Vivian Workman’s Barrelman 2019 Recap

This was my third time participating at Barrelman and it did not disappoint. Beautiful picturesque sunrise, calm waters, and the last minute calls for (and finding) assistance; what I’ve come to expect from this race. Conversations about the course and tips were mingled with the general air of excitement. One of the nice touches is the performance of both the American and Canadian national anthems, most races only perform the host country’s.

You could tell the day was going to be a warm one as evidenced by the numerous tubes popping during the pre-race and once the swim waves got underway. Living in an area with heat and humidity I knew to slightly under-inflate my tires but it was nice to have a fellow ambassador stop by and remind me. I checked the pressure before heading down to the swim start. Read more

The Volunteers

We all sign up for the races, train (maybe :)), show-up to the event, grab our swag and race our race. Many of us will even, while gasping for air, thank those who provide the security and safety for our event. But how many of you have been on the flip side of the race and one of the many Volunteers?

Volunteers are what makes our races and events affordable, fun and add to the local flair. Volunteer attitude can make (or break) an event. Locals signing up to volunteer because they enjoy the spectacle or a local group as they receive a charitable contribution are great, but what are you doing to advance the sports you love and willingly participate in?

Giving back to our community is the best way to ensure the events you love continue to be at the quality that you expect. If you look around you will find a position that you can shine in and contribute in a positive way. Volunteering also gives you a different perspective of what it takes to host an event; both the struggles and triumphs.

Personally, I try to volunteer at least 1-2 times per year at local events I enjoy. Currently, I am the course sweep for 2 different trail runs that are in my childhood “backyard” parks. I am the last person on the course, assisting those at the party in the back pace as needed and making sure everyone safely gets off the course. This is especially important as some of our races in the mountains go for 5 miles between aid stations. I carry extra hydration, a basic first aid kit, extra fuel, cell phone and those fold able foil blankets. It’s not much but if someone is in need it will help make the experience a little less painful. For me, this is how I help ensure that these events continue safely in my home area and are accessible to all. It is also so rewarding to see people push outside their comfort areas and to see what they can do. There is a satisfaction in seeing their joy as they cross that finish line.

We also have been blessed with a Park Run and that is entirely volunteer driven. A weekly free timed 5K that has numerous positions available and, for many, is a first introduction to weekly training.
When should you volunteer? Anytime, the question is more of when are you going to volunteer? Treat it like a race, think about what you as a participant would love to see a person at that volunteer position do. Maybe its a funny sign, a kind word or just filling the cups a slightly different way.

When is the best time to volunteer? Anytime. Last year there was an event I wanted to race but it didn’t fit my training schedule so I volunteered. Ended up being the trail sweep for the first 17 miles of a 50K (I hiked it). I wanted to be part of the event. Other times I’ve helped direct traffic, handed out water, tended the fire jump at a spartan race, water safety at at local triathlon, etc. There is always something you can do and you’ll find the time passes quickly.
So as you complete your prep in anticipation for Barrelman, I would like to challenge you, during your taper, to look for a local event and sign up to volunteer. Give something back to your community. I think you will find volunteering a different kind of reward and well worth your time investment.

Your friend in tapering …. Vivian


Take a Walk/Run on the Wild Side

The dog days of summer are upon us and I, for one, am in need of some relief from the searing heat of the concrete/asphalt urban paths. But where to go? And how should I adjust my training?

Why hit the trails? Well for starters, it’s usually a bit cooler as there a greater amount of shade, maybe some water and breezes blowing down the hollows. Even in the most oppressive muggy heat the trails are a few degrees cooler. And with all that shade from the sun, they seem even cooler. Trails are a great break from the monotony of urban running, they are constantly changing (I love to run trails all year to see the seasonal changes) and you don’t miss not having music. Plus you get the added core work from navigating the uneven surfaces.

So how do I incorporate trail running into my training? For easy runs, I add 2-3 minutes per mile pace depending on which trail I decide to run and go by HR/RPE and time, not so much pace (for example I recently did a 1:45 easy long run on the trails. Ended up with ~5.5 miles 800′ elevation gain and my hr average was upper Z2). Hill work – find a short hill and do repeats.  Trails are great for this as you have to really zone in on your footwork and you can feel it in your core. Intervals? I either go to the rail trail which is flatter/more even or I know a few trails that are single track but relatively flat. This takes care of most of my run and I usually get in a 5K on the road at Park Run Saturday mornings before switching to the trail to finish up my long run.

