Ironman Arizona by Nicole Newton

This report has been submitted by Racergirl Nicole who had a fantastic day in Tempe – Melanie

 

 

Last week I kicked off another race season at Ironman Arizona. I have to admit, despite all of the long hours in the saddle, countless early morning runs, staring at a lonely black line at the bottom of the pool with glazed eyes, all of the little aches, pains, and a bit of mental anguish, it was all worth the 10 hours and 37 minutes I left on the race course in Tempe, Arizona. I can walk away from this race and say that in the close to 9 years of racing triathlon I had one of the best race experiences of my career. There were a number of reasons for this, the first being sticking to a finely executed race plan worked out with Coach Lynda, second remaining in the moment throughout each discipline, and finely having my close friend and number one kickin’ wing training partner Neily and her hubby Peter Clode (a Kiwi turned American pro triathlete) along for the experience.

Race morning I woke up at 3:30 AM to both Neily and Peter’s demise. At one point Peter remarked that I had it all wrong and that “people come home around 3:30, they do not get up to start the day”. Okay, so maybe he was correct, but we had a race start time of 6:45 AM and I still had to make killer coffee, eat breakfast, put on my snazzy new Fleet Feet race kit, and organize one last time for the adventure that was ahead. Surprisingly we made it out the door of our cozy retreat at the Holiday Inn with plenty time to spare prior to the race start. The minutes passed rather quickly and suddenly the next thing I knew Peter and I were zipping up our wetsuits and heading for the dock ready to make the plunge into the algae saturated waters of Tempe Towne Lake…..

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Mels Amazing So Cal Adventure

"It’s important to take pride in what you do or what you stand for. The kind of pride I’m talking about is not the arrogant puffed-up kind; it’s just the whole idea of caring-fiercely caring." – Red Aurbach

This past week I flew down to San Diego to escape the rain. It has totally sucked here in Victoria this winter so I felt that to preserve my sanity and to improve my mood I had to spend my rest week down south. I finished the Pacificsport Cycling Centre training camp (minus one day since my sinusitis came back….. 2 MORE weeks on antibiotics) and hauled my flip-flops and swim stuff down to the mecca of triathlon… all but a swimsuit, oops. The week was incredible, not just because I had a ton of fun with a lot of new and different people, but also in the inspiration I got from meeting some of these people. Really focused and motivated people are so inspiring to me and I will recap some of the great moments from the week.

I stayed with Jimena Florit, LUNA mountain bike team member and mountain biker extraordinaire, and her husband John. Anyone who has met Jimena knows that she is the happiest, most genuinely amazingly sweet person you could ever be lucky enough to meet. Add to that she is fiercely competitive and hugely focused and you have one kickass chick. She was my hostess, so she would make me a nice coffee to drink while she went riding for six hours and I stayed home to do important things like catching up with Star magazine. I didn’t even pack a bike because I was very serious about taking a rest, but I did manage to get a couple mountain bike rides in with Jimena and if anyone is wondering… she is back! Staying with her was my first motivating experience but there was more…

Lots of stuff to do when you aren’t training! Lets see… I spoke at the San Diego Tri Club meeting, went to the Endurance Sport awards, watched me kick some butt on CBS with the Team Unlimited crew, met the Tri Geek Kahuna for some coffee and some swimming drag racing, did some radio with Bob Babbit and Paul Huddle and bummed around with Ross for the weekend (he came down for two days to check it out as well). All in all, a very busy week when you add the shopping and odd swim session in there but it was EXACTLY what I needed and I will describe a few of the highlights and how they will stay with me for a long time.

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LeBrun, McQuaid win titles

The men’s champion breaks through, while the women’s titlist proves her dominance

By Fred Guzman

Special to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin

Monday, October 24, 2005

MAKENA, Maui >> Under heavily overcast skies, it was a bright afternoon in the lives of two competitors in the off-road Nissan Xterra World Championships yesterday.

For one, Nicolas LeBrun of France, it marked the end of frustrating close calls. For the other, Melanie McQuaid of Canada, it was a signal that she has become the most dominant performer in an extreme sport requiring athletes to compete in a 1,500-meter ocean swim, a 40-kilometer bike ride and a 10-kilometer run.

