Monday, June 30, 2008

Tichelaar follows his heart to Olympics

Tichelaar follows his heart to Olympics

Beaumont native combines 'average' swimming, cycling and running abilities to become triathlon medal threat

The Edmonton Journal
Published: 7:11 am

VICTORIA - The story of Paul Tichelaar's Olympic journey begins with a teenage crush on a girl down the street in Beaumont.

Some may call it unrequited love.

"Her dad was big into cycling, so I decided to give it a try," the Beijing-bound triathlete said recently over coffee at a quaint café in downtown Victoria. "I wanted to impress her."

"I never got the girl. We went out for about three weeks. But nope. Didn't work out."

So Tichelaar rode off into the sunset and pedalled away his disappointment over dusty back roads between Leduc and Beaumont and through Edmonton's lush river valley.

Somewhere along the trail, he heard about a triathlon in nearby St. Albert.

Tichelaar was a decent runner, but not about to break any records. The same applied to swimming and cycling -- better than mediocre, but decidedly short of dazzling.

More at the Edmonton Journal

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Photo of the Day

Like a well oiled machine...., originally uploaded by jfilliol1.

A look back... Tucson camp, Jan 08.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

SQW reports on Des Moines World Cup

Whitfield: Squandering an opportunity

Dave Leeder, today at 8:42 AM EDT

To be completely honest I just don't know how I feel about today's race here in Des Moines, Iowa.

In our sport you don't have many chances to race for a $200,000 first place prize and when it drops to $40,000 for second and eventually $12,500 for fifth you're simply left with that "if only" feeling. Especially when, in the history of our sport we've only had a handful of "the BIG checks" given out and I've been 2nd, 2nd, 5th and 6th..... Close but no cigar (and no mortgage helper).

I feel like I did race well today, I just simply didn't "take" the opportunity that was there. Having worked so hard on my swimming its been, quite frankly, fun standing on the start line with the attitude "I'll be first pack no matter what" (a change from days gone by where I stood on the line and just fought to keep the anxiety at bay)

more at the Globe and Mail

Photo of the Day

Da Boys, originally uploaded by jfilliol1.

Training in Des Moines

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dr Tom Evans wins IMCDA

Canadian Sweep at Ford Ironman Coeur d'Alene

Shawn Skene wraps up the day of Ironman racing in Idaho

Published Monday, June 23, 2008

Canadian Sweep at Ford Ironman Coeur d'AleneThe 2008 Ford Ironman Coeur d'Alene is in the books and what race it was. In both the men and women's fields the eventual winners led from the sound of the starting cannon to the finish line.

Canada's Dr. Tom Evans hooked up with Bryan Rhodes within 75 yards of the swim and the two remained virtually tethered for the entire swim. They eventually distanced themselves from the rest of the pro field by 2:35 at the end of the 2.4 mile swim. Evans made quick work of getting rid of his swim companion on the bike and methodically built up a lead of over six minutes on one of the favorites in the race, Michael Lovato, by the end of the 112 miles. An old nemesis of Evans, Victor Zyemtsev, who has beaten Evans on two occasions in the later stages of the Ironman marathon was 13:39 in arrears to the dentist from Penticton starting his marathon.
Click here to find out more!
Lovato made a gallant attempt to put the heat on Evans in the early stages of the run and at one time had clawed back two minutes of his deficit. However, by the second half of the run the bounce had left Lovato’s stride and he was left to hanging on just to protect second place.

The 2005 and 2007 Ford Ironman Coeur d’Alene champion, Zyemtsev, displayed his foot speed throughout the marathon, but could only come within 9:00 of Evans for second place after passing a faltering Lovato in the late stages of the run.

Evans, a few weeks out from his 40th birthday, pounded out the fastest marathon of his career to secure his third Ironman title.

