Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Isabelle: My First Tri

We would love to hear your "My First Tri" experience. Tell your story and we will share it right here. Email Jessica at media@appletriathlon.com

Grizzly bears, elastic shoe laces and being awesome: Tri tips from Isabelle

Tell us a little about yourself! 
I’m ten years old and go to Ecole Glenmore Elementary. My favourite animal is a dog, I love track and field and synchronized swimming. 

How many Triathlons have you participated in? 6

Where / When was your first Triathlon?  
My first triathlon was in 2011 in St. Albert.  2014 was my first Apple Triathlon.

What was the biggest thing you learned from that experience? 
I don’t remember much from my first triathlon.  But for my first Apple Triathlon I learned that it is harder to race in the lake than in a pool! 

What lead you to register for the Pushor Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon? 
I like triathlons, I like that there are three different parts and you get a chance to do them all.  I also like that I see some of my friends from St.Albert at the Apple Tri as well. 

A triathlon is comprised of three different sports; swimming, biking, and running.  Which do you find is your strongest area?    The run.  

Which are you most nervous about, and how to you plan to overcome it?  I’m most nervous about the swim.  I plan on practicing in the lake more.  

What are some of the steps you’re taking to prepare for the Pushor Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon?  
I joined running club at school and was part of the relay team at the school to help me get faster.  I’m also going to the triathlon camp to work on the swim.  

What’s the best advice you’ve been given in preparation for the race?
Stay Strong, be awesome and have fun.  

Any tips, tricks, or thoughts you’d like to share with first timers? 
Swim really fast, recover on the bike ride and then run like a grizzly is chasing you. Also get elastic shoe laces, and a run belt, and make sure you know where your stuff is in the transition zone - remember some landmarks, like trees or signs, so you know where to go in the transition zone.  You don’t want to waste time trying to find your bike.

Monday, June 29, 2015

John: My First Tri

We would love to hear your "My First Tri" experience. Tell your story and we will share it right here. Email Jessica at media@appletriathlon.com

PBs, chocolate milk and baby powder: Great words of advice from John.

Tell us a little about yourself
Hello! My name is John and I am a consultant in green hi-tech. I was born in Saskatchewan, but consider myself “from” the North Shore in the Vancouver Lower Mainland, where I have lived for about 45 years. I love the Okanagan and spent some part of every summer there.

How many triathlons have you participated in?
I have done upwards of 40 triathlons, sprints, Olympics, half and full iron distances.  My favorites are sprints and halves.

Where/when was your first triathlon?
My first triathlon was 7 years ago on the May long weekend in 2009.  I did the North Shore Tri in North Vancouver as a bucket list item.  I had always swum some but never competitively.  I had not been on a bicycle in 33 years and had never been in a run race or really ever run.  So there I was at the race, like standing on the dock staring into the ice cold water wondering if I should dive in.  (to be clear, it is a warm pool in the tri, so not an exact match for my analogy)

With no training and no expectations other than finishing, I jumped in.  I finished, both vertical and smiling...hooked.  I wondered what it would be like if I trained. So, I trained some and did another tri and did better.  Hook was now in deep.  I needed a goal and is my norm, I looked around for what I perceived to be the most difficult (Penticton Ironman).   To note here, I don’t have much in the way of cartilage in my knees and this is related to my no running experience, so I had concerns about being able to finish a Marathon.  So, a week before it started, I signed up for the Victoria Marathon to see if I could do the distance. My performance was best described as a “finish” but good enough to get me training for 18 months for IMC in 2011.  There were many races before and since and new races I did were based on what I heard about the race.

What was the biggest thing you learned from that experience?
The biggest thing I learned from participating in my first Tri was that your first race is a guaranteed personal best.  More so, the worse you are, the easier it is to continue to personal best a race (my secret). There are a large number of people who can beat me and while fewer now than when I started, there are those I will never beat.  My concern is beating me, not others and I only have 2 races that I did not PB. I also compare how I do against the average but don’t feel much in the way of podium pressure.  Maybe when I am 90 and the only one left standing.

