Jeremy Hopwood

Jeremy Hopwood

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Subaru Vancouver International Triathlon - Half Iron Race Report

No real theme to to this race report. It was fun to race on home turf and in front of so much local support. Thanks all and the final stretch to IMC and beyond has now begun. The next few months have a bit of this in order....

Pain, Fatigue meet Jeremy
!!!!I believe you have met before but I sense you are going to become really good friends!!!!

Subaru Vancouver International Triathlon - Half Iron Race Report

Total Time - 4:38:47

23/211 Overall
19/147 Male
2/12 M25-29

The Lead In

So the Subaru Vancouver International Triathlon was a B Race on my calender and as a result although I did not give it on the bike the day before like Oliver, I did partake in a long run with an interval finish on the Thursday prior to the race so was feeling a little bit tired but more the normal feeling associated with training load.

In the days before the race I had a good shakeout swim on the Friday along with a shakeout ride on the Saturday. A big brunch at the cannery followed by some home style Mexican on race evening had me fueled up for Sunday.

Race Morning

After about 5 and half hours sleep the alarm went at 3:40am and I awoke to some home made espresso, toast and Vegemite and a little bit of the TDF preview show. The race site for the Half was about 3km from my house so after a short drive I parked and arrived at Transition about 1 hour 20 minutes before race start and proceeded to set up transtion.

Transition set up went smmothly and after a coule last minute things headed down to the swim start and did about a 100m warmup. As the race was being taped for TV this was a beach start which suits me to be honest and the gun went.

1.9km Swim 40:04
131/211 Overall
93/147 Male
6/12 M25-29

Although I had a slow swim I though I focussed well and kept working through out the swim. To increase speed will be down to technique improvements which is a focus before IMC. The first buoy was definetely one of the roughest I have been involved in and I felt a little bit lost between the 1st and second buoys.

Coming back in a felt like I was getting pushed a little to the right. After a beach exit my first lap time was 19:26. The second lap I thought I swam well and worked with another guy for the duration and was able to recover on feet for quite a bit. In the end my time was 20:38 for the second lap. It seems that most of the fields second lap was slightly longer due to the location of the start vs the beach exit.

Swim was definetely slower than target however I feel if I can do the technique work required should be able to get some key improvements for the rest of this season. It seems swim times were a little slower around the board here so are happy with how I worked the swim even though still not happy about giving up 7 to 9 minutes to most of my competition.

T1 - 2:09
34/211 Overall
21/147 Male
2/12 M25-29

T1 involved a sand run across the beach. Unfortunately most of this was "matted" as I would have been up for a early test of leg strength. I picked up 14 spots in T1 and although it wasn't super quick it was methodical and I was on to the bike course.

91km Bike - 2:33:50 (Avg 35.5km/h)
25/211 Overall
21/147 Male
2/12 M25-29

The biggest disadvantage about having a sub standard swim is that the bike leg is effectively and Individual Time Trial for myself with no one to really guage my effort off as I tend to be significantly faster than the people in front of me and do not have much pressure from behind.

For this ride I aimed to keep my heart rate just below red line for as much as possible. All in all I was happy with my ride, I know my workrate slackenned off in a couple sections but managed to pace the ride pretty even through out the four laps.

All in all I hit my target for this leg and although it looks like my Heart Rate dropped a little bit throughout the leg meaning I left a couple minutes on the course I was very happy with the bike. Add to this no mechanical issues and life was good.

T1 - 0:53
9/211 Overall
8/147 Male
1/12 M25-29

Went real smooth, had a slight hiccup in identifying my exact racking spot but only lost about a second due to hesitation. Also re racked bike to leave my neighbors enough room. My transition approach for bike to run seems to be working well so no need to change just perfect a couple of the small things.

20km Run - 1:21:51 (Avg 4:06 min per km)
13/211 Overall
11/147 Male
1/12 M25-29

Coming on to the run I figured I had about a 10 minutes to make up on Nick Gottfried who was running near the front in my age group. This being a b race I wanted to see what going out at open half marathon pace would be like and give the catch a chance. Nick's run at Victoria was pretty strong so I figured would have to nail the run to have a chance of a catch along with a bit of bad luck on Nicks side.

