Friday, December 17, 2010

You don't want to miss this!

In August 2010, Mercury Rising launched the first in a series of events to raise money for charity. At that event, we heard Laura Dodds tell her amazing story of overcoming the struggles of living with Fetal Alchohol Syndrome through the sport of triathlon. We managed to raise $1200 for the Calgary Fetal Alcohol Network's Empowerment Fund.

Now in 2011, we are aiming much higher, organizing bigger events with bigger goals. From the outset, we wanted our chosen charities to have meaning to us personally. For example, Laura is coached by one of our coaches, Michelle. This time around, we are raising money for Brain Cancer Research alongside one of my childhood friends, Alyson, who was diagnosed with Brain Cancer over a year ago.

Alyson is a woman of great talent and even before her diagnosis she was an inspiring person and leader. She has agreed to put together a presentation for us that i have no doubt will inspire us as athletes and enrich our lives. I am very much looking forward to hearing what she has to share.

On January 16th 2011, we will be holding a charity event at Tri-it Multisport, 2640 Parkdale Blvd NW, Calgary. Our goal is to raise $5000 for Brain Cancer Research. The day begins with Alyson's talk at 9am. We welcome anyone and everyone to join us for the talk which will be open to the public by donation. At 11am we will start the 3h SPINATHON, which will include live music and an inspirational slideshow followed by lunch. Join us for the whole day for $99 (or $89 for Mercury Rising athletes) and ALL of the proceeds will go towards the cause. Alternatively, join us for the whole weekend including the swim camp (go to for details)! Its going to be an amazing weekend of learning together.

What follows is some further information about Alyson, her talk, and how you can expect to be inspired:

Seminar Bio - Balanced Roles for Smarter Goals

“With awareness of the fuller picture, your outlook becomes reasonable and your actions become practical and in this way, favourable results can be achieved”his holiness the Dalai Lama
As an elite amateur athlete, there are constants demands on your time. You have limited amount of energy to expend and unlimited commitments demanding your attention. To achieve success in your goal of completing Ironman, it is critical that you have a plan which helps you manage your “athletic” roles in the pool, on the bike and on the road, without ignoring your “life” roles in your work, with your family and with yourself. While training, much of your immediate energy may need to be focused on your sport, however investing all your energy into but one part of your identity can leave a person feeling stressed, overwhelmed, unmotivated and resentful, all of which will only work to limit your performance on the course. In developing your plan for Ironman, it’s important that you consider how you can incorporate time to develop your “life” roles in conjunction to developing yourself as an athlete. It’s time dream about the best you can become, acknowledge all the key roles which make up your unique identity, and articulate smarter goals to balance your life and unleash your potential.

Speaker Bio - Alyson Woloshyn
Alyson Woloshyn is a leader, athlete, writer, consultant, motivational speaker and mentor. Alyson draws on her over 15 years experience developing people and programs, to offer practical and tactical strategies to inspire people to turn their impossible dreams into possible realities. Deeply committed to community engagement, professionally she has chosen to invest her talents working in the public and not for profit sector. As a community leader she has participated in planning major concerts, raised tens of thousands for local charities and assisted in planning major events such as the 2009 Juno Awards in Calgary. She currently works at the University of Calgary as the Director of Client Services and volunteers for the Calgary Stampede and Young Adult Cancer Canada.
In May 2009, Alyson was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma (GBM), an incurable form of brain cancer. Although a severe and serious diagnosis, she has chosen to approach her journey with cancer with strength and optimism and shares her journey through writing to help people understand how to turn devastating tragedy into a life’s greatest opportunity.
In her spare time Alyson is happiest when engaging in an active lifestyle which includes yoga, running, and outdoor activities like skiing and mountain biking. To bring her balance she writes, meditates, cooks and maintains close relationships with friends and family.
Website – Book – “Blogs for the Brain” – available at

