2018 Results

Multisport Canada Triathlon Series Champ

Patricia received today her Series Points Champion plaque for her 3 podiums at Multisport Triathlon Canada events this past summer.  Patricia competed at Rose City, Gravenhurst and Lakeside Try-A-Tri triathlons taking 2nd place at all three events.

Congratulations Patricia!

Click here to link to the Multisport webpage with series standings

MEC Burlington Race #6 – Crawford Lake Conservation Area

The last race in the MEC series was a record for The Olympian Experience, as 10 TOE athletes were on hand to race either the 3.5k or 7.5k cross country run events. Aimee was the sole runner in the 7.5k event, and took 4th woman overall. With conditions wetter than last year, Aimee shared that she found all parts of the course – from the boardwalk to the trail sections – a bit more slippy which she felt led to a slower time vs last year. By the end, the sun came out and it ended up as a glorious morning in the woods out on the escarpment.

The 3.5k event – which started out as a 3k event and also started out on an entirely different route that had little to no technical sections was water logged due to the recent rains – was diverted onto the first and last portions of the 7.5k race route. So both race routes ended up traversing about 700m of Bruce Trail where the only thing that you should repeat to yourself is ‘be a billy-goat’ to aide in hopping, skipping and jumping from rock to rock to tree root. Mark took 1st overall with a minute gap on 2nd, the rest of our juniors came all within about 25secs of one another. Serena led the junior pack taking 3rd female overall with Juan & Gabe behind. The rest of the gang – several who were racing off road for the first time – came in a couple minutes behind the juniors with almost all taking a top 3 age group position. Nicely done… Andres, Tom, Kelly, Patricia, and Carolina.

This marks the end of the TOETT 2018-2019 racing calendar. There is a chance that one or more of the team will try an indoor triathlon this year, for the rest… the masters swim meet season begins next weekend with the Guelph Marlins hosting the Fast & Furious meet for the first time at the UofGuelph pool.  See you there.

Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront 5k

A 4min personal best!  What!  Who does that?  Evidently Juan does that, no, he did that… this morning at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront 5k. Well… maybe not a full 4mins but a personal best of 3 mins 56 secs is close enough to 4 that I think we can call it an even 4min P.B.!  Dad wasn’t too far behind posting a personal best of nearly 2mins and broke 25mins for the first time in a 5k road race. Its late fall, but with these sorts of times… excitement for next years season of triathlons and multisport events must already be building for Juan & Andres.

Mom added a bit of time, but mom has bigger fish to fry.  With Multisport Worlds in May 2019, mom is focused on the Aquathlon event she will be competing in Spain against an international field.  With weekly training volume up dramatically from late summer (refer to chart bottom right), a time just a over minute slower from last year is nothing to concern oneself with. In fact, considering the training Patricia has been putting in, her time is exciting as it builds anticipation for where she will be in 6months.

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MEC Burlington Race #5 – Confederation Park

We use the MEC Confederation Park events (races #2 and #5 in the series) as test events. Since #2 is in May, its a way to see what the winter of dryland and indoor drills has yielded, and race #5 in October is a great way to plan training for the coming winter.

Results this morning were fantastic! Everyone in the family set a pb [personal best]. The stand out was Serena who on top of placing 3rd female overall, set an almost 2min pb (Serena ran 22:53 on this course in May). Aimee was next with an almost full minute pb (Aimee ran 23:04 in May). Mark took 3rd overall male with a new pb, and dad brought up the back of the pack with a 4second pb on this course.

Weather conditions were ideal with temperatures in the single digits, minimal wind, and thankfully none of the swarms of gnats that sometimes line the water front. Next up… the last race in the series at Crawford Lake next month. Its a great event to stick your toe into some off road/trail running.

High School Cross-Country Running – pre OFSAA
@Christie Lake Conservation Area   Oct 3rd, 2018

Christie Lake Conservation Area

With more than half of our Junior Masters running on their HS xcountry teams, a link to the recent meet at Christie Lake seems appropriate. Cross country training and racing is an amazing way to make fall and early winter running fun. Jump in the car and head up to one of the Halton Conservation areas, or down into Dundas to the rail trail and you will be amazed at how awesome it is to run when the temperature drops. Congrats to all our high schoolers, especially those who are running cross country for the first time.

Senior Boys had over 580 athletes competing

Kelso CycloCross Race Series

Just when you think the race season is over… Cyclocross season starts up. When the nights get shorter, the temperature drops, the weather turns wet and windy, you know its time for Cyclocross. Tuesday evenings at Kelso Conservation Area, on the the lower portion of the Glen Eden ski slopes, they turn on the lights so that the race series can run til the end of October. This year, Gabe and Carolina are extending their cycling race seasons competing in the series. A few of us may do a drop in race or two, but with swimming starting sooner this season on Tuesday nights… someone has to be on deck at the pool. Looking forward to following the results. Enjoy!

