An EPIC Quest for the the Big Buckle; LeadmanTri Race Report

A few days removed from the last triathlon of the season, I’ve had some time to not only delve into what I accomplished at the LeadmanTri EPIC 250 in Bend, OR this past saturday, but I’ve also reflected on what I’ve accomplished this season. Unfortunately (or, maybe fortunately?) for you, this is just the race report, so the ‘Season Reflection’ will have to wait 😉 Epic 250 was only the second long distance triathlon I’ve ever done, my first being Ironman Canada barely 4 weeks ago. To say I was recovered from Ironman Canada would be a lie, and I knew that EPIC was going to hurt. This is an account of how I entered the hurt locker, embraced the suck, and rode the pain train all the way to the finish line. Did I earn the coveted sub-9hr Big Buckle? Read on to find out.

Packed TIGHT in the ‘FIT’

First and foremost, I HAVE to throw thanks out to LeadmanTri and their title sponsor/organizer Lifetime Fitness. Not only did they put on a world class event, but they picked an absolutely fabulous locale to host it. Bend, Oregon, is a place of beauty; surrounded by endless mountains, curving and winding FRESHLY PAVED roads (with enormous bike lanes to boot,) I would go there for a summer training camp without even a HINT of hesitation. With all the hype surrounding the race, I believed there would be thousands of competitors racing! Walking through the transitions, it was reminiscent of an enormous International race venue, put together with such professionalism. That was, until we realized there were only approximately 450 people registered for the 250/125 events COMBINED! LeadmanTri ensured ALL the athletes (whether Pro or amateur,) got quite the SWAG-bag (Stuff-We-All-Get, so you know the lingo) at package pick-up. More things than I’ve ever gotten at a race!

Some LONG HAUL snacks!

Filled with ‘race fuel’ and ready

My travel companion was none other than the feisty ‘Tiger’ Rachel McBride, my Teammate who was racing EPIC as her first race since March. There was a huge mix-up on the bike course, due to some poorly marked turns and last minute course changes, that caused Rachel and a portion of the race field to make a wrong turn, ending in a DQ. To find out more about Rachel’s experience, check out her post HERE. We left EARLY thursday morning, with the hopes of making it to the Pro meeting that evening. Packed and rolling out just before dawn, we were outfitted with all the delicious snacks you could think of. The two days leading up to the race were fantastic, and although I was apprehensive about how fully recovered I was, I was excited for the last “Kick at the Can” of the season. Meeting all the Pro’s that I’ve seen at the races all year was great, catching up and shooting-the-shit with them about what’s been going on. I was stoked for race morning, and boy did it ever come early…….

High-fiving bikes, off to T1

Bus riding excitement!

The most exciting (in a nerve-racking way) event pre-race was definitely the bus ride from T2 to T1. It was a 60mile bus ride, and our slightly under-informed bus driver (God bless him for volunteering to be up around the same time most people go to BED on a saturday morning,) kept missing turns to the lake, causing a slight amount of panic. Inside, I wasn’t too worried, as at least half the pro field and the head race officials were riding the same bus. They ended up starting the race 15mins later to give us more prep time. I wasn’t complaining, it was DAMN cold!

The Swim:

Waiting for me in T1

Not having swam since wednesday, I was slightly nervous about how I would perform. But after a few strokes in the warm up, I was feeling perfect. The water was heralded as really cold pre-race, but after an initial cold forehead, I actually felt pretty comfortable. I snagged myself a good spot on the start line, near Olly Piggins; Olly and I had swam together during IMC, so I figured a great spot to be. The horn went off, and it was ON! I swam hard out, and found myself leading a few swimmers after the initial melee of flailing arms and kicking feet. I kept my spot until shortly after the turn around, when Olly (surprise surprise!) pulled in front of me, and I decided it would be a mighty fine place to cruise. We caught up to Thomas Gerlach and swam as a group to the finish. All I could think as I exited the water was how BLOODY cold it was!!!! Wetsuit stripped and running like I was on tacks, I made my way to the far end of T1 to my bike. Initially, I figured I was one of the last guys out of the water. WRONG!!!! Imagine my surprise when I came across the rack and saw Jordan Rapp’s bike (along with MOST of the other bikes) still hanging there!! I couldn’t bloody believe it!!! THe reason though, as I soon found out, was that they had gone into the heated change tent to damn-near put on FULL winter riding kit. Brilliant. Luck was on my side that I happened to have a few items there to put on, and as I struggled to get it all on, the other guys slowly streamed out onto the bike course. Finally geared up, I headed out for the longest ride I’ve ever managed (by FAR!)
The Bike:

