We met for a swim racing technique session on Friday and followed that up with a talk about riding the Ironman course successfully. We touched on mental preparedness, nutritional strategies that I have learned and practiced in 32 Ironman events and the logistics of riding for 6 to 8 hours. Everyone received their ‘treat bags’ with some PowerBars for fuel, Red Bull for a little spark, a Fuelbelt to carry the nutrition and Zone Fish Oil and Antioxidants to keep their inflammation at bay! After turning in our transition bags and a wonderful dinner at the Lakeside, we all tried to rest up for a very exciting day on the course.
On Saturday morning, the first group rolled out at 6 a.m. escorted by one of our Power Bar support crew, Karen Frank in her support Subaru. Our coaches, Dave, Jody and myself headed out with this group and we all rode together offering advice and encouragement and support all the way to Ritchers. At that point, I turned around to ride with the 7 a.m. group who were being supported by Murray Frank in his support Subaru. Once I found them, we all rode onward to Ritchers and eventually combined with the 6 a.m. group.
It was a very windy day – probably tougher than the athletes will face on race day. Emma and Shelley were flying up front slicing through the wind. Mayor Pat was smiling all day taking in the scenary. Brad was doing simply amazing having just learned to use clipless pedals back in January! Doug and Dalton were absolutely smashing it trying to catch up to the fast 6 a.m. riders wanting to be first off the bike back at Lake Skaha. David was loving every minute in spite of the fact that he had never, ever ridden that far before and wasn’t even doing IMC. Jane and Gord were also flying and Carolyn never stopped smiling and taking in all the advice. Gord learned better hill climbing technique and even said ‘ was that Yellow Lake?’ as he pedaled up effortlessly. Jennifer overcame some asthma issues and turned in a brilliant ride. Lee Anne put her flat tire episode out of her mind and hammered! Josie rode way faster than she had ridden at Lake Placid and was loving the course (and the sun!) But the best was seeing Mark finish his epic ride laughing his head off – he could not believe he had ridden that far and still had to run! He definitely won the ‘just for laughs’ award for the weekend.
After the transition run and a little Power Bar recovery shake and bars, we all shared and celebrated our success. Then it was supper time and another chat to get geared up mentally, emotionally and physically for Sunday’s long run.
After another Power Bar recovery session and chit chat, we had brunch at the Lakeside and photos and then finished off the camp with another open water swim. Normally that would end our camp but since most of our athletes hailed from Regina, our camp rapped up with watching the Saskatchewan Roughriders beat the Toronto Argos – I planned it that way just to put the perfect finishing touch on the weekend!
Next year’s camp will likely happen a week earlier .. because …
.. when the camp ended, Dave and I flew to Calgary. We are part of the ownership for Ironman Calgary 70.3 (www.ironmancalgary.com) to be held on August 2nd, 2009. On Tuesday, we held a press conference, in conjunction with Calgary Sport Tourism Authority, to make the official announcement. City TV, CTV, 660 News, Global and other print media were there. Dave and I are proud to be part of two 70.3 events in Canada – Subaru Ironman Muskoka 70.3 (www.ironmanmuskoka.com) with Trisport North and Ironman Calgary 70.3 with the Rocky Mountain Triathlon Corporation.
And now, it is almost time for Subaru Ironman Canada. Ten more tougher training days and then time to taper!!!
Stay well and thank you for reading.