Canadian 5k Road Race Championships

Running an hour earlier on the same course as the Bang&Olufsen 5km run – Bay/Dundas/University/Davenport – the Canadian 5k Road Race Championships had 100+ of the fastest 5k runners from Canada as well as a few Americans gunning for the $2,500 1st place purse and the additional $2,500 purse for a new course record. Temperature and humidity were ideal, with the wind playing a minor role as the skyscrapers of downtown Toronto seemed to provide some shelter. MJ set a personal record by breaking 20mins for the first time as a masters runner; his finishing chip time of 19:35 placed him 99th overall (/145) and 7th (/9) in his age category.

Which begs the question… why race in the Championship event to come near last in your age cat when you could have come top 10 overall (/857) and podium in your age category if you raced in the B&O 5k? To move to a new level of competition, you have to expose yourself to that level of competition. Its easy to stay the big fish in a little pond (as Malcolm Gladwell would say), but to pursue one’s potential cannot be comfortable because growing isn’t comfortable. Growth requires change, and change requires us to consider moving beyond what is convenient and challenging us to do what is inconvenient. I believe there is more for me to accomplish as a runner, therefore deciding to run in the Championship event was made… for me.

Canaqua Welland Open Water 5km Relay Swim

Aimee and Carolina formed a tag team to swim in the inaugural Canaqua Open Water 5k Relay Swim which was held at the Welland International Flatwater Centre (WIFC). Despite the water temperature being 22 deg, with the wind and the coolness provided by the cloudy skies, wetsuits were worn by almost all the competitors.  Alongside the 5k relay swimmers, others opted for either the 5k, 10k or 15k marathon swims.

Aimee shared that the course layout changed from the August Canaqua swim with swimmers started at the west side of the canal, crossing over first to the east side turning around a triple buoy before making their way up to the bridge at Ontario St. With the addition of the cross canal portion, swimmers didn’t have to venture under the bridge as the buoys could be placed before. This had little impact on sighting as the underwater lane ropes used to secure the lane markers for canoe & kayak events held at the WIFC offer swimmers a line to follow no different than the black line at the bottom of their training pool.

Aimee completed her 2.5k swim in just over 40mins, touching the dock allowing Carolina to push off for the second leg. Carolina finished just around 38mins.

With this being the first year for a Relay event, there were a total of 3 teams in the event. Perhaps next year, the thought of doing an open water swim with a teammate will entice a few more to head down to Welland. We also hope that reading the posts in our Performance News section will encourage those who are considering sticking a toe in to test the waters, decide to jump in and go all-in by joining us for any one of the open water swims we compete at as a team. Hope to see you in 2019.

Multisport Lakeside & Kids of Steel Triathlons

Progress is the name of the game. No need for words when the results can do the talking.


2017 Super Sprint Triathlon
2018 Sprint Triathlon (2x the distance of last yr)

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2017 Super Sprint Triathlon
2018 KOS14-15 Triathlon (longer swim & run)

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2017 Super Sprint Triathlon
2018 Super Sprint Triathlon

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Gabe – First Try a Tri / Super Sprint Triathlon

Congratulations to Gabe on completing his first ever triathlon. Its been a year of firsts for Gabe starting in early summer with his first ever open water swims, then all summer racing in the Kelso MTB series, his first cycling competitions. Its a model that all multisport athletes should consider: deconstruct the triathlon into its individual disciplines, train and compete in the individual events, then put it altogether and compete in a multisport event. Rinse, repeat, and make progress. In this way, you can evaluate how you are progressing in each individual sport, and it offers the opportunity to evaluate what happens when the sports are competed in back to back. Instead of becoming a jack of all/master of none, consider training to master all the sports. Then there truly are no limits.

MEC Burlington Race #4 – Bayfront Park

The first three MEC races were cloudy, rainy and cool… well Race #4 picked up right where Race #3 ended… weather wise that is. With a cool wind coming off the bay and with the temperature in the mid teens, it seems fall may mirror spring… cloudy and cool. But the weather was right for running.

Lindsey, Kelly and MJ ran the 5km, with Lindsey taking off more than 1/2 a minute from her Race #2 – Confederation Park 5k time and is just is shy of breaking 26mins. Kelly was just shy of breaking 25mins coming in at 25:04 and MJ used the run as a warm up for Canadian 5k Road Nationals tomorrow.

Aimee, Serena and Mark made their debut at the 10km distance.  With the summer race season behind, Bayfront Park is timed perfectly to set a benchmark for winter training and for racing next summer. Mark hung onto a squad of McMaster Marauder X-Country team members as both the men’s and women’s teams came out to use the race as a training run; he broke 40mins in his first 10k coming in at 39:59.4.  Serena was 5th Woman Overall in this her first ever 10k with a time of 45:52 and Aimee was well under 5min/k pace with a finishing time of 48:23. Next up is Race #5 – Confederation Park in October.

2018 Aquathlon [Swim-Run] Provincial Championships
p/b Stroke & Stride @ Gullivers Lake

The world of multisport used to refer solely to the sport of triathlon, but now multisport refers to not just triathlon, but to any combination of swim-bike-run event: a duathlon is a run-bike or run-bike-run event, an aquabike is a swim-bike event, and an aquathlon is a swim-run or run-swim-run event. The world of multisport events offers tremendous opportunity for athletes of all abilities and all ages because the combination of the different sports levels the playing field. Athletes who may not have had age group (aka youth) experience in sport or who may not stand out in any one sport can be as competitive as anyone else.

