Jeremy Hopwood

Jeremy Hopwood

Monday, May 31, 2010

2010 Shawnigan Lake Half Ironman Race Report

4:20:25 (New PR)
5/177 Overall - 2/11 M30-34

Good Strong result. This was race 6 for the year and was the last "racing" hit out before the A Race for the year in Ironman Coeur d'Alene which is 4 weeks away. Even though still things to improve on felt like I actually got into the race for the first time ever in a triathlon rather than it being essentially an Individual time trial. This was a lot of fun and part of the racing experience that due to coming out of the swim behind the action I have not gotten much exposure to.

Was actually a little nervous coming into this race the day before which is unusual for me, but showed i had something invested in this. Camped about 15 minutes drive away a got a good 8 hours sleep the night so the nerves had gone away once had finished my pre race workouts.

Swim (1.9km) – 33:26
(1:46 per 100m) (35/177)

Swam well but swam badly. What this means is thought I swam strong with a good work rate but directionally was getting wrong more times than I got it right. Missed making a jump into a decent pack form the start and felt like I was passing people form that point forward. Add to that swimming like a drunk snake I figure I may have swum around 150 bonus metres. Some open water work to do ahead of IM CDA along with the knowledge that I find it easier to navigate in the big fields. Was hoping to swim around 31 minutes so a little disappointed with this, think the directional stuff is possible to work out so are taking the positive side out of this effort.

T1 – 2:30 (Estimate)

No Transition times this year so is an estimate. Longer transition than years past as well as the race grows in size. Got going pretty quick out the water, so so on the wetsuit removal but pretty slick overall. Ran up to the mount line and most probably made at least 5 spots in T1 and the run to the mount line.

Bike (88km) – 2:19:39 (New PR)
(37.8km/h) – 3/177

There is something fun about bombing around on a bike at high speed. Shawinigan is a 4 lap course full of rolling hills and a total of 2500 feet of climbing across the journey. Worked this pretty hard and attacked the hills. Normally i don’t catch up with my main competition until the run but was started coming upon people I knew pretty early on. Still pretty much rode the whole ride on my own although did have a little back and forth with Wade Carlson for the last 1.5 laps. On the last lap it was getting pretty slick so took some sections a little easier so took it a little easy and got ready to run which let Wade re overtake and open a little gap before T2. Figured I should be able to go between 2:16 and 2:20 so happy with this bike.

T2 2:00 (estimate)

Pretty slick, took a extra 10 seconds finding my rack as a wetsuit was covering my Newton's. Got them on quickly even though right foot was frozen (Like many of my brick runs in the cold this year) grabbed my nutrition and got out of there. Made up about 30 seconds and a pass on Wade through transition and hit the run course one second ahead.

Run (21.1km) – 1:22:50 (New PR)
(3.56 min/km) 5/177

This was painful but fun. Legs were pretty smashed form the bike and took a little while to come clear as well as get feeling back into my feet. Did not know where I was at until the first turnaround (6.5km), could tell that was a long way from 3rd but only just in front of 5th through 8th. At about 8km Colin McArthur came up on my shoulder and was running strong.

Made the decision to make this my race (Top 3 Guys were Pro’s) and went with him to try and fight for the AG and M30-34 Win. Ran side by side for about the next 8km, I knew based on how my legs were feeling was going to struggle on the loose gravel at about 16km (the whole run course is gravel but this section is particularly rough) so through in a few surges here and there when thought it was worth a shot to create a break. Colin was strong enough to hold on and then gapped me on the loose stuff. Ended up holding the gap of about 40 seconds from 17km to the finish but couldn’t find a way to close it back in. Once I knew was not going to catch him eased it back a little and took the slippery last 500m easier.

Happy with my run, I find I can not run as well on the gravel vs the road but happy with a time on the loose stuff only 8% slower than my current Open Half Marathon PR. Was hoping for something between 1:20 and 1:24 so this was in that range. Added bonus was that ran an even to negative split over the half marathon.

Other Thoughts

Being in the mix to some degree was fun. Gives even more incentive to get the swim up to standard so are in it from the start. Nutrition was a bit different in the cold but got done around 215 cal per hour on the bike and 150 cal per hour on the run which is fine for a Half IM.

Next up is Ironman Coeur d'Alene  on June 27th. More training to go but this has been the focus and are looking forward to laying down a strong performance and hopefully executing a really strong run

Thanks to Sponsors, Supporters, Friends

Firstly to my Sponsors for 2010;

  • Speed Theory - Why support your LBS? Well had a good example over the last two weeks. Jeremy and the crew at Speed Theory helped out a lot following getting knocked of my road bike by a SUV about 10 days ago. This saved me a lot of stress in the days post getting hit. Even got a phone call post race from Doug passing on congratulations to the Speed Theory athletes who had raced. Bike also did its job taking me to the 3rd overall fastest bike split of the day

  • Forerunners - Is a great group of people down there. I lead one of their run groups every Wed night and are going to be involved in their Fall Marathon clinic (Chief Waterboy!). A lot of racing knowledge in that store and have gained a lot of information just by chatting to the guys at the store.