What made you register for the Pushor Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon?
I heard about the Kelowna Apple in glowing references, early on, but never managed to be in the area at the right time.  Finally, in 2014 I made it to the Pushor Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon! I can’t believe it took me this long to make the race, but I won’t miss it again.  Last year was as close to a perfect race as I have had, due to the incredible organization the long-standing race has.  Everything thing was nailed but to highlight, my finish was not only vertical and smiling but I was handed the best hamburger ever, cold chocolate milk and had an excellent massage.  It does not get any better than this.

A triathlon is comprised of three different sports: swimming, biking, and running. Which do you find is your strongest sport?
My strongest leg was the swim portion, but the other two are where I have been able to make the most improvement.  While I started out as swim, bike, run, with each leg getting relatively worse as the race went on, I am now Bike, Swim, Run in what I am better at.  My run still has the most to improve.

Which are you most nervous about, and how to you plan to overcome it?
I'm in this for fun, fitness and meeting a fabulous cohort of great people, all of which are pretty much guaranteed.  If I were to worry about anything it would be wiping out on the bike. So far so good, but last year in Kelowna, while my legs were still getting out of bike mode, at the beginning of the run, I did a yard sale in front of the Rotary building.  A paving stone that was a couple of mm above the surrounding concrete jumped up and grabbed my foot and sent me headlong into a crash (does that sound better than saying, “I tripped”).  I missed head butting the shorts in front of me by about 2mm and while wiping out is not desirable, it highlights one of the great things about the sport.  The gal in front, whose rear I just missed with my head, stopped her run and came back to check on me (she heard a crunching noise behind her.)  It is this caring and camaraderie that sets this sport apart from some of its more cutthroat individual component sports.  I got a bump and broke a few accessories but only lost 25 seconds in the melee.  I appreciated very much her stopping to check on me, especially since she probably caused the accident, by me watching her butt instead of where my feet were going.

What are some of the steps you're taking to prepare for the Pusher Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon?
The bike course goes uphill soon after getting on the bike, so I am practicing hills, as hills favor lighter riders and being light is not one of my issues.  A brick is running right after a bike ride, so I tend to do a 20 minute run right after half of my bike rides.  Aside from making the transition easier, it got rid of calf cramping I use to get in the first 300 meters of the run.

What's the best advice you've been given in preparation for the race?
I have learned a tremendous amount from other athletes.  The list is endless, but the best comment which applies at least to both the swim and bike, is don’t go out too hard.  A lot of people hit the water flat out trying to keep up with the big dogs to go as fast as you can. You end up slowing with an overall longer time or in the worst cases hyperventilate or cramp up.   Know your pace and consciously slow yourself down at the beginning of the swim.  When you are settled in and cruising at your pace (having ignored what others are doing), look for a slightly faster pair of feet, tuck in behind and hitch a ride.  Especially on bike courses that start out flat or down hill, don’t spend all you have before you get to the hills.

Any tips, tricks, or thoughts you'd like to share with first timers?
There are a lot of people who are first timers, there are much much fewer who don’t do their 2nd race.  I guess that is why the sport is growing in leaps and bounds.  Translation – The odds of you enjoying your experience and doing another race is very high.