It doesn’t matter HOW you cut it; 223kms on a bike is DAMN far! There’s no fooling yourself with this one, you have to be ready for the long haul. I froze my hands and feet off for the first 2 hours (making things difficult and painful,) but toughed it out. As I rolled through the first 30-40kms, I felt like mother nature was playing a practical joke on me: it was a BEAUTIFULLY clear morning, and the sun looked glorious. The evil joke, though, was that the sun JUST didn’t quite make it past the top of the trees, condemning us to the frigid shade and an added level of suffering (especially for someone like me, who prefers the temperature closer to 35C!) The hardest part of the whole ride was to slowly see guys pass me, and I felt powerless to do anything about it (aside from potentially throwing a Powerbar into their spokes; would be effective to slow them down, but that’s really not how I roll.)

The ‘White Lightning’ Race Rig!!!

**Biking is something I’ve learned just takes TIME; i.e. ‘Time on the Bike’ is what’ll make you stronger. I, being just a wee young lad, haven’t many years at all on a bike (about 5-6 years ago was the first time I ever placed my rather large, cushy tookus on a bike saddle.) As such, I have MANY MANY years of gains ahead of me. This is something I have to constantly remind myself of when things start to hurt and the ‘Big Dogs’ start to roll by me.**

The bike remained a rather uneventful event for me, aside from an exciting revelation; I figured out how to urinate off the bike WITHOUT GETTING IT ON MY LEG!!!!! Probably my proudest accomplishment of the day (naw, just kidding; second proudest,) it prevented my legs from freezing up in the icy cold morning. Warming up, I was able to focus more on the ride as the day went on. My nutrition on the bike went VERY well, something I’m very happy with. I had to adjust a few times, but that’s what makes the long course racing so exciting, is overcoming obstacles and troubleshooting. Later in the bike I could feel the effects of IMC in my legs, as it was a physical grind the last few hours.  At the forefront of my mind were two targets:
– Go as hard as I can to try and get my BIG belt buckle (which felt like it was slowly slipping through my fingers, as the ride went on;)
– Ride ‘Faster than Fatty;’ a blogger named Fat Cyclist had put out a challenge, that anyone who could beat him in the bike leg (he was part of a Relay team,) would get themselves a ‘Faster Than Fatty’ T-Shirt. Check out more on his challenge at
Luckily for me, the last miles were all down-hill & tail-wind, which helped me FLY all the way to T2. I was feeling pretty crushed rolling in, but I knew my nutrition had been great, and the run is what I do better than the other two disciplines.

I had been worried about Rachel the whole ride, asking race officials whenever I could if they had seen her or where she was on course. My concern came from not seeing her during the initial out-and-back portion of the bike course, where I was SURE I would have seen her! I was shocked (but also relieved) to see my teammate in T2, standing there eating some grub. After a short conversation (while I did my thang in T2,) I discovered her predicament. I also learned I was WAY behind, so I headed out with haste to the run course.

The Run:
I started the run course, and the first thing to happen was I got a few whistles from some girls in a car. Being a dude, it seemed to add a bit of ‘hop’ in my step, straightened me up, and put an even bigger smile on my face (which was permanently pasted there all day.) Nothing like women to make a guy try a little harder; some sort of primitive response. The run course was beautiful, and it started to make my mind relax. When you’re so far behind, with nobody close on the chase, it’s hard to mentally push yourself to the limit. At only 22km, the run is short enough that you can really gut yourself. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in the best mental spot the first 3-4miles, and was more or less in full-on ‘cruise and enjoy yourself’ mode. So I cruised and enjoyed myself. But then, the pivotal moment in my efforts came at the 4-5mile mark. I turned my garmin 605 watch over to the actual time-of-day, and realized that there was a chance (albeit slim) that I could potentially make it under 9 hours. I decided, right there and then, that I was going for it.

