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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)

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.

Results

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 Zoomphoto.ca

Triathlon Magazine Canada Re-Cap

 

LC Provincials and LC Series Finale This Sunday at #BarrelmanTri

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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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Jackson Laundry is ready for the #BarrelmanTri

Jackson Laundry

By TJ Flynn

MultiSport Canada Ambassador Jackson Laundry has had an outstanding season to date, with some big results not only in the MultiSport series, but also in races further afield and across North America. We caught up with him as he puts his final preparations on the remainder of the season, which includes an appearance at Barrelman on September 18.

MSC: It’s been a big year for you so far. You took part in your first Long Course triathlon in Welland (which ended in victory), there were more wins on the MultiSport Canada circuit as well as some top showings in draft legal races and a third place at Rev3 Pocono. What’s been the catalyst for these great results?

JL: There are a lot of factors that have come together that have allowed me to have my best season yet. The most important thing has been consistent training year round for the last three and a half years. Since joining Team LPC, I’ve improved my consistency which is certainly the most important part of training.

MSC: Would you consider 2016 to be a breakthrough season?

JL: Yes, I would consider this to be a breakthrough season for me. I expected to improve this year, but I improved more quickly than I anticipated, especially in terms of the run. It seems that I have reached a whole new level compared to last season.

MSC: If you flip through the year so far in your head, what’s your stand out memory?

JL: My stand out memory for the year would have to be the run at the Elite National Championships in Ottawa. It wasn’t my best race of the year, but I really suffered on that run and finally caught three or four guys in the last kilometre to finish 11th overall and 8th Canadian.

MSC: What would you consider to be your greatest achievement to date?

JL: Thus far my greatest achievement would have to be finishing second at Rev3 Quassy. That was likely my best race this year, and it also showed that I have made up most of the gap on top pros like Cam Dye who finished first in that race. Now, I can see how close I am to winning against top pros and it will be my focus when I’m training this off-season.

MSC: Go back for a moment to your decision to push you’re your triathlon career to the next level. What was the turning point in deciding to pursue the sport at the top level?

JL: The turning point for me was finishing my undergrad degree in Human Kinetics. When I graduated in Spring 2015, I chose to put a lot more time and energy into training and racing. This has increased my training load, but also improved my recovery between workouts (more sleep, better nutrition).

MSC: Who are the influencers in your triathlon career?

JL: Mainly my coach James Loaring and all of the world’s best pros, including local pros like Cody Beals, Lionel Sanders, and Andrew Yorke. I have my Dad to thank for getting me started in the sport, and he was my training partner for the first few years. He’s still racing (often winning his age-group) and we do the occasional long bike ride together. My whole family has been very supportive right from the start and I’m very appreciative to have them behind me.

MSC: Let’s talk about race day for a moment. What’s your greatest strength when it comes to racing?

JL: I think it would have to be my consistency. On race day I just focus on producing an “all out” effort. Whether I’m racing a field of 50 pros or three pros, my strategy is the same. I don’t really get nervous anymore, and I think that’s very important for having consistent results.

MSC: Go back to when you first heard of the sport of triathlon. What was the hook for you? What made you want to take part in the sport?

JL: My first race ever was the Belleville Kids of Steel Triathlon in 2004. It was likely my Dad who first suggested I sign up for it. I finished last place in the swim out of 35 in the boys 10-11 age group! I finished 23rd in the end, not even in the top half. I raced in one KOS event each year for about five years and I kept improving on minimal training, to the point where I eventually won the Picton KOS race. I think I really got into triathlon when my Dad and I joined the Durham Region Triathlon Club when I was about 15 – that’s when it started to become fun to train. Since then I’ve gradually increased my focus on the sport.

MSC: Your relationship with MultiSport Canada, when did you first race in this series and what was your experience?

JL: My first experience with the Multisport Triathlon Series was the 2012 Lakeside Triathlon. It was a good race for me, I was trying to chase down the leader Cam Black but I ended up in second. I remember it was a really nice venue and a fun day. I won a watch as a draw prize too!

MSC: How important is it to you to be a MultiSport Canada Ambassador?

JL: Being a Multisport Canada Ambassador has been a great addition to this season for me. I’ve really enjoyed racing locally and the Multisport series organizes the best races in Ontario! Competing for prize money brings out some solid competition and that makes the races exciting for us. I think the Ambassador Team has been really helpful for a lot of other local athletes too, including several of my training buddies and teammates.

