Great Day @ Great White North

This past weekend was full of PB (no, not peanut butter…Personal Bests!) as members of the Fiera Race Team, and many of their friends and rivals, hit the road to participate in the Great White North triathlon near Spruce Grove, Alberta.

Stefan Schreiber was the man to watch, as he was coming off his win at the Chinook triathlon in Calgary, and was going head-to-head with Josh and Dave, both racing for the UofA Tri Club.  Fiera Race Team members Sanja and Shari were also participating as the swimming and cycling members of an all-female team, the “Procrastinating PhDs”, with Andrea McGregor bringing the team home as the runner. Lesley Baldwin was also there going solo, as were plenty “Friends of Fiera”, including Travis Anderson, Mike Downey, Darren McGregor, Jen Moroz, and a bunch of other folks that I have forgotten to mention.

Here is a run-down of the day’s events:

  • The swim started at 8 am, with 750 some-odd wet-suit clad athletes swarming into Hubbles Lake.  Amongst those 750 people was  Sanja, who literally jumped right back into the water after her terrifying experience at Chinook, and came out with a great swim time of 36:24!  More importantly, she came out of the water with renewed confidence and enthusiasm for triathlon.  Lesley KILLED the swim (30:46, 34th overall), beating Stefan, Josh, Dave, Darren, AND Travis out of the water.  Whoot!!

    The crew getting ready to rip it up in Hubbles Lake

  • By 8:30 (+/- 5 min), most of the good guys and gals were out of the water (Downey was the first one out at 8:28:58, good enough for 14th fastest swim of the day) and on their bikes trying not to get nailed for drafting, while pedaling in a giant line that snaked 180 km along the country-side
  • Stefan rocked the bike leg, finishing with the fastest time of the day (90 km in a smokin’ 2:10:33).  Josh wasn’t far behind (2:12:59, good for 2nd overall), and Dave’s time wasn’t too shabby either (2:20:11, 10th overall).  Shari also put down a pretty decent time of 2:33:16,  which was good enough for the 7th fastest women’s time (66th overall) (although, admittedly, she had a pretty major advantage by not having to swim 2 km before jumping on the bike, and not having to run 21 km after the bike…)

    The guy on the bike looks fast, but not as fast as the guy leaning on the truck.

  • Everyone was off their bikes and running (and/or cramping) by noon.  Josh and Stefan both ran sub-1:30, and Andrea and Darren both ran sub-1:40, good for a personal best times for both of them (especially Darren, who chased Andrea down for the first 12 km)

    Darren...on the hunt for Andrea

    Andrea...looking far too happy for someone running a half marathon.

  • At 12:11:04, a mere 4hrs and 11 minutes after the start gun went off, Stefan ran across the finish line in 4th place (2nd in his age group – a PB), followed by Josh (at 4:13:59, another PB) in 5th place (2nd in his age group) , and Dave (at 4:29:31, yet another PB) in 19th overall (9th in his age group) .  Darren ran across the line in 4:48:46 for 24th in his age group (72nd overall), followed quickly by Andrea who brought the Procrastinating PhDs home in 1st place for the women’s teams at 4:49:15 (74th overall).  Travis came in under 5 hours (4:53:33, 31st in his age group) and Downey narrowly missed a sub-5 hr time (5:00:32), which was good for 11th in his age group.  Leslie finished 12th in her age group with a time of 5:03:21 – which is very impressive when you consider she trained for all of 3 weeks for this race!

    Dave bringing it home under 4:30. It must have been the socks...

  • By 2:30, most of us were dreaming about beer and a nap, but also thinking that this was a pretty great way to spend a Sunday in July.  Congrats to everyone on a super race, and thanks to all of the folks who came out to cheer us on.

    The Procrastinating PhDs picking up their hardware

    The crew looking happy and tired.

You can view the full results here.  You can also read Stefan’s version of the race here and Lesley’s version here.

Photos are courtesy of Bridget Linder (thanks Bridget!!).  You can see more great photos of the race here.


3 responses to “Great Day @ Great White North

  1. Great recap of the day! It was a lot of fun to watch! One small correction – I believe Lesley’s time was an even MORE impressive 5:03:21! (5:12 was her run pace).

    You guys are inspiring… maybe next year I’ll join you!

  2. Ooops! Thanks for catching that, Becky. My bad. Lesley seriously rocked the house!!

  3. Hey! I know “the guy leaning on the truck” in the photo of lightning-fast Stefan. He’s Mr. Versfeld, husband of 60-year-old (hella-fast) Hella Versfeld, who finished the swim in under 30 minutes and crushed the W60-69 field with a course record of 5:23:59! For the record, he’s pretty fast too, but I think he sticks to the skis a little more…

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