Tag Archives: triathlon

Why I Race: Health Hope Happiness

By Cory Boddy:

There are a lot of reasons to race, whatever your discipline. Over the years I’ve focused on mountain biking, then switched to running, then mixed it up with duathlon, and now I’m pretty into road cycling and cyclocross. The disciplines have changed, but my reasons for racing haven’t. I like the challenge, I like to see improvement, it keeps my head clear and my heart healthy, and I like social aspect of cycling. There is something else though; a bonus, an added motivation that comes from being part of Fiera Race Club.

Whatever race I compete in, my race entry fees are matched with an equal charitable donation from our sponsor, Fiera Biological Consulting, to the club-supported charity of my choice. My choice is always Camp He Ho Ha.

Camp He Ho Ha or more proper: Health, Hope, and Happiness is a local camp near Edmonton, for people with special needs. Every summer over 800 campers attend, some as young as 7 and others as old as 90.


One of the best summers of my life was spent at Camp He Ho Ha. I was a Camp Counselor and for four months 800 campers with disabilities brightened every moment. I’ll never forget that summer and I try to use that experience to steer the decisions I make some 20 years later. That’s why I continue to support Camp He Ho Ha and why I’m thrilled to be part of a race club that allows me to give even more.

We are truly fortunate to be able to race, train, and ride with a club that makes this possible.

Since joining Fiera Race Team, I have participated in enough races to see Fiera Biological donate  $1,800 to Camp He Ho Ha! These are donations that are direly needed, and appreciated, and all I had to do was something that I already enjoyed, and fill out a simple online form after each race. That’s it. I didn’t have to win, or do well… or even finish, come to think of it. I just had to do what I’m already passionate about doing … get outdoors and challenge myself.

So as the race season sets upon us, I hope the rest of my Fiera Race Club teammates will challenge themselves to race and remember to report their race achievements to secure a donation to Camp He Ho Ha or any of the other worthy charities we have chosen to support. There are plenty of reasons to get out there and race. This just happens to be one of the better ones.


Since the club began, the racing adventrures of our membership have generated nearly $10,000! Below is a list of the awesome charities supported by Fiera Race Team as a result of our racing efforts. To report your results, just look to left side-margin of this homepage where it says Recent Results, then click “tell us about it!

Right to Play

Doctors Without Boarders

Nature Conservancy of Canada

The Canadian Red Cross

Food Banks Canada

Camp He-Ho-Ha

Stollery Children’s Hospital

Environmental Law Centre






Race Report: Coronation Triathlon – by Duncan Purvis

After a 2 year hiatus from Coronation, I decided to give it a whirl again in 2015. It was an absolutely gorgeous day for a race, if just a little warm. The race is now being run by Multisport Canada, which has a signifcant amount of experience putting on running and tri races. While generally, the organization was good, and the volunteers excellent, their handling of body marking and swim organization left something to be desired. In years past, organizers had an excellent system for placing swimmers in the appropriate lanes, with the similar paced athletes. The organizers have shifted to a system of “waves” whereby athletes were sorted into approximate swim times. Unfortunately, these waves were very large, and had a fairly significant time differential. Based on my estimated swim time of 20:00, I was placed into wave 4, along with 125 other athletes with an estimated swim time of 19-22 minutes. There was no further sorting or fine tuning after that. Communication about start time was also lacking, in my opinion. I lined up amongst the rest of the 4th wavers and hoped for the best.


Giving the Coronation Triathlon another go in 2015


I was a bit uncertain about the swim this year. Given the proximity to work, I had been doing most of my swim training at the YMCA downtown, which has a 25 m pool. It was only a few weeks ago that I went down to the Kinsmen one night for a swim, and I realized that training in a 25 m pool is quite a bit different from training in a 50 m pool, which I had always done previously. I found my times drop a bit so wasnt sure how the race would pan out, given the Peter Hemingway Pool is 50 m. I managed the 1k in about 19:40, a bit off my best for Coronation. I will point out, as I have in years past, tight, crowded pool swims in triathlons do not lend themselves to making friends of the other swimmmers. That’s all I am going to say about that.

It was a little before 10 when I got out of the pool, so not too hot, but I could feel that in an hour or so, it was going to be a scorcher. Given a last lap surge to try and make a pass in the pool, I was quite a bit more out of breath than I would have liked coming out of the pool.

No T1 issues and I was off on the bike! My training this year included very little time on my TT bike, but it felt great! I keep telling people this, but the ability to bomb down Groat Road on new pavement, with no cars on the road is worth the entry fee alone. Luckily, I wasn’t hit by any bent, falling girders. In 2012, the last time I did this race, I had my best bike leg ever. It was one of my goals to beat that time this year. I had planned my splits and the approximate pace I’d need to meet that so I was working pretty hard on the uphills. Each lap as I neared the top of Groat, I would tell myself that I really should coast a bit on the downhill, rest, and get my HR down some. But every time I’d start down the hill I couldn’t resist gearing up and continuing to crank down the hill. Then I’d go through the same thought process near the top of the hill. It was like some Triathlon version of groundhog day, without Sonny and Cher, and the funny. Seemed to have worked though, as I ended beating my 2012 bike time by almost 2 minutes.


Bike Course

IMG_3787 - Version 2

Some basic Strava statistics


Back to T2 and I was off on the run. By now it was getting pretty warm, and I could just not calm my HR down. There was apparently a price that was a going to be paid for going hard on the bike. Running is really not my strong point, so I never expect too much. I know from years past that the key is to make time while you can on the downhill section of Groat, because coming back up as the last thing you do in the race, will never gain you much time. I started off moderately, but gradually built up the pace and before I knew it, I was at the turnaround. I won’t lie, it was a tough slog back up, and I was suffering. Dead legs, a HR that just kept going up and up, overheated, upset stomach… you name it! About 20 painful minutes later, I was rounding the bend near the pool to head back to the finish. No word of a lie, I swear they moved that corner further down the road. Bastards.