The evening first featured Stroke & Strides full line up of age category events starting from the 4-5 year olds who swam 25m and ran 250m. Serena and Juan competed in the 14-15 age category and had to complete a 500m swim followed by a 4k run. Serena came out of the water 2nd and Juan 4th. Serena took the overall lead to finish 1st overall (out of males & females), with Juan coming in 3rd overall and 2nd male. Both executed impeccably in their respective races as their split times are evidence of what it means to race healthy: negative splitting the run allowing them to accelerate past athletes who failed to pace the entire race effectively.  Excellent work!

The evening was also Stroke & Strides final event of 2018 and was the site of this years Triathlon Ontario Provincial Aquathlon Championships. With the water temperature a spa like 26+ degrees, wetsuits were prohibited and the event was changed from its typical swim-run format (1000m swim/5k run) to its ‘warm weather’ format of run-swim-run (2.5k run/1000m swim/2.5k run).  With swimming and running typically the weaker of the two disciplines amongst age group triathletes, the field of competitors was small but that did not mean it wasn’t fast as a number of elite triathletes toed the start line.

With wetsuits not permitted the event presented an immediate list of new challenges to Andres. Having learnt to swim less than two years ago, and having competed this year for the first time in open water swims at the 1000m distance while wearing a wetsuit, having to race sans wetsuit and having to do so after already racing the first run component of the event… well, that’s a big ask coming all at once.  It would come down to exquisite pacing, executing with near perfection on all his training over the past two years. And he did!  But that isn’t the end of the successes: Andres swam a personal best time of 31:20 for the 1000m, a time 40 secs faster than his 1000m swim time at the Caledon I Quarry Swim from June of this year which was with a wetsuit! That’s still not the end… as Andres negative splited the 2nd run accelerating to finish the final 1.25k run lap at sub 5min/km pace. Wow! Wow! Wow!

The Plazas-Hernandez family was not finished celebrating with Juan and dad putting in amazing efforts, as mom – Patricia – had her own peak performance in mind. Patricia swam a seasons best if not a personal best for an open water 1000m with a time of 20:40mins, a pace just shy of 2:00min/100m, but more importantly a time faster than her Caledon Quarry I Swim time (with wetsuit) of 21:31! But the best part… Patricia qualified for Multisport 2019 Worlds in Pontevedra, Spain by placing 1st in her age category.  Patricia is the Provincial Aquathlon Champion in the W50-54 category!  Stunning work Plazas-Hernandez family, absolutely stunning.

What’s better than one family having a steller evening… its 2 families having stellar evenings. On top of Serena taking top spot in the 14-15 age category, Mark took 1st in his age category, Aimee took 1st, and MJ also took 1st… meaning that we are all Provincial Age Group Aquathlon Champs. With the exception of Serena, we also qualify to go with Patricia to Spain for Multisport Worlds next summer [ITU impose a minimum age of 16 on athletes to compete @Worlds, next year Serena].

What a summer it has been!  And its still not over!  The Plazas-Hernandez family are competing at Lakeside this coming weekend, Gabe is doing his first triathlon, our family has the MEC #4 Race on Saturday, and on Sunday Aimee is in Welland for the Canaqua 5k relay event with Carolina as MJ heads into downtown Toronto for the Canadian 5km Road Race Championships which are being held along with the Bang & Olufsen 5k race. Stay tuned for more race results.

Trisport Guelph Lake II Triathlon

The temperature driving up to Guelph was 12 degrees, by the start of the Sprint distance triathlon not much changed. The cloud level was low, a cool wind blew, but the humidity could definitely be felt.  If the sun broke through, you knew it would get hot. Water temperature was 71 so many athletes opted for wetsuits as the coolness of the morning didn’t leave anyone wanting a refreshing dip in the lake… yet. The swim started at waters edge but due to the low water level, athletes were able to run almost 1/2 to the first buoy, and even then it took some of the pros as many as 8-10 dolphin dives to get to where it was deep enough to start swimming. With the wind picking up, there was a headwind on the way into T2 on the out/back bike course. The benefit to the cooler temp was found on the run as athletes were spared sweltering in the heat of the rolling run course.  In the afternoon, the sun did break through and the temperature spiked into the low 30s just in time for the start of the Try A Tri triathlon. Despite the warmer air temp, many athletes including many of the top athletes opted for wetsuits.

In the Sprint distance triathlon, Aimee swam to the 2 fastest female swim split of the day, and set the standard for her age category. In doing so, Aimee led her age category from start to finish of the triathlon. The gap with 2nd closed to 50secs at T2 but Aimee widened it finishing 1:48 in front, 6th woman overall.