I committed. I started to do what I do best, and started to gut myself on the run. Hitting Coke, water, and my ELOAD Zone caps through all the aid stations, I was givin’er shit! Nearing the end of the run, I was absolutely putting everything I could into the run (as well as giving thanks to volunteers and “great job”s to the other athletes in the 125,) but looking at my watch, I thought I had missed the 9 hour mark (and subsequent GIANT belt buckle,) by 2mins. As I rounded the finish line chute (bridge over the Deschutes River,) I saw Teammate Rachel standing there, yelling out “GO GET THE BIG ONE NATHAN!!!!” Confused as all hell, my smile nearly exploded as I crested the top of the bridge and could see the finish line clock:


Hard-earned, but a perfect race medal

Yeah, holy shit is right! I blasted through the finish line, absolutely elated to have earned that coveted buckle! I enjoyed some post-race chatting with Steve Fleck (Steve used to work for Nineteen wetsuits, and was the one that set me up as one of their athletes,) Matt Lieto, Matt Sheeks, and of course Rachel McBride (who, as you can imagine, was just a few degrees above furious at her shortcomings.) I gyrated towards the Deschutes Brewery beer taps (naturally,) and enjoyed an absolutely smashing beverage! After some more slightly-slurred post-race chit-chat and socializing (ever had a beer after a 9hr race? Doesn’t take much!) Rachel and I retreated to our hotel. We finished off the day by celebrating/sorrow-drowning with more beer, fabulous Mexican food, more beer, and a GIANT cup of frozen yogurt (self-serve is DANGEROUS!)

All-in-all, this was a perfect way to end the season. I was VERY proud of how well I swam, it seems to be improving a lot, putting me closer and closer to the front pack against the big dogs. My run was fantastic as well, I ended up running sub 1:30 for 22kms, with the 3rd fastest run split of the entire field. I am so fortunate to have such amazing support and such a great team to train with. Thanks to EVERYONE who helped me, without my team of support I’d not have made it to LeadmanTri and performed like I did. It’s time to shut-it-down for a bit, recover and recharge my mental and physical fuel tanks, and in a few weeks I’ll be starting up again to get stronger and faster for 2013. I have big hopes for next year, but more on that later!!

Thanks for reading (I hope you enjoyed,) it’s been a phenomenal 2012 season. Happy training and racing for those of you still at it, I’ll see you out there!!


The 223km ‘White Lightning’ Rocketship

Two days ago was the inaugural LeadmanTri EPIC 250 in Bend, OR, and was it EVER a great experience! I had such a blast, and it was a great way to end the season. My valiant steed (affectionately named ‘White Lighting,’) got me from T1 to T2 as fast as I possibly could! Wondering what bits and pieces come together to assemble my rig? Well, watch my little video to find out!

ps. I know it might be tough to believe, but this vid had NO rehearsal, kind of a ‘flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants’ sorta thing. True story.


pss. Thanks to Speed Theory Vancouver for the sexy rig, and setting me up with the TorHans Aero 30 bottle and other components; Björn Ossenbrink for hooking me up with the bloody brilliant Power2Max crank-based power meter; and the always generous Jared Chartrand for the wheel hookup! Last, and certainly not least, thanks Rachel McBride for the awesome camera-woman skills 😉