Running pace heart rate splits.


All in all, a great race. Even swim, faster bike, slower run (they moved the corner!!!) led to within about a minute of my previous best overall time. What satisfied me most about this race was the run though. I pushed through a lot to keep running and try to keep my goal pace. I’m a bit of a Strava geek, and when I got home and checked things out the numbers confirmed what my body felt…basically i spent 96% of the race in HR zone 4 or 5. Strava also has a feature called “suffer score” which takes some formula based on activity time and HR (as far as I can tell) and give you a number. I was “pleased” that this turned out to be my highest number ever, so some somewhat objective confirmation of exactly how crappy I felt. I just re-read that. Essentially, what I think I just said is that I felt like absolute crap on a run for 43 minutes, but I’m happy because I felt like crap, and furthermore, an electronic measurement of a bodily function transferred via blue tooth to a wrist computer, and then ultimately transferred to another computer to input on a website, confirms that I felt like crap, therefore increasing my happiness. Weird times my friends, weird times.


EXTREME suffer Score! Proof that it hurt, incase the pain wasn’t proof enough.



Celebrating a successful triathlon effort with the whole family


Race Report: Lake Summerside Triathlon

Posted by Jan

Lenka signed me up for a sprint triathlon race and left Canada. It seems that she finally got the idea how an ideal family weekend looks like. For me it was a perfect opportunity to dust off my wetsuit and other triathlon gear for the Great White North and to try transitions for real. I was also testing my new waterproof Garmin 310XT so I got for the first time data from my swimming.

How the author carb-loads while his wife is away.

It was one of the most relaxed race days I’ve ever experienced as the race took place close to my place, there were no big line-ups for signing up and the transition zone was open all the time. As a result, there was a lot of time to get ready not to mention that it was a short race. Also thanks to Anthony who keep me a company the whole day. The weather wasn’t bad (it stopped raining 2 hours before the race and started again 1 hour after the race), but there was a strong wind that made the biking and also the running more challenging than I expected. Especially for the bike I was looking forward to the flattest time-trial ever but the wind changed it into something like a mountain bike effort. Also they had to change the route due to construction so the longest straight part was about 300 meters and the rest was a criterium-like cornering.

I was happy about my swim time under 12 minutes on a reasonable effort. As I said the bike was not so pleasant for me. On a positive note, it kept me from going crazy as usual and as a result I had a nice run afterwards. In the run I missed my goal pace 4min/km just by a couple seconds. Oh well, I will get it in the Great White North J I just have to keep my heart rate on that average 205bpm for a little longer (that what my Garmin showed me but I think my monitor slipped from my chest and took some beats from my stomach too. Or I should go easy on coffee…)

Anyway, the race reminded me how much fun triathlon is and I am looking forward to the next weekend.

Results here:

Race Report: Coronation Triathlon

By Duncan Purvis

I had a good weekend at Coronation!

This is the third year I have done it, first year I got a flat and came in around 2:06, last year I was about 2:02. I set out to try and get under the two hour mark. It was a gorgeous day… sunny and not too hot, not too cold. I love coronation for the participation it brings. experienced triathletes on $5,000 machines and first timers on beach cruisers. It’s got a very enjoyable, inclusive feel to it. Also, there is free Subway at the end. Or maybe its $90 subway cause that was the entry fee. Regardless, it tastes pretty good.
I was seeded as the first of six swimmers in my heat, so I was pleased that I could swim “my race” and not get caught up in the middle of the chaos that is often a pool swim. I was hoping for a sub 20:00 in the pool.  So I hop in and focus on setting some good technique and rhythm. Well, that lasted about 20 metres and the woman behind me started slapping my feet with each stroke. So much for that strategy. I stopped for a second at the end and let her go by, but I was determined to keep up. It was probably good that she did. It gave me some incentive and someone to chase. I quickly felt my form and calm “technique focus” fade away into a thrashing mess, and by about 600 metres, she had gained about 20m on me. I managed to keep that pace though and finished at about 19:30, so was pleased with that. I also put my shoes on in transition faster than her so I felt vindicated.

The bike felt really good. I think the early season road racing helped! The uphill sections I was able to maintain a faster pace than I had in the past and my recovery time was good enough that I could really push pretty hard on the uphill and recover a bit on the ride down Groat Road. I finished in about 49 minutes, but that includes both transitions. My Garmin said 44, but the way coronation works is you pass over a strip coming out of the pool and then not again until you start on the run. A bit imprecise, but its the same for everyone.

The run, is my achilles heel, or arthritic knee, if you will. Years of skiing and numerous surgeries have made me a candidate for early knee replacement. I was trying to maintain about a 5:30 pace, but actually ended up at just over 39 minutes, which is around a 5:00 pace. To be fully honest, my garmin read 7.6 km, so I’m wondering if the course was a little shy of the 8 km promised. 🙂 No matter, a few advil later and the run was done!

Duncan, adhering to the posted speed limit, and being paced by his son at the 2012 Coronation Triathlon

Overall time was 1:48:18, so well under my goal and my best time at Coronation by about 14 minutes. I finished 10th in my age group, 66 overall…..All in all, very pleased with the race. Then I had Subway.  Full Results here.

Winter Meltdown

If you check out our race calendar, you will see that February has been pretty bare of race events. However, as winter melts down things are really shaping up in Alberta, into a season void of reasons not to race — take a look at March and April!

Newest addition to the Calendar is the Canmore Winter Meltdown – a winter triathlon and duathlon.