In the Try A Tri (aka Super Sprint now that this distance will be contested in the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics in relay format), both Serena and Mark had to face off against the top Junior and Youth athletes in the Province as the starting list had no less than 10 athletes who also competed at Triathlon Provincials in Welland just a few weeks ago.  Serena exited the water in 5th, came into T2 off the bike in 4th, and ran to 3rd by the finish.  Unlike the men ahead of Mark who chose to swim with a wetsuit, Mark decided go to without. He came out of the water in 9th, into T2 off the bike in 7th and ran to take 6th place overall.

Kelso Mountain Bike (MTB) Series

The Kelso MTB Series is a set of 14 races scheduled every Tuesday night from May to August. This year 2 were rained out leaving 12 races which were held on 5 different courses (links to course maps below). Instead of winners being recognized after each race, points are allocated from every race to every athlete as a percentage of the fastest finisher in each race category. At the end of the season, the points are tabulated and series winners are awarded certificates. Last night, TOETT athletes celebrated the conclusion at the Kelso MTB Series Finale; an evening which starts with a Skills Competition followed by Awards and Draw Prizes.

The Skills Competition features the following events: the bunny hop (who clears the highest bar), the wheelie (who wheelies the furthest), the timed descent (who’s the fastest down the new Disco Inferno trail), the ‘square’ (a balance/trackstand competition), and the KOM (King of the Mountain – which is a competition as to who climbs to the top or the highest, up one of the Glen Eden ski hills).  The winner of each competition wins a prize. You can watch Mark compete in and conquer the ‘square’ competition (Youtube video).

The evening then moved onto Awards with every TOETT athlete who trained with Serena and Aimee this summer in the Basic Bike Handling Skills course and as part of the Group Rides ending up on the podium. That’s 9 podiums! Congratulations to all for trying something new: mountain biking, and competing in MTB events. What an outcome to watch everyone climb onto the podium.

Next year… those who competed in Beginner need to move up to the Novice category.  Gabe needs to move up the overall rankings in the Novice category and taking 1st in his age category should be the objective. Serena & Aimee will stay in Sport to work on moving up the overall rankings as well. Mark will be moving up to Expert and we shall see whether he or his ‘old man’ is faster.

For 2019, we have a new concept for our bike programs. We will unveil our training programs this winter. We are redesigning the programs to ensure that those racing on the loop used by the Novice, Sport & Expert categories have the skills needed to handle the climbs, the descents, and the obstacles that will be in one or all of the race courses.  Interested in joining us next year but nervous, no off road experience? No problem. This year athletes who never rode off road, never trained off road, trained to develop the skills needed for MTB’g, serving also to improve their on road skills for both training and racing as cyclists and triathletes. Come join us. Besides your bike handling skills improving, we guarantee you will have a blast.

Race Route #1
Race Route #2
Race Route #3
Race Route #4
Race Route #5

Still to come this year… Kelso Cyclocross series: a series of 8 races running Tuesday nights September into October. Stay tuned for results. Interested, then check the Kelso Conservation Area website for registration and race details.

Skills Competition & Awards – Tuesday Aug 28 @ 6:45pm

Race #14 – cancelled due to rain
Race #13 – results link here
Race #12 – results link here
Race #11 – results link here
Race #10 – results link here
Race #9 – results link here
Race #8 – results link here
Race #7 – results link here
Race #6 – results link here
Race #5 – results link here
Race #4 – results link here
Race #3 – results link here
Race #2 – results link here
Race #1 – cancelled due to rain

Athlete list by category:

Juan, Andres, Patricia, Carolina, Matei


Mark, Serena, Aimee, Yuliya


2018 O-Cup Mountain Bike Provincial Champs
@Kelso Conservation Area

Click buttons for the race routes completed by the various athlete categories

OCA Provincials Event – Loop A
OCA Provincials Event – Loop B
OCA Provincials Event – Loop C

After a full night of rain, Kelso Conservation Area was soaked through. If you have never ridden off road then you are likely unfamiliar with what happens when mountain bike trails get soaked… instead of biking on firm hard packed dirt, its like riding on wet sand… its work, hard work. When it isn’t hard work pedaling, then its hard work balancing as your bike is slipping and sliding through puddles, muddy turns, over wet roots and rocks.

Gabe raced in the first wave that went off @ 9am. His race was the wet-est as the sun still hadn’t broken through the fog and clouds. Shallow puddles and mud pits marked a few corners, and made uphill climbs challenging.  Gabe completed his first ever OCup race and his first ever OCup MTB Provincials placing 5th. Nice! Considering Gabe started biking less than a year ago, to accept the challenge of racing at the premier event for MTB in the province took courage. Congrats Gabe.

Serena and Aimee raced in the second wave that went off @ 10am. Serena in the Cadet Junior Sport girls was staged in a wave a couple minutes head of Aimee in who competed in the Master Sport Women (35-49) category. Both had to complete 2 laps of the 6.1km course. Serena placed 2nd in her category and Aimee finished 5th.