Chosen Charity - Alberta Cancer Foundation (ACF) Brain Cancer Research Grants and Trials
The Mission of ACF is to deliver progress in cancer research, prevention, treatment and care by generating community investment for Alberta's coordinated research strategy and cancer centres throughout the province. Alyson has created a specific campaign “Woloshyn’s Warriors” to support ACF in their research to find new treatments or a cure for brain cancer. Alyson has completed 15 months of treatment which included surgery, radiation and chemo-therapy. Treatment was “successful” however brain cancer can not be cured and recurrence happens in 99% of cases, likely in less than 5 years. Alyson has received the maximum dose of radiation and chemo-therapy a body can manage, consequently when recurrence happens, unless new therapies are created, there will be no options but putting hospice plans in place for Alyson’s care. Confident that new effective treatments are on the horizon, Alyson has chosen to support ACF research efforts to find new ways to treat or cure her disease.
Information about Alberta Cancer Foundation can be found at -
To view “Woloshyn’s Warrior” campaign please visit -

We look forward to seeing you there!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


The schedule for the January Jump Start weekend is now available! The weekend basically includes 2 events in one. The swim camp runs on Friday evening and all of Saturday and The Inspiration Series Event #2 is all-day Sunday. The whole weekend costs $350 and a portion of this will go to the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Sunday's spin-a-thon is also being run as a separate event and costs $99 with a 10% discount for Mercury Rising athletes. All of the proceeds will go to charity. We hope to see many new and familiar faces, so come and be inspired!

Friday January 14th

5:00pm-6:30pm Tri It Multisport; welcome & shopping

7:30pm-8:30pm SAIT Aquatics Center Pool; warm up session & individual swim video-taping

Saturday January 15th

6:00am – 8:00am SAIT Aquatics Centre Pool; hard swim, stroke feedback

8:30am – 10:30am SAIT Campus Room V-10; breakfast will be provided, video stroke analysis

1:30pm – 3:45pm SAIT Campus Room V-10; more video stroke analysis, injury prevention discussion from our sponsor, Scott Sherman @ Panther Sports Medicine Trico Centre

4:00pm – 6:00pm SAIT Aquatics Centre Pool; stroke feedback and practice

Sunday January 16th

The Inspiration Series Event #2; Tri-it Multisport

9:00am - 10.00am Talk from motivational speaker Alyson Woloshyn; snacks provided

10.30am - 2.00pm 3h30 Mega Bike Session with Michelle Milot; includes live DJ, singers and slide show!

2.00pm - 3.00pm LUNCH and final words

We look forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Viva Las Vegas

A great finish to a great year! Watching Tisha cross the finish line at Ironman Canada was one of my own personal highlights this year. To see the smile on her face, and the tears of joy in her eyes...still gives me goosebumps to think about. This girl definitely earned her every one of her finisher's medals this season. Although her season was filled with personal challenges, her commitment to training never waivered, and continued on right up to the Las Vegas Marathon this past weekend. She crossed the line at 4:08, a PB by 30 minutes, and STILL had the energy to take her teenage daughter on a shopping spree! Congratulations, Tisha!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

At last! Here she is.....

Rosalee Sara Lien, our newest team member, was welcomed into the world just before midnight on Saturday, November 27. She took her time coming and arrived safely weighing in at 6 pounds 11 ounces. Mom, Dad and baby were all smiles at the finish line and are all doing great! Congratulations Sara and Clint! We can't wait to meet you, Rosalee!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


presented by:

Start the New Year with us!

Intensive Swim Technique Camp
The Inspiration Series Event #2
Calgary, Alberta
5pm Friday 14th January – 5pm Sunday 16th January, 2011

Tentative Schedule
Friday January 14th
Camp Intro Meeting; Meet the coaches and surprises from Zoot Sports!
1h SWIM and video session

Saturday January 15th
Big day of swimming and learning!
Talks on swim technique and injury prevention
Individual feedback and video analysis
4h of SWIM time to implement changes, learn new skills and swim hard

Sunday January 16th
The Inspiration Series Event #2
The day includes: An inspirational talk with cancer survivor Alyson Woloshyn
Epic Bike Workout with Michelle Milot
Live music, sports nutrition products, draw prizes, lunch and more!

The Leadership Team includes:
Clint Lien: Triathlon Coach
Carrie Meakin: Triathlon Coach
Sara Gross: Professional Triathlete
Michelle Milot: Triathlon Coach
Shawn Skene: Triathlon Coach
Alyson Woloshyn: Inspirational Speaker

The cost of the camp is $350. Part of the proceeds will be donated to charity. For further info or to register go to or email Events will take place at SAIT Polytechnic and Tri-it Multisport.