Out of the blocks I hit a 4 minute km at which point the bike for the lead male was approaching. I figured this was my best chance to push myself hard and see what pushing a hard pace on the run was like. Jordan Rapp had smoked the bike course and was in the lead so I just tried to pick up my pace to maintain the gap I had on him (Note I am 1 lap down). I was able to do this through the trails of Jericho and through about the 6km part of the run. At this point I felt my heart rate was beginning to spike a little bit (data corroborates) too much and decided to turn the pace down a notch at which time Jordan Rapp ran away to his victory in a smoking time of 3:53:17

From km's 6 to 10 I just tried to find a rythm and pick targets on the out and back. With 10km to go its essentially just a matter of continuing to work, around the 12km mark I passed Tony Buckingham and was holding 4:10 min km's. In the end I made a couple other passes and managed to hold off Cheryl Murphy over the last couple of km's who was charging through the womens field.

Splits for the run are in the data section of report, but in all was happy with my run. I did not negative split after my "attacking start" which covered 5km in 18 minutes. However it was a risk I needed to take make up places and I was happy how I was able to recover after having red lined early in the run. From a time lost perspective I do not think it cost me more than 1 minute in the overall scheme of things.

The run definetely was a hot one and I was happy with how I kept my core temperature down and kept hydrated. Having said this I may be tempted to go wioth a visor over a cap in future races but are still undecided (I could do a post on the pro's and cons as I see them)

I continued my record of not being passed on the run and in the end I had the 2nd Fastest Age Grouper run split on the day. My run is feeling good and considering I had my hardest run workout of the year 3 days prior are confident going into IMC I can put on a good show.

A Podium Finish and Key Highlights

  • Quickly met a couple people form the blog world - Meyrick and Erin
  • So my efforts today got me 2nd in the M25-29 Age Group finishing 4 minutes 38 behind the category winner Nick Gottfried.
  • 13th Fastest Run Split and 2nd Fastest Age Grouper Run Split.
  • 14th Fastest Bike/Run (4th in the age groupers) - !!!!!Swim Focus Needed!!!!!
  • Bike under pre race target time
  • Post Race BBQ ..... mmmm BBQ!!!!!
Goal Review

I hit my C Goal in terms of time for this race but given the comparative times of others at the race I am upgrading my result to a B.

The key thing that jumps out as always is the need to improve my swim while I think my bike is where it needs to be at for Ironman although a few weeks of intensity work will help push up that threshold. From a run perspective looking at the avg times across the fields I would have to say my goal was achieved and I learned a lot about how I can recover mid race.

Joe vs Pro Time

So today my times are compared against Jordan Rapp who absolutely destroyed the course record.