Finally, Mark and MJ took to the trails in the third wave that went off @ 11:45am. Mark had 2 laps to do of Loop B and MJ had to complete 3. With a sprint distance triathlon yesterday (750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run) Mark had his work cut out for him; Mark placed 12th. MJ who decided that the trail signs marking the course needed to be taken down, missing the apex of a turn on Quarry Trail he ended up riding straight into the bushes taking out one sign. Since one fall is not as fun as two, he then decided to test out if the rocks on Rough Trade were as hard as they looked, so he took another spill on the uphill rock garden just before Wide Open. No matter, up you go and back to racing, MJ took 11th place.

Although we all have raced weekly in the Kelso MTB Series all summer, showing up to an Ontario Cycling Association O-Cup event was new and none of us knew what to expect, who we would be racing, nor the quality of the competition. But to do something new… you have to do something new. I think we can all admit that we were a bit anxious going into the event, but once on the trails, once the competition started, everyone focused on the task at hand, had a great time and gained valuable race experience.

The first wave raced on Loop A, second and third waves on Loop B, and the fourth wave raced on Loop C.

2018 Triathlon Ontario Draft Legal Provincials – Welland

Serena and Mark started the Aug 25-26th weekend with one of two Provincial competitions: Triathlon Ontario Draft Legal Provincials in Welland Ontario. Arriving in the dark to provide Serena with enough time to warm up before the 7:10 swim start was a new experience this summer; most events we’ve attended have started with the sun well above and shining strong. The age group wave went at 7:30 and the Elite Men and Junior Men at 8:00am. Air temperature was 20deg, and the water was 26.5 making it a no wetsuit swim. A strong wind from the west made the dead flat 5km out & back bike course loop feel uphill one way and downhill the other. Riding with the wind, the Elite & Junior men were holding 50kph+ easy. The run course took athletes up one side of the canal, back by transition and the stands, up and down the other side of the canal finishing where the day started back at the swim start dock.

The value of redoing the same event year over year: the ideal test to measure progress. We train because we want to see progress, improvement, change in our capacity, in our ability to execute skills and strategy on race day. With this being Serena & Mark’s second year racing Provincials and with them being in the same categories as last year, Provincials offered an ideal assessment of the training they performed in the past 12 months.

Serena held her times in the swim and the bike steady from last year but dropped her run split by 2 mins 34 secs, taking almost 40 secs off her per km pace. Serena ran the 4km in 16:52, a pace of 4:13/km. Serena is ecstatic with her result, and improving from 11th place in 2017 to 4th place in 2018 was sweet. Next year, Serena moves up to the 16-19/Junior category where she will be competing against some of Canada’s top up & coming females.

Mark’s times in 2017 and 2018 were compared as a deficit to 1st place. Year over year, Mark cut the deficit by 4mins 9secs, down to 11mins 35 secs off. He took almost 2mins off his swim time and then another 2mins 19secs off his run time while holding his bike steady. The competition was stiffer in 2018 as his almost 4mins improvement in overall time was only able to move him to 15th from 16th place in 2017. With 2 more years in the 16-19/Junior category Mark has the potential to take off enough time to put himself on the podium at Provincials.

Tomorrow, its Provincial event number two for the weekend as the entire family heads to compete in the OCup MTB Provincials at Kelso Conservation Area. In addition, Gabe who raced for the first time in the Kelso MTB Series this summer will also be joining in the event.

Canaqua Welland Open Water Swim
1000m, 2500m, 5000m & 10,000m

Results can be found for all distances by clicking here to link

Could not have asked for a more beautiful day… sunny blue skies, warm & humid temperatures, with the Welland Canal water temperature hovering around 76 degrees… it was outstanding! TOE athletes came out and competed in all events except the 10,000m swim. The crew in the 1000m event are all in the picture below, Lindsey tackled the 2500m event, and MJ swam the 5000m.  The 1000m event was run differently this year with athletes walking down the canal bank and starting 1000m from the finish line resulting in a drag race straight down the lanes used by the canoe & kayak events at this the Welland International Flatwater Centre. TOE athletes took all 3 podium spots in the ladies 1000m, with Carolina 1st, Serena 2nd and Lilja 3rd. Patricia came in 5th overall also taking took 1st in her age category. The men had Mark come in 2nd overall, Juan, Gabe & Anthony coming in 6th, 7th and 8th. Both of our masters men – Tom & Andres – took 3mins off their 1000m open water times (besting their times from Caledon). All in all… outstanding performances for all with yet another athlete – Anthony – completing his first ever open water swim.  Congratulations y’all.

As for MJ in the 5000m event, well… let’s just say the event ended up not being 5000m, but a 6000+m event.  On the 1st lap… after going under the bridge, and knowing the course from prior years it was strange not to see the buoy. Having had to stop and do breaststroke to literally find where on earth the buoy was, I saw swimmers returning from beyond the second bridge. Nah.. I thought to myself, the buoy cannot be that far, the course map indicated the buoys are just after the first bridge. But in the distance, there was the buoy… not just at the second bridge but beyond it. Off I swam. It wasn’t until lap 2 when looking for that same buoy that I saw it being pulled behind one of the rescue/safety boats. The staff yelled from the boat that it floated away, not to worry about chasing the boat to round the buoy and told me instead to head for the second turnaround buoy. Its one thing for a bike or run course to be a bit long… but for an open water swim to end up being over a 1000m longer… all I can say is thank goodness for my training that offered me the opportunity to complete the course, and do so with a bit of a final kick.

