Member Spotlight and Race Reports

  • 27 Jan 2017 5:39 PM | Anonymous

    Mike will be competing in his third Ironman at Lake Placid this summer and as part of the experience he is hoping to raise money for a few Alzheimer’s-related charities.  Mike’s mom has been battling Alzheimer’s for the past couple of years and he’s dedicating this race and fundraising campaign to his parents.  He’s dubbed the campaign “Racing for Memories” and you can find out more about it (and follow his blog) at www.racingformemories.com.

    What has inspired you to compete? 

    For me the journey to triathlon and Ironman was really the result of being inspired and encouraged by a close friend who had discovered the sport and fell in love with it.   I had done a lot of running over the years, but I hadn’t ridden a bike since high school and I couldn’t swim the length of the pool.  Somehow I was convinced by my friend that this didn’t matter and I agreed to sign up for a triathlon (I suspect the decision may have been influenced by a couple of pints).

    Why the Ironman distance? 

    After doing a 70.3, I was certainly intrigued about the idea of doing a full distance race.  However, the deal was sealed when I traveled to Tremblant to watch two of my friends complete an Ironman there in 2014.  The experience was unbelievable and I just knew that this was something I had to do.   On the drive home the next day I signed up for IMMT 2015 as soon as registration opened.

    How do you find balance between personal life and training? 

    I travel a lot for work and I put in pretty long hours in my job, so training and keeping a balance can be very challenging.  I tend to do most of my training during the week between the hours of 5am and 7am and I do my best to get out early on the weekends so that I can salvage a bit of Saturday and Sunday.  I’ve also gotten used to taking my running shoes pretty much everywhere I travel and I’ve done a lot of laps in small hotel pools (usually while getting funny looks from the people leisurely wading around me).

    Which is your strongest and weakest discipline? 

    I’m probably the most comfortable with the run (given my history with it) and weakest in the pool, but I could stand to improve all three disciplines.  To do this, I’m swimming with Miranda through the TTC (she’s fantastic) and I’ve got Nigel Gray coaching me overall (he too is fantastic).  I’ve been more of a DIY training guy up to now and I’ve already seen huge benefits from working with Miranda and Nigel.

    What was your biggest rookie mistake? 

    I wore my watch on the outside of my wetsuit during my first ever race (Milton).  That made taking it off a little tough.   I also put my wetsuit on backwards at the TTF one year.  I didn’t realize it until it was almost too late to switch it around.  LOL!


  • 10 Jan 2017 11:39 AM | Anonymous

    Christine had perfect attendance for the month of December, improved her timed swims and demonstrated what a sprinter she is in the last practice of 2016! She works hard, challenges herself at practice and sets a great example for other swimmers. 

    Congratulations Christine! 

  • 06 Jan 2017 11:42 AM | Anonymous

    Of the three disciplines, the one I excel at most is ... 

    Excel is a bit of a stretch, but I come from a running background. I ran marathons before I took up triathlon.

    What inspired you to start participating in triathlons?

    I got peer pressured! My boyfriend is an ambassador for TTF, and he and another close friend ganged up on me late last fall. I ran out of excuses and before I knew it, I had signed up for a sprint, despite having just learned to swim.

    What triathlon-related moment are you most proud of, so far?

    Finishing my first sprint triathlon. It took me longer to do a sprint than it takes some speedy people to do an olympic. Every step of the way was painful and I cursed my way through the run, but crossing that finish line was so rewarding.

    Tell us about what you are working towards/hoping to accomplish next.

    I am rebuilding my running endurance this winter and hoping to run a PB at Around the Bay.

    At the same time, I am very focused on my swimming at the moment. It is definitely the most challenging part of triathlon for me, and I have some aggressive goals for my swim this year at TTF. 

    Beyond this season, I will likely be working towards longer distances, but we'll see what the year brings.

    When you see me, talk to me about...

    Dogs, craft beer, music, or my recent obsession with Game of Thrones (I'm currently on Season 2, and it's making my trainer rides fly!). I'm a socially awkward introvert who talks a lot, but my defenses fall when it comes to any of these things.

    Courtney recently wrote an article for Destination Outside magazine about her first triathlon experience. You can access the article here

    Welcome to the Club Courtney! 

