Barrelman like a Time Trial

By Angela Lilly

I have tried to keep triathlete growth both in mind and in training up to speed regularly over this season, however I feel it’s time to dig a bit deeper than social media and write this article.

The last month was a lot of planning of training and racing and life. We get used to racing by age group but MSC keeps us chasing new goals and challenges as they offer their unique “time trial start” at the Bracebridge triathlon. When I first started racing this years ago, I was concerned that I was in a 15-minute deficit and I had so many more challenges than my fellow friends/racers. Now, I’ve found strength in this format of race. Here’s some points to share about some points that you can pull from a TT race into Barrelman:

  1. The swim is really spread out in the most beautiful race water I have swum.
  2. The exit of the swim is exciting; lots of spectators and lots of bikes gone off the rack.
  3. The bike course is very positive and sportsman-like. I once found that I raced courses that I would call encouraging words to other racers as I passed them, or they passed me, and they would be silent. In MSC racing, it is wonderful. We must all pass through an imaginary beam of light as we walk over the starting mat that beams us up for a personal best day. In MSC racing, if there is a pass, both triathletes are encouraging to one another.
  4. The bike course is full, but it isn’t as tough to ride as bigger wave start races. It’s much more spread out, less chance you get caught in a drafting situation, safer, and if you pay enough attention, you can even follow the triathlete ahead of you and ride a good line (no pot holes or cracks in the road).
  5. The run makes you truly race your best with what you have left. You always know your pace depending on the distance; however, I have found TT races to push you beyond that zone. I find someone ahead of me and try to push my pace by 5 seconds. If I get passed, then I tuck in behind them and try to feel their strength to run better than I was (there are the triathletes that are always faster runners than me and those ones I have to let go because I don’t want to completely blow up). Don’t try to push it or race by yourself.  There are hundreds of people on course so make a friend and quickly talk. Find out where each other is at and help one another. MSC has so many great triathletes that have made me push it till the last second at the finish line. I hope I too, have done the same for others.
  6. The race truly isn’t done until the finish line and this is even more powerful when it is a time trial as you can’t possibly know if someone has beaten you by 10 seconds or 3 minutes. It’s up to you to push your limits till the final line. Sportstats will take care of the rest.

I treated my next race the same way and good things happened; personal best time!

Now that I am on to my final race of 2019 triathlon season in Ontario at Barrelman, I will race like a TT.  It will hurt but I will achieve more than I set out to achieve. What a great way to complete 2019!

Prepare to Succeed!

“People make their own luck by good strategy and even better preparation!” (modified from a Jack Canfield quote).

This quote doubles as sage advice. Aside from revealing training weakness, I love multi-sport for the lessons it teaches about race day strategy and preparation. After 18 years competing in triathlon, I am still humbled by new lessons learned.

Pre-Race Planning:

Months of training build muscle memory, but without a specific race day plan, you might find yourself just off the podium or suffering a DNF. Race directors want athletes achieving personal success, and provide excellent pre-race athlete briefings. Facing unusually warm weather, John Salt and his staff went above and beyond to prepare 2017 & 2018 Barrelman participants for a safe finish. Ultimately though, it is up to the athlete to make sure a detailed, yet easy to implement plan is ready on race day. This could include double checking your gear bag before leaving home, packing extra swim goggles (or tinted goggles), rehearsing your path through transition, or driving the bike course early. Setting exact intervals to refuel/rehydrate on the bike, and adjusting for heat and humidity are essential. Athletes who finish exhausted but satisfied are not lucky…they’ve used good strategy and even better preparation.

Transition Planning:

Rehearsing swim-bike and bike-run transitions saves valuable seconds (or minutes). Where do I begin stripping my wet suit? What gear goes on first, second, third or while in motion on the bike or run? Scan your race results to find who had lightning-fast T1 or T2 times. You’ll usually find an someone who carefully planned out race day or has experienced enough race-day mistakes to learn from. It wasn’t luck…but instead strategy and preparation! At a local triathlon we organize yearly, it turns out the overall male winner had the 2nd fastest swim, bike, and run splits. How did he win? Faster transitions earned him a 5 second victory!