Sponsored by:

Friday, November 19, 2010

A few quotes i like

I was surfing the web for fun things to read when i came across a thread on the Team TBB forum of favorite quotes. There were literally dozens of great quotes posted there, but i stole a few of my faves and thought i might share...

Adolph Rupp, Hall of Fame basketball coach for Kentucky, used to say;
"Coaching is the art of making athletes behave like thoroughbreds. When you call upon a thoroughbred it gives you all its heart and sinew; when you call upon a jackass it kicks."

If you trust in yourself...and believe in your dreams ...and follow your star...
you'll still get beaten by people who spend their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy.

"Go on be my guest, go listen to the take it easy preachers, train smart not hard,
but ill guarantee you this, you will watch the real men, who like the feel of the burn, who like to see what they are made of, who are not fragile in the face of exhaustion,
youll watch them do great things, while you sit there tellin yourself, you didnt have it, and son, you will be right." Percy Currutty

And my personal fave:

"Show me a fighter who's nothing but heart, and i'll show you a man waiting for a beating." Million dollar baby.

Happy Training and don't forget to work hard!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Mercury Athletes Rising to the Challenge

Two of our crew's newest athletes, Kari Strutt and Patty Infusino, are already on their way to a great year! Both had solid days at the Last Chance Half in Calgary on the weekend. Congratulations to Patty for finishing 28th out of 257 females the day after surviving one of Michelle Milot's awesome marathon spin sessions, and Kari for hitting a PB by over 12 minutes!! Great first race of the year, ladies!! Some post-race thoughts from Kari can be found here...a great read!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Just wanted to send a quick shout out to Luke and Meg for competing in the Clearwater 70.3 World Championships! It was a tough day but both of them slugged it out to the finish! Luke finished with a 4:18 and most certainly had some positive aspects to the day! He had an amazing year!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Silverman and Jingle Bells

Todd Graham met his match at the Silverman Iron Distance Triathlon over the weekend. A momentous occasion - not only did Todd take 15th/45 in his age group, but it was the first time I have heard Todd use the phrase "I am tired." Apparently it takes one of the toughest Iron Distance courses out there, less than 2 months after Ironman Canada, a windy & hot day, killer tarantulas, and a series of flats to finally tire this boy out. He dug deep to get through it and now will be taking a well deserved rest...right, Todd?!

While her husband was battling the desert, Shana Graham raced her way to a PB at the Jingle Bell 10k Run in Regina over the weekend. Congrats, Shana!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fast Fall 10k's

Photo Credit:

Mercury Riser's James Galbraith and Sarah Miller competed in their very first 10k run races this fall.

Two weeks back James did the Hallow's Eve 10k on Vancouver's North Shore. An incredibly hilly and challenging trail run where runners race in costume (this can be distracting, yet fun). James made it look easy, finishing in an impressive time of 51:17. He was 4th in his age group and 18th overall. Way to go James!

Today Sarah Miller competed in the Angus Glen 10k in Markham, Ontario. Her goal time was 50 minutes and Sarah came in at 50:36. She was thrilled with her time and then had the added bonus of being on her age group podium. 3rd place belongs to Sarah and we're very proud of her hard work.

More speed to come from both James and Sarah. Congrats to you each. We look forward to your future results!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Claire gets the job done at IM Florida

Ottawa resident and Ironman rookie Claire Matheson finished Ironman Florida today in 11h21 and 9th in the competitive 30-34 age group! She got stronger as the day went on with a 1h16 swim, 5h57 bike and sub-4h marathon.

Claire is a long-time friend of mine (Sara) and i have coached her since 2007. She focused on running for 2 years, qualifying and completing 2 Boston marathons before returning to triathlon and deciding to take on the Ironman. Like everyone, Claire has had some challenges in her training and has had to make sacrifices to stay healthy and consistent. I am very pleased to see those sacrifices pay off!

My history with Claire goes back to the first time i returned to Canada after many years abroad. I came to race Ironman Canada in 2004, my second Ironman. Claire was one of the people in Penticton who made me feel very welcome. My first morning in town, Claire and I rode together and she invited me to her Yoga class as well. Claire's kindness truly goes above and beyond. In the years that followed, I stayed in her home for a couple months each year training for Ironman Canada and Hawaii. Needless to say, I am very pleased to see Claire put together such a great race on her first attempt at Ironman! Congratulations Claire!