-       Check all your equipment before the race to ensure all is in good order.
-       Ride, walk, run, swim or drive the course before the race, so you know what is coming  and you know you can do it.
-       Body lubrication can be used wherever your wet suit might rub you the wrong way.
-       Organize your transition for fast easy access to the minimum of what you need (i.e. fold open socks in each shoe for fast access and slipping on. Put your race number on right away but hat glasses, water bottle can be placed in a pile to be grabbed at once and put on after you are already running.)  Note also, presuming you have a race number belt, you can put your race number on under your wet suit, so you don’t have to deal with it later, but practice this first so you don’t rip if off with your wet suit.  Practice the transitions as these are the easiest minutes to save.  (That said, not to worry too much in the first race about how fast you are, mentally prepare and go over the steps and race in your head, but remember the first tri is a guaranteed PB.
-       Baby powder in your bike and running shoes can make them easier to get on and more comfortable for the race.
-       Make sure your race number is facing forward on the run so you can find your pictures.
-       There are 5 disciplines, not 3.  Swim, Bike Run, Mental (headspace/drive) and Nutrition. Nutrition is my weakest and applies to all training and racing, exacerbated by the longer distances.   You can mentally prepare and get in the right headspace but likely will need help to get the nutrition figured out.
-       A good coach is a huge benefit to increasing your performance.  A bad coach is not really a bad coach, but is more likely a good coach for someone else.  Find the right fit it you seek this help.
-       Thank the volunteers when you see them, on and off course.
-       All free advice is to be received gratefully and weighted against your personal knowledge and other advice.  Not everything works for everyone and there are exceptions to every rule.  I don’t use socks on short course races but many do use socks, your call, but don’t try anything for the first time on race day.  Have a plan, practice it and change it, as needed, after the race.

Good Luck, Have Fun and Meet lots of great Folks who love the sport of Triathlon!!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Introducing... My First Tri !

Do you remember your first triathlon? Or is the 2015 Pushor Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon your first ever? Either way we'd love to hear from you! 

Competing in your first triathlon can be a bit daunting. Sharing your stories will help us create a community of support for our first-timers at the Apple Triathlon.
For more information on our "My First Tri" series contact Jessica.

To start things off, our media assistant Laura recalls her first triathlon back in 2014 ... 
Tell us a little about yourself! 
Hello! My name is Laura and I am the media assistant for the Pushor Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon. I grew up in Oakville, ON, and moved west two years ago. I fell in love with Kelowna and can't picture myself living anywhere else.

How many triathlons have you participated in?
I did a few triathlons in my youth in the Kids of Steel series back in Ontario. My dad was really into triathlons and I wanted to give it a try. My seven-year-old self absolutely hated it, and I perused swimming and left triathlon behind. It wasn't until last year that I decided to give triathlon a try again.

Where/when was your first triathlon?
My first triathlon in adulthood was the 2014 Pushor Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon! I may be a tad biased but I think it was the perfect race to reenter into the sport.

What was the biggest thing you learned from that experience?
The biggest thing I learned from participating in the Apple Tri was that triathlon isn't so scary as some might think it is. Walking into the transition area can be quite daunting, with all the fancy bikes. If you take a step back and think that everyone here is there to enjoy and challenge themselves, things don't seem that scary after all. 

What made you register for the Pushor Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon?
I absolutely loved competing in the Apple Tri last year. Being at the end of the summer, you can train the whole summer in preparation. Another reason was the amazing course the race takes place on. The swim is in Tugboat Bay and the water is flat water because they close it off with log booms, which really makes a difference. The bike is super quick, and the run is on the boardwalk along the water, it's pretty perfect.

A triathlon is comprised of three different sports: swimming, biking, and running. Which do you find is your strongest sport?
My strongest leg is certainly the swim portion, which is usually the exact opposite of most people. Coming from a swimmers background, it really is what comes most natural to me. Although being a lake swim vs a pool swim I do loose some of my edge. I spend most of my summer working on improving my open water swimming.

Which are you most nervous about, and how to you plan to overcome it?
I'm most nervous about the run; being a water baby the on-land sports are not my forte. I plan to run lots this summer, trying to get used to running and building up my fitness for that portion of the race.

What are some of the steps you're taking to prepare for the Pushor Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon?
The main change I'm making in my training is doing some of the sports back-to-back in my training. I found my legs were in complete shock after the bike going onto the run. This year I hope to change that by doing more bike-run workouts. Hopefully that will take the shock out, and I'll gain more fitness.