3:53:17 (Jordan) vs 4:38:47 (Jeremy)
19% slower

26:15 (
Jordan) vs 40:04 (Jeremy) 52% slower

1:42 (Jordan) vs 2:09 (Jeremy) 26% slower

2:13:03 (Jordan) vs 2:33:50 (Jeremy) 16% slower

1:05 (Jordan) vs 0:53 (Jeremy) 18% Faster

1:11:15 (
Jordan) vs 1:21:51 (Jeremy) 15% slower

Shout Outs

  • To Leslie for coming out and supporting as always
  • To my Sponsors Foreunners and Newton.
  • Harry once again took out his age group and was the third age grouper across the line in 4:30:12
  • Vincent Lavalle who came second in his age group with a time of 4:32:52
  • Rachel Kiers who backed up from 5th at IM CDA three weeks ago to come 6th Female in a time of 4:40:18
  • Tony Buckingham came thrid in his age group with a time of 4:41:23 and won the draw prize - a trip to go watch Kona!!!!
  • Andrew Powell who had a time of 5:21:38
  • Paul Walker made his Half Iron debut with a time of 5:49:2 - Congrats
  • Erin Lee broke her target time of 6 hours with a time of 5:53:35. was good to finally "meet" on the run course
  • Jared who hit all his training goals for the race by staying in "Zone"
  • Amy & Cyrus who were part of the winning mixed relay team.
  • Calvin Gehlen and Jenny Cheung who raced up in the Desert Half in Oysoos. Looks like it may have been hot and windy up there.
  • Meyrick Jones - Was good to finally meet face to face
  • To all those in the Twitter/Email world who sent messages of support along with those out at the race who cheered me on.
  • Everybody who dropeed by the impromptu post race/pre award bbq.
  • To all the volunteers including Barb, Gerry Mike and Doug from Speed Theory (Who spent his whole weekend volunteering)
  • Murray form Speed Theory who tweaked my drive train on Saturday
  • Jerry Ziak from Foreunners who has been helping me with my running - I promise I will not over analyze my run splits
  • Thanks to all those who follow my blog, twitter, paper notes left on the side of the road. One of the cool things about tri is the sense of community and I hope my blog helps add to that.
I don't want to but I will write this note

Unfortunately there seemed to be a lot of littering on the bike course today with bottles, gel wrappers etc everywhere. Bottles I can understand if they launch but there is no excuse for gel wrappers and the like. If we want races in Vancouver it is up to athletes to keep the course clean.

Drafting - I am shocked that there were a sum total of ............. ZERO drafting penalties today. I saw and passed a couple of loosely formed pace lines today especially down marine and chancellor. I would rather see some people get hit with a drafting penalties that could be "considered harsh" in a zero tolerance model rather than this warning approach. If you need to warn somebody hit them with a 4 minute penalty end of story. The winds were up a little on marine today and there would have definitely been benefit for those sucking wheels.

Data Summary

Overall Bike/Run Heart Rate

Avg Hr = 170 (83% of Max)
Max HR =
191 (94% of Max)


Lap 1 = 19:26 (2:03 per 100m)
Lap 2 = 20:38 (2:10 per 100m)


Lap 1 - 24km Including Out - 39:42 (Avg 36.27 km/h)
Lap 2 - 21.5km - 36:36 (Avg 35.25km/h)
Lap 3 - 21.5km - 36:32 (Avg 35.31km/h)
Lap4 - 24km Including In (Avg 35.12km/h)

Avg Hr = 164 (80% of Max)
Max HR = 185 (91% of Max)


Lap 1 (4.7 km) - 17:11 (3:36 min/km)
Lap 2 (5.3km) - 22:40 (4:17 min/km)
Lap 3 (4.7 km) - 19:54 (4:14 min/km)
Lap 4 (5.3 km) - 22:06 (4:10 min/km)

Avg Hr = 178 (87% of Max)
Max HR = 191 (94% of Max)

Splits (per km)

3:58, 4:00, 3:30, 3:42. 3:41, 4:20, 4:22, 4:22, 4:20, 4:23
4:28, 4:21, 4:24, 4:15, 4:15, 4:18, 4:20, 3:40, 3:40, 3:40


  1. hey, I wouldn't worry too much about the swim time. Mine was 3:30 slower than last year, and 6 minutes slower than Victoria

    good race

  2. Congrats on the podium! Sounds like a fun race!

  3. Hey, congrats and great report! Looking forward to hear how you do at IMC! I'm getting more and more excited to get into tri's next year!

  4. Hey Jeremy.... I was going to say the same as Vince... my swim time was a good 2 minutes off of what I expected, and many others I spoke to said the same. I think the measurement may have been a little off or there was a current or something....

    I got a great shot of you on the podium with your Aussie kilt.... click through to the photos from my blog.

    Cheers and Congrats,

  5. Attaboy, good race, great report.

  6. Hey Jeremy, nice race man, well done. I hear you about the drafters, just shocking no penalties were handed out. I had a paceline of about 8 come blowing by me at one point!!! Brutal. Anyway, best of luck with training for IMC.