How do I get started on the trails, you ask? First step is finding a map or a local group that is familiar with the trails.  Read the descriptions and pay attention to the topography. If you see the trail cutting across a lot of topo lines close together it’s going to be steep. Until you learn the area out and backs are great to learn the area. Do I need any special gear? Short answer is no but appropriate footwear is advisable especially for the more technical a trail. As with road shoes, I have a few different trail shoes for different purposes. Mainly I run in Altra Duo for the road and Saucony Peregrine for the trails. Some trail shoes are more aggressive than others and some will have additional protection called a rock plate on the bottom. They tend to be stiffer. Your local running shop should have a few models and you can always ask the locals what they wear. Just like road shoes, it’s highly personal and you want to be confident in the shoe. I also carry a hydration pack for anything over an hour with extra fluid, gels, band-aids, a knife and my phone. Always check the weather because it’s not as easy as ducking into a doorway to get out of a storm.

Let’s now discuss probably one of the funnest parts of trail running: water. You see creek crossing and it’s steamy hot.  What do you do? Why you jump in feet first and run thru the water. Trail shoes drain pretty well and it will cool you off.  Or you’ve been slogging thru the mud, the water will help break the mud off the shoes. Plus it’s just fun to play in the mud and the water.

Trail Cautions/Dangers (there are others not  listed here, it is the woods): you will eventually come upon wildlife. I’m talking about mainly snakes but it is the wilderness and there are spiders, deer, bears, turkeys, turtles, squirrels, etc.  Most are harmless and will retreat. Snakes are different. Give them a wide berth and let them be. This is why you have to be a bit more in the moment on the trails. I’ve come across a few poisonous ones and you just need to detour or wait them out. Plants can also be an issue, especially poison ivy/oak, sumac, stinging nettles, etc. Most well maintained trails are clear of these hazards but it’s still a good idea to know what they are and how to treat any contact with them. Stinging nettles are really bad here in the areas near water in the spring so I tend to wear long socks. I don’t get PI but I still try to avoid it to not bring it home. The terrain: there will be rocks, roots, moss, creeks, mud, cliff, etc. Be aware of your surroundings and navigate the terrain to your ability. It’s all about confidence.

So if your looking for a break from the heat and the ordinary, check out your local trail running scene!

Vivian (in the wilds of West Virginia)

My 2018 Barrelman Finisher Picture

By William McAnirlin

I want to take a couple of paragraphs to try and explain what my finisher picture from Barrelman 2018 means to me.  The first time that I raced the Barrelman was with the Rev3 partnership in 2017.  After planning to do it again, I was lucky enough to be selected as an ambassador.

On May 5, 2018 those plans changed.  While out on a training ride I was involved in a crash when a dog ran out in front of me.  I broke my clavicle and my coracoid, pretty much scrapping all of my plans for 2018.  The best estimate that I heard was 9 months recovery post-surgery, with other estimates as long as a year.

I went to all of my Dr and therapy appointments and did what I was told.  Even though there was no reason to think that I would be able to, I thought that maybe, that there was an outside chance that I might be able to do Barrelman.  I wore my finisher’s hat from 2017 to just about all of my appointments.

A couple of weeks after my surgery, I bought a recumbent bike to put on the trainer (The surgeon was not impressed with my Tim Don halo riding analogy).

In late June, I was told that I could run if I was careful, and I had my first short run on my birthday at the end of June.

7 weeks before Barrelman, I was told that I could resume activity as I could tolerate.  That was all I needed.  I came up with a 7-week training plan.  At week 5, I did an Olympic distance to make sure that everything worked. When I was able to complete that I figure that in 2 weeks I could make a go at Barrelman.

There are people that have overcome more and accomplished more.  But for me, on that day, it was just about overwhelming to cross the finish. It was not my best time by far (and luckily not my worst). I knew that going in that it was just about the finish, and it would have been okay if I was not able to cross the line. It is the best finisher pic that I have, and I love it as it represents that journey.  The event makes it even better.  The atmosphere, the other athletes, everything about the race made it even more special.

So Barrelman will always have a special place in my heart, and have a special meaning to me, and that Finisher picture will be proudly displayed.

VanderLinden & Hansen are #BarrelmanTri 2016 Champions

The third annual Skechers Performance Niagara Falls Barrelman Triathlon presented by Recharge With Milk, was our biggest and best ever. Thanks to all of you who were there to support us as a participant, volunteer, or spectator.