LeadmanTri Epic 250 ROAD TRIP


Today was a pretty damn long day; starting BEFORE 6am (for those of you who aren’t morning risers, it really DOES exist!) Rachel McBride met up at my place so we could make the journey down to the LeadmanTri race in Bend, Oregon. After last night’s late-night scramble to get all my race gear together, as well as prep all the snacks for the trip (a guess that’s an added ‘benefit’ of riding shotgun with me, you get in on some decent food that I’ve crafted,) the alarm clock came way too soon this morning. No matter, I’ll have plenty of time to sleep when I’m dead. We managed to get through the trip unscathed (barely) albeit some rather fugly looking weather on the drive down (which, to our surprise, cleared up completely as we got close to Bend, and was replaced by a blazing sun and blue skies!) Rachel surprised me with a GIANT bag of trail mix (and how could I NOT be excited,) and a sushi-rice-salad that was out-of-this-WORLD! The best part of the drive was, as we concluded the salad needed some wasabi, was my mad dash-like sprint through a Fred Meyers looking for (and successfully finding, I might add) wasabi paste. Now, I know we have big stores around town, but the Fred Meyers was FREAKIN HUGE!!! I think it’s fair enough to say I ran well over a kilometre to get through the store, and as such will be logging that as a a workout for the day (fair game, right?)

A few snacks to keep us happy!

The 9+hr excursion found us at the Tetherow Golf Club, the venue for the Pro Athlete briefing/press conference, and the VIP ‘mingle session.’ Really, it was a play-by-play of the race course (which was outstanding, as this is the inaugural Bend EPIC race, so not many people know the course,) followed by a few quick photos, proceeded by all the pros making a mad rush to the hors d’oeuvres table and the bar (yes, free beer!) Now, all this week I’ve been eating gluten free, a lifestyle that I usually live by, and I was pretty good and strayed away from the gluten at the mingler; I’m just hoping that Björn doesn’t find out I was sampling the fine brews (made by the local Deschutes Brewery,) they had on tap. In all fairness though, they ARE serving it at the finish line, and of COURSE I had to test it to make sure destroying myself for 9hrs was going to be worth the finisher’s beverage (oh, and the buckle too!) I’ve concluded that it is indeed worth every ounce of pain I’ll endure. Plus, it’s good carb-loading protocol (right?)

Sub-9hr finishers buckle, the grand daddy of them all!

It was great to meet up with some of the other pros, as I usually only see them AT the races, so catching up was great, especially Matt Sheeks (for those of you not in the know: Matt Sheeks and I ran probably about 3/4’s of the marathon at Ironman Canada side-by-side.) Rachel and I had a great conversation with Olly Piggins, an amazing New Zealand athlete that has made the equally amazing city of Penticton, BC, his home. It was awesome to see Jordan Rapp out here, being not only a phenomenal athlete, but also a great ambassador for this sport. He’s slated to be racing in Kona in October at the Ironman World Championships, so this must be a training day for him to prep for that. Anywho, it should be exciting to watch some of the big dogs duke it out on course (perhaps I’m lucky enough on saturday to mix it up with them!) For EPIC, they follow a similar tradition as the Leadville 100 Ultramarathon run, where finishing under certain time cutoffs gets you the sought-after ‘buckle:’ finish in under 11hrs, and you get the shiny silver buckle; finish under 9, and you get the big daddy of them all!!! I haven’t seen them yet, but word on the street is they are HUGE; someone said it will take quite the amount of core strength to handle such a belt-loop loading.

After, we made a mad-dash through the local Whole Foods Market, which I probably made a lot more difficult and time consuming than it ought to have been:
“is this gluten free;”
“does this have dairy in it;’
“how long will this last;”
“is THIS cheaper by weight than THAT;”
“do I want low-fat or fat-free;”
“does this have too much fibre;”

I kid you not. That’s only getting through the first two isles!!!! We made it out alive (and unlike some of my past exploits, before midnight,) but not before WFM managed to suck us dry of most of our precious savings (which seems to be standard issue!) See the video for explanation.

Post-Whole Paychec…..I mean, Whole Foods stop, we made our way to “home” for the next few days; an old little ‘quaint’ motel close to the race site, far from the conventional Best Western most are used to, but it was a great price (pretending we didn’t spend all the hotel savings on our Whole Foods shop) and should keep us alive until at least sunday. Time to hit the hay, as tomorrow will be a LONG day of prepping for what will be an even LONGER day on saturday!

Out for now, happy training folks!