More at

Also at

and at Slowtwitch forums

Des Moines World Cup

Stories at and

Dano Wells at the NB Half Iron

Triathlon: Corbin and Yastrebov Victorious as New Balance Half

The 13th running of the New Balance Half IM took place today under near ideal conditions at Elk Lake in Victoria, Canada. The race, steeped in tradition, has included Ironman legends Lori Bowden, Peter Reid, and Jasper Blake to name a few. The race was originally billed as the “Battle of the Champions” with local stars Blake and Cheryl Murphy set to take on respective international competitors and fellow Subaru Series Champions Andrej Yastrebov (UKR) and Linsey Corbin (US). As fate would have it, illness kept both Blake and Murphy from competing paving the way for Corbin and Yastrebov to take the titles and for other local stars to shine.

Daniel Wells, a swim specialist and former Junior Canadian Triathlon Team member lead the men’s heat out of the water by an astonishing 4 minutes. This lead however did not hold up on the bike as he was overtaken by Trevor Wurtele of Victoria and Yastrebov. Yastrebov then carried on into a blistering run pace to set a new run course record with a split of 1:12:06 - good for an overall time of 3:57:14. Wurtele finished a strong second in a time of 4:00:57, while his wife Heather Wurtele was concurrently winning Ironman Coeur D’Alene with Wells rounding out the podium in 4:02:58.

More at

1. Andrej Yastrebov (UKR) 3:57:14
2. Trevor Wurtele (CAN) 4:00:57
3. Daniel Wells (US) 4:02:58
4. Steven Kilshaw (CAN) 4:05:37
5. Julian Hatcher (UK) 4:13:26

Results at Lifesport

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cervelo Presents The Road To Beijing: Part 4

Cervelo Presents The Road To Beijing: Part 4

Written by: Colin Jenkins
Date: Sun Jun 22 2008

Hello Slowtwitchers!

So it has been a while since my last post in this Road to Beijing series chronicling my journey to the start line in Beijing. I have just been so busy with all the endorsement deals that I have been signing and the commercials that I have been shooting... man it's been CRAZY! OK, well that was all a lie. Training has just been taking up all my time and when I am not doing that, I am eating and resting... not much more energy to put a couple of words together. But now that I am on taper and resting for my race tomorrow at the Hy-Vee Triathlon World Cup in Des Moines I have lots of spare time.

Read the rest on Slowtwitch

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What is High Performance?

What is High Performance?

By Wayne Goldsmith | In Coaching Tips, Performance Science

One of the most commonly asked questions in this business is, “What Exactly is High Performance?”

People talk about, write about, think about sports science, sports medicine, exercise physiology, talent identification, performance psychology, biomechanics, skill acquisition, elite coach development, recovery, sports physiotherapy, sports massage, performance analysis and all the elements and components of high performance sport, but what is it? What is this thing called High Performance?

I can summarise it all in one word………Change.

People make High Performance seem a lot more complex, tricky and mysterious than it really needs to be. Sure there is some really cool technology and terminology involved - as there is in all industries - but the essence of High Performance is Change - or rather, accelerating the rate of it.

More at Sports Coaching Brain

See my previous posting from the coaching brain site about how many people resist change in sport...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

'Moving target'

'Moving target'
COC forced to reign in expectations for Beijing

The Great Wall, silk markets and the Forbidden City of Beijing are worthy attractions, but the days of going to the Olympics as a tourist are over for Canadian athletes.

That is the message the Canadian Olympic Committee has been hammering home, that the Olympic ideal is excellence, not merely participation.

Unfortunately, with the opening ceremony for the Summer Games just 50 days away, the blueprint for success may need a little toned-down tweaking.

While not issuing specific medal targets, the COC is cautious in its outlook for Beijing as one of the most anticipated renewals of the great global sporting spectacle nears.

"We had set a goal four years ago, when we started down this road of setting goals, of getting into the top 16 (for total medals in Beijing)," COC chief executive officer Chris Rudge said in an interview. "In terms of numbers, that is a moving target."

More at the Edmonton Sun

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hy-Vee Triathlon restores swimming leg

Hy-Vee Triathlon restores swimming leg

By ANDREW LOGUE • • June 18, 2008

Officials for the Hy-Vee Triathlon announced this afternoon that this
weekend’s event will include a water stage for amateur and elite divisions.

