Wednesday, September 16, 2009

World's Race Report

Well it is 4am, and I can`t sleep. I am talking to Yorke on msn right now, he is in the same boat. The 14 hour time difference is really killing me, now back to the race.

Leading up to the race I was pretty nervous. Because we raced on the last day, there was a lot of time between the u23`s and our race for the nerves to gather. Usually there aren`t any signs of nerves until the pre race meeting, but watching the u23`s seemed to bring them out, and the pre race meeting later that night only brought them out more. The one thing that seemed to make them go away was the elite mens race. Just watching it seemed to ease the tension.

We raced at 1:15 on Sunday, which is unusual for the juniors. The only race that I have ever done that late was Lubbock back in April, and that didnt go so well (puking on the run due to poor nutritional). Race morning I got up and went for a run, took a shower and shaved down, then I had a modest breakfast. There wasn`t a lot of talking going on with me, which usually happens before a race. To kill time I downloaded some new music, which really helped.

We left the hotel at 11:15ish to ride over to the race site. Yorke watched our bags while we rode along the spit. Got to the race site, checked in, did a short run, and a nice long warmup in the pool. I felt great the whole warm up, and absolutely amazing during the swim. After I finished my warmup I headed down to the beach to get in a few starts, but by the time I got down there they had already started marshalling everyone, so I had to can that. Usually I am a nervous wreck in the final 30 minutes before the race, but I was more excited than nervous this time. Some thanks has to go out to Tyler Bredshneider for that. Remember earlier when I said that I downloaded some music that morning, well I remembered Tyler talking about the movie Any Given Sumday, and Al Pacino`s pre game speech played a small part in what allowed me to cross the line between partial nervous breakdown, and excited to kick some ass.

I was number 7 going in, so I was pretty close to the end, but that meant that I had a long time after being called to visualize about my race. Sharon, and Craig have this saying, just think about the first 10 strokes, dont think about anything else, and that really helped. The horn blasted, and I just killed the first 10 strokes. By that time I had put everyone at my hip, and over the next few hundred metres I just kept distancing myself from them. I was tied for 1st to the first bouy, and myself and the other guy swam the next few hundred metres side by side. Rounding the final bouy I started to pick the pace up and moved into the lead for good. In the final hundred metres I pushed it a little more so that I could lead out, which i did. So the part of the race that terrified me the most was now over, and couldn`t have gone any better.

I had a smooth transition and headed out onto the bike. I rode solo for probably the first 500m before the pack caught me. Brownlee really wanted to stay away, and of the eight of us, only about 5 of us were doing work in the first few km, so i decided to let everyone else wrk while i sat in . It was not that I didnt have the strenght to pull through, I atually felt great on the bike. It is more that I was just content with saving my legs and not wanting help someone I knew was a really fast runner distance himself from everyone else on the bike. I took a few pulls a lap, but I wasnt going to be working my tail off with 4 other people just sitting at the back, so I decided to be one of those people. Sure, if I had worked really hard, we could have stayed away, and maybe that 20 second lead we started the bike with may have grown, or may not have. I am still confident that I made the right decision. We stayed away for 2.5 laps before a pack of 15-20 caught us, and after that I didnt go to the front. I just stayed in the top 10 to keep safe. On the final straight away everyone was crushing it to make it to the front, including me. Making the final corner into transition I was sitting in about 5th, which was perfect.

I had a clean dismount, but my bike pedals kept spinning, so my shoe kept hitting the ground causing my bike to skip, so I had to carry it for a few steps so the pedals would stop turning. I had a smooth T2 and headed onto the run in third. My race plan is always to build the run, so start controlled and pick guys off during the second half. I felt really good the first km. A few guys had run through me, but I felt that I had gone out steady and had enough left to crank the second half. I finished the first loop and was in about 8th. A few hundred metres into the second lap a group of guys caught me, and I didnt have that extra gear to go with them. I tried, but after 500m I dropped off. At the turnaround I tried again to pick it up, but it still wasn`t there. With about 500m to go there is a hill, and I gave it everything I had to catch the group in front of me, but by the time the hill was finished I was still off the back and was totally spent. There wasnt much left in the tank for a sprint finish, so I stayed in the same place, 12th.