Thanking a bunch & Ironman Canada Photos

I have to thank everyone who’s instilled confidence in me for Ironman Canada, and especially all those who’ve supported me on any level, to any degree. Without the monster support from everyone, I wouldn’t have been able to perform like I did on the day. 

Special thanks to my family, who’ve ALWAYS believed in me; to coach Björn and the rest of Team Ossenbrink, who’ve not only gotten me to the start & finish line stronger & faster, but have made it an absolute BLAST of a process; Eload for keeping me constantly fuelled and hydrated to my max; Nineteen for giving me the tools to swim fast; Jeremy and Speed Theory for keeping me riding and running smoothly all year, even through the tough times; New Balance Vancouver, you guys are the best!! Keeping my shoes fresh (I mean that in more than one degree haha!); Popeyes for keeping me supplied with everything I need to stay healthy; Compressport for keeping my recovery and performance optimal (maximum ‘support’ you could say!); Bajong Bar for keeping my supply of tasty snack bars ever refreshed; ECOS Coconut Water starts my day right, every day, and keeps my electrolytes and nutrients topped up; and Scott and Julie at Oomph! For making some phenomenal race suits!! 
I wanted to throw up some photos from the big day, as there were so many people out there shooting. Thanks a ton to Mark Bates of 321Photos, Jordan Bryden of Right Balance Photography, ‘Cousin’, and all the others who’ve sent me these amazing photos to post up.
I even made it into my local paper, check it out HERE.
Here’s the SHaw TV Okanagan Interview:
Interview with Steve Fleck. COOL!!!!
An idea of the magnitude of 2600 people starting together!
Splashedy-splash-splash, 5th out of the water!!

Starting out on the bike course
Probably one of my favourite shots by Mark Bates, this is well done!
Beautiful shot from ‘Cousin’ climbing Richter!
Yet more great shots from Mr. Bates, at the top of Richter
A little TdF-style ‘crazy running fan’ action at Yellow Lake

Finishing the bike, by Jordan Bryden
‘Cousin’ & Charlene, CHEER SQUAD!
They were EVERYWHERE during the race!
Running most of the marathon with Matt Sheeks. Pretty much a ‘Running Party!’

Wicked shot by Bates, not far after the run turnaround
the last few km’s…..
High Fives for anyone near the finish!
A proud moment: you can’t see, but Charlene (my triathlon mentor, taught me most of what I know and got me started in triathlon,) is tearing up because she was so proud of me. It meant a lot to have her there cheering me on. Made the day that much more special!

A few videos from Kimberly Appleton, who was out on the run course to push us on:

IMC Race Report and the photos to prove I was there

Beauty shot by Jordan Bryden

I know it’s been a long while since Ironman Canada, and this upcoming weekend is the LeadmanTri EPIC 250 in Bend, OR, so I figured I’d FINALLY do a quick race report from Penticton’s 30th and final EVER Ironman Canada,

So here goes:

I was lucky to find an amazing homestay in OK Falls with Dave and Jackie Del Rizzo, who were so welcoming. They played a vital part in the week leading up to the race, as I was able to relax and focus on the race (although, being my general social self, found myself talking their ears off for hours about everything you could think of!) I made my way up there on the monday before the race, giving me PLENTY of time to settle in and get everything ready. This was a first for me, as I usually get to races a lot closer than that, and it’s always a big rush leading up to the morning of, with little time to kick back and relax. So the week passed by, with perfect weather to boot!

One thing that was a first for me was a pre-race interview with ShawTV Okanagan! There was also an interview the day before with Steve Fleck, which was pretty awesome! Going to the pro meetings at these races is still an awesome experience for me, to see all the other big pros that you see in magazines! But, another first for me, I tried to stay away from race site and expo the day before, so I could focus on resting up. I was feeling great the night before, and after a confidence boosting chat with coach Björn, I was ready for action.

Race day:
Started as usual, nice and early, with my standard breakfast of banana PB oatmeal and coffee. Standard, delicious, and hasn’t failed me yet! I had expected and prepared for a much slower transition entry on race morning, but was surprised by how quickly everything moved. The race volunteers did a great job getting everything through and keeping things running smoothly. Those volunteers were phenomenal! I managed to get some relaxing in pre-race with my teammates, and everyone seemed pretty damn focused on the day (I felt oddly focused as well, as I had all week.) We lined up, and it was game on!