  • 05 Dec 2016 5:51 PM | Anonymous

    Pro Sarbadhikari is our Member of the Month for November 
    Pro competed in his 3rd Ironman of the the year at Cozumel last week, completing the event and conquering his fear of ocean swimming to do so.  

    Pro started this season as a newbie to triathlon. Over the year he has embraced the sport and has become an active member of the club by participating in many of the club's activities. 

    Congratulations Pro! 

  • 01 Nov 2016 11:15 AM | Anonymous

    Clare McCurley is the TTC member of the month for October!

    Clare is a valuable member of the Club and Board of Directors, always willing to lend a hand with a positive attitude when needed.  

    Clare was instrumental with the set-up and running of the TTC booth at the Scotiabank Waterfront Marathon Expo. She helped out with various clinics throughout the year and attended many races as both an athlete and a volunteer.  

    Clare even stepped up to fill our Marketing Director position for the remainder of 2016 when we had board reshuffle at the end of August. 

    Thanks for all your help, and congratulations Clare!


  • 12 Oct 2016 10:37 AM | Anonymous

    Anne Marie Hospod is the TTC member of the month for September!

    This sport isn't always about winning your age group. Sometimes it is about having a great attitude about triathlon, fitness and life in general, and pursuing your goals even in the face of challenges! Anne Marie has been an inspiration to all club members and more specifically, individuals who struggle with Type 1 Diabetes who don't believe they could ever complete a triathlon, let alone multiple half Ironmans and the unrelenting rigors of training for a Full Ironman.  

    We are proud to have you as a member of our club and are confident you will achieve all your goals!

    If you wish to read more about Anne Marie’s adventures, check our her blog:  

    https://ironladyanne.wordpress.com/2016/07/12/why-ironman/


  • 15 Sep 2016 7:25 PM | Anonymous

    The August Member of the Month is Laura Beatty!  

    This is  Laura's third year with the club and she is one of our most  enthusiastic supporters. Not only does she swim at Regent  Park in the mornings and participate in our Tuesday night  track, she is seen at most club events including our indoor  triathlon, racing at the Club Championships at Guelph,  volunteering at the Toronto Island Tri, and at most club  socials. And when the call for Community Member went  out Laura jumped on board and has been supporting the  club as our Event Coordinator this past year.  Thanks  Laura for all your support and congratulations on being  August member of the month!


  • 08 Aug 2016 9:24 PM | Anonymous

    We had 6 club members compete in the Ottawa Nationals Sprint Draft Legal race.  We asked them some questions about their experience with this event and if they'd do it again  Find out what they thought below:



    Before completing the Ottawa Draft Legal National Championships on July 24, What concerns did you have going into the race?  Any equipment changes or nutrition concerns or more apprehension of possible drafting scenarios?

     Rebecca Dolson:

    As a regular rider in a cycling group I was not worried about my ability to draft, or riding my road bike for this race. However, I was nervous about drafting with riders who had no experience drafting.

     Corri Atkinson

    Triathletes are a lot better than I expected at riding in groups. Everyone knew the basics and even took turns pulling in the front. Groups that planned ahead will try to drop you too. Be prepared for surges out of corners and up climbs and do not let those wheels go.

     Lisa Drake:

    Going in, I was most worried about the bike.  When I committed to do the race, I knew I’d have to get some very beginner drafting skills under my belt and I did that with the TTC draft clinic and some group rides.  I was comfortable riding close to others but really wasn’t prepared for being in pack - what the etiquette was, how it would be “organized” for taking turns pulling, falling back, etc.  I was also really concerned about hydration on the bike.  Because I’d only raced with a torpedo on my tri bike, I was not used to pulling my water bottle at race speeds - never mind race speeds while riding someone’s wheel.  

     Bernardo Manjano:

    After it was announced that worlds sprint AG races were embracing a draft legal format, a lot of athletes expressed their concerns about bike safety issues.  Other athletes with a junior/u23/elite racing background welcomed or where indifferent to the idea.

    Tom Rothfels:

    I was a bit concerned that there would be big packs and that all it would take is one person to wobble and lots of people would go down, especially because for most people, this would be their first draft legal race, with no draft training.  But since I didn’t have a pack, it was a non issue for me.

     Tara Postnikoff:

    My main concern was the uncertainty of the drafting skills of other AG women before going to the race and whether we would all utilize the benefit of the draft, communicate well and work together to share the work load.  I wasn’t sure if people would want to work together or treat it like a regular triathlon.    Race strategy was another concern.  How much work can you/ should you do to still have legs for the run.