MSC: Is there such a thing as a “typical” training week for you?

JL: Each week looks very different depending on the time of year and whether I’m in a big training phase or taper phase. If I had to average all my training, a typical week would have six swims totaling 20km, five bikes totaling 250km, five runs totaling 55km, and two strength/core sessions that are about 30 minutes each. This is probably about 18 hours of training in all. I’ll usually have about two hard sessions of each sport in a week, but the rest is all easy mileage.

MSC: What’s the one workout that fills your heart with dread when you see it on your schedule?

JL: The most dreadful workouts for me are sustained tempo efforts. Notably, last week I had a run workout that included 15km of tempo, and a bike workout that included 80km of tempo. I’d much rather train at a very high intensity for a shorter period of time, but that tempo training is also important so I have no choice but to get through it.

MSC: What goes through your mind when you’re preparing for these difficult workouts?

JL: For me, the best way to prepare for any hard workout is to not focus on it too much. I make sure I have the appropriate nutrition and hydration prepared ahead of time, but I generally try not to think about the actual workout until right before it starts. Once I’ve started I’ll always get through it, so there’s no point in stressing about it beforehand.

MSC: Outside of triathlon, what stokes your fires?

JL: Outside of tris I like to hangout with family and friends, doing anything social is my go to. I have a terrible sweet tooth, so you could probably catch me eating desserts or candy any day believe it or not! Coca Cola is my favourite drink, and you might even see me drinking coke the morning of a race. If it’s the off season or an easy training phase, I like to go hiking, play other sports, or just anything active really.

MSC: You’ve got two big races coming up with Rev3 Cedar Point then Barrelman on September 18. What’s a good day for you at both these races?

JL: It’s hard to quantify what makes a good race or a bad one, typically I just know after the race whether I performed well or not. At Rev3 Cedar Point I’d like to finish the 750 meter swim within 20 seconds of the leaders, average 325 Watts for the 20km bike, and run under 16 minutes for the 5km run. If I can do that I have a chance to win the race, but a top three would be pretty good.

MSC: Barrelman is going to be a very interesting race with many top triathletes from across Ontario and beyond toeing the line at Niagara. What are your expectations for the race?

JL: It’s great to have so many of Ontario’s best coming out for Barrelman! Having close competitors always helps keep motivation high for the whole race. My plan is to get through the swim with the leaders, then average 280 watts on the bike and run under 1:16 for the half marathon. This should get me under 3:55 for the race, which is a loose time goal, and I would be surprised if that performance wouldn’t be good enough to get the win. Since it is my first half, there is always a chance I could get my nutrition or hydration wrong, which is where I could run into problems, but I’m preparing for that in training so it shouldn’t be an issue.

MSC: Thanks for taking time to discuss your season in such detail. Final question: looking ahead to 2017, what’s on your radar and how can you build on 2016?

JL: My 2017 season is still very much up in the air. I haven’t yet decided whether I will focus on non-drafting exclusively, or if I will keep racing the ITU circuit. I may end up racing several 70.3 races, like Cody and Lionel, but sticking to short course is also a tempting option. I have some unfinished business with short-course so I will at least do a few of those. I would love to stay involved with local racing and the MultiSport series. I probably won’t be doing as many races with MultiSport as I did this season, but I would like to volunteer and help promote the series as much as possible.


Join Jackson and many others at the #BarrelmanTri (www.NiagaraFallsTriathlon.com) on September 18th!

ccnreg

John Salt’s #BarrelmanTri Story

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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.

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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.”

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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

Marchant and Drobeck claim 2015 Barrelman titles

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Kristen Marchant defended her Barrelman title, Andrew Drobeck took home his first at the 2015 Barrelman Triathlon

Mother Nature treated us to incredible weather conditions for this year’s Niagara Falls Barrelman Triathlon, presented by Recharge with Milk.

We were thrilled to offer the new swim start at the Welland International Flatwater Centre, and by all accounts, it seems that you and your supporters were happy about it too. 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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Barrelman Race Coverage

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Once again, we will provide live coverage of the Niagara Falls Barrelman.

This year, coverage will take place via Twitter @MultiSportCan or you can view it on our dedicated Niagara Falls Barrelman Triathlon Live Coverage page.

You are invited to use the hashtag #BarrelmanTri share your excitement prior to race day, and of course, all of the celebration afterwards.

Have your friends and family join the coverage with images, video and words of encouragement with the use of #BarrelmanTri