Well... the games was quite the experience. My start to pre-race nervousness for the games was on a Tuesday afternoon, 3 days out of competition. It was supposed to be my last hard workout before the competition. I was running round an orchard in a brick session, when I stepped on an apple, or in a whole, with my left foot....Pop! For a mount there, I thought I’d broken it. It was stiff and In pain. I limped a few strides and then sat on the ground in pain. I moved my able up slightly to check. ‘OK, Ive got movement.’I got up pretty quick and limped up to where Luke was with our bikes. he went straight inside and we taped it up. I tried to walk, and run, but it was painful. I did one more run that day, but it was more in desperation of doing the session before my races, than anything else. I paid for it the next day, waking up with quite the limp. I desperately treated it all day, and was able to walk on it without a limp that night. I left for summer Games the following morning at about 5:30 am and still could feel the pain in my ankle. I thought I probably wouldn’t feel it in the race, and I don’t think I really did. Here’s how my first race went: I knew there were some other good swimmers in the field, and I was expecting to sit on someones feet in the water. I started off hard, more out of nervousness than anything. I saw I had a gap, and then thought, ‘I can’t let up now, I just need to get it as big as i can!’ So I pushed it, not too hard, but swam pretty fast I think. I felt great. I got onto the bike with a 10-15 second lead. I biked hard at the beginning and seemed to increase my lead on those just behind me. I biked hard, but not killing myself. As I started the run, I knew I had it in the bag. I had about a one minute lead, over second. I ran good out of transition, and then styled into a strong pace, but not too hard. I just felt great. I also knew that I had lots more races to go including a duathlon later that afternoon. I won the triathlon in about 1 min 25 seconds. Keagan got second, and Braden got bronze, with Connor in third. This made it a 1,2,3,4 sweep for zone 2 Thompson Okanagan.
The duathlon was new to me. I’d never done one before, but was confident in my running abilities and was going to try to drop them on the bike. At the start of the duathlon I ran fast with the leaders, but didn’t feel like I was overexerting myself. Keagan leg the pack, but for the last 200 metres or so, I passed, showing my strength, hurting him a bit, and trying to get just a few strides on anyone into transition. I started the bike and left right away. I rode REALLY hard, and managed to get about 10-15 second on anyone by T2. I started the run and ran HARD. I had a big gap, and relaxed only slightly near the end maybe 95% instead of 100%. Oh man it hurt! My kilometre time for the first run was a 2:46, and the second run was a 3:09. That gave me my second gold of the games.
In the aquathlon the next morning I swam extra hard, and ran extra hard as well. Theres not much relaxing in a 300m swim and a 1km run! I won the race by 22 seconds.
The mixed relay was a non-medal event, and was more of a fun thing. Coaches competed in it as well in there own teams. My team had a great first three legs, leaving us in contention with the first team of ‘athletes’. We were in fourth when I started and I managed to catch up on the swim and bike. Our team got first place.
The last event of the games was called the F1 event. A super short, mini triathlon supposed to consist of a 200m swim, and 3 km draft legal bike, and a 1 kilometre run. Due to poor water quality in a test the day before, the triathlon was converted to another duathlon consisting of a 1km run, a 3km draft legal bid, and another 1km run. This made me nervous. I wanted that cushion of time from the swim, but just wasn’t going to have it. I started off hard, much harder than last time, Keagan pushing at the front, and me on his heels. I did this for the first 800m, before he started to slow. Again, I passed him, trying to get a few strides. Coming into transition with Keagan and Braden made it seem possible for them to draft with me. my plan was to just ride as hard as I could, and not risk anything on the second run. I broke them right off the start of the ride. I went hard and dropped them. Accelerating on the first turn, and on the turn around. Starting the run I just sprinted, it was my last race and I just went HARD. I ran a 3:08, to claim my fourth gold medal of the games.
The games were a great experience for me/ I got to do so much racing, experimenting with strategies, learning my competitors, and building more confidence. Huge shout out to the cit o abbots ford, and especially the thousands of volunteers who so graciously made it all happen! Also to my sponsors for all their help, Dr. Snow at the Valeo Health Clinic (whom treated me at the summer games as well), Fresh Air, Cannondale, Eload, and especially Luke and Balance Point Racing!
Also a big thanks to On Running for the awesome racing shoes!
I wen’t into the race with these tactics: Swim as hard as I can…Do whatever I have to in order to come out of the water with Jackson. The combined Junior elite and youth elite race made it very interesting and also more competitive. I knew that Jackson would want to come out first. He’s so strong, and always aims to be that guy. I was going to settle into the bike back which I predicted would be me, Jackson, and Josh(another strong swimmer), and then try to break on lap two. Starting the run, I didn’t really know what I’d do. My conservative side told me to keep it easy, run with them, and then try to break, but my competitive side told me “run hard out of T2 and try to drop them!” I somehow just knew I wouldn’t have the patience to wait. For my own peace of mind, I thought I would take of hard.
The morning of the race, I’m usually quite nervous. Should I wear my wetsuit was the big issue this time, but I decided yes, and I’m glad I did. The start of the swim was great. I positioned myself into the first 3 right off the bat. As I saw Jackson move up to pass me in the first 75 metres I just got right onto his hip, which quickly became his feet. After that I didn’t let it get any bigger than a metre between my fingers and his toes. I didn’t want to give any gap. I made the mistake last year of slacking off a little bit, and then losing his very feet and not being able to make it up. So today I just gave it everything I had to stay right on his feet. Often hitting them stroke after stroke. I just didn’t want to give any edge or risk of losing them. My run to transition was quite slow (struggling to find my wetsuit strap), but was lucky that Jackson also had a slow T1. I was first onto the bike, but my slow start made it possible for Josh Ogilvie to close the gap in the first hundred metres or so. At this point I knew it was just us three, and so just settled in, taking my turn, and letting them take theirs. I’m strong on hills, so the hill each lap might have taken a bit more out of their legs than mine, but I felt good, and relatively in control. On the second lap, with the wind to our backs, I waited for Josh to take his turn, and then took off like a bullet, immediately into the aero bars, and driving hard. I had a gap. Josh quickly went to the front again, as Jackson was unable to respond. At the first turn around I knew I was pretty well caught, and didn’t feel like fighting any more. Soon after, they tried to break me on the hill, but I quickly responded and it was more of a surge. I came off the bike shoulder to shoulder with Josh, and Jackson on our heels. As we were exiting the transition after a relatively even T2, I hesitated, but then just sprinted, looking over my shoulder to see I was getting a gap. I quickly established my gap and ran away. I the settled into a had, but not overly hard pace for the rest of the race. In the end I won by about 1 min 30 seconds over Josh who was second overall, and first Junior Elite. Keegan got second in the youth elite category about 4 min back overall. Lincoln, my brother, was just 9 seconds from second place, with an amazing swim bike, and running 3:43 kilometres, but was just outrun by 3rd! I was very pleased with my race. Especially my swim and run. I swam faster than ever, and I ran faster than ever. I still need to develop that ability to go solo though. If I’m comfortable in the pack, I should work to be able to break.
- 16 year old Junior Elite Triathlete.
Long Term Goals
-Have podium finishes in all of my Junior Elite races 16-19.
-Qualify for the ITU World Junior Championship in 2017.
-Win the Youth Olympic games in Argentina in 2018
-Be in contention at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo Japan.
-Win an ITU World Championship.
-Race to win the 2024 Olympics alongside my brother:)
-Win an Ironman World championship after my ITU days.