UBCTC Ride and Eats

Everyone else is posting about the UBCTC's first major event of the year - our welcome BBQ, I might as well too.

It was awesome. We started with probably the largest group ride in the history of the club. I was at first a little worried as there wasn't a whole lot of order in the ride, people weaving all over the place, but it worked out. We went out to Iona Beach and back. Very windy, apparently gusting up to 50km/h. The Iona Beach section is, I don't know, maybe about 10-15km long - and flat. Perfect for doing TT's (time trials). We were taking it easier heading West, with the strong headwind there wasn't a big point in pushing it. I was averaging about 20km/h. On the way back I wanted to see what kind of speed I could sustain and ended up holding 54.5km/h. I thought it would have been cool to get a speeding ticket, until I had to pay it. Luckily, no cops.

Below is a picture of our group at Iona:

Following the ride was a skills clinic that I entirely missed because I needed to pick up the food from my pad and help set up for the BBQ. I counted about 48 people in attendance. It's really exciting to see so many people getting involved in the club.

Big things are happening in the club. If we can maintain our strong attendance we will be forming different groups for our long runs, and bike rides to help everyone train at a level that will be beneficial to them. It will require a lot more organization than we are used to but no one has any problems with that. It's exciting to see triathlon growing so fast. I just read that the Subaru West Coast Triathlon Series saw an increase of 40% in participants this year over the previous year.

I'm excited for our Fall Race Series to begin this week. I don't think I'll win anything but it's always good to have friendly competition. We've decided that instead of having a yellow jersey for the points leader, we will have a cape. It's going to be pretty funny watching somebody running or biking around with a cape flapping behind them.

Shooting in Squamish

So I went shooting today. Picked up some clay pigeons from Canadian Tire, 4x4'd off a logging road in Squamish, and blew some stuff up. I went with a couple of my classmates Grant and Aaron. It would have been a normal occasion had I not accidently called the RCMP. You see, my phone was in my pocket and I had it locked so it can't call anyone - anyone but the cops that is. Aaron and I just finished shooting up a 19L jug of water when I heard this women's voice yelling, "Hello! Hello!" from my pocket. I think to myself, oops, my pocket has called someone again. I pick up the phone and say hi. The lady explains she is from the RCMP and is wondering what the emergency is. I apologetically explain that it was my pocket that called and that it was an accident. She explains that she needs to send a car to make sure everything's alright and asks were we are. I tell her we are in the middle of the woods hiking and that we are alright. She agrees that that's fine and lets me go. I then turned my phone off and pulled out the battery so they couldn't track me through gps.

I can't help but wonder what she's thinking. An emergency call is placed and there is gunfire in the background with no response for about a minute. Oh well, no harm done. It was a fun day. See a couple of pictures taken from the guilty cell phone below.

The Beginning

This is the first blog post of my life.

I'll start with a brief summary of my summer:

If you know me, you'll know that I'm obsessed with racing - not Nascar, but triathlons and running. I was very pleased this summer with the races I was able to do, and the results I was able to achieve. First was a fantastic 10km race called "The Longest Day" located at UBC. It's a race around campus which celebrates the longest day of the year, although not necessarily held on that day. It was the first evening race I had ever done. I had set a goal to run a sub-40 minute 10k before the end of the season and I was hoping this would be it. I'm very happy to report I finished with a time of 39:55.8, 4 seconds to spare. I give a lot of credit to the UBC Tri Club, particularly our student running coach Vincent Lavallee, for pushing me to my limits as my previous best was 46:59. I recommend this race to everyone. Not only was the route awesome, the race is followed by the feast of all feasts. Never have I seen such a plethora of food following a race.

Next was a Half Ironman I completed in June in Victoria, centered around Elk Lake. It was my first Half Ironman and I was nervous about how it was going to go. I had never done a group open water swim and I had heard horror stories. Someone showed me this hilarious Clif Bar Commercial that helped me to know what to prepare for:

It was all that and more. People were swimming all over each other, getting kicked in the face, and fighting for any available inch of unoccupied water. It was so fun. Adding to the nerves was a build up of about 4 months of smack talk between me and a fellow UBC Tri Club member, Winston Guo. With my pride on the line I was forced to give it everything I had and ended up finishing in under 5 hours, which was about 20 minutes faster than I was expecting. I was very happy.

The last race I did was in early August in Nelson, the Cyswog 'n' fun. This was a 1/4 Ironman and it followed an intense heat wave in Vancouver the week before. Thanks to the 30-39 degree weather here, the otherwise hot interior BC climate would have been more of an issue. It was a great road trip with Winston and Scott that was full of smack talk. It became a matter of Scott's stellar swimming skills vs my superior running. Normally I wouldn't brag but Scott talked so much smack I need to inform everyone that I smacked his rear end as I ran past him in the cycle to run transition. Sorry Scott, but next time you want to run your mouth like that, you might want to start running your legs instead.

As for employment: with the poor economy, student summer jobs in engineering were scarce and I was very pleased to be fortunate enough to land a job with a structural engineering firm here in Vancouver called Fast+Epp. It was a great experience, highlighted by a major role I played in the design of a health care centre in a little town called Lower Post, BC.

The last holiday of the summer was spent with my wife at the Walnut Beach Resort in Osoyoos for our 5 year anniversary. Janelle's parents were kind enough to fly over to Vancouver to watch our daughter for a few days. We had a great time jetskiing in Osoyoos Lake and tubing down the Penticton canal.

Now I'm back at school. The UBC Tri Club has a new race series that will be starting up in a couple of weeks that will include a multitude of events designed to level the playing field. There will be time trials, underwater swimming distance, flat tire changing, and more. See the UBC Triathlon Club Blog to follow the results.