Solid swim in my Nineteen Rogue!

The swim was fairly uneventful, although it got fairly choppy. I managed to lead the main pack for a good portion of the swim, its a pretty good feeling to be swimming strongly and out front. I could see helecopters flying overhead, and there were boats floating about everywhere (I could’ve given them a piece of my mind, they were making a fair bit of wake!) It was all exciting, and I was feeling great getting ready to hit the bike. I managed to come out of the water in 5th place, with a 57min flat swim (a bit slower than I hoped, but it seemed everyone swam a little slow on the day.)

First shots from Charlene and the gang

It was tough on the bike to go out and have people start to pass me as we went down mainstreet. I was riding a HUGE high, as my heart rate was crazy high from the swim, but mainly from all the AWESOME cheering from the crowd!!! It’s amazing to hear all your friends (and even complete strangers) just freaking out and screaming your name. It was tough to not just hammer away at the pedals. But I knew it was going to be a long day, and I just had patience! It was actually a bit chilly out (yet another reason I look for hot races,) until about Richter Pass. Then it started to get ‘warm.’ I saw Mark Bates of 321Photography out on course (multiple times actually,) on the way to Osoyoos. But the biggest surprise was seeing my triathlon mentor Charlene Croteau, along with a jolly gang of wig-clad, party-favor-toting mobile cheer section, that I heard LONG before I saw them! I could hear them coming, and all I could think was “Oh man, I totally bet that’s Charlene!” Well, I was right!

The bike went by fairly uneventfully, but I saw teammates and friends out all OVER the course, every time was a huge booster. By the time I was closing in on Keremeos, all I could think about was the special needs turnaround, and for ONE reason only: the magical surprise I had in the bag. You may or may not believe it, but I had a McDONALDS JUNIOR CHICKEN BURGER in there! Yup, that’s right: the thing I swore off 8 years ago, I went back to. And I tell you, it was magnificent. I absolutely CRUSHED that little burger, and by the time I was halfway up Yellow Lake, I was ripping it up.

By the time I was coming in to T2, I was hurting pretty bad. But as soon as I hit the run course, I started to feel great again, like my legs were fresh.

Must’ve been the crowds 🙂

One of many tongue-out exploits

I felt great going through the first few miles, and nearing the edge of town I joined up with Matt Sheeks, and we essentially ran the whole marathon together (until about the last 10kms.) I was cheering back at the crowds as they all cheered me on out there. My buddy Will and Roman were out on their bikes with airhorns, and they were being very generous with expending them! LOUD!!! But it was great, I soaked it up. I couldn’t believe how many friends I saw out there, they all played a huge part in pushing me along. WIth about 10km to go, I was falling off my pace and starting to hurt pretty bad. My nutrition was great, but all I could think about was how much my legs hurt! That marathon doesn’t get any easier; in 2007 I ran the Seattle Marathon, and due to horrible nutrition and pacing advice, it was the worst running race I’ve experienced. This marathon wasn’t feeling too much better by the end.

Throwing down some high fives!

It’s difficult to run AWAY from a finish line, but that’s exactly what you had to do at the end. You go past the finish line, and run along the beach avenue to a turnaround. As I rounded that final turn, I felt like I was home free. I pushed as best I could, suffering with a smile (as I did the whole day,) thinking I was in 6th place. I always sprint hard at the finish line, but with nobody close behind, I figured a few high fives to the crowd were in order. SO down the chute, to high fives and cheers, I finally made it! And I heard the one thing I had been waiting to hear for months, from someone who is a legend in their own right, Steve King. And he said his famous words to me:

“You are an Ironman!”

I was so happy to be done, and started at the beer garden asap! It was a great night of fun, cheering, BBQ, and maybe a few brews. I couldn’t get too crazy, cause EPIC 250 was only a month away.