Thankfully for the 2500m event, the buoy was firmly secured in place. Managed to get some snapshots of Lindsey finishing up in the final 100m of the 2500m event and then reaching for the timing mat on the floating dock to stop the clock with her time. Sweet technique Lindsey, now add turnover and away you will go!

Niagara (Grimsby) Triathlon

Podiums are nice, who doesn’t want to stand on a podium. But. Podiums without progress do getting boring, old, stale. Podiums on their own are not enough, if they were then those who could stand on podiums would never stop sport… they would stick around just to stand on another podium. They don’t. Even if they could, they don’t. Why? Because podiums are not enough. Progress is what we truly hunger and thirst for in life. When a podium is representative of progress, then its a podium worth standing on; when a podium is just a podium… its meaningless. So what happens, when an entire family achieves progress… together… its not just meaningful, its life changing, because together they progressed, by training together they lifted one another, they encouraged one another, to challenged each other to progress, and progress they did. At the Niagara Trisport Triathlon this past weekend… there was progress, off the chart progress. See for yourself. Last year’s times are above, this year’s times are below. And the picture to the right… that’s how progress feels when done united as a family.

Congratulations Patricia, Juan and Andres!  Well done.

Click on any image to enlarge

C3 Caledon Quarry Swim II

A smaller group headed out to Caledon at the end of July for the second quarry swim. This time, instead of overcast conditions and rain, it was hot. humid and sunny… perfect to head to the beach and go for a swim. With the water above 72 degrees, some opted to go sans wetsuit while others wanting to compare their time to their June swim stuck with a wetsuit.  With a wind from the NW, waves at the far end of the course made offered an interesting twist: sighting was a bit more of a challenge having to look over the small waves, and breathing patterns had to be adjusted (otherwise you would be drinking waves and not breathing).

1 km

Serena 18:15  – 11th Overall
Andres  30:35  – 27th Overall

4 km

MJ  1:03.54 – 2nd Overall

2 km

Carolina  30:38 – 1st Overall
Aimee  34:18 – 4th Overall
Gabriel  39:44 – 12th Overall
Juan  40:32 – 17th Overall
Lindsey  43:10 – 22nd Overall
Patricia  43:22 – 24th Overall

C3 Caledon Quarry Swim I

Last year, it was just the 4 of us – Aimee, Mark, Serena, MJ – and this year there was… 12 of us! How awesome! As awesome, was that our goal of establishing a junior masters open water swim team was achieved with 5 junior athletes – one as young as 12 – joining in on the fun competing in either the 1km or 2km events. For 2 of the juniors… this was their first ever open water swim. Congratulations to our juniors and of course to our masters athletes who competed in the 1km, 2km and 4km events. Thankfully the weather held out, there was a little drizzle which seems par for the course this year when competing but we are most thankful that lightning never struck allowing the event to go on without delay. Post event burgers from the Kitchen [in Mono Mills, link here] were amazing.

1 km

Lilja  19:56  – 4th/under 20F/1k wetsuit
Juan  21:29  – 3rd/under 20M/1k wetsuit
Patricia  21:31  – 1st/50-59F/1k wetsuit
Tom   27:13  – 5th/ 50-59M/1k wetsuit
Andres  32:01  – 3rd/40-49M/1k wetsuit

4 km

MJ  1:06.00 – 1st/40-49M/4k wetsuit

2 km

Mark  31:05  – 1st/under 20M/2k wetsuit
Carolina  31:12 – 1st/40-49F/2k wetsuit
Aimee  34:31 – 2nd/40-49F/2k wetsuit
Serena  36:20 – 1st/under 20F/2k wetsuit
Gabriel  40:11  – 3rd/under 20M/2k wetsuit
Lindsey  41:00 – 2nd/30-39F/2k no wetsuit


  • Mark & Carolina finished 7 and 14 secs respectively behind 1st place… former Canadian National Swim Team member Dan Thompson (1980 Moscow Olympics).
  • Tom shared that his GPS watch measured 1 lap as 1175m, counting a bit off course swimming, plus the beach run… loop length likely 1075-1125m (vs 1000m)

Gravenhurst Triathlon

What happens when a family trains together? That family gets to spend weekends together all summer long racing together, having fun together, building memories, sharing memories. This past weekend the Plazas family did just that… they all competed individually in the Try-A-Tri Triathlon in Gravenhurst. Even better… they all experienced either personal best splits and/or podiums. How do you top that? Congratulations to mom and dad on their age group podiums and to Juan for a stellar run split… he’s taken 2:30mins/km off since last year (and learnt how powerful proper consistent training is to achieving goals)! Truly awesome.