Claire chilling out before one of her little runs in Boston.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Big Day in Kona for Mercury Rising

Mercury Rising had 3 athletes competing in the Ford Ironman World Championships in Kona this year, and all three executed excellent races.

Leading the charge was Michael Vanderhyde who put together a sub-10h finish of 9:58! Fantastic. Michael was followed closely by Jeremy Hopwood, who managed a 10:05 and swears he will return someday for a faster finish!

Jeremy glad to reach the finishline!

And Mercury Coach and athlete Michelle Milot finished in 10:28, a superb time that also made her the 2nd fastest Canadian female!!

Michelle rocks the run course.

We are all extremely proud of these 3 amazing athletes!

The very next day Clint and I (Sara) went out to watch some of our girls compete in the Victoria full and half marathon. It was fun to watch both Tessa P. and Lisa Isley run PBs for the half distance and see Jenna's smiling face as she finished the marathon just 6 weeks after Ironman Canada.

Huge Congrats to everyone!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Teresa Copeland Rocks the Black Diamond!!

Yesterday Teresa Copeland took the 50-54 age group title at the Black Diamond 1/2 Ironman in Washington! She also knocked 30 minutes off her 1/2 IM time from last year.
Everyone at Mercury Rising Triathlon is very proud of her!
Come on Teresa - send us some photos and write a race report!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Calgary Brick Class Starting October 16th!

Happy Fall Super Spinners!

Well it's that time again when the air is becoming a little too cold to keep doing our long rides outside:-(

Starting Saturday Oct. 16th (weekend after Kona) at 9:15am at Fitness Plus North, I'll be holding the 1st of 8 weeks of SUPER SATURDAY SPIN!!

The class will include minimum 2 hrs of indoor riding on a spin bike or your own bike and trainer, a short transition run followed by tri specific, injury preventing not to mention 6 pack building core!! I promise to keep the MOTIVATION HIGH AND THE TUNES FLY!

Call Fitness Plus North,403 273 7450 to reserve your spot or shoot me an e-mail (!

All Mercury Rising Triathletes, Fitness Plus Members and past Super Spinners all all eligible for the discount of $199 + tax for 8 classes (25% off the regular price of $249 +tax)!

Drop in is available for $30 + tax but package holders get priority to the classes:-)

Hope to see you all there!!


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mercury Takes Banff

Last weekend, myself (Sara) and Clint made the long drive to Banff to help out with the Lifesport event there (well, Clint helped out, i mostly hung out). I was very pleased at the Mercury Rising turnout at the race, including amateur photographer Tessa P. who took some beautiful shots and was kind enough to share them with us.

In terms of results, there was no shortage and it was great to see various people in team kit on the podium in various categories. Jackie Morettin completed her first Olympic distance race in 3h14 and Leanne Sherman put together a solid race in 2h40. Todd Graham (aka the energy bunny) won his age group just 2 weeks after Ironman Canada!! And relay team of Tessa, Lisa and Jon came 2nd overall in the Olympic relay division. Luke Gillmer put together a solid race placing 3rd in the elite division, another great result for Luke as he prepares for the 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater.

Leanne smiles as she runs home down Banff Ave.

Mercury team member Lisa shares a burger with hubby Jon after a successful effort in the relay division (photographer Tessa biked for this team)

I love this shot of Todd and I chatting after his podium finish, while wife Shana removes a timing chip from a competitor. Shana offered to help out at the finish line at the last minute and really saved the day! Thanks Shana!

Volunteer extraordinaire Shana.

Todd and Shana debrief post-race in the shadow of the mountains.

Todd on top of the age group podium.

Luke 3rd in his second elite race! Yay Luke!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Coach Michelle's IMC Report

It's quite simple: Train consistently with a good attitude and you are going to finish your finish your first Ironman!

Lana- Lana went into her second Ironman with a few more nerves than the first, not because she was worried about finishing, but because she was now aware that racing an Ironman would entail a long, hard day! And what a day it was! She managed to take 7mins off her swim time from last year and 23 min off her run time. At the beginning of the year Lana told me that she really wanted to enjoy running because it was such a struggle last year. So this was our focus in 2010 and it really paid off. A lot of people who see this 55 year-old running wouldn't even know she had an artificial leg! The bike was a little challenging this year as she appeared to have caught a bug in the few days before the race which had her stopping at almost every outhouse on the bike course, with a 20min wait at the top of Ricter Pass. This wouldn't stop Lana Spreeman, she was determined to finish what she started, and that she did! Way to go Lana!!!

