Note: I apologize for the terrible grammar, this post was long and has not been edited.
With the weather being the focus of most peoples attention, it was hard to get psyched up for a good race when hypothermia threatened the athletes. A few teams were fortunately enough to race early in the morning before the downpour really came.
After a disappointing Sunday of no racing, Melanie van Soeren, on her female team raced early in the first heat of the day to avoid the terrible weather. Although there was more wind in the morning, the sideways slanting rain was not yet a factor. With this, Melanie put together a strong bike portion of the relay, helping her team reach the wall in first. Demonstrating that she had learned a few tricks from her cheerleading Ironwoman partner, Mel's team Victorious Secret put together a nice pyramid and managed to get over the wall in first place advancing to the semi final on Wednesday at 1:45pm.
Another UBCTC member, Jesse Chao raced on a mens team, Bio Gangsters. Having not witnessed this races, I don't have too much to report, however, they successfully advanced to the semi finals on Tuesday.
Once these morning races were out of the way, we moved onto everyones favourite part of Storm the Wall;
Vincent in an ill fitting speedo... the Ironperson races. The UBCTC had a very large contention of athletes in the preliminary rounds of the Ironperson races with 18 athletes taking part.
I will begin by explaining the woman's heats. And why might you ask? Because they KICKED ASS! I will give away the punchline. EVERY GIRL moved on to semi finals!
Showing some UBCTC teamwork, Celeste was privileged enough to have a Majestic wall guy in Scott Chris! In doing so, Celeste along with Karin and Rachel showed the first heat of woman what it means to be a triathlete! Rachel finishing with an impressive 2nd place finish.
The Majestic and Celeste
Rachel running down the finish
Lauren Sagadore was without UBCTC members in her heat, yet this didn't prevent our domination of the field as she finished comfortably in first place despite spraining her ankle little over a week ago. How did she sprain her ankle? You'll have to ask her yourself.
In the third woman's heat there was a most exciting duel among the woman as Melanie Thompson and Claire Haddock traded off first place. Melanie winning easily on the swim, was caught up on the run up to the bike, however, manage to overtake Claire once again on the 9 laps of the bike. Finally with 400 meters left in the run Mel was still out in the lead, being caught only as she cornered out towards the wall. As a result of an unfortunate tumble on her head, Mel lost some precious time at the wall, ensuring Claire with the victory.
Mel with the girls team
I have no details of this race...
The final female race of the day had two more UBCTC members. With Melanie van Soeren and Brittany Buchanan racing. These two along with a surprising unknown made for an exciting race. Brittany put together a strong swim/bike combo in order to hold off the chasers, as Mel managed to pull back the gap arriving at the wall shortly after. With a shaky attack at the wall, precious seconds were lost, however, a UBCTC sweep was possible here as well.
Conclusion of the girls race, They rocked it! And are all competing Wednesday at 11 and 11:05. Come see if the 8 girls can take over qualifying for the final in awesome UBCTC fashion.
On to the men's race:
Unfortunately due to the poor weather, nearly no photos of these heroic attempts were documented. First time ironmen Winston Guo and Andrew Wight were in the first heat along with Vincent Lavallee. Along with these three, Ironman finisher #6 from 2009 and one time UBCTC beer mile participant Drew Senay was also in that first heat. Rain was falling strong and this made for some precarious corners on the bike. As these four left the bike, they were placed 1-4 in the field. Winston managing to hold his own, despite being on crutches on Friday, only 3 days earlier.
Vincent and Drew heading into one of the last laps
Andrew Wight Dismount
Unfortunately, due to the poor weather, only Drew and Vincent (who many claimed cheated by using Kory as his wall guy) managed to get over the wall. A sign of things to come.
Andrew Wight JUMP!
In the second heat, the UBCTC Men had hopes in a single athlete, Nathaniel Janzen. Nathaniel planned on "killing the swim" and then cruising from there. He was pleased when he exited the water. This amphibious triathlete has no problem with being wet, as such was excited to get into the rain. Just look at the speed in which he ran out!
Nathaniel managed to lap every athlete in the pool, and carried that lead to victory, being the second UBCTC member to lap the field by the end of the bike!
Next up was Matt Reeve. Matt was attempting a new race strategy. After losing to Vincent last year, he claimed it was simply because Vincent "bought his speed", something we have clearly never seem him do before. As such Matt did a full triathlon transition, changing into his newl y acquired triathlon biking shoes. Did this make a difference? Well, he became the third UBCTC man to lap the field in his heat. I would say it didn't hurt. Matt managed to reach the wall in the fastest time of the day in 15:34 beating out all other men and most relay teams.
There was a short intermission when the women and more teams went and allowed everyone to get rained on a little more. Finally the last of the UBCTC men raced. This included Scott Chris who demolished the field (lapping most if not all?) and reaching the wall well ahead of second. Standing in the crowd, this spectator overheard two girls talking about his massive lead, to which they said: "These triathletes have been killing it all day!" Well done UBCTC.
Unfortunately, with the relentless rain, our beloved Majestic Eagle was unable to connect and get over the wall. A disappointment for all. Andrew Wight was Scott's wall guy giving his best efforts, but with the rain, it was just too much to overcome.
The Majestic gazing at the wall
In an impressive show of fitness, Derrick Lee, once again reached the wall first in his heat. Using a different technique than many, he showed up with a chalk bag and dusted up the wall along with his hand. After a few very close connections, he managed to connect with his wall guy and knowing Derrick's rock climbing background you knew he wasn't letting go, becoming the 4th UBCTC member to advance to the semi final.
Unfortunately, Dan Clouston raced later in the day when this blogger had to return to work, and as such knows very little about his race. I can say however though that among the field, he continued the streak held by UBCTC and reached the wall first, however, due to the worsening weather was unable to make it over the wall. This is no discredit to him however, for in the last two heats of the day only a single guy made it over the wall and his time was NOT impressive.
All in all, the wall claimed 69 victims allowing only 21/90 men to get over. A historically the worst advancement in Storm the Wall preliminary round (Statistic unverified and most likely fabricated by Vince).
In the final event of the day, a UBCTC mens team, the Trisexuals composed of Nathaniel, Matt, Barry, Sherwood and finally Vincent took on the men's relay.
With a strong showing in each event, the Trisexuals managed to finish in first in their heat, posting the 2nd fastest time on this new course. We will see how they fend off the rest in the men on Wednesday!