That means the top men’s and women’s athletes will be competing for the
final two spots on the U.S. Olympic team.

Organizers feared they may not be able to have a swimming stage when heavy
rains caused the bacteria levels in the water to rise well above the
acceptable level of 200-parts-per million.

More at the Des Moines Register

Catch the Canadian team in action this weekend at the Hy-Vee ITU World Cup in Des Moines.

Teamwork: The American Way

This blog is from American High Performance Director Scott Schnitzpan:

Teamwork: The American Way

Triathlon is an individual sport. However, now that the Olympic Qualification process with the ITU is over and Team USA has qualified three men’s and three women’s start slots for the Beijing Olympic Games, I want to take a minute to recognize the great teamwork that made it happen.

First let’s go back to Des Moines, Iowa for the ITU World Cup event in June of 2007. There, all of the American women, led out of the water and through the bike by Sara McLarty, put two and a half minutes on the field and Laura Bennett emerged from the small bike group onto the run where she was fresh enough to survive the brutal heat and tough competitors and win the race and the biggest prize in our sport at the time while qualifying for the Pan Am Games. Following that race, Laura returned the favor to Sara by giving up her Pan Am Games spot so that Sara could strengthen the American team in Rio at the Games. Sara competed in Rio with a horrible cold, but again led her teammates Julie Swail Ertel and Sarah Haskins Kortuem out of the water and onto the bike where the trio again worked flawlessly together and established an insurmountable lead onto the run where Julie seized the Gold medal and Sarah took the silver, essentially sealing the 3 women’s start positions for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Read the rest at The Triathlon Life Blog

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Inside Tri Article

Canadian Olympic Team Announced


Posted Jun. 17, 2008
June 15, 2008 - Triathlon Canada announced its Olympic team last week after the country was one of just five to secure a full men’s and women’s teams. The men’s team is led by two-time Olympian and 2000 gold medalist Simon Whitfield. He will be joined in Beijing by first-time Olympians Paul Tichelaar and Colin Jenkins for the 2008 Olympic Games. On the women’s side, Carolyn Murray and Kathy Tremblay were selected to join previously qualified Lauren Groves.

Congratulations to all the Canadian athletes who played a role in Canada being one of only five countries to field full mens and womens team for the Beijing Olympics. In addition to the 6 team members, credit also goes out to Kyle Jones from Oakville Ontario, who is the mens team alternate, Brent McMahon from Victoria, 2004 Olympian, and Kirsten Sweetland, from Victoria, the womens team alternate. All of their racing around the world helped us qualify a full team, which is a great accomplishment for Canada.

High Road to the Olympics

High Road to the Olympics
By Geoffrey Bishop

Flagstaff, Arizona, sits atop the world, especially this year as we work our way nearer the 2008 Olympics in China. Many of the world’s fastest athletes utilize the hypoxic conditions of this high altitude city to produce more red blood cells in which to carry oxygen to their muscles. They train long and hard, get sore, get up, and do it all over again the next morning. Erik Dalton’s Myoskeletal Alignment is the therapy of choice for many training Olympians this year, and I’m honored to play a small part in their success.

Link to the PDF Article here

Massage and Body Work Magazine

Geoffrey works with our team when we are in Flagstaff. Check out the photos of some of our athletes in the article.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Success is a moving target

Ten Reasons Why Change is so Hard to Introduce in Sport

By Wayne Goldsmith | In Hot Topics

Change is one of the most talked about aspects of sport.

But change is also one of the hardest things to actually introduce successfully and sustain in any sporting environment.


Because people who introduce change are often seen as radicals or “ratbags” or people who know nothing about the sport or people who don’t understand the sport’s culture or similar negative label.
Change innovators in sport have to fight through three phases to make a real difference:

Ridicule - Real innovators, lateral thinkers and change drivers have to first face the conservative thinkers in the sport who will label their push to change as stupid, ill informed and ridiculous.

Resistance - If the idea gets through Phase 1, it then meets hard opposition from people who are benefiting from the current thinking and who will fight hard to resist new ideas and any challenge to their position and beliefs.