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In Her Words: Melanie McQuaids Training Camp

This report filed October 9, 2005 on http://www.insidetri.com

(October is a big month in paradise. On Oct. 9 the ITU Age Group World Championships are in Waikiki, on Oct. 15 Ironman Hawaii comes to Kona, and on Oct. 23 the Nissan Xterra World Championships are held in Maui. Three weekends, three world championships. Let’s kick it all off with thoughts from Melanie McQuaid on the value of training camps as preparation for big races – and then watch Melanie contest for her second world title in Maui…….)

MY FIRST TRAINING CAMP was back in February of 1997 with the Canadian national mountain bike team. Chrissy Redden and I bunked together for the "Russian Death Camp" with head coach Yury Kashirin in Pinos Altos, N.M.. We rode the most mileage of our lives in mountains with climbs more than 10 miles long, were caught in spring snowstorms only a day after the temperature peaked at 80?, and discovered that three weeks in a cabin with anyone is a true test of friendship.

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Winning Under Pressure – Conquering Keystone!!

No victory is as satisfying as when you MUST win; all the pressure is on you to perform, and you are the target. This was the case this year at Keystone because if I didn’t win and tie up the points series, a win at Tahoe might not have meant an overall for me. Given that Jamie Whitmore has won this race for the past three years, convincingly, one would assume the odds were against me. The course is all above 9300 feet, peaking out at 11, 700 feet, the swim is very short, the bike is very short, and the run is very long. Looking at my resume, this wouldn’t look like a suited course for me. But for the past two weeks I have brushed that aside, moved in with my Saucony teammate Josiah Middaugh in Vail, Colorado, and made it my mission to win this race, with the kind of intensity I usually reserve for Hawaii. And it paid off! I led from mile two of the bike course and from there continued to put time on my competitors until I finished with three minutes at the finish. Particulary satisfying is the minute I put on Jamie on the run course and given that I have been passed on the run at the last two races in the final metres to lose by seconds this is significant! So, altitude schmaltitude, Tahoe will be mine!!! I am pretty excited, obviously, because this is a huge confidence boost for the US Finals in Lake Tahoe, at a measly 6700 feet. A lot of great stuff happened since our fun times in Crested Butte, so read on for the story…. Continue reading “Winning Under Pressure – Conquering Keystone!!”

First Victory For a New Season!!

This past weekend was the first race in the US Xterra Championships Series in Temecula, California, a venue about half way between Palm Springs and San Diego. The course reminded me of a cross between the Desert Nova Classic in Arizona and Sea Otter in Monterey. A mix of sand traps and high speed hardpack, with 7km of the 11km run comprised of energy sapping sand to run in. I was super conservative with my expectations for this first race of the season. I had no idea where everyone else was coming into 2005, and anyone who has read my last few articles knows that I have been down for the count struggling to get racing form. I wasn’t sure where I was going to measure up but I ended up on top and yes, it felt damn good! It is motivating to have success after hard work to get back on form, especially after such a frustrating spring. I now am home training for some mountain bike races in Eastern Canada before I head over for the European Xterra Tour and I am happy to have some confidence to travel with…. Continue reading “First Victory For a New Season!!”

Part 1: Mel Muddles Through Mountain Bike Nationals

I flew into Mont Saint Anne, Quebec for the 2004 Canadian mountain bike nationals and was greeted by pouring rain. Ontario and Quebec had been pummeled by rain and certain areas even needed to declare a state of emergency because of such heavy rain and flooding. This meant we were looking at a wet race, on slick, slippery and technical trails….. Continue reading “Part 1: Mel Muddles Through Mountain Bike Nationals”

June 13, 2004 – McQuick Continues Winning Way

Melanie’s Personal Score: 1 triathlon – 1 Victory!

Always nice to kick off the season with a win, and although I was concerned that this one was going to be hard going, the legs came around in the crunch and carried me in for a solid winning race!

This race is cool because it is right in the middle of a metropolitan area, Richmond, Virginia, so lots of spectators and lots and lots of participants… like 2000 for all the events on the weekend. It is really quite cool…….

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