What's the best advice you've been given in preparation for the race?
The best advice I've been given is racing your own race. There are tons of people and many waves in the race, so it's hard to compare yourself to anyone. Take it as a personal challenge and achievement. You should be proud of yourself when crossing that finish line.

Any tips, tricks, or thoughts you'd like to share with first timers?
Just go out there and have fun! Enjoy a day racing in paradise!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pathways Support Paratriathletes Event

KELOWNA, BC - March 5, 2014 -As a long-time supporter of paratriathlon in Canada, the 2014 Pushor Mitchell Apple Triathlon will host the fourth race in the 2014 Can-Am Paratriathlete Race Series during the weekend of August 15-17 in Kelowna. The Can-Am Paratriathlon Race Series is the North American racing circuit for paratriathletes in the United States and Canada. In addition to the Can-Am Kelowna Paratriathlon Sprint, the 'Apple' will also offer other top class triathlon events to satisfy the appetite of all ages, stages and abilities including a Paratriathlete Olympic race.

"Our experienced race director Randy Sparrow continues to optimize the course for paratriathletes and we are  looking forward to seeing Canadian and other paratriathletes in action again," said Mike Hassard vice president of the Kelowna Apple Triathlon Society.

Top international and Canadian paratriathlete Pierre Ouellet had the following to say about his participation in the Pushor Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon. " I twice participated in the Kelowna Apple Triathlon. It is a very well organized race and beautiful site and the people and area are awesome. It is quite an active place and a  region that I would like to live in."

Paratriathlon events are for athletes with physical and visual impairments. The sport of paratriathlon will make its debut at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Paratriathlon is practiced in 37 different countries. Athletes race in three disciplines: 750m of swimming, followed by 20km of cycling and 5km of running. Competition categories are based on specific physical impairments. Athletes may use a hand cycle, tandem bicycle or bicycle in the cycling portion and wheelchairs are permitted on the running portion of the course. Paratriathlon is unique in that it fully integrates athletes with physical and visual impairments alongside their able-bodied counterparts at the same event. The Pushor Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon offers separate races.

Kelowna's Pathways Abilities Society will be supporting the Paratriathlete races. "Pathways Abilities Society helps those with developmental disabilities to become included in community through encouragement, education, and employment. Organized sport is a great way to become connected to the community. We look forward to being part of this great event," said Kim Harmison, Employment Developer at Pathways Abilities Society.  Pathways will lend support by recruiting volunteers who will assist paratriathletes in transitioning between the swimming and cycling stages of the race.

"We are honoured to be hosting the Paratriathlete Elite Sprint and Olympic race and grateful for the assistance of Kelowna's Pathway Abilities Society," said Hassard.  

The Pushor Mitchell Apple Triathlon will also be a qualifying race for the 2015 ITU Age Group World Championships in Chicago, offering three qualifying Olympic and Sprint distance spots per age group and gender. It will host three Elite races in total (Elite Sprint, Junior Elite Sprint and Elite Paratriathlete Sprint) as well as the BC Provincial Championships for the Junior Elite and Olympic distance Age Group events. It also includes the National U15 and Junior Elite Grand Final.

Register now for the Olympic, Sprint, Aquathon, Fun Run, Open Water Swim, relay and other events atwww.appletriathlon.com. Pathways Abilities Society can be contacted at http://www.pathwayskelowna.ca.
Photo: Pierre Ouellet, top international and Canadian paratriathlete and past participant at the Pushor Mitchell Kelowna Apple Triathlon is focused on participating in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Jeanette Hoft, Redthirteen Communications
Media Director: 2014 Pushor Mitchell Apple Triathlon
Cell: 250-215-3623

Executive Director

Research, PR and Marketing
5005 Treadgold Court
Kelowna, BC,  V1W 5B4

Office:    778- 477-5511  
Mobile:   250-215-3623
Email:    jeanette@redthirteen.ca