Acceptance - finally if you can get through the days, weeks, months or even years of fighting, political maneuvering, back stabbing and other obstacles you have to overcome, you can introduce real change and ensure the sport progresses.

There are two true but conflicting statements I can confidently make about competitive sport:

Change is critical - it is essential to survive. In competitive sport, the faster you can accelerate your rate of change - faster than your opposition - the more likely it is you can sustain competitiveness and win BUT

Sport is incredibly conservative. It is more resistant to change than almost any other area of society and some people will resist change to the point of seeing the club or sport fail if it means changing their beliefs and their position.

How can people possibly defend this conservative position?
In sport, more than most other human endeavours, “success is a moving target”. Athletes, coaches and teams who are first at introducing new ideas and innovations and usually the winners, the champions, the gold medalists, the premiers - the success stories.

So, if change is the life blood of being successful in competitive sport, why are so many people so determined to “open an artery” and let the sport bleed to death rather than embrace the change process?

Read the rest and many other excellent articles at

Triathlete puts missing Games into perspective

Triathlete puts missing Games into perspective

Cleve Dheensaw, Times Colonist
Published: Saturday, June 14, 2008

The tears are done. Now there is only acceptance.
More than 40 Island athletes will march into the magnificent Bird's Nest Stadium on Aug. 8 for the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Triathlete Kirsten Sweetland won't be one of them.
The 19-year-old Stelly's Secondary grad allowed herself one night to feel sorry after it was determined that a foot injury will deny her the opportunity to compete in Beijing and delay her Olympic debut until London in 2012.

That was Wednesday, the night Sweetland received the news that an MRI revealed a stress fracture in her left heel that will keep her out of the water and off the roads for six to 18 weeks, effectively ending her dreams of Beijing.
Sweetland promised herself, that beginning next morning, she would not sink into in self-pity.

More at the Times Colonist


And..... we're back

Inside Coaching: my advice to Simon: "Just swim fast". I'd say it worked.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Interview: Andrea Whitcombe

Interview: Andrea Whitcombe

Posted by: Annie Emmerson
Posted on: Friday 13th June 2008

Sport can be a cruel game, to make it to the top an athlete has to be prepared to sacrifice everything and, even then, there are no guarantees of victory or selection for the Olympic Games. 2004's Olympic reserve, Andrea Whitcombe, knows this only to well. As Great Britain's highest ranked athlete for the last four years, and with her best start to the season ever, the 36-year-old, looked to be one of the outstanding favourites to make the Beijing Olympic team. Sadly, and without warning, an Achilles injury appeared, leaving Andrea standing on the startline at the final Olympic selection race having missed six weeks of running and lacking the form that saw her start the year so positively. Now with her Olympic dream cruelly snatched away from her, she's trying to look positively towards the twilight era of her career.

More at

On Selections

I had my rant... now onwards...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Whitfield: Look after yourself, look after one another

Whitfield: Look after yourself, look after one another

Things seem to be settling down now after a crazy 10 days capped off by a long Olympic selection process. A few days removed and I've come to realize a few things upon further reflection. First and foremost I'm not as stoic and unaffected by this stuff as I think I imagined myself to be. In preparing myself to tackle the challenges ahead I approached the Olympic selection with the attitude that it would be my third Olympics and I would be immune to all the tension and emotion associated with the process. I was wrong, in fact some of my comments, although I felt at the time they were appropriate , heaped fuel on the fire so to speak. I can accept and reflect on the fact that they were actually fairly arrogant and cold. I agree with how the team was selected, I know the thought, expertise and complex realities that made up that decision but I let the frustration that others didn't see eye-to-eye with me led me to unfortunately try and tell others they weren't medal contenders, something I never should have or had any right to say. In Sydney I certainly would have fallen in the same boat, an "under the radar '' athlete who just caught the Olympic spirit, bottled it up and let it fuel that crazy sprint finish eight years ago. Paul Tichelaar from Edmonton is certainly an athlete who looks ready to kick down the door and burst onto the podium, maybe I'll just serve as the "distractor" to his contender.