Jamilla- Lets just cut to the chase here... Jamilla has been telling everyone that she just wanted to finish her first Ironman under 17 hrs and instead she finished in under 13 hrs. Her final time was 12:55, despite struggling with an old ankle injury which limited her long runs for the last few training blocks leading up to the race. She even ran a 4:45 with little or no pain. This girl is the epitome of consistent, rarely missing a session and always keeping a positive attitude through 20+ hr training weeks on top of running a chiropractic clinic! I should also mention that she swam 1:07 and not once in the whole day did she lose momentum! This is just a taste of what's to come for this athlete! So proud of you Jamilla!

Laura- Well... Laura got off the couch, off the streets, off the drugs and off the donuts and finished Ironman- what else can I say? Laura struggles with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, characterized by memory loss, unrealistic goal setting, inability to focus, concentrate or feel accepted. She also has trouble with reading, writing and comprehension. None of this stopped this girl. She did the work, followed the plan, ate and drank what she was told to eat and drink on the day, and didn't stop running. The outcome was beautiful...not to mention the best sprint finish ever recorded in Ironman history! Laura finished under 16 hrs with consistent energy and a smile on her face all day. This girl is a true inspiration in overcoming adversity! Though this is Laura's first Ironman, we know it will not be her last!

Coach Carrie's IMC Report

Arriving in Penticton at the last moment, i had just enough time to see each of my athletes the day before the race. Though nervous, they had each trained hard all year and were ready to rock.

And rock they did.

A 2 hour improvement at Ironman is not an easy thing to accomplish, but Shana Graham's consistency in training this year saw her making these types of improvements at almost every race she entered. To go from a crash on the bike in mid-July, to the horrible bike conditions on race day, make her enormous time improvement even more of an accomplishment!! Way to go, Shana!

Another race, another personal best for Todd Graham! Having performed well at IMC last year, Todd was hoping to do even better this year. Weeks of very limited run training due to injury left the marathon as a big question mark leading in to the race, but Todd held on and managed to shave 40 minutes off his time, crossing the line at 11:28, and beating his goal time by more than half an hour. It must have been the energy he got from stopping to kiss the baby...?

Its not often you hear someone say "that was so much fun!" when they cross the finish line at Ironman. But Tisha's positive energy was evident to any one watching her race on Sunday. From her jubilant waves on the bike, singing and dancing on the run, and an ear-to-ear grin at the finish line. As someone who often puts the needs of others ahead of her own, Tisha's journey to the start line was filled with many personal challenges, not to mention some nagging injuries, but with her determination and dedication, she conquered these obstacles and had "the best day ever"!! What better way to end a very successful season, by completing her first Ironman in 13:50.

Thanks for making it all worthwhile!


Coach Clint's IMC Report

I always enjoy the IMC week but this year was especially exciting. I don't think I've had so many athletes to cheer for in all the years I've been going there. We only formed Mercury Rising earlier this year but we ended up with seventeen athletes competing – four of whom I personally coach and many more I have worked with in one capacity or another – add to that the pile of friends and associates out there and it seemed like every 2nd person going by deserved an extra cheer from me!
Sara and I spent the week tenting it. She's wasn't racing, due to her current medical condition so we spent our days chatting with nervous athletes and getting in the occasional run. The winds were high all week and I was getting pretty concerned for one of my athletes in particular. Normally winds wouldn't bother me in the least - the playing field is the same for everyone – rain, sun or cold, but 73 year old Evan Fagen had failed to make the bike cut-off in several of his last tries. I began working with him about 8 months ago as he was planning another stab at an Ironman in Coeur D'Alene this past June. He worked as hard as any of my athletes but a windy hot day (and a bit of a relaxed transition) resulted in Evan missing the cut-off by 2 minutes. It was a heart breaking moment for me. I, and many of Evan's friends urged him to give it another try at Ironman Canada. He was unsure at first. The disappointment was keen and to put yourself in that situation again so soon would require a certain amount of fortitude – pair that with the fact that the race was full. But I felt confident race director Joe Dixon would make room for Evan given his situation. An email from Evan verified my confidence. Joe opened a spot and Evan was on the list.
Now with the seemingly unending winds in the days leading up to the race I was beginning to think I may have set Evan up for another disappointment.
My three other athletes were Rachel Kiers, James “Matty” Fry and Miranda Alldritt.
James race was almost predetermined for him. He suffered a terrible injury when a pallet fell on his leg in January. We spent most of the year working around that injury – then to make matters worse his hamstring elected to fail on him about a month ago just when things were starting to come about good. There weren't many run miles in his legs but we figured the race would be a good learning experience. I was just hoping he wouldn't learn too much about excruciating pain.

