9k mark. He was flying and I wasn't feeling great so I wasn't able to stick with him (which would have been a tall task even if I was feeling amazing). Matt looked very strong for the first 10k but faded in the last 5 and I was able to reel him in to secure 4th place.
Top 5 of the day


Overall I am very happy with my race. I took 10 minutes off of my time from last year, improving in all 3 disciplines. Multisport Canada put on a fantastic race and it was very fun to race with everyone who showed up. Many of us who raced today are racing in Gravenhurst on July 15th, which promises to be equally as fun and exciting. I would like to thank LPC and the Hurdle Project for all of their support, Multisport Canada for putting on this amazing race and supporting me as an ambassador, and Zizu Optics for the awesome sunglasses that helped get me through the grueling 15k run.
John's entourage

Thursday, 22 June 2017

National Age-Group Standard Triathlon Championships 2017 Post-race Report

Leading up to the race

The hotel had Cinnamon Toast Crunch!
                I was very excited for this race. Not only was it the first triathlon of the season, but it was Nationals, it was in Ottawa (meaning I got to make a really fun trip out of it with my LPC teammates), and my race was the first of the weekend (meaning I got to relax afterwards and watch the other races). I raced in the age-group standard distance event Saturday morning. The other events were the age-group draft-legal sprint distance race on Sunday and the elite/pro draft-legal race (which was split into super-sprint distance qualifying heats on the Saturday and sprint distance finals on the Sunday, and involved current and future Olympians – I know right, exciting!)

                I arrived in Ottawa Thursday early evening with Jack (Laundry), did some wandering around the city with James (Loaring), Ben (Rudson) and Garrick (Loewen) – who were my hotel buddies, and relaxed on Friday playing Facebook Messenger games before going to do some very easy race prep on the course that evening. Then it was off to bed early with the impending 4am wake-up Saturday morning.

                A goal of mine for the past couple of years has been to break the 2-hour barrier in the standard/Olympic distance triathlon, and this was going to be the race I did it. I anticipated I would have to swim 1:35/100m (23:45 over 1500m), bike at least 40kph (1 hour over 40k) and run 3:30/km (35:00 over 10k). I was hopeful that doing this would also get me the win in the race. When we got to the race site Saturday morning I was ready to go.

The swim

I liked my new goggles so much I couldn't take them off
                A few weeks ago I did a fun local event in Guelph called the Stroke and Stride; a laid back swim-run race. My T1 was ridiculously slow as I was on the ground struggling to pull off my wetsuit. I could not afford that wasted time at Nationals so prior to heading down to the swim start I loaded so much pam on the lower legs of my wetsuit it would have made even Mr. Christie cringe. Another change for this season was the switch from the cheapest goggles I could find to a pair of reflected Speedo Vanquishers (a difference of only like $12 to $25). This has made a HUGE difference in my open water swimming. I never realized how important being able to see was.

                My swim went exactly as I had hoped. I caught feet early and drafted the entire thing to an average of 1:35/100m. After ~1450m (the course was short) of recklessly thrashing at Nick Kolodzie and Adam Doxtator’s feet while trying to draft them it was off to the transition zone to grab my bike. The pam worked great by the way, wetsuit slid right off.

The bike
My sweet new Zizu sunglasses (thank you Zizu for the support!)

                I was onto the bike knowing I had the tall task ahead of chasing down Adam and Nick (who were 20 seconds up and historically faster cyclists than me), Ben (who was a bit of a wild card on the bike and was about 3mins up on me) and a small group of others whose skillsets I knew nothing about. I focused on holding a consistent effort and getting my average speed up above 40kph. I surprisingly caught Adam about 10km into the 2 loop 40km bike course (I think he was having a bit of an off day). Nick and I traded the lead a few times throughout the course. I put in a gradual surge over the last 10km to create some separation from Nick and Adam and hopefully bridge the gap on Ben as best I could. He actually ended up putting time on me vs me catching up to him. That was not a part of the plan.

The run

                I started the run with my legs feeling a little heavy, but this went away about 1km into the run. I was in 6th place starting the run. James and Mark yelled at me that I was only 2 minutes down from second place. The run course was 4 loops, each starting with a hill. Knowing it was a slow course I focused on my effort level and didn’t even look at my watch. Slowly but surely I started passing people, gaining confidence each time, and worked my way into 3rd. On the final loop I looked at my watch and saw my average pace was 3:30/km, and I was feeling good. I picked up the pace a little to see if I could bridge the gap on 2nd place (though ultimately was not able to do so), and go after that sub 2-hour goal. I got my average pace down to 3:27/km, checked my time as I went down the final hill towards the finish line and realized the run course was short of 10km (it was more like 8.5-9km). I crossed the line and was greeted by teammate (and race winner) Ben. My race time was 1:55:29, which was actually sort of unfortunate because breaking 2-hours doesn’t really count when the course is short. Based on my paces I would have been very close to breaking 2-hours, but this is here-say at this point.


                Overall it was possibly my best race ever and was an amazing trip. This weekend both gave me confidence and motivation moving forward with this season.
My attention
quickly turns to the Multisport Canada Welland Long-Course Triathlon this up-coming weekend. I would like to thank LPC and the Hurdle Project for the never ending support, Multisport Canada for having me on their Ambassador team for a third time, and my newest supported Zizu Optics for the amazing sunglasses! Look for me at Welland this weekend sporting my Zizu’s and ready to have a big race in my first long-course event of the year.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Wasaga Beach Olympic Triathlon 2016 Post-race Report

      I fell off my bike a few weeks ago, and as I discussed in my K-Town race report, my ribs took the worst of it. As far as I know, I didn't suffer a broken rib, but I'm learning that even a bruised rib can take some time to heal. I believe this is largely because it is very easy to aggravate. Sleeping, twisting, moving my arm certain ways, don't even get me started on sneezing, and oh ya, pretty much any form of physical activity. As athletes we tend to push the limits regarding when to return from an injury so we miss as few days as possible. I was on the side of too soon a few times with my ribs which probably set their recovery back a little more than it would have otherwise been. Needless to say, my training has been very inconsistent leading into Wasaga Beach, but my training all winter and early in the season was good so I figured I would see what happens at Wasaga.

       I got to spend the night in Collingwood the night before the race, and with a late start time of 10:30am, I was able to get plenty of sleep. I did Wasaga Beach last year and the swim was very challenging because the waves were strong. I expected the same this year. And combined with my lack of swimming in the weeks leading up, my main focus for the swim was to get through it without any rib pain, which was a success.

        The same thing that happened last year at Wasaga Beach on the bike happened to me again this year: my legs felt weak and tired. I'm not sure if this was from the wavy swim or from being out of shape, but it was frustrating and very mentally draining.

      Shortly after starting the run I felt some pain in my foot (something that happened a couple weeks ago from trying to run with sore ribs because my gait was messed up). I dropped out of the race after 5k because I decided it wasn't worth worsening my injury.

         Despite the race not going well I still had a great time, which shows me that my enjoyment of the sport isn't necessarily dependent on performing well. I was hoping this wouldn't be the case, but unfortunately I'm going to have to end my season early and pull out of Barrelman, which was the focus of my training over the past year. It's very disappointing, but I've learned that I don't just enjoy the racing, but the process of training and preparing, which is a very satisfying realization. Right now it's about resting up and getting back to it. Next season the vast majority of my season will once again be geared towards competing in the Multisport Canada Recharge with Milk Series and Barrelman