There is no better triathlon swim venue than the Welland International Flatwater Centre. It’s both spectator and athlete friendly with the calm swim conditions and guide wires underwater. And check out that atmosphere. Read more

#BarrelmanTri 2016 – Results, Race Photos, Triathlon Magazine Canada Re-cap

What a spectacular day we had yesterday for our third annual Skechers Performance Niagara Falls Barrelman Triathlon presented by Recharge With Milk.

Whether you were a competitor, volunteer or spectator, we hope you will be back next year.


Race results are available at Sportstats.

You can also contact them to report any corrections to the results.

Free Race Photos

In the next day or two, your FREE Race Photos will be available for download at

Triathlon Magazine Canada Re-Cap


LC Provincials and LC Series Finale This Sunday at #BarrelmanTri


Triathlon Ontario, the recognized Provincial Governing Body of Multisport in Ontario, wraps up 2016 season of Provincial level competitions this weekend in the Niagara Region as the Skechers Performance Niagara Barrelman hosts the Long Course Provincial Championships and the final stop on the Triathlon Ontario Long Course Series.

The 2016 edition of the Niagara Barrelman is the fourth and final stop in the LC Series.  As a result of also hosting Provincial Championships, points earned in the Series at Niagara are worth 1.25x the regular amount.

In the Women’s Age Group Division Kristen King (688 points) leads the way over second place Erica Govan (530 points). In the Men’s Age Group Division Dany Malley (650 points) has a slim lead over Michael Casista (615 points).

Moving to the Master’s Division, Jennifer Knowles (731 points) has a comfortable lead over Erica Mantay (628 points), while  Luke Ehgoetz (688 points) leads second place Joe Gati (650 points). 

This is a best two of four results competition.  With the final race being an extra points race, what will happen?!  Hope you are all as intrigued as we are heading into the race weekend.

Interested in competing in the Series?  All you need to do is be a current member and finish in the top 20 in your age group to score points.  Good luck to all this weekend!

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John Salt’s #BarrelmanTri Story


President of MultiSport Canada, John Salt, talks to TJ Flynn about the Sketchers Performance Barrelman, presented by  Recharge With Milk, and tells the story of turning a vision for an epic race into reality.

There’s a perch, an observation point with a sweeping view across the water, attached to one of the buildings at the Welland Flatwater Centre. Early on a fine Sunday morning last September, John Salt took a moment to climb the stairs to this private oratory.

His eyes stretched across the area below and were met with postcard images: transition filling with athletes; a knot of eager swimmers already wet and finding a feel for the clear water; spectators beginning to mill about the grandstand. There were familiar names and new faces scattered about and as a morning crested with excitement, beneath John Salt a vision was coming to life.

In what would be a busy, hectic-day for the MultiSport President, it was a standalone, personal moment and one that has remained with him in the year that has passed.

“That morning I just had this great feeling,” he says. “And on top of that little observation deck as I looked out, I actually teared up. It was a great moment for the series. I was realizing that this was a special race, a very unique race that we’d worked so hard to make happen.”

wifc swim
It was the second running of Sketchers Performance Barrelman, presented by Recharge With Milk, and even though the race was in it’s infancy, it was already becoming a mainstay on the multisport calendar for athletes across Ontario, and even for those further off towards neighbouring Canadian provinces and south to those States that straddle the border.

MultiSport Canada has carved out a reputation for creating well-run, friendly races with a family atmosphere and true to their word, even for a larger race such as Barrelman, they’ve remained loyal to this ethos.

From an athlete’s perspective, Barrelman is a highly-accessible half-distance race. Read more

2015 Barrelman Preview – Who will win the overall titles?

Last year, at the inaugural edition of the Niagara Falls Barrelman Triathlon, Canada’s Lionel Sanders and Kristen Marchant claimed the overall titles.

This year, Marchant returns to defend her title, while the men’s title is up for grabs as Sanders prepares for his first appearance at the Ironman World Championship in October.

Another quality field has assembled to vie for the overall victories and the $5000 prize purse. The prize money will be awarded to the top 5 male and female athletes, regardless of their professional or age group status. The money will be awarded as follows:

1st – $1,000, 2nd – $750, 3rd – $500, 4th – $150, 5th – $100

Register for the Barrelman today to save on race weekend registration fees.

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A stellar day of racing at the inaugural Niagara Falls Barrelman

Check out the 2014 results


(2014 Barrelman Triathlon Age Group Champions)

Hamilton’s Lionel Sanders and Newmarket’s Kristen Marchant, both members of the Recharge With Milk Ambassador Team, posted dominant victories today at the inaugural Niagara Falls Barrelman Triathlon.

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