As you lie in bed too excited to sleep before Barrelman, rehearse each phase (swim, bike, run, transition, and nutrition). For 2019, I’ll be focusing on how to cut minutes off transitions and improve bike pacing, hydration, and nutrition to avoid bonking on the half marathon. I hope to see you all in Welland/Niagara Falls on September 22nd!

Shawn McNamara, Barrelman Ambassador

Going on Vacation? Yes, you can still train!

By Shannon McNamara, Barrelman Ambassador

You know the drill, it is summer time. The kids are out of school. Your family is trying to plan a vacation. If you are like my husband and I, trying to plan vacations around the kids’ activities is bad enough, but throw in our training schedule…..forget about it.

I know that some people use their vacations as an opportunity to recover, but for us, we usually cannot afford to take that time off from training. So, we have just decided to embrace it. Training while on vacation can be a great thing, and here are the reasons why.

1. It gives you an opportunity to find your way around.

When traveling somewhere new, running or biking around the area really helps you get the lay of the land. You will find things you may not see from the car. You might find a cool trail, or restaurant, or attraction that is more difficult to see otherwise.

I remember traveling to Boston with my family once. We drove around forever trying to get to our hotel. We were so confused. One morning run later, I knew my way around the area and was able to navigate the rest of the trip.

2. It is rejuvenating.

Don’t all of your training routes get mundane? There are so many new things to see while you are on vacation. Beautiful sights and sounds that you aren’t used to. Having a change of pace and new scenery can really re-motivate you.

3. It can jump start your day.

Sometimes when you are on vacation, you have a lot of things on your bucket list. Sometimes those things don’t get checked off because everyone is slow moving in the morning. Getting up and starting the day with a workout, might be just what the whole family needs to get going for the day’s activities.

4. It can give you one-on-one time with your spouse, your child, or yourself.

Even on vacation, it is nice to have some quiet time with a special someone or just by yourself. I treasure the runs I have had with my husband or one or both of my daughters while on vacation. Those moments just add to the blessings and memories of the trip.

Niagara Falls Barrelman Triathlon Course Overview Video

The inaugural Niagara Falls Barrelman Triathlon is set to take place on Sunday September 21, 2014.

If you’ve already registered, you are in for a fabulous race experience, if you are still thinking about it, we are sure this stunning video by Tommy Ferris of Ignition Fitness will provide you with a clear idea of what to expect.

Register today, to be part of this highlight event of the 2014 season.

Two Race Kit Pick-up options at the Niagara Falls Barrelman

At MultiSport Canada, we always aim to provide the best athlete experience possible. While we strongly recommend athletes stay in Niagara Falls on Saturday night and take the shuttle into Welland on race day, we realize that for some athletes, it might be preferable to have a race day kit pick-up.

We are therefore pleased to announce that we will have two options for race kit pick-up, one on Saturday and one on race day. Athletes will be given a choice as to which they prefer two weeks from race day.  Read more

Best Western Plus Rose City Suites prizing added to the Name the Welland Triathlon Contest


The winner of the name the Welland Long Course Triathlon contest now receives a free night’s accommodation at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Rose City Suites as a prize along with a free race entry.

Once again and for legal reasons, Multisport Canada will now have to change the name of the Welland Long Course Triathlon. We will need a name to describe the Welland race that does not include the word “iron” or the term “70.3”.

Taking place on June 15, 2014, the Welland Triathlon consists of a 2K Swim, a 90K Bike and a 21.1K run. The swim is in the clean and clear waters of the Welland Recreational Waterway, the scenic bike course winds its way through the beautiful Niagara Region, and the run course travels on fitness trails along the Welland Recreational Waterway.

As we did with the Niagara Falls Barrelman, rather than coming up with the name ourselves, we have decided to take the opportunity to launch a contest to name the race.

The contest will be open until noon on March 28, 2014. The winning name will be announced on Monday March 31, 2014.

Please submit your race name suggestions to