Saturday, November 29, 2008

Kona Photos

IMG_7757.JPG, originally uploaded by jfilliol1.

I posted some photos I took in both Kona and Arizona on my Flickr pages, enjoy!

(3-4 of the AZ pics weren't taken by me, but were good ones of Rappstar...)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Jordan Rapp @ Ironman Arizona #2

Jordan's first 'real' Ironman was this year in Arizona where he had a solid 3rd place, kicking onto the podium with the following splits: 55:03/4:32:42/3:02:33 8:35:04
This was a reasonable performance, not totally representative of where he was at preparation wise, but a step toward learning how to race a new distance effectively and lay it all down on the course.

With the Olympics in August and his role as a team mate and training partner for the Canadian National team here in Victoria, we planned the middle of the season to include some halfs and olympic non-drafting races then a 2 week break while he cheered his mates on in Beijing. Ironman Arizona #2 was a nice fit post Beijing to ramp up the training again over 2.5 months and finish with another go at the same course. Although he trained on his own in Los Angeles in the fall, rather than with the team in victoria, we kept the same short course, raise the ceiling, training style and pushed through a few 'shake the rust off' races like Dallas Lifetime Fitness and Jamaica.

I was fortunate enough to be able to make the trip down to Tempe and support Jordan's race and I am glad I did, as nothing makes me more proud that to see an athlete leave it all on the course and race with guts like Jordan did last weekend. He swam a level up from his April debut, much more like the level he's shown in the pool this year, and paying off the trials of miles in the water, to start the bike solidly within the second bunch. Onto the bike he got rolling like he does, and with good conditions, he patiently made his way within 2 mins of the leaders, posting the fastest split of the day. Finally on the run, he got a bit excited on the first lap to catch Lieto and Doe very early, and then learnt what it is like to lead an Ironman. Its a different game once you get a sniff of the win, and then it became a real race. Unfortunately the fast early pace and the swift legs of Raelert coming off his 2nd place in Clearwater meant the pass around mile 20 was definitive, but to his credit Jordan worked through a pretty rough patch for about 5 miles and pulled back within 20 secs of Lieto to finish up on the podium again. The way he raced and competing with a surprisingly high quality of field made it a very pleasing progression, in his maiden year at the Ironman distance. A new overall PB and improved splits in each discipline was the result of a lot of hard work and discipline in getting the job done since April: 50:28/4:26:12/2:58:43 8:19:45

Lots of upside for Jordan to continue to improve and now learning how to win is the next step.

Read Jordan's report here:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

a quote

'We tend to celebrate risk only after it has led to great things, which means we rarely celebrate the risk-takers who haven't yet been rewarded for their efforts. The paradox here is that we are often unwilling to embrace ambition and originality until it is safe to do so - in short, we're unwilling to take risks ourselves."

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sports Excellence Series

First, a reminder that Simon and I are speaking at the Sports Excellence Series in Victoria tomorrow, Thursday November 13th at 6pm. Details are a few posts down in this blog.

Here is an article related to the series: here

I was in Calgary all last week for 2 days of Triathlon Canada meetings, 1.5 days of the Road to Excellence Olympic conference, and 1.5 days of the Sport Leadership conference. All in all a very productive week and a valuable learning experience. I was also fortunate enough to be asked to speak on Triathlon Canada's altitude training program along with legendary athletics coaches Jack Daniels and Wynn Gmitroski.

At the conference there was also the Petro-Canada Sport Leadership Awards - which I was lucky enough to receive, in the company of the top coaches in Canada. Here is a list of the recipients: here, the triathlon canada story: here, and finally a Times Colonist story on the 9 coaches from Vancouver Island:

Island coaches to receive awards
Cleve Dheensaw, Times Colonist

Published: Friday, November 07, 2008
They were the silent architects of the Island's remarkable Summer Olympics and Paralympics success in Beijing, but not able to climb the podium.
Read the article here

Another item: the prize purse of the 2009 Hy-Vee triatlon has been announced here Nice to see the race paying very deep. Kudos to Hy-Vee and the organizers for making that a reality.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Evans takes the title

Congrats to Tom Evans for his second Ironman win of the year, and a new course record and personal best overall time at Ironman Florida, along with a new bike course record at sub 4:20, all at 40 years old. I've had the privilege of working with Tom since early 2004, and his 4 Ironman wins and several other podium performances are among my proudest coaching accomplishments. Tom has continued to get stronger over the years and has raced with patience, and experience to execute some world class Ironman performances, including his two wins this year, which are probably his best performances of his career.

This past year we made some small adjustments based on feedback from the past few years. We felt we were close to the optimal formula for Tom, but were coming up short for the second Ironman of the year. Some tweaks in workload and timing, and also a renewed focus on the fundamentals has paid off with another world class race in Florida to add to his win at Ironman Coeur d'alene in June, and also qualifying for Kona 09, which will be his only Ironman next year.

Well done Tom! You are an inspiration to those who continue to consistently put in the work over the years and show that you can keep improving with age and experience!


Evans takes the title
In a time of 8:07:59, Canada's Tom Evans has just moments ago shattered the Ford Ironman Florida course record. Carrying one of the largest Canadian flags in existance, the Penticton, BC local is currently retracing his steps up the finish chute thanking all the supporters lining the stands and streets surrounding the finish area.

Speaking with Mike Reilly, Evans spoke of his plan to hold back on the bike and blaze the run, but with the opportunity to bike with Torbjorn Sindballe and put time on him was to good to refuse. Stopping his watch mid-sentence, he realized he had broken 3 hours on the run.

Keeping a steady run, he decided to get home at a safe pace, and not risk the win from his vantage point.

Mike Reilly also pointed out Evans is the first Ironman champion over the age of 40, which is an amazing feat, consider this makes title number two for 2008. And not to mention, this win gets Evans a confirmed slot to the Ford Ironman World Championship. A slot he has mentioned he intends to take.

Breaking the course record, and breaking his own record, it's been quite a day for the 2008 Ford Ironman Florida champion, Tom Evans