Marathon Nationals

Kris and I had a great flash trip to Quebec for Marathon Nationals. The race was centred around the small village of Saint Raymond about 1 hr west of Quebec city. The start/finish line was on main street with a large noisy crowd which went nuts as they called up the local heroes Raphael Gagne and Marie Helene Premont . The sport culture out in “La Belle” province is second to none in Canada and its always a treat to race out here with the energetic Quebecois.

The race itself was a 97 km route through some very scenic rural Quebec terrain which took us across farmers fields, through maple syrup stands and through some dense forests. Lot’s of climbing, fast and hard, the course seemed to suite my abilities great. The days leading up to the race were great and I had a feeling the day was going to be stellar. That combined with having the perfect race machine for the course, my 29’r Kona King Kahuna, a huge training boost from racing across Mongolia, and the the motivation for a National Jersey it seemed like all the stars were alining. That was the one thing that worried me a little as sometimes when everything seems perfect the little dodo bird comes along and lays a big one.

Early in the race I could tell something was up as I was struggling to keep up with the lead group which was going along at a very manageable pace. For some reason my body was stuck in 4th gear. I tried everything, squiring water in my face, taking power gels, slapping my head around, but nothing seemed to be able to kick start the system and I soon found myself off the back losing ground fast. Everyone else showed up with bullets in there guns but I was shooting marshmallows. It was a doozer of a way to start the race as I could see the race getting away from me with not much I could do. It felt like I was the Vancouver Canucks in Game 7 of the stanley cup finals against Boston. Everything was there to be had but instead of making it happen, I layed a giant egg.

Close to 4 hrs into the race something switched and all of a sudden it was go time. Only problem was I was 25 minutes back at this point. I’m not sure why my body even bothered coming online for the last 10 km of the race, but it did, and we ripped past 3 or 4 riders before coming across the finish line in front of a solid crowd. I immediately looked for the MIB so they could flash me with there neuralizer to forget the very forgettable race.

Sometimes the racing doesn’t go as planned which is why its important to enjoy the voyage along the way as the end results is sometimes out of your hands.

On a good note my teammate Kris rode very strong and finished in a sprint finish for the win, coming up a bike length short and claiming 2nd.

After the race Kris looked stunned as I requested we ride over to the nearest Poutine stand and order some giant Poutines. “What the hell Cory, your usually drinking green salad mix or some other random powder after a race to recover, whats up?”
I was over it and a Poutine seemed like the answer too all of lifes problems at the moment.

Heading back to Montreal that evening to fly out was a nice drive through more of rural Quebec to finish off the trip.

Today back in Victoria I headed out to get my leg checked out as it has been a bit inflamed since a rock bounced off of it at the JABR in Squamish. It seemed fine to race on but it swelled up a lot the day after Nationals. The doc sent me in for x-rays and says to stay off the bike for 2 weeks to let an inflamed tendon settle down. I usually take these recommendations with a grain of salt but tendons are something you don’t want to mess around with. With the racing winding down it seems like a good time to shut it down for a while and enjoy some great summer fun away from the bike for a while.

Leave a Reply