More at the Globe and Mail

CBC Olympic Blogs

Vancouver triathlon: ‘Not a fun two hours’

Posted by Colin Jenkins | Jun 11, 08 11:55 AM

The World Championships this past weekend will be remembered for the cold, wet conditions the athletes had to endure in Vancouver. By the time the men's race had rolled around Sunday afternoon the rain had stopped but the water temperature was barely 11 degrees and the air temperature in the low teens.

There were some strategies I used to try to keep myself warm before and during the race that seemed to work OK but there was not much that I could do to make sure that all my muscles stayed warm out on the course.

The race did not go according to my plans. I seemed to have an off day and could not relax during the race. The energy was not there and I suffered right from the get-go. It was not a fun two hours.

More at

Saturday, June 7, 2008


Javier Gomez: The Tiger Woods of triathlon

Gary Kingston, Vancouver Sun
Published: Friday, June 06, 2008

Javier Gomez domination of the men's World Cup triathlon circuit has been so remarkable, so swift that even Canadian star Simon Whitfield, who admits he's consumed by all things Gomez in the lead up to the Olympics, is prone to mis-statement.
"Javier's won 10 World Cups in three years, I've won 11 in 12 years," a reverential Whitfield, who is tied for second on the International Triathlon Union's career list, said Friday.

More at the Vancouver Sun

Whitfield has nothing but respect for Spanish rival

June 7, 2008

VANCOUVER -- If you didn't know any better, you would think Simon Whitfield has a man-crush on Javier Gomez, the best triathlete in the world.

Often, Whitfield finds a way to slip the Spaniard's name into his interviews, or onto his blog, usually with admiration or some acknowledgment that Gomez is the man to beat any time he races.

More at the Globe and Mail

Top eight will be enough for Tichelaar
Edmonton triathlete hopes to qualify for Beijing Olympics on Sunday


VANCOUVER - On the eve of the biggest race of his life, Edmonton triathlete Paul Tichelaar has conquered his fear that 10 years of struggling to make it to the Olympics comes down to a now-or-never competition at English Bay.

What he can't shake is the feeling that if Triathlon Canada gets its way, the game plan for Beijing is 'all-for-one' and the one is 2000 Olympic gold medalist Simon Whitfield.

Tichelaar, who is currently ranked sixth in the world on the strength of three top-eight finishes in World Cup races this season, can automatically punch his own ticket to Beijing by finishing in the top eight at the International Triathlon Union world championship on Sunday.

More at the Edmonton Journal

Athletes gear up for Vancouver Triathlon event

Updated Sat. Jun. 7 2008 10:15 AM ET

Nearly 3,000 top athletes from more than 60 countries are in the city this weekend for Sunday's Vancouver Triathlon.

They'll be running, biking and swimming in English Bay and Stanley Park.

As they made their final preparations on Friday, some competitors needed medical attention after a preliminary event, which went ahead in spite of the winter-like weather conditions.

More at

Pitched battle for three spots on men's side

Gary Kingston, Vancouver Sun

Published: Saturday, June 07, 2008
You might need a math degree from MIT to figure it out.
Yes, the Olympic qualifying procedure to decide which eight countries can send three triathletes to the Beijing Olympics seems just that complex.
The final point totals, collected over a two-year period, will be crunched Sunday at the conclusion of the International Triathlon Union world championships in Vancouver.

On the women's side, Austria and France are battling for eighth. The situation is far more tricky, however, with the men, where Canada (sixth), the U.S. (seventh), Russia (eighth) and Australia (ninth) are in a pitched battle to decide which of the four will be the odd country out and able to send just two athletes to the Olympics.

More at the Vancouver Sun

Brush with greatness

Olympic champ Simon Whitfield inspires Orillia triathletes


The 600-strong Canadian age-group and athletes-with-a- disability team at the 2008 world triathlon championships was posing for a photo Thursday when their hero suddenly appeared.

The team cheered as Simon Whitfield, the 2000 Olympic gold medallist, slipped into the shot just as the group spontaneously began singing "O Canada."