The most colourful cheer squad EVER! Charlene and ‘Cousin’

Recovery has been great so far, and I am excited to get to Bend for the last race of the season, along with my teammate Rachel McBride.

This should be good.

Happy training everyone,


EPIC Races mean EPIC Training Days……

As the D-Day countdown to the LeadmanTri Epic 250 in Bend, OR, gets closer and closer to zero, I am starting to realize that the huge early-season volume I’ve already done is starting to pay off. That being said, EPIC has a bike portion further than anything I’ve EVER ridden in the past, so there is quite the sense of the unknown going in to it.

“It’s only 43km’s further than an Ironman bike leg,” is what I’ve commonly been told. Well, if you’d have told me that about 100m’s from finishing Ironman Canada’s bike leg, I’d probably have brought fourth a plethora of indecent and inappropriate language that would put me in any referee’s black book! But, alas, “I live for this shit,” so on tuesday I embarked on an EPIC training ride, that could only be made so with the accompaniment of the amazing ‘Tiger,’ Rachel McBride.

Finally finished the second time up Seymour!!

Coach Björn wanted us to try and replicate the EPIC ride, and with the big climbing involved for the race, that meant only one thing.

Mount Seymour.

Twice. (okay, so technically TWO things.)
Rachel proceeded to teach me how to get my ass completely handed to me while climbing a steep-ass mountain, which I graciously accepted as the Purple Climbing Machine slowly rode away from me. We practiced some race nutrition, and even made an unconventional stop for a ‘nutrition testing session,’ (at a place that I used frequent regularly, but haven’t been in a LOOOONG time!) It was glorious.

It was a fantastic day, the sun was out to keep us warm (it actually got pretty warm by the end, it was FANTASTIC practice as EPIC is supposed to be close to 30 celsius by mid-race.) I had such a blast with my Team Ossenbrink teammate Rachel, it was a perfect pre-race testing ride. After over 200kms, 7+hrs in the saddle, and over 3500 meters of climbing, I was left with a positive taste in my mouth and a boatload of confidence for the big day coming up.

Only a few big sessions left ’till Rachel and I head down to Oregon to shake things up, representing Canada (in our classic stylish flair!)

Happy training everyone, get out in the sun and enjoy while it’s still here!!!!!


A little unconventional nutrition experimenting with Rachel 🙂

Neoprene = smell retention

Today was my second day in a row swimming at the stunning Buntzen Lake Reservoir! I’ve absolutely fallen in love with the lake (^^see previous posts as to why^^) and I don’t think I could ever get tired of it!! Its beautifully clean water, picture-esk landscape, what more could you want?? Oh yeah, NO POWER BOATS! So much safer than other GVRD swim spots.

Today was busy as it was the long weekend (labour day long, for those of you reading this that aren’t native to Canada, eh.) The lake had an assortment of people in dinghy’s, canoes, and all forms of flotation (but no Open Water swimmers!?!? It’s like after Ironman Canada, nobody ventures to the lake to swim?) What made my day was, as I started my return trip across the lake, an inflatable dinghy started to ever so slowly creep up beside me. They eventually pulled just ahead of me, but within a km of shore, I started to pull ahead of them!!! I managed to make it to shore ahead of them, and I make my claim of BEATING an electric-motor-powered-dinghy across the lake (regardless of whether or not their motor was running out of juice; I like to think it was at full-charge!!) Coach would’ve been proud, the dinghy got OWNED! Good news for my lead up to the LeadmanTri EPIC 250 on September 22nd (5km swim, 223km bike, 22km run = 250kms.)

I also learned that the inside of a wetsuit does an absolutely excellent job of retaining smells. Whether its the fresh scent of Lavender, or some ungodly noxious fume, it holds it all in, until that moment when you pull away the front of your suit and it’s released into the atmosphere like the contents of Pandora’s Box upon all of humanity (or, more specific, anyone within a 10ft radius!) That’s all I’ll say about that. Don’t want to cross that line of TMI (although I do happen to be a habitual line stepper.)

I leave you with a pleasant photo, and bid you adieu! Happy training folks!