Overall this was the best race I have ever had. I felt great the entire race, and although I didnt have that extra gear that I know is there, it was still my best race. All of the Canadian Juniors had great races. Some may tell you other wise, but few people come to world`s their first year and rock it. It is all one big learning experience, and they all did better than i did my first trip here. Alison Hooper, in her first year of triathlon was 6th, 6th!!!!!!!!, Kyla Caotes was 8th!!!!!!, and Rachel Edwards was 31. Matt Sharpe was 26, and Ian Donald was 42 despite having a stellar run. I wish they would schedule the Jr. women on a different day because I have never actually seen it. I only see about a minute of it because I am always focused on my race.

So Australia was a blast, I had a great time hanging out with everyone, now if only I could get back to my regular sleeping pattern.

So until later,


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Australia Update

We left Victoria Thursday night, and after the 12 minute flight to Vancouver, we boarded our 15hr Air Canada flight to the land down under. When we arrived we had to pass quarentine, which was a hassle. They have sniffing dogs everywhere to smell out food. One found me because I had had a turkey sandwich in there at the Vancouver airport. The lady searched my entire bag top to bottom, and when she found nothing, she still insisted that I had something in there, so she searched it again. The whole time I am telling here that I had fruit and a turkey sandwich in there 15 hours ago. Finally she let me go stating that it must have been the remanents of that turkey sandwich.

After quarantine is when the real fun began. We were supposed to fly from Sydney to Brisbane at 10am, but we didnt make that flight, so the group was booked over three flights. Lucky me, I ended up on the last one at 4pm, so I was stuck with a handfull of others in the Sydney airport for 6 hours after a day of travelling. The only good thing that came out of that was some very fierce games involving a tennis ball. This included hurling it as hard a we could trying score between the oposing team, target practice, volleyball, and cricket. The airport people finally pulled the plug on us at cricket when we were hitting the ball a ways through the terminal. That killed a few hours, although it did leave everyone who played with very sore shoulders for the next few days. We finally made it to our hotel at 7:30pm, where upon i went to bed and was k'od for the next 12 hours.

Training has steadily been getting better. It takes a while to recover after a day and a half of travelling, but the legs/arms are starting to come around. I have had some effortless sessions in the pool, and my legs are starting to get that spring back in them.

Yesturday we went to a protected park for a run. We saw a few kangaroos and wallabies, but we didn't see any koala bears, and we were looking. A couple people almost took a spill because they were running while looking up at he trees.

Today is the U23 race, which officially marks the beginning of the World Championships.

So until later,

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Londoner off to Oz

Connor Hammond heads to Australia for junior worlds after winning two silver medals in P.E.I.
For full article click here

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


So I have been out in Victoria since last Wednesday for a Pre Worlds training camp. It is nice to be back, although I was only here for a month last year, I missed it. I don't know if I could see myself living here all year, being in Vancouver last year turned me off the whole living in a place where they get no snow, but get a whole lot of rain. I am homestaying with Matt Sharpe, his mom Barb, and fellow PTC'er Ian D. They live about a mintue walk from Commonwealth pool, which is nice in the morning.

I have done a little tour around town, refreshing my memory of Victoria. I had breakfast at Lady Marmilade'sthis morning with ian, yorkey, and Jairus. Lady Marmilade's is this little restaurant below my apartment last year that has the best french toast, which everyone got, and it is still as good as I remember. Craig took us on part of the waterfront loop, and I have done a lot of riding around the observatory, which was still quite fresh in my memory.

Training has been alright. My hamstring has steadily been getting better, and I have more power on the bike and run due to that. My body was a little shelled from a track workout that we did last week. It is not that it was a tough workout, more the fact that I did it 2 hours after landing in Victoria after a 5hr flight. I have been doing most of my workouts with Pat Kelly's group, with the National Team guys joining in on a few of the workouts. Today was one of those days where they joined in. We did 3X(2X Broadmead loop[a hilly 4.5km loop]) round one was tempo, and rounds 2,3 were building to race pace. That pace is all relative becasue it was geared towards the National Team guys. Rd 1 I was pulling my share, even though some of the hills were done as all out sprints. Rd 2 I pulled twice, once in the first 30 seconds, and once in the last 30 seconds. Rd 3 I just hung on the back for dear life. The problem was that they would climb the hills so hard that I would need time to recover, on the flats I was fine, but if I pulled on the flats I would have been fatigued going into the hills, which would have resutled in me being dropped. So I decided to play it safe and hang on for dear life on the hills. After the bike we had a 3ish km hard run on trails. My legs were pretty fried, but I still managed to post a good time.

I am only in Victoria until Thursday, I wish there was more time, but with Australia creeping ever so close, its almost time to hop on a 15 hour flight to down under.

So until later,