James ran well, looking great in his matching shoes!

Both Rachel and Miranda were fit and were racing in one of the deeper fields I've seen for the pro women in a few years – though it's been many years since Canada offered a cherry pick.
The day started out great with strong swims by all – especially Evan! In CD'A he'd gotten out of the water and on the bike in 2 hours. This time he was 8K out of town in an hour and forty!!
But winds, rain, hail and at times heat slapped many out there.
In the end Rachel delivered a solid 10:06 and finished 10th. I know she can go substantially faster but the day was a tough one!

Coaching Rachel on the run course.

Miranda had a rough one. I tried to talk her into walking off the course as she was having breathing problems but she was determined not to DNF – and she didn't.

Miranda heads out on the bike.

James actually exceeded my expectations (that rarely happens) when he strolled in with a 9:55. This young man has a long ways to go before he reaches his potential.
The bike cut-off time at IMC was 5:30. I headed over there at 5 and waited for Evan – and waited and waited. 5:30 rolled by and no Evan. I was crushed. By the time it was 6 o'clock I was seriously worried. Then a young woman working the transition thought it might be worth a look at his bike spot – of course his bike was there. I'd missed him by almost an hour!
Evan ended up finishing in 15:41. A great race! I met him out on Main st when he had 2k to go and ran with him for a few steps. He was all smiles. “I had a good swim and bike, Coach – but I'm not running very well.” He was 73 and running – I thought that was pretty good. He ended up 3rd in his age group – tough crowd!!

Evan in 3rd place on the right!

Seeing all the Mercury Rising kits out there was a load of fun! And standing at the finish line as friend after friend came in dulled the cold that descended on us all as soon as the sun set.
Of special note for me were the performances of Island Tri's Dominic Bergeron and Ryan Pasta – both 1st timers who both had great races.
Rachel's husband Mike Kiers managed to go 11:37 while working 1300 hours a week! It was a first time for him and I'm confident he could really rip one up out there if he ever trained more than 6 hours a week!
Good friend Dan Smith from Lifesport delivered a 9:50 and was 2nd in the 45-49 AG.
This was also the first time Steven Kilshaw came close to really performing as I know he's capable. He delivered a 9:17 and was still smiling when I saw him 5 miles from the finish. Some fine tuning and that boy is going to turn some heads.
Adrian Walton, a strong age grouper who swims in my morning masters group also had a strong race and will be off to Kona in 5 weeks.
And of course my friends Heather and Trevor Wurtele both had great races. It was nice to see that and catch up with them the next day over a nice cup of coffee at Smith and Co.
I know I will have missed a few here – oh yeah Scott Curry had a good one as well! There was just too many to keep track of!!
You'll read about the other Mercury athletes in the other coaches updates but we had a 100% finishing rate. It's going to be hard to improve on that but I have no doubt that the future for Mercury Rising is looking great!!

Coach Sara's IMC Report

IMC 2010 was a little different for me, after 6 straight years of racing and some quality finishes, this was a year to focus on my athletes. As Clint mentions in his report, we spent most of the 3 days prior to the race at Smith and Co coffee shop, calming nerves and chatting about last minute nutrition and pacing strategies. The staff knew us by name and were very accepting of the fact that we basically set up office there!

As for my athletes, this was a very successful year for me as a coach. I felt like everyone made good on their preparation and the hands they were dealt before and during the race. Everyone stayed tough and was true to themselves. It was very satisfying for me.

One of the highlights of my day was Jenna's reaction to seeing Clint and I in the finishing area... one minute she was looking deflated and done and the next she was letting out a loud "whoop whoop!" Jenna swam 1h, pretty much on the dot and then finished her day with a great marathon that surprised us all!

