Monday, November 27, 2017

Hey Ian, What About that Cyclocross Race - 2017

So this is year 2 where I have felt the need to test myself on the cyclocross race series. I wish I had the time to race more as it is great fun, but I have committed to getting at least 1 race in a year, and with a race 10 minutes from my house, how could I not.

So a couple of weekends ago, I swapped out my less aggressive everyday riding tires for some Clement PDX Cross tires and packed the car.

Last year it was below freezing, had snowed, was turning to rain and high wind. That was fun, but I was happy this year to see a warm afternoon race (well above freezing). The course was swamped with mud and water, but all was going to be fun.

My warm up was done in a drier area, mostly so I would get wet before the race and end up being cold. Getting wet during the race was fine, as a Cross race is done at 80-100% intensity all the way. Plenty of effort to hold the heat.

With 62 racers, I knew I wasn't going to be the slowest, but as I was only taking part in 1 of 12 races, I started near the back so as to avoid getting in the way of riders that were aiming for series points glory. I would pass riders when and if possible on course as safe as possible.

From the start I fell back to about 51st spot (as marked on at the end of the lap). Likely I was much further back than that as I did pass a few riders.

The first race I had done, I spent a lot of time falling of the bike, and jumping off the bike to run up hills I couldn't ride. I really wanted to avoid that this year. I did end up being very good at picking lines and managed to ride the whole race, except for the obstacles meant for dismounting. In these cases, I did my best to look awesome.

I made up a lot of places near these obstacles. I think my triathlon style remounts were really good, as I could get riding again fast.  I also use a combo pedal style, so even if it takes me a moment to get clipped in, I can still ride easily enough.

In the end I worked my way up to 32 place, was only lapped once by the leaders and fought hard with Jim on the final lap. My bike was flawless, I dressed correctly and was covered in mud at the end. Another awesome day on the cross course.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Halifax Movember Run Year 6 - 2017

So year 6 of the Halifax Movember Run. The race where I get to be the race director, raise money for a great charity and make sure everyone has a great time.  Year 6 and going strong.

This is a 6km fun run in Halifax's Point Pleasant Park, which is a crusher dust trail of ups and downs. Certainly the race isn't an easy one, but we get loads of support.  This year's winner blazed through in 23 min in the people only race and 23:47 in the canicross race. That's right, year 6 and we are Nova Scotia's original dog friend running race, though now with a separate start time.

Elizabeth and I show up bright and early to get things started. Then my co-director Mike gets in with the rest of the supplies (coffee, cake etc...). Tracey shows up soon enough with the mass of volunteers she organizes to keep the event going well. And let's not forget Nancy who has been helping us through RunNS since year one and Dave Gallant on drums, I mean camera.

As is usually the case, we had a cold weather day, but lovely for running. Cia volunteered her time to lead a warm up for the runners while we finished up registration.

Then onto a race briefing, course explanation, and a thank you to the runners. As is always the case, they are the ones that help us raise the money for Movember. This year close to $3600.

After the people take off, we line up the canicross/dog runners and get race 2 underway.

This year was extra special as the running club I helped to form a little over a year ago has really gelled and many members came out to support the event. Loads were also people I helped through various ways in training this year and it was great to see them running. Thanks BLT Runner.

Each year, local support keeps us going strong. My aim has always been to run a low cost event that offers a big return. Both the the charity and to the runners. I think, 6 years later, we are still doing that.

Long term supporters, Aerobics First, Sportwheels, Run Nova Scotia, and Java Blend have been above and beyond. Since then we have added Habaneros, Murphys, DogRunnin, Freeman's Little Italy, The Museum of Natural History, and Salomon.

Year 7? Give me a week and I'll get started.