     

    After having completed the race, what are your take-away’s/ what did you learn after having completed the race?

     Drake:

    I have learned a lot - first, that I can do draft races and not die!  I also learned that I have a lot to learn about how to be strategic in a pack and to get more comfortable being there.  Also, to learn how to get drink water going fast!

     Manjano:

    According to the race organizers and perhaps shocking to some critics, no crashes were reported in any of the AG races. I supposed you can see this from many perspectives: the people who were worried about crashing likely didn't sign up for it so it left us all without many nervous bike handlers, hence improving the safety of the group rides. This also reduced the number of riders and traffic. Notwithstanding, and in my biased opinion, perhaps it is not as treacherous as some think due to the following reasons: road bikes are definitely more agile than TT bikes, no disks on crosswinds, no aerobars or clip ons of any kind (another great modification from standard ITU rules: banning draft legal clip-ons for AG riders), no riders swerving out of a draft-ish position at the sudden view of a race official ;-)

     

    The draft legal format changes the race tactics from a mostly time trial effort strategy (i.e. just figure out how to pace yourself) to a more complex situation (e.g. should I let this guy sit on my wheel or force him to work a bit with me in case he is a good runner?). In my view, this adds a bit more excitement to the race. But then again, other triathletes might feel as if this is not what triathlon is about and prefer a time trial format.

     Atkinson:

    Do not get dropped. If you're lucky enough to find a good group early in the bike, hang on to those wheels no matter what. If they're too fast, you may have a chance to drop to a slower group when you overtake them but if you get dropped you're in a really bad position. You're not going to catch up to anyone worth riding with and it may be a while until a pack of slower swimmers catches you, if there are any riding in an effective group.

     Rothfels: 

    Find a pack!

     Dolson:

    It was great to not worry about drafting penalties. In non-drafting races it is extremely annoying to watch drafting packs (in every race) go by and seemingly not care they are cheating.  It would be nice if there was a drafting certification requirement for these races to ensure everyone is on the same page with how to communicate, pass, pull, and fall back

     Postnikoff:

    Working with a team-mate make and communicating with your other athletes makes this a better experience and more successful race.  Don’t be afraid to talk to other athletes during the race and suggest they take a pull.  Don’t react suddenly, but be alert at all times.  Drink and eat while you are recoverying on someone’s wheel but keep your eyes up.  You need to jump on opportunities (to grab a wheel or get out of a long line of bike traffic) when the present themselves to make the most of the drafting advantage. Not everyone may be willing to pull their own weight in a draft pack and you can’t expect them to.

     

    Would you do another Draft-Legal race again?

    Dolson:  Yes

    Atkinson: Yes

    Drake: Yes

    Manjano: Yes

    Postnikoff: Yes

    Rothfels:  Yes


  • 08 Aug 2016 2:37 PM | Anonymous

     Julie McDaniel has been an active member of the club for many years.  (Julie is rocking our original kit in this pic from 2014!) Julie always shares her positive and welcoming spirit with those around her.  This month, Julie has gone ‘above and beyond’ to help the club by helping to safely and confidently lead a group ride out of Angus Glen.  Her willingness to rise to the occasion during this situation speaks to her strong leadership skills and generosity.  Julie is also a dedicated triathlete who is an excellent ambassador for our sport and club.  Thank you so much, Julie!


  • 08 Aug 2016 2:28 PM | Anonymous

    What inspired you to start participating in triathlons? I’d say it was mostly the challenge itself. I wanted to see if I could do it, and then I met some triathletes who convinced me it wasn’t an (entirely) insane idea. 

    Of the 3 disciplines, the one I excel at most is running. I’m fairly slow in all of them, but running is the one I’ve been doing the longest and enjoy the most.

    You completed your first triathlon at TTF a couple of weeks ago. How was the experience and did it go as you expected? It was awesome, loved every km! It was a combination of fun, and exciting and very very exhausting, just as I expected. Although I don’t think anything could prepare me for how hard it was to keep running at the end. 

    Tell us about what you are working towards/hoping to accomplish next. I’m working on getting faster in general. Probably running the Scotiabank half marathon later this year and another olympic triathlon next year.

    When you see me, talk to me about Mexico! I was born and raised in Mexico, so anything from tacos to really hot summers to the Spanish language.


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