Tour of Pelham

The 2018 Tour of Pelham had to be rescheduled this year from April to July as a result of the ice storm and other inclement weather we saw in early spring. As a result, the Tour fit into our race calendar and never having done an Ontario Cycling Association road event we decided to sign up for our first ever Tour. The course was just shy of 35km with approximately 50% road, 35% gravel and 15% off road/MTB and just under 300m of vertical; the sweltering weather made the 12noon start just a bit more challenging for the 70 or so cyclists. The majority rode cyclocross bikes, but with both fixie and fat bike categories there were those as well as a few MTBs and even a road bike in the mix.  We opted for MTBs and stuck with the tires we use for the Kelso MTB series due to the off road sections.

Despite going off course twice, and despite being hit by another cyclist during the off road portion (who wasn’t in the event) Serena managed to get back on course finishing 2nd in the U19 category. Mark unfortunately flatted 3km into the race and with the Sweep not having any 29er tubes – despite having every other imagineable tube size, especially Cyclocross – Mark called it a day. Aimee also ended up on the podium finishing 3rd in the Open Womens category.

Warming up and finish line on the Merrittville Speedway.

Top finishers in the Elite Men, Open Men and U19 categories.

Ironman 70.3 Mont Tremblant

TOEST swimmer Yuliya competed this weekend in Mont Tremblant completing her second Ironman 70.3 triathlon. In just one year, Yuliya improved her 1.9km swim by almost a full 15mins, taking her 100m pace from 3:08 to 2:24/100m. The improvement didn’t stop there, across her bike and run splits Yuliya took another 25mins off her total time. Nicely done Yuliya. Click here for Yuliya’s results in Sportstats.

Yuliya worked throughout the winter months to develop her kick, and then worked to integrate it into her swim stroke… hmm… it would appear that kicking in the swim is critical to improving as a swimmer, AND doesn’t come at the cost of compromising the legs in the bike and the run.

So much for that old tale that triathletes need to “save the legs” in the swim.

Multisport Rose City [Welland] Triathlons

Thankfully there wasn’t any lightning to delay the wave starts but there was rain, and plenty of it.  No matter, rain ain’t gonna stop a race, nor competitors from racing and with that the Sprint & Super Sprint/Try a Tri triathlons were contested at the International Flatwater Centre in Welland. Water temperature was just a smidge under 70 degrees so wetsuits were worn, and thanks to a bit of humidity, air temperature was near ideal for cycling and running.

TOETT athletes put in stellar performances with numerous personal best split times, finishing times, plus a total of 6 podiums [5 – 1st / 1 – 2nd].

Serena Grodski
1st Overall & 1st in 19- cat

Mark Grodski
1st in 19- cat & 15th Overall

Aimee Grodski
1st in 40-44 cat & 6th Overall

Juan Plazas
5th in 19- cat

Patricia Hernandez
5th in 50-59 cat

Team “TOETT”
2nd in Sprint Relay

(Andres – swim & run / MJ – bike)

Team “TOEST 2”
1st in Super Sprint/Try a Tri Relay

(Tom – swim & run / MJ – bike)

Mark & Aimee also qualified for the
2019 ITU World Championships
in Lausanne, Switzerland
by coming 1st in their age categories

MEC Burlington Race #3

Wet, rainy, foggy… deja vue all over again, I mean all over again… so far its a pattern this year for MEC Races.  It wasn’t any different for Race #3 but being out at Glen Eden Kelso Conservation Area and with it being an off road run, the conditions kinda seemed appropriate. On the other hand, Aimee felt like she was Laura Ingalls (Little House on the Praire) running down Challenger ski hill which made up the back 1/2 of the 1km loop.  The ladies took the podium, another pattern this year.

Results from this mornings 1km (are here) and 1hour run (are here).

Caledon KOS (Kids of Steel) Triathlon

Not sure how Barrie Shepley does it, but his C3 event –  the Caledon KOS Triathlon – had for the second year in a row absolutely incredible weather. Even though the swim was indoors at the Caledon Recreation Centre, having blue skies and warm winds in your face for the bike and run, and right from 8am is awesome for a Sunday morning in May.

Mark & Serena posted tremendous progress by taking over 3mins off their last years finishing times. Us parents couldn’t let the kids have all the fun, so mom & dad both decided to join in the fun by competing in the adults category (actually there were two adult categories 20-35 and 35+). In the end, Mark took 2nd in the 16-19 age category, Serena came in 5th in the 14-15 category, and the parents both took 1st place in the 35+ age category / 2nd overall amongst adults.

Next year, we look forward to more families joining us for the season opener event which has all ages swimming, biking and running… as young as 3 years old.

Results (link here) are on the ChipTime website

Do have to mention the generosity that we were met with at this event… for a grand entry fee amount of $45 for adults, not only does C3 put on a great event for all, but medals are awarded to all categories, and there are sponsor gifts!  Mark received a Roots gym bag, a bike pump and bike headlight, and Aimee and I each received water bottles and $50 gift certificates from Running Free. Honestly… wow! It doesn’t stop there… a bbq with your choice of burgers or hot dogs are part of your entry fee and available once you cool down after your race. What more could you ask for?