Nick Doulias started his day feeling excited and ready. Every time we saw him on the course, he was all smiles. Despite running into some serious problems in the marathon and spending 3h in the medical tent after the race, Nick took 42mins off his time from last year! Something tells me there is more to come from this guy!

Perhaps the most heroic effort from the Mercury Team on this day came from John Mykytchuk who came into the race with an injury, but ran the whole marathon despite some serious discomfort. The look of pain on John's face during the final miles will not easily be forgotten. Thanks for inspiring us John!

In his maiden Ironman race, Carlos Vilchez had a fantastic day, finishing in 11h50. Here he is giving me a high five at the 8k-mark on the run. Its great to see solid planning equate to solid racing! Well done Carlos!

One of the studs of the day, Kendall Pritchard (who before the race was more nervous than anyone i have ever seen!) executed a brilliant race in her first Ironman, finishing in 12h on the dot!

Eternal optimist Julie Anderson once again made the team proud by racing to a PB by just a couple minutes including a huge improvement in her marathon time. Julie's dog is terminally ill with cancer and i know how hard it was for her to continue to put one foot in front of the other. Congrats Julie!

And last but not least, Tessa P has cool down... but could someone please get her a helmet and a camera-mounting-device for her tri bars?!?!

Another IMC done and dusted and a great one it was! Thanks to all my athletes for making it special.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Race results and photos from early August

After a solid week of training at the PHAT camp in Penticton, Todd, Shana, Julie, Tessa, Nick, Michelle and John all raced Calgary 70.3. They were joined by team members Leanne Sherman, Lorraine Churchill and Laura Dodds. Leanne took 35mins off her time from last year, while Lorraine took a whooping 45mins off her time to finish 6th in her age group.

Other highlights include Julie Anderson who took over 20mins off her time from last year and Tessa P. who ran a long-awaited PB off the bike. The mosquitoes were so bad in the Albertan countryside that Nick Doulias was literally swarmed when he stopped to change a flat tire and had to be taken to hospital! And Nick has no previous allergies to the pesky little buggers!!

Last but not least, Michelle Milot stormed the race course, running 1h30, taking 1st place amateur and 10th OVERALL FEMALE, even beating some of the pros!

The following weekend, Tisha Wintringham pb'ed at the Frank Dunn triathlon by 18 minutes!! This girl continues to rock! While Jenna Berthelot took home the trophy for the fastest female swimmer, herself racing to a 7min PB.

The same weekend, Carlos Vilchez finished 6th at the Barrie Sprint Triathlon with a time of 1h02. Carlos seems to get faster by the week! Meanwhile, Olympic distance chick Megan Jones finished 9th overall and 2nd in her age group at the Coeur D'Alene Olympic Distance.

Finally, Luke Gillmer finished 2nd overall in the Sooke 1/2 Ironman in his first race as an elite! Well done to everyone who raced these last 2 weeks, its turning out to be an amazing summer for the Mercury team.

Tough-chick Laura heads into T1 (Laura had forgotten her bike shoes and did the entire bike ride in her skate shoes! What a champ!)

Leanne exits the swim on her way to a great day.

Todd, focused and ready for a solid race.

John, who suffered from an injury heading into the race had a solid swim and bike as part his prep for Ironman Canada.

Lorraine happy to be running!

Young Tessa has turned herself into a runner!

Shana put together a solid race.

Michelle blazing by!

Julie tries to smile, but cant hide her relief to be within view of the finishline!

On the evening of August 1st after the race, Mercury Rising held our first Charity Event in the "Inspiration Series". We hope that the series will grow and we will be able to give back to the community in many way in the coming years. This particular event was held at JRs in Calgary and included a fantastic dinner of Prime Rib and Turkey. All proceeds went to The Calgary Fetal Alcohol Network's Empowerment Fund. Laura Dodds, who herself lives with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome was our speaker for the evening. I think i speak for everyone when i say that we were suitably inspired by Laura's story.

At the beginning of the evening, we held a short tribute to Kerry Enick, a team member who we recently lost. We presented Kerry's wife Sharon with some photos signed by the team.

The group of 70 or so attendees look on as Laura steals the show!

Laura gave an amazing speech which gave us all lots to think about!

Thanks to Michelle Milot who made the event possible and all the people and sponsors who donated auction items! Thanks to Kaz Matsumoto for the fantastic photography as always!

Great weekend everyone!