All the campers at Dig Me beach, start of Ironman.
Three long, but great weeks on the road for the staff of Multisports.comMultisports.com Triple Header
The Multisports.com staff has been racking up some major frequent flyer miles with the latest race/camp triple header. The triple header included the Florida Half Ironman on May 23rd, the Keauhou Kona Half Ironman and Camp on May 26-30th, and the Ironman Lake Placid Camp on June 4-6th.
The journey began with the Florida Half Ironman where Roch and Paul were the bike and run course directors, Paula was the Pro Athlete Liason (or should I say pro-athlete babysitter), Greg Welch was working with Ironman Live, and I (Heather) had the minor role of racing.
As a first year race, the set up of the event provided some major challenges for the organizers. Roch and Huddle has to pull some all-nighters to get the courses ready for us to race on. They did a great job, and from an athlete’s standpoint, the race went off very well. Had I not seen all the work and long hours that the guys were putting in, I probably would not have had an appreciation for what they had to do. It is definitely an eye opener for me as an athlete. Most of us show up at our races and everything is set up, we do our race– if we are lucky maybe we pick-up a medal or some money and then we head home or off to the next race. Without the hard work of guys like Roch and Huddle, there wouldn’t be races for us to go to, we wouldn’t have safe courses to race on – so HATS OFF to you guys!!!!!!!
The next stop on the whirlwind tour was at Keauhou Kona where we put on a training camp in conjunction with the Keauhou Kona Half Ironman. Roch, Paula, myself, Jimmy Riccitello, and John Duke headed on over to Kona. For me, it was an opportunity to hang out in Kona in a much more relaxed atmosphere that is usually present in October at IM. For once, I was going to be the support crew as Roch and Paula were going to compete in their self-declared “world-championships”. You would think that we were heading over to a boxing match by the amount of smack talk that was going on between these two. They had both been doing their “secret” training to get ready for the event – or at least making sure that they each felt like they were doing more than the other. Race day came with clear skies and windy conditions, something that had not been present all week long – mother nature saved it for race day!!!! The new course had the athletes swimming in the bay by the King Kamehameha Hotel (where the IM starts). They then headed out on the Queen K highway and rode out a few miles past the Sheraton. The bike finished at the pier in town and then the run had the athletes head south on Alii drive and continue past the finish area at the Ohana Keauhou Resort to a 4 mile uphill section into Hokulia. From all accounts the run course was BRUTAL and this can be seen as the run times were consistently 15-20 mins slower than normal.
Now for the “world-championship” report on the Roch and Paula showdown. To Roch’s surprise, Paula exited the water right on his feet. Prior to the race, this was one discipline that they both thought that Roch would make some time – so needless to say, he will never live this one down. Off onto the bike they went and it appeared that they would probably be spending most of the bike ride together, as both had been riding well in training. Roch made a small move within the last 10-15 miles and came into the bike to run transition with just under a 2 minute lead on Paula. As they headed out on the run, both looked to be setting a good pace so it was hard to say how it would pan out. Paula brought back some of the time gap early and closed within 1:15 before heading through the hill section. At mile 5-6, Roch gained some time on Paula, after she had a little hic-up with her nutrition. The gap maintained the same for the remainder of the run, and Roch crossed the finish line 3:11 ahead of Paula. So for now, Roch has the bragging rights. Paula won the race for the women – 7th place overall, and Roch was 4th overall, 1st in the 35-39 age-group. John Duke had a solid race bring home some hardware as he placed 4th in the 50-54 age group.
The camp in conjunction with the race went well – the athletes were given the opportunity to see what they should do for training the days leading up to an event, and gather any information that they needed to prepare for their race. All campers did great in the event and should be very proud as it was definitely one of the tougher half ironman races around.
The final stop on the Tour was the Ironman Lake Placid Training Camp. Roch, myself and Jimmy Riccitello headed to LP where we met up with Danny Abshire (Active Imprints), Jackie Hatherley, and our good friends Homer and Kendra who drove down from Toronto to help us out with Camp.
We had a great group of campers eager to tackle the hills of Lake Placid. This camp was a chance for athletes to training specifically on the Ironman Lake Placid Course. Friday was the long swim day. Because the lake is still pretty chilly, we did this workout in the pool. Roch and the gang took the campers through a long “ironman” training set. We only had a few “crampers” in the water – not too bad. Saturday was the day to ride the bike course loop at least once and for some lucky campers even a second time. We tried to instill in the campers the importance of being conservative on the first loop of the bike – for those that weren’t they learned the horrible lesson of incorrect pacing!!!! After the bike ride, it was off for a 20-40 min transition run – a chance to practice getting used to running off the bike. We finished the day with a nice dip in the chilly Mirror lake. Long run day was Sunday and we headed out to run a loop or more of the run course, before the final brunch and Q&A session.
Now it is some time at home for the Multisports.com Crew as we recharge for the upcoming races and camps.