Some other thanks to my support network;

  • Clint my coach from Mercury Rising Triathlon. As well as running a camp that week, helping set up half the race site it seemed he was also out there cheering come race day. Learning a lot and having fun doing it as well.
  • Dr Carla Cupido - Have been working with her as my Chiropractor for the last 16 months and has helped how I recover day in day out. Especially helpful over the last few days after having been hit at a key time of my race year.

To friends, training partners

  • Thanks for everyone who wished me well and congrats to all who had good races on Sunday. Was quite a big Vancouver crew across on the island and was luckily enough to know quite a few of them. Had a good battle with Colin on the run and hopefully we can both hold a similar pace (without the surges) if we meet up on the run course in 4 weeks time. Rachel Kiers won the women’s race and Mike put in great effort on his road to IMC. We even had 12 people at the buffet dinner on the ferry back to Vancouver.

Last but not least

  • Mum and Dad will catch up again on skype this week. Think the Tasmania winter is warmer than the Vancouver Summer at the moment
  • To Leslie – see you in July!!! – Wait wrong answer, in the off chance that you read this thanks again for the support. Will try to be unpacked before I go to bed tonight :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Lance Crashes in ATOC - Video Showing how Hard Core Cycling Is

These guys are absolutely hard core!!!! its essentially a moving triage while you ride back to the pack.

To all those that think cycling is not as tough as the NHL & NFL should watch this. Have heard a stat that an average of 30% of the Tour de France field crashes every year. Think the Giro hit about 40% in the first 10 days.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

UBC Olympic Triathlon – May 16th 2010


First ever Podium - 3rd Overall

3/244 Overall
2/26 M30-34

So managed to get 3rd Overall and my first ever podium on Sunday at the UBC Olympic Triathlon. This was my second ever Olympic race after having done ubc as my first triathlon 26 months ago. Even with a longer run course than in 2008 I managed to PR by a lazy 45 minutes and 8 seconds. So the work over those last two years and especially the last 16 months is starting to show results.

Congrats to Nathan Killam on the Win and Colin McArthur on 2nd. Good strong all around performances by both of these guys got them great results come race day. Hopefully Colin and I both have strong days at IMCDA in less than 6 weeks time.


Thanks to my supporters in Speed Theory, Forerunners and Newton Running.

Thanks to Clint of Mercury Rising Triathlon whom I have been working with since October. Still early days but definitely seeing a progression in the correct direction. Also thanks to those who I train with whether it be the dolphins crew in the early am (Think dolphins made up 4 of the Male and Female Podium) , the Speed Theory group for some of the adhoc sessions such as 10 b4 10 and Jerry, Art and co at Forerunners who I get some good feedback regarding the running side of things as well (especially the importance of drills/form)

Lastly thanks as always to Les and our friends for putting up with me either skipping or turning up late to many a social function. Can pretty much guarantee that will keep happening until July so apologies in advance.


Approach wise UBC Olympic was a training day type of race on the schedule before the next two key races on my schedule being Shawnigan Half Iron and Ironman Couer’d’Alene. Going into this one did not know what to expect. Had been a pretty big week of training but actually felt quite fresh coming into the weekend and after a light day of swim, bike, run on Saturday Race Day No 5 of 2010 was here.

In terms of goals didn’t really have much specific. Did do a race plan on how I wanted to execute effort wise but what this meant time wise was a bit of an unknown due to my inexperience at the distance added to a full training week. Essentially it was to have a good solid swim, go as hard as I could on the bike and run strong.

Race Report

Swim 26:05

(1500m - 1:44 per 100m)

Swim was a pool snake type swim, self seeding so got front 3rd of my heat. As always before you know it it is go time and you are underway. It was 10 seconds between starts so first target was to get to the feet in front of me. This took about 300m or so and from this point on sat in, letting this person “negotiate” the overtaking and sneaking in behind whenever it happened.

Came through 800m in around 13:45 and after the 25m along the deck it was back in the water for the final 700m. Made a couple overtakes in the last 500m but generally just tried to sit on feet and not do any crazy accelerations.

T1 (including run to transition are) – Approx 2:00)

After sprinting through to the T1 area had a good T1 (helmet on, race number on, shoes on) and was heading out on the bike course. Had my sunnies attached so put these on in the first 200m of the bike.

Bike 1:00:02 (Guess splitting out T1 and T2 times)
(40km - Avg Speed 40 km/h)

Used the 1km out section to find a rhythm then started working hard on the 4 laps. Don’t have exact data but my pacing seemed quite even for all four laps. Main challenge was fighting the headwind while going back up the false flat along Marine, this made for tough going but just focused on keeping the cadence high. The hill going up 16th felt pretty easy and was able to fly up this each time. Other than that the main focus was to accelerate hard out of the 12 180 degree turns on the bike course. I now know why the ITU guys practice these as there is much speed to be gained in these.