More at The Orillia Packet

Changping Triathlon venue

Bernice Chan CBC Sports

The Beijing BG Triathlon World Cup, one of Beijing Olympic test events, in Beijing Sunday, Sept. 16, 2007. (AP Photo/ITU, Frank Wechsel, HO)
During the Ming Dynasty, the third emperor Yongle moved the Chinese capital from Nanjing to Beijing. The Ming tombs are located near the southern slope of Mount Taishou. He is also credited with laying out the city, putting the Forbidden City in the centre.

He also chose the burial site, which is 50km northwest of Beijing. The 13 successive emperors after him were buried here. The path leading towards their tombs is flanked by stone animals, depicting real and mythical creatures.

The area was chosen for its good feng shui (luck), which is why athletes competing in the triathlon may hope good luck will also come their way when they come to the Changping Triathlon venue near the tombs.

More at

Friday, June 6, 2008

Meterologist: Beijing concern is heat, not pollution

Meterologist: Beijing concern is heat, not pollution

By Stephanie Levitz, THE CANADIAN PRESS

VANCOUVER - Efforts to cut back on pollution levels in China in the months leading to the Beijing Olympics have only resulted in a slight change, says the man in charge of forecasting for Canada's athletes.

But as he keeps an eye on the sky and sea, Doug Charko said it might not be pollution that poses the greatest threat to the race for gold this summer.

As the meteorologist for Canada's Olympic team for the 2008 Summer Games, it's Charko's job to provide ongoing weather forecasting for the athletes both in the lead-up to the Games and during the Olympics themselves.

He's been working with the team since 2006.

When he monitored the weather conditions in Beijing last August to create a model of what athletes could expect this summer, he found that Beijing's heat, humidity and solar radiation levels were higher than the international guidelines for safe participation in sport.

More on Slam sports, including quotes from yours truly.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Arguing on the Internet

A good reminder of why I rarely engage in internet discussions....

Real Thought for Food for Long Workouts

Real Thought for Food for Long Workouts

The idea is that you are supposed to consume carbohydrates and proteins in a magical four-to-one ratio during endurance events like a long run or bike ride, and right after. The belief is that such nutritional diligence will improve your performance and speed your recovery.

Dr. Tarnopolsky, a 45-year-old trail runner and adventure racer, might be expected to seize upon the nutritional advice. (He won the Ontario trail running series in 2004, 2005 and 2006.)

So might his colleague, Stuart Phillips, a 41-year-old associate professor of kinesiology at McMaster who played rugby for Canada’s national team and now plays it for fun. He also runs, lifts weights and studies nutrition and performance.

In fact, neither researcher regularly uses energy drinks or energy bars. They just drink water, and eat real food. Dr. Tarnopolsky drinks fruit juice; Dr. Phillips eats fruit. And neither one feels a need to ingest a special combination of protein and carbohydrates within a short window of time, a few hours after exercising.

More at the NY Times

Shocking, Real food works! (and so does marketing!)


Olympic hopefuls square off at triathlon worlds

Olympic hopefuls square off at triathlon worlds

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 4, 2008 | 11:52 AM ET
CBC Sports

Paul Tichelaar of Edmonton will be trying for a top-eight finish at the world championships in Vancouver. (Dan Galbraith/Canadian Press)
Some of the world's best triathletes are gathering in Vancouver this week for the world championships, an event that also serves as an Olympic qualifier.

The men's elite race on Sunday will pit Spanish star Javier Gomez against Canadian Simon Whitfield. The rivals finished first and second, respectively, in last year's world rankings.

Whitfield, who won the gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Games, and compatriot Lauren Groves have already secured Olympic berths because of stong results over the past two seasons.

More at

Triathlete Kirsten Sweetland looks beyond Beijing

Triathlete Kirsten Sweetland looks beyond Beijing
Teen wants experience 'because everyone says your first Olympics is pretty much a shock'

June 5, 2008
VICTORIA–Kirsten Sweetland holds her nose and pours a putrid-looking green concoction down her gullet.