MEC Burlington Race #2

Wet, rainy, foggy… and buggy… deja vue all over again for Race #2 in the MEC Burlington 2018 series. 437 runners (166 – 5k, 185 – 10k, 86 – 1/2) along with top Canadian Road Runner Reid Coolsaet greeted the morning in Confederation Park, plus swarms of gnats that seemed to hover just at head height… perfect in case you morning bagel wasn’t poppyseed.  Even with the gnats, the temperature was ideal for a road race.  Reid easily took the 10k in a time just under 31mins, with 2nd place 4+mins behind. Managed to get a finish line pick of Coolsaet who finished 9th this year in the Boston Marathon.  Our crew – The Olympian Experience athletes – managed a few personal bests, a few podiums, and MJ qualified for the Canadian 5km Road Race Championships happening this September in Toronto (link). With only 6 seconds separating all the spots on the men’s podium, it was a great race to watch for those who came along to cheer. Results from this mornings run can be found at Speed River Timing (link).

5 km Results

Serena 2nd & Aimee in 3rd

Reid Coolsaet finishing the 10km

Mark took 2nd overall

Lindsey was 4th in her age category

Juan took 3rd in his age category

Patricia was 1st in her age category

Leslie took on the 10km event

MEC Burlington Race #1

Wet, rainy, foggy… perfect for a trail run through the Dundas Valley with 400+ participants in the 2018 MEC Burlington running series season opener. Congrats to all on making it through the mud, and to Mark & Serena who were each awarded 3rd place overall medals in the 3.75km trail run. A bunch of TOESTees were out showing that swimmers do well both in the water and on dry land. Actually, it wasn’t all that dry… the MEC Race Director had to cancel the mid distance event (9km trail run) because it was washed out in parts, and on the course we all ran there were a couple puddles that were at least ankle deep!

3.75 km Trail Run Results

Regarding the finishing results of the 3.75km trail run:  the results on the MEC race website indicate Serena as 5th, yet she received the 3rd place Overall Female finisher medal. This discrepancy has been reviewed with the Speed River Timing (the company which provided timing chips for the event and is responsible for the results). Serena did indeed finish 3rd. A full account of the issue is discussed at this post – Click Here – to link.

10.2 km Trail Run Results

2018 Milton Masters Swim Club Spring Splash

Link here to the TOEST website for the review

2018 Masters Swimming Ontario (MSO) Provincial Championships

MSO Provincial Champions
Podium Positions
Personal Records

TOEST 2018 MSO Provincial Age Group Champs & Podiums

Aimee Grodski
100 & 200 BR
6 Podiums

Carolina Lleras
100 & 200 FLY
800 FR
6 Podiums

MJ Grodski
400 FR & 400 IM
200 FLY
4 Podiums

Andres Plazas
1 Podium

MSO Provincial Champs in Nepean were also the site for the Canadian Forces own Championships. As a result, the Saturday morning session opened with a Color Guard marching onto the Nepean Sportsplex pool deck followed by the Canadian anthem. It was an opportunity for all to appreciate the Canadian men & women who provide their country with military service. Thank you.

Burlington Masters Spring Splash Swim Meet, Feb 2018

If its the weekend of the Burlington Masters Spring Splash then you can mark in your calendar some sort of weather event.  Usually its a snow storm, this year freezing rain after days of steady snow.  No matter… the show must go on and it did. With new TOESTees coming out and dipping their toes into the waters of a swim meet for the first time, there was excitement throughout the entire meet. Everyone walked away (or shall I say swam away) with at least one if not several positive moments, and as always a load of  technical ‘to-dos’ to add to training.

TOEST had two swim meet newbies – Tom and Tanya – who swam in a range of events from the 50m FR to the 400m FR; Tanya also tested out her Backstroke leading off the women’s 4×50 Medley Relay team. Visit the TOEST.ca website for a few pics from the meet.

Alderwood Teddy Bares Swim Meet, Jan 2018

The 43rd Annual Teddy Bares Masters Swim Meet was this past weekend (Jan 21st) in Etobicoke with over 100 swimmers participating, and with Masters athletes coming from as far away as the Ottawa region. TOEST athletes put in superb swims, and topping it off was our women’s relay team who finished off the meet with…

2nd in the 4 x 50 FR relay

1st in the 4 x 50 Medley relay

Well done ladies! Next up… the BMSC Winter Splash and the Forsey Invitational.

Ontario Summer Games, London Aug 2-5, 2018

Congratulations to Serena Grodski who has qualified for the Ontario Summer Games, and will be competing in both individual and relay triathlon events in London this summer.  Serena competed at Triathlon Ontario Provincials in Welland in August last year scoring enough points to place as one of the top 24 Junior females.

In addition, Serena has been permitted by Triathlon Ontario to compete this year at XTerra ‘Mine Over Matter’ off road triathlon to be held in June at the Kelso Conservation Area. Along with her brother, the pair will be looking to see if they can take both 1st place podium positions that mom & dad took last year. What an amazing summer of racing it will be!

Click to link to the Summer Games website