Jeremy Hopwood

Jeremy Hopwood

Thursday, May 28, 2009

2009 Subaru Shawnigan Lake International Triathlon - Half Iron - Race Report

4:50:24 (18/115 Overall - 14/76 Male - 3/6 M2529)

Swim (1.9km) - 40:36 (82/115)
T1 - 2:14 (27/115)
Bike (88km)- 2:35:41 (22/115)
T2 - 1:14 (17/155)
Run (21.1km)- 1:30:41 (5/115)

Photo Credit - Meyrick Jones

The Subaru Shawnigan Lake International Triathlon was my first Triathlon of 2009 and hence a baseline of where I was at in the 2009. Did not specifically taper for this race however was coming of at recovery week so run volume and bike volume was less than the previous two weeks.

After finding the pack for the first 300m of the swim I followed the wrong feet and took a little bit of a wrong turn. This meant I was out of the pack I had hoped to stay with and working with a smaller group. Come the second lap I moved away form the group I was with as they were starting to tire and worked to find some more feet to follow until I cam out of the water in 40:36.

Swim was a good one in reflection but definite gains still to be had here and pushing myself harder in the swim is most probably one of the key things that I will take away from a racing perspective. Add to this a big swim focus going forward and I hope to see this time drop over the rest of the season.

I had a so-so T1 having a few issues getting my wetsuit off however in the end I made up 10 spots through transition and exited to the bike course. After attacking the first 7km of the course I moved back into my small ring for the short sharp climb on the course and my small gears sounded freakin horrible. After making it to the top of the climb I couldn't get into the big ring and the chain eventually slipped to the inside between the derailleur and the frame.

So I got off the bike I tried move the chain around but was having no luck, so off came the back wheel and with a good bit of force of the rings freed the chain and manually moved it to big ring. After putting on the wheel and testing out chain got back on the bike. This whole process cost me about 5 minutes or so and any progress I had made through T1 and the first 7km of the bike course. Having said that was happy with how quickly I troubleshooted the issue and was back on the bike with a bit of adrenalin.

Pretty much gave the rest of the bike form here, re passing everyone who had passed me while stationary on the side of the road in the next few minutes. At this stage I had made the decision not to risk the small ring again and rode the rest of the bike course in big ring. This cost me a little time on a couple sections of the course were I had to mash the climbs however was my only real option.

Made good progress on the bike making up 33 spots even with the mechanical and finished with a 2:35:41 bike split. Pretty confident I would have gone around 2:27 without issues so was happy with the ride. Entering T2 the legs were the unknown quantity as had taken a lot more load on the bike than would be ideal. Had a pretty solid T2 with nothing special but no mistakes and hit the run course.

My main focus for the first few km's was to stay hydrated and started out trying to find my legs. This took a little longer than planned with the quads really having felt the bike for the first few km's. Gauging speed against fellow racer's was a little hard to achieve at this point as I moved through sprint and Olympic runners but was definitely picking off a fair few in the half iron.

After about 4km or so the legs started to come to and I looked to pick up the pace over the next few km's. The trail was a converted rail trail and the loose gravel produced challenges in keeping cadence high. Having passed quite a few people in the first 11km I set my sights on sub 4:50 at this point which would require a sub 40 minute final 10km's. My legs were really starting to free up at this point and was flying along in my Newton Trainers.

Was an interesting experience as I am used to people going with you when you overtake but had quite a bit of momentum at this point and was creating a gap as soon as I passed people's shoulders. Gained 5 spots in the last 5km and finished with 3:44 min km. and 5th fastest run split overall. This was a good reflection on all the support I have had with my running this year form the gang at Forerunners and Newton Running.

End time was 4:50:24 and a 45 minute improvement on 12 months previously. Was happy with the race and has now set a focus on the half's to come in 09 to push hard, perform well and try and get a age group wins and top ten finishes. Next race is the Persona Half Iron in Oliver on June 7th where the aim will be to execute a strong race and really attack the run with the knowledge I have the leg speed to make up good ground on this leg.

Key Takeaways from the Race

  • Tinted Goggles are something I need in my tri bag - would have saved me some grief on the swim.
  • Need to really focus on the swim - Central park pool has now opened in Burnaby so are getting in 30 to 60 minutes each lunchtime on top of normal swims. Goal will to be to get swim time to 35 minutes by Vancouver.
  • T1 - Just need to have my plan visualised a little bit better. Poor planning in terms of this at shawnigan.
  • Bike - Learnt that I can just push hard then maybe a little harder. If I could run at Shawnigan after pushing big gears all day I can afford to really attack the bike. Plan at Oliver will be to go all out above 36km/h and just see what happens.
  • T2 - Once again will just focus on visualizations and execution
  • Run - Just have to attack form the start. Felt like I maybe could have pushed a little harder in the first few km's and hung on at the end. Running on harder packed surfaces will also prove an advantage as think this will allow me to ramp up my leg speed. Target time for Oliver Half on the run will be sub 1:24

Shout Out's

Was good to see everyone out at the race and congrats to all who had good days. A few shout out's on some good results;
  • Harry (Paul Harrison) - awesome work on 5th Overall and the Age Group Win for M30-34. Need to turn this into a race to make my drive home more bearable :)
  • Rachel Kiers - 2nd Women and 6th Overall.
  • Vincent Lavallee - 1st in M20-24 and 8th overall
  • Don Smith - Nearly broke 5 hours and 3rd in age Group - Awesome work
  • Jared Chatrand - Good early season race and nice run split.
  • All who got out and raced and had a good time especially those from Pacifc Spirit

Some numbers from the Run

Splits for the Half Marathon - 4:09, 4:28, 4:27, 4:31, 4:31, 4:34, 4:25, 4:25, 4:06, 4:21, 4:15, 4:15, 4:12, 4:11, 4:13, 4:35, 4:28, 4:05, 4:14, 4:07, 4:09 (1.1km - 3:44 Pace)

Science of Sport Style analysis below


  1. you and I ran the same pace for the first and last km. Thats about it.

    good job once again

  2. 4:50??? That's not faster than Katie Holmes!

    Well, at least you got a great photo out of it. Next time go faster.

  3. I need to defend my honour Katie's NYC marathon time was 5:29:58,,20158162,00.html

  4. Well, ok fine. But not faster than Oprah ;)

  5. Hey Jeremy, it was good chatting to you after the race, unlucky on the mechanical, but man you were killing that run, awesome stuff, hope to see you at New Balance.