The 19-year-old triathlete had just finished whipping up the power shake in the kitchen of her basement apartment. It contains among other things broccoli, kale, carrots, apple, ginger and some tomato juice. Pulverized in a blender that sounds like a 747 taking off – recommended by mentor Simon Whitfield – the potion looks awful and tastes worse.

"Just to ensure I get all my nutrients," said Sweetland. "Plug your nose, and down it goes. You know the benefit. It's five seconds of discomfort. It's not like we're new to discomfort."

This is indeed a teenager with a high pain tolerance, a world junior champion who has fainted three times in major races after pushing herself past the brink.

More on the Toronto Star

Tensions high for hopefuls

Tensions high for hopefuls
Team selection a point of contention

Gary Kingston, Vancouver Sun
Published: Thursday, June 05, 2008

Triathlon Canada officials and 2000 Olympic gold medallist Simon Whitfield figure to be a bit conflicted on Sunday when the men on the Canadian team at the 2008 International Triathlon Union world championships begin eyeing the finish line on Beach Ave.
Whitfield, based out of Victoria, already has a spot locked up for the Beijing Olympics and will be a favourite for his first world title as the gruelling swim-bike-run event winds through the West End. But it's back in the field where the real drama will play out as Canada looks to be one of eight countries to secure three starting spots for Beijing.
Triathlon Canada and Whitfield need the likes of Paul Tichelaar, Kyle Jones and Brent McMahon to be fast enough to help earn those berths for the country, but not so fast that even two or three reach individual qualifying standards with a top eight finish.

More at the Vancouver Sun

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The race within a race

The race within a race

Terry Bell, The Province
Published: Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Athletes in Sunday's men's and women's elite races will be competing for world championship medals and 2008 Olympic berths.
It's a complicated process, but so far Vancouver's Lauren Groves and Victoria's Simon Whitfield are Canada's only two Olympic qualifiers. On Sunday, Canada's men and women will be battling with several other countries in a bid to secure an additional two Olympic berths. Canada is well placed and appears safe to secure the berths but a blown tire this weekend could cause problems.

More at the Province

World championships are here, but Groves has eye on Olympics

World championships are here, but Groves has eye on Olympics
A good Vancouver result will only help in Beijing

Terry Bell, The Province
Published: Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Vancouver triathlete Lauren Groves has her sights set on hitting the podium two months from now at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
But she's not overlooking this weekend's assignment: a quality performance at the 2008 Vancouver BG World Triathlon Championships in the West End.
Her reasons are many. Vancouver is still home, though she lives and trains much of the year in Boulder, Colo. Her mom and dad will be watching her compete. And a good performance could move her move up in the International Triathlon Union rankings, maybe even into the top 10, which would mean a better starting position in Beijing.

"I'm definitely looking forward to it," Groves, who finished eighth at last June's Vancouver World Cup, said of Sunday morning's race.
"It's the world championships so I want to have a big result, but my eye is on Beijing," she said in a phone interview from Colorado. "I don't have a finish goal for this race but I have mini-goals within the race."

More at the Province

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

From Randy Starkman's blog

Chilly B.C. water may slow powerful Australians

Chilly B.C. water may slow powerful Australians

Squad from Down Under in Victoria gearing up for world championships

Cleve Dheensaw, Times Colonist
Published: Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Australia is often used as a reference point for Canada at the Summer Olympics and Commonwealth Games. Unfortunately, that has never been a flattering comparison from the Canadian perspective.
But maybe we have discovered the Kryptonite to neutralize these super Aussie athletes -- B.C. water.
"We knew it was going to be cold but it was a true shock yesterday when we went into the water in Cordova Bay," said Aussie Olympic triathlon head coach Bill Davoren.

The powerhouse Australian team has made Victoria its training base since last week in preparation for the 2008 world championships, which take place Friday through Sunday in Vancouver. And the Aussies know English Bay will be just as cold as Cordova Bay after a cool B.C. spring.

