:: 2015 Half Challenge @ Penticton ::

Last year, I was torn between The Hood 2 Coast relay and racing in Penticton. This year, it was on my list from the start of the season. I missed racing in the city that took me down the road of triathlon. Before racing Ironman Couer D’alene this year, I felt like I was more pumped for this race then the full I was getting ready for. I had the camping booked at the Park Royal RV park even before I had anything lined up in Couer D’alene. We headed up Friday night at Todd’s RV park in Peachland, then shifted over to Penticton for Saturday and Sunday.

 

Notice the challenge sticker after the T, in Penticton. This would totally

Notice the challenge sticker after the T in Penticton. This would be something I would do – miss-spell the city name.

We hauled up my parent’s 27 foot trailer with a lot more space then normal, but we did a terrible job of packing. Going without my usual camper, I forgot a pretty big list of things including all my calories and race belt.

In previous years we camped on the other side of town, so this year things went a lot smoother without having to find a victim to drive me over to the start. I got up at about 5, went over to Tim’s and got my coffee and muffin, and then went off to transition. Things kept rolling in the morning, loaded up my bike with 4 Gu gels and had 3 scoops of Osmo in the torpedo. I added in my new race belt to the run bag and then got things ready for the swim.

Delt with some wide range of conditions. from forest fire smoke to dark thunder clouds...and wind.

Wide range of conditions. from forest fire smoke to dark thunder clouds…and wind.

The swim was different than what I was used to, with the start in the water. The nice thing was it also kept a lot of people back from the start line. It was a welcomed change -not getting any elbows or punches.  Once the gun went, I missed the first group but was pretty sure I was leading the second group with taps on my feet the whole 1.9k. I got out of the water without a surprise calf cramp! (swim 26:30ish)

This photo was taken on the Saturday.  It turned to a box Sunday but does it ever show how this race has changed.  From sold out, filling up trucks to a box.  Think that sums it up.

This photo was taken on the Saturday. It turned to a box Sunday but does it ever show how this race has changed. From sold out, filling up trucks to a box. Think that sums it up.

I got onto the bike feeling pretty good, and that was the last time I would see my only fellow teammate Jake MacDonald on the bike.  It took me a while to get the legs going, but felt nice and controlled for most of the ride. A few sections of course had rain, felt pretty wimpy on the descents and I think I could have been a little more aggressive. Winds were pretty heavy on the way out, and didn’t change much throughout the day. I could also tell I was in need of more climbing sessions during training. I went into the race with my fingers crossed Ironman would maybe carry over. Watts were probably the lowest on the climbs –  I felt like I just plain lacked the leg strength. Ended up being pretty hilly half course with 3100 feet. Once 50kms where done, I started to feel pretty good. I was getting back on familiar roads I have traveled many times. After, a missed turn, I had to stop and turn around. Saw a big 160km sign for the full but missed the little red arrow behind it! I tracked back after 3-4 blocks and hit the pedals hard on the way back. Ouch! I had a lot left in the tank and just kept pushing the whole bike on last 20k. I couldn’t see anyone ahead and rode most of the ride was solo with about 5-6 people going by through the ride. (bike 2:40)

Out on the run, I felt pretty good and knew I had 3-4 guys close behind. I was first in my age group going out to the run and didn’t think I would have an issue holding on to it. At about 4 miles, I was having a pretty good leg cramp that stalled me for about 1-2 minutes until I could stretch that sucker out. Top that with a pee stop earlier, I moved back about 3-4 spots and just couldn’t dial in the two guys ahead of me. I kept on the gas and had my best miles on the back end of the race with the last 4 miles my fastest. I came in feeling pretty good and found the new finish line a little weird. I loved the old finish down the lake, wasn’t super fun running behind the hotel where no one could watch. When I was done I was looking for my little group and couldn’t find them. After I walked out of the finish, I found out why. It was a pretty big pain to get out, having to cross the race twice just to get out of the finish area. Weather held pretty well for what we missed back in Abbotsford. I felt the event was great and loved the new course, except for that goofy finish. (Run 1:30 –almost under!)

Did did enjoy the not having the ironman craziness.  Well organized, and felt overall was a great experience.

Did enjoy not having the ironman craziness. Well organized, and overall was a great experience.  This was transition after the half race. think about 400-500 people – I was 13th in the non pro race.

I think 2015 triathlon is pretty much finished up for me, and it has been a fun season.  My wife and little daughter have been very supportive and I found a balance with the 70.3 distance at the end of the year.  Going from self coached to this year to using PurplePatch has also helped with taking a little more off my shoulders.  I enjoyed using their resources and coaching throughout the year.

Team Every Man Jack and Tri Geeks have also been huge supporters for me. I have to give them a huge thanks and already looking forward to 2016!
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