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.