More at the Victoria Times Colonist

Nike aims for largest one-day event

Nike aims for largest one-day event
Success of Sun Run reason for Vancouver's inclusion

Gary Kingston, Vancouver Sun
Published: Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The human race currently numbers some 6.7 billion. Nike hopes to get one million of them into running shoes -- presumably theirs -- on Aug. 31 for its own 10K Human Race.
It's the latest global branding idea from the king of marketing strategy, trying to encourage runners of all levels to register for what it hopes will be the biggest one-day running event ever. Yes, bigger even than the Vancouver Sun Run.

Nike announced plans for the Vancouver run at a news conference at its Runner's Lounge at Coal Harbour attended by a quartet of Nike-sponsored athletes, including 2000 Olympic triathlon gold medallist Simon Whitfield and runner Gary Reed, silver medallist in the 800 metres at the 2007 world track and field championships.

More at the Vancouver Sun

Whitfield: Training through the 'hunger' pains

Whitfield: Training through the 'hunger' pains

Dave Leeder, today at 3:10 PM EDT

Ugh. My alarm clock. Before I'm even awake I dream about the damn thing. but not as much as I fear my total dependence on "must have food now", that feeling that without food at that moment I will shrivel up and pass out*. Combine those things together and it's a pefect storm for disaster.

It's moments after 5 a.m. and I've already started my "hunger bonk". But for now my mind is still on the blasted alarm. I should just throw it away or better yet bring it to Beijing in August, find out where Tim Don is staying and tuck the evil little noise machine under his bed, order up a 4 a.m. start for monsieur Don and slink off to laugh about it with coach Joel.

More on the Globe and Mail

Monday, June 2, 2008

Weekend BAMF action

5th Annual Persona Oliver Half Iron Triathlon

1st, Tom Evans

Boise Ironman 70.3

5th, Jordan Rapp

China’s Pride: A 24-Karat Olympic Machine

Interesting article on China's rowing program toward Beijing 2008. I highlighted one of the passages I liked below :-)

China’s Pride: A 24-Karat Olympic Machine

QIANDAO LAKE, China — When Igor Grinko, a former Soviet coach with an impressive résumé, agreed to take over the Chinese rowing team four years ago, Olympic officials outlined their expectations with a simple equation: one gold equals 1,000 silvers.

“Silver? It means nothing here; you might as well finish last,” Grinko said. “Coaches like me come, help them win gold medals, or we are fired.”

In anticipation of China’s debut as an Olympic host, officials here have seized the opportunity to prove their country is a world power in sports. Rowing is at the heart of China’s plan to capture, for the first time, more gold medals than any other nation at the Olympic Games.


Coaches use tests to determine how tall, strong and fast children will be, then place them in appropriate sports. Many athletes who failed in other endurance sports ended up in rowing — whether they liked it or not.

“When they said I should try it, I said, ‘Rowing, what is that?’ ” said Li Tong, 19, a former triathlete from Beijing whose twin sister also rows. Their mother is a retired basketball player, and their father is a retired soldier.


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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Whitfield targets 'Tiger Woods of triathlon'

Whitfield targets 'Tiger Woods of triathlon'

Canadian obsessed with beating Spain's Javier Gomez

Javier Gomez emerged from the water 17 seconds ahead of Simon Whitfield at last year’s triathlon world championships in Germany. But before he strapped on a helmet and laced up his cycling shoes for the next segment of the race, the Spanish athlete turned and smiled at the Canadian.

"My response was, ‘Touché!’" recalls Whitfield, who finished fourth that day, two spots behind Gomez. "Javier had a really strong swim."

That small gesture in Hamburg still motivates Whitfield nine months later. "I don’t want to be left behind in Beijing," he says about the Summer Games. "I want to beat Javier. He is the best competitor the sport has ever seen. He’s become the Tiger Woods of triathlon."

Gomez, 25, finished last season ranked first in the world, and has won eight of his last 10 events. "He has raised the bar in triathlon," says Brian Mahony, the International Triathlon Union’s media director. "Before, a competitor could be weak in one discipline and still fare well overall, but not anymore. Gomez is strong in swimming, cycling and running."

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