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Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Rest of 2014...

It feels early to wrap up 2014, but since Ironman I have been battling some knee trouble, so well off my peak.

Two events left most likely.

Great Muskoka Paddling Experience!
The Great Muskoka Paddling Experience - we did this race last year, it was great (albeit humbling!).  This year we at least have the carbon paddles, that should help... but I expect we'll still be battling to not be last rather than anything more exciting than that.  We're still pretty new to paddling, but getting there.

The Harwood Singletrack Challenge - in previous years, this race was 50km of singletrack mountain biking.  It still is... but they took out the "relay" option, so instead of sharing the load (swapping every 10km or so) the only option is to do the whole thing.

This isn't a huge big deal, last year I did 110km at the 8 hour when I did it solo, but this year I'm feeling a bit lazier.  Guess I'll have to get out and "train" more.  Probably a good thing?


I had some knee trouble which has finally relented, but it's set me back and a bit too late in the season to try to come back from it.  I'll keep running in training just to keep a base for next season, but not going to push it with any races.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Race Report: Logs Rocks and Steel 2014

Another year, another Logs Rocks and Steel is in the books.

Today was tough.  The conditions weren't bad like last year, but I have been battling knee pain and just haven't got the workouts in since Ironman.


The canoe went great, though.  We pulled away quickly from the other canoes, and were 3rd overall with just kayaks around us.  We had the fastest canoe of the day, I feel like it was by a pretty good margin.

Near the turn-around the cross wind was strong, really swung the boat around.  It was tough to keep straight and still alternate enough not to exhaust one side.  The entire way back we were into a headwind - some of the kayaks pulled out of reach, but they were solos and it was really teams we were worried about.

Run #1

A short hilly little trail run, about 1.5km.  My heart rate was through the roof, I just struggled to hang on to my partner's pace.


We seem to do well with our transitions, I think when the full results are in both of them will prove to have been quite quick.


What can I say... struggled with heart rate, had my rear brakes go completely soft after a small crash (ie. become useless!) only to later come back, navigational issues (that may have helped more than they hurt?)... it was just a big mess.

I don't love these trails, they're challenging but they don't have any flow.  Lots of rocks, roots, and mud bogs... I thought maybe last year with the rain it was a one-off, but this year it was still just not that fun.  Maybe I'm just being a whiner, or maybe it's down to personal preference, but I really couldn't wait to get out of the trails and onto the road - and ultimately off the bike.   For a guy who likes biking that's a bit not great.


The run felt OK, but we got passed by one team (relegating us to 2nd - no title defence this year!) and a couple of solos.  At the end the 3rd place team was coming at us hard, I could see them when I looked over my shoulder, but we managed to stay ahead - not by much, though!


I feel like we've kind of run our course at this one (so to speak), at least on the Wolf Course.  We won last year, finished on the podium a few times, if we go back it'll be more of the same I'd expect...  not sure I loved it enough to go back, we'll see what next year brings.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Paddling the Black River in Sutton/Baldwin, Ontario

We wanted to do a longer paddle today so we headed to the Black River.

Dam falls at Sutton
The river is basically three sections, divided by dams.

Lake Simcoe to Sutton

This is just over 3km, scenic, lots of homes/cottages.  Wide.  We put the boat in at the end of "King Street" in Sutton, paddled to Lake Simcoe, then back.


Sutton to Baldwin

We didn't have a chance to paddle this section as we just couldn't find a launch spot... it was incredibly frustrating!

Apparently the place to use is behind the Scotiabank on the main street in Sutton.  Another time.

Baldwin and up-river...

Another dam at Baldwin.  Again we had trouble finding a launch spot.  This fellow did a nice job summarizing the possibilities - he used a culvert in town, we ended up using an entry onto a creek at the bridge on Frog Road (east side of the river).

This section was great - you can go a long distance either way.  We first went down to Baldwin, where it is wide and very low current.  Then we went up-stream almost to Ravenshoe Road - it becomes very twisty, but lots of depth and no trouble (other than turning, turning, turning!).


All in all a pretty fun day, good paddle.  I would really like to pick up that section we missed, another time.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Race Preview: Logs Rocks & Steel 2014

We are going back for our 4th try at Logs, Rocks and Steel!

This is an Adventure Race, but with a bit of a difference... most involve navigation, this one has a well-marked course, so it feels more like a triathlon (except with paddling, mountain biking and trail running).  Oh and way more laid back.

(There is a new navigation option this year for those who feel like getting lost in a pile of maps - have fun!)

Once again we will be doing the shorter "Wolf Course".  The long course is on the menu for one year, but this won't be the year.

Last year we finished as the top team on the Wolf Course.  Our canoe went really well as we had expected, which put us in a lead we never relinquished.  This was less fun that it sounds, as we had no idea who was behind us and how close they might be.  The bike was wet and washed out, slippery rocks everywhere, it was a tough slog... and even in the final 400m of the run we were pushing as if someone was about to come around the corner at any second.

This Year

I'm expecting some improvement in the canoe, since we invested in some new paddles and have more time in the boat under our belts.

Hopefully it's not pissing rain so the bike course is a bit more ridable, lots of wash-out last year.

Should be fun!