Good bike, felt like I was topping out power wise though. This is not a horrible thing though as feel I could hold this output for longer as was not red lining at all aspects. Overall this was the 2nd fastest Bike Split including T1/T2 so happy with that aspect.

T2 (Approx 30 seconds)

Dismount, racked bike, helmet off, slipped into my Newton Racers and grabbed bottle with Gus taped to it along with a headband. Not much to improve here except my dismount which was a little bit slower than ideal.

Run 39:11
(10.71km – 3:40 min/km pace)

So post run was a little bit unhappy with this as thought I had blown up on the second half based on my watch, however the body had not felt this was the case. In the end based of multiple GPS watches of people who race it seems the course was around 10.71km. Due to the TT start and having started in the second to last heat the run was pretty much a individual Time Trial (Similar to the bike). As a result just went out trying to hold 3:3x km pace. Looking at post race data it seems I ran an even split even with the longer than expected run to the finish. Racing the run is one of my strengths so not sure the pure time trial nature brought the best out in me for this regard. However this is the same scenario for everyone.

In the end had the run been 10km it would have worked out to a split of around 36:35 which is about 7.5% slower than my sun run time of 34:05. In the end given the course (lots of turns), being off the bike and in a TT format is a ok result. Still room for improvement on this also but not every day can go perfectly.

Overall Impressions

Definitely happy with going sub 2:10. When did the math I figured it was achievable but you race to find out what is possible. Was fun to race this distance and look forward to doing some more of these more speed focused races into the future, especially as the swim improves as that is key at all distances but especially Olympic.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Not Poppin Fresh but a Sweet Result - 2010 Vancouver Sun Run (10km) - 34:05

34:05 (New 10km PR)

Overall - 53/39855 Male - 51/17532 M25-29 25/2501

Quick and Nasty summary, nice day for it out there except for head wind from 3km to 9km mark of the course which made it tough going.

Didn't know what to expect coming in as had a big week of training and legs were a little wrecked. However had a good showing and a new PR by 46 seconds which is huge at this distance. One day I will do one of these things tapered but that can be for another season.

Executed the race plan pretty well. Hit 3km around 9:58 (Plan was between 10 Flat and 10:20), hit halfway in 17:01 (was hoping for around 17), took the Burrard bridge easy.

Wanted to smash it form the top of the bridge on but legs were not "Poppin Fresh" at this point so was more of a drive to hold pace.

Lost some time between 6 an 8km before sucked it up and went for it. Attacked the Cambie bridge on ramp and went as hard as I could down towards the finish. got some spots in this section which is always nice.

First km (downhill) and last km both in 3:08 so a couple nice bookends there. Always things to improve on but like how the book is reading thus far (Thanks to Clint). No sub 34 so that will have to wait till another day but confident can bring something mid 33's on the right day and course.

Thanks to Forerunners, Newton Running and Speed Theory for their support.

Also congrats to all those who ran including Les (my wife) who ran the same time this year on less training. I;m taking credit with my run / walk strategy we worked out. Also for those who know of the 53:58 challenge all I can say is that I have a subsidized post IMCDA celebration. The boys came in around 56 minutes so looking forward to that come July.

Now to hit the pool to work on that as it needs a lot of work.

P.S - Always wanted to use Poppin Fresh in a race report now I have

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Getting to Brunch Early - Sun Run 2010 Awaits

So this time tomorrow the Vancouver Sun Run and another swim workout will be behind me. What to expect tomorrow I do not really know as have had a pretty solid week of training were have smashed the legs pretty good. Having said that I am the fittest I have been in memory and amp'd to race for the first time in 7 weeks.

The reality is I have never done a 10km race "fresh and taper'd" so not to worried from that aspect. My PR for 10km is 34:51 in Jan 2009 and to be honest I would be quite disappointed if I went the wrong side of that. I know I ran a 35:35 10km stretch in the back half of the Comox Half Marathon in March so are thinking something between 34 and 35 should be achievable.

The sun run course is an interesting one with a fast downhill first km, winding section until 3km, a sharp hill at 5km followed by the bridge then a false flat home till 9km before one more bridge crossing.

Still working out a plan but think I am going to mentally break up the race as follows;

> 0 to 3km
> 3km to 5.5km (Top of the Burrard Bridge)
>5.5km to 8.5km (On ramp to Cambie Bridge)
> 8.5km to Home

Will see what happens come race day but are hoping for good things. This is not a key race and is just another step towards the main goals of the year, however still want to go out there and run fast, hurt in a good way and hopefully smash it!

Regardless of what happens will be going to brunch after so can't complain about that.

Good luck to all those racing this weekend, for those doing the Sun Run is looking like a nice day.