Abu Dhabi can only be described with an array of superlatives. The grandest, the largest, the most expensive, tallest!! Lots of exclamation points to further the emphasis on -est. The transformation of this city that a short time ago was merely desert inhabited by nomadic tribes to a modern, bustling metropolis of western-style business activity is thanks to the discovery of oil in the region. Petrol is inexpensive in Abu Dhabi ($0.30/liter) … I wonder why it is so expensive in Canada, also an oil producing country? Progress is happening everywhere in Abu Dhabi thanks to this found weath.
The race itself was a spectacle worthy of the grandeur of Abu Dhabi. IMG UK was an incredibly efficient, professional and welcoming organizing crew. They flew in a pile of top professional athletes, treated everyone incredibly well, put us up in a fabulous hotel, put on an enormous show and attracted a huge field of foreign amateur athletes chomping at the bit to assault the desert challenge. The distances of the race were also over the top: a 3km swim, a huge 200km bike and a 20km run. This race was not an Ironman but was still very difficult with the hot, dry, windy conditions and overdistance bike course.
Not hard to find where to rack your bike 🙂
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Although the weather may not be indicative of it, the 2011 racing season is upon us and with that the 2011 Melrad Racing team has been set. The team will compete alongside and under the guidance of three time XTERRA World Champion Melanie McQuaid (http://www.racergirl.com) and hopes to have another strong showing at all the regional XTERRA competitions and the XTERRA World Championships in Maui. This year the team will also expand into the Ironman 70.3 series and select mountain biking events throughout the US and Canada.
Veterans Keri Grosse, Fred Smith IV, Meiling Yee, Tim Holland, and Jo Markham will carry the team of nine riders with newcomers John Belair, Lance Thatcher, Whitney Houck, and Canadian Katie Button rounding out the now international squad. Tim, Fred, and Jo all achieved podium finishes in their age groups at the XTERRA World Championships this past October and hope to repeat again this year and Meiling Yee was Regional Champion.
The goal of the MelRad Racing team is to foster development within middle distance triathlon including XTERRA and 70.3 racing. The athletes on the team have goals ranging from World Championship wins, Regional titles, future pro status, to general fitness and competitiveness. Together the athletes send a powerful message to “push your potential.”
The team will be supported by Melanie and her sponsors including Avia (www.avia.com), Nathan (www.nathansports.com), Profile Design (www.profile-design.com/), Powerbar (www.powerbar.com), Sundog Eyewear (http://www.sundogeyewear.com/index.php), USANA (www.usana.com), Justin’s Nut Butter (http://www.justinsnutbutter.com/), Squirt (http://www.squirtlube.com/), Genuine Innovations (http://www.genuineinnovations.com/), Cycleops (http://www.cycleops.com/), Titec (http://www.profile-design.com/titec/), and ESI Grips (http://www.extremesteering.com/).
Follow the team at http://www.melrad.com and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/melradracing for fun stories and information during the season.
I just got back from 2.5 weeks of sunny bliss in Tucson, Arizona. On the eve of my departure from Victoria for this trip I was still not sure I wanted to go. I was having such a fun time with Neil’s swim squad and things were going well in that department, the weather wasn’t THAT bad in Victoria and although I felt slow, I was getting the aerobic training in and my final excuse was I just wasn’t ready to start travelling. However, I am SO glad I went!
The duathlon result two weeks ago was a surprise for me. I had put in a hard week of training and I just wasn’t sure if I had any speed at all for racing so to perform pretty well at that race was, well, a happy shock! I carried some positive momentum into week two of my training block and rode the two hard group Tucson rides on Tuesday and Saturday on the Shiv. I laughed at myself for being the only one on the group rides on a TT bike the second week. I am pretty sure if I were on a road bike I would avoid the time trial bike at all costs in a group so I was giggling about whether everyone around me was trying to avoid ME. Ha! I was riding pretty well so when I stuck to the front group on the Saturday Shootout I decided to also ride the Madera Canyon addition and after being dragged to the top of that I was stoked to follow Ben Hoffman and Troy Wells for another hour or so to make the total number of rides over 100 miles officially 10 for the year. Chatting with Ben a bit about what he was doing for training made me more calm about my preparation for Abu Dhabi for sure. Even Rinny was giving me some advice on how to race in Abu Dhabi at one of the swim practices. The Ironman pros I have met on this trip were so helpful in helping me get an idea of what I should be doing over there. Honestly, going into this I was very nervous and unsure of what I could do.
I added number eleven on the Wednesday after when I rode to the top of Mount Lemmon. From the west side of town that is a bit of a ride and that marks an absolute world record for me in terms of long rides. I know you Ironman types ride 100 miles seven days a week but for me.. that is a lot of riding. Crazy. I have to say I prefer to just smash myself for 4-5 hours. You Ironman types are insane. Add all the swimming and the running to a program and you have a recipe for an only-training soujourn in the desert.
A nice bike, a nice day and a big cookie is all you need to get yourself to the top of the mountain
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