2021 Results

Canaqua Sports Welland Canal Open Water Swim

We checked the weather Saturday night….risk of thunderstorms on race morning, yikes!  Woke up to a calm and pleasantly humid warm September morning with the risk of thunderstorms reduced to simply the chance of a slight shower, hurray!  The kids headed on down — on their own no less — to Welland to do their first ever event on their own.  Having not swam since the pre-Covid shutdown in March, Serena signed up for 2.5km swim.  Mark on the other hand having not swam since April 2020 decided to give the 5km swim another go (his first and last time doing it was in 2019).

A lack of pool time was a non-issue for Serena & Mark; both would have preferred to have been able to swim but a professional has to be able to perform irrespective of what circumstances provide. Both demonstrated that when done properly multisport training (aka cross-training) allows athletes to retain performance levels with minimal to no sport specific training. Mark messaged us shortly after his swim that he could feel the entire summer of cycling in the power his legs had in his kick. It has been no different for many of the professionals swimmers in the ISL (i.e. International Swim League) as many lost pool time due to Covid lockdowns in their own countries yet they maintained their performance into competition by cross training (with many making up training time by cycling). Equally, many of the athletes who went to Tokyo for the Olympic Games had to also cross train in order to make up for training that was lost due to their facilities being shut down.

And now, the results: Serena finished 4th overall and was the top overall female in the 2.5km swim. Mark swam to 3rd overall in the 5km event and was 1st in the 18-24 age category. Both of the kids were no more than a minute off their prior times for these events. From a parents perspective: the kids got themselves to and from the event site (first time ever), attended the mandatory pre-event meetings and each put in solid performances. That’s an impressive set of results that any parent can be proud of.

Click on an image to enlarge

XTerra Conquer the Crater 2021
Triathlon & Trail Run, Sudbury

Considering the crazy weather we’ve been having….from waves of heat & humidity to what seemed like daily flash t-storms with massive downpours….to have 4 straight days of glorious blue sky weather was an absolute blessing. We – Aimee & I that is – were met in Sudbury by cool mornings ideal for racing, and warm gorgeous afternoons amazing for chilling out at Crowley Lake. With restrictions for gatherings coming off, Race Director John MacDonald jumped in full gas into race director mode and once again skillfully executed an outstanding weekend of racing amid all the Covid restrictions and requirements….amazing! Plus, the weekend raised another $70k+ for the Miles Against Cancer Fund which will go a long way to helping families deal with the medical expenses of a child requiring cancer treatment (which in the north means traveling to Toronto or Ottawa, plus all the expenses associated with travel in order for their child to receive medical care). Congratulations and thank you must go to John and his team of staff and volunteers.

Day 1 | Cross Triathlon (750m swim | 18.4k bike | 7.5k run) — Crowley Lake being a shallower and smaller lake made it a wetsuit optional swim. The air may have been 11 degrees Saturday morning but the water was exquisitely warm and wonderful and without a wave in sight, the swim was fast. Aimee had the fastest swim split amongst the women, and the 6th fastest overall; I – MJ – had the fastest overall swim split giving me over a minute lead heading out of T1 onto the bike. The bike was as technical as you can imagine for outback in the Canadian Shield with a new section that prolonged the downhill from the 3rd climb. It may have been a downhill, but the rocks and roots made it a challenging course to navigate with the occasional set of wood planks over boggy sections adding variety. The second loop took us back up to the ridge (the image of the Muskoka chairs is from the top of that ridge) and back down the technical descent to the crusher dust trails close to T2. The run loop had 80ft of vertical per lap (50m of vertical total for 7.5km) making legs work again after the 280+m of vertical on the bike course. Aimee finished on the podium in 3rd place in her age category, 10th female overall and 40th overall; I took 1st in the 40-49 AC, 4th overall. Unfortunately I was unable to defend the title of King of the Crater; wasn’t a willing handing of the torch to the younger age categories so perhaps a return next year is required. TBD

Day 2 | 21k Trail Run (ended up as 19+km ish) — Instead of wasting a well marked bike course, race director John decided to have us run 2 laps of a modified version of the bike loop that the triathletes took the day before from T1 to T2. Perhaps wise, or perhaps wicked….whatever was the inspiration it turned out wickedly awesome! Ever do a run course with 200m of vertical? If not, then you’ve got to give it a go. The funny thing is, you would think that the uphills would be the punishing part but its the downhills that really do a number, especially the downhills on lap 2. With a 7:45am start where the morning fog was just starting to be broken by the first glimmer of sunshine over the tree tops, the small pack of runners got on their way to another glorious day in Ontario’s north. Aimee finished 2nd female overall and I was happy to hit the finish line 4th in the age category having negative split the laps.

What an amazing weekend of racing. But it wasn’t over just yet. After the awards for the trail run, Race Director John shared that at XTerra Worlds in Hawaii there is another award given out… the “Dirty Double”. Athletes who qualify and compete in both the XTerra Worlds Triathlon and 21k Trail Run have their times combined and a “Dirty Double” winner for both men and women are awarded. To our surprise, Aimee and I were awarded these trophies.

Racing can be fun, super fun; but it starts with training that is healthy, sustainable and not only athlete specific, but athlete appropriate. We hope that our results show that anyone who wants to train in such a manner can go on to post results they never imagined.  Who knew there was a “Dirty Double” prize? Put in the right training, and the racing will be just as right. Cheers

KELSO Mountain Bike (MTB) Race Series 2021

Its back! The Kelso MTB Race Series is back on Tuesdays from 2pm to 7pm, running in 8 person waves starting 10mins apart. We’ve been back at it hitting the new courses for the past few weeks. Results are available at the link below on the Kelso Conservation website. This year – due to Covid – the race series is unlike anything in the past. Instead of multiple laps and different laps for the various levels of racing, there is only 1 course and only 1 lap done. The course is slightly longer than usual, but since its a 1 lap race and since all levels of athletes are on the same course, its less technical. Hope to see you out there!

Click Here for the Kelso MTB Race Results

Click on the links below for each race course used in the Kelso MTB 2021 Race Season

Race Course #1

Race Course #2 – no link available