Canadian Double Header

In Canada we have some of the most dynamic bike races in the World with most courses dominated by awesome singeltrack with a bit of fire road mixed in to gain elevation or to link trail networks.   Races like BCBR, Singletrack 6, anything near the Alberta Rockies and all over the West Coast have spoiled us.  There is a problem though as most the races tend to be between May and July often causing overlapping weekends making it tough to hit all the great events.

This past weekend there was a BC Marathon Series race on the Sunshine Coast Saturday and the ever popular 6 HR Salty Dog Marathon in Salmon Arm on Sunday.   It was tough to decide which one to do so I started looking at schedules and calling up friends to figure out if a double header was in the cards.  On paper things started to lineup so I pooled resources and prepared for a weekend of racing across BC.

Friday afternoon, my Kona teammate, and race organizer of the Race in Sechelt had his pilot buddy Rod Powell drop into Victoria with his float plane.  This cut the travel time from 8-9 hrs down to 45 minutes and was a rad trip in itself finally getting to see Vancouver Island from there Air after riding my bike across its landscapes of the past 10 years.  The rest of the day was spent pre-riding half the course, which was still pretty wet but contains some of the best riding on the west coast as the trails snake through the lush rainforest.  Post ride I  met up with my Dad and Eileen who were on a road trip through BC and were down to watch the race.  A huge feed at Kris’s and Kates house and it was off to the couch for some rest.

The Sunshine Coaster BC Marathon was a sweet 40 km race on Kris’s hometown trails and incorporated a bunch of the BC Bike Race trails into it.   There was a $150 suicide prime on top of the first climb just 2 km into the race.  Squamish’s young gun, U23 World Cup racer Sean Finchman and I sprinted each other into the ground with him taking it by 2 inches.  It took the next 1 hour sitting in 3rd place to come around again, eventually catching the leaders Sean and Quinn with about 15 km to go which lead to a solid 3 way battle.  I’d up the tempo and dropped them on the VFR climb to cruise in for a hard fought W .  It was an exciting way to start the weekend, and then the next race started as it was back to the Sneddons to shower, eat, wash the bike and hop in the car to race to the 2:30 pm ferry back to Vancouver.  This was the key to the weekend, we made it and then off to Salmon Arm it was with my Dad and Eileen as Chauffers, rolling in at 9:30 pm to our homestay with Ron and Sue.

Sunday morning was pretty relaxed hanging out with my buddies Leighton and Candace before rolling down to the start of the Salty Dog with a bag of treats.  The bag contained clif bars, corn cakes and 8 litres of electrolyte water bottle mix as I was testing some new formulas in prelude to the 24 Hour World Solo Champs coming up in Italy June 2-3.  The race itself was rad, catching up with a bunch of Alberta friends as we lapped the entertaining 10.5 km course over and over again.  Things were going great until a small hail storm rolled in at hour 4. This turned the track into a slimy mud fest and tested my Kona Hei Heis resilience but it didn’t give a damn.  This hampered the lap times for a couple laps but it also chased a bunch of riders off course leaving a wide open track for the last lap to chalk in a 10th journey around the course and another W on the weekend.  Getting an early lead in the Solo race I shifted into diesel mode and was happy how the body responded as it seems primed this year after a good winter of training.  The new nutrition formulas worked out well which Is exciting heading into the 24 HR Worlds as the stomach is often the limiting factor

Huge thanks to everyone that made this double header weekend happen, especially my Dad and Eileen that weren’t only the chauffeurs but also looked after the feed zone duties for the weekend 🙂  2 flights, 1 ferry, 8 hours driving, 2 races, 2 wins, 171 km, 4200 M Vertical, 11 feed zone visits = 1 successful kickoff to the Canadian racing season!

  On monday Dad and I rolled into Kelowna to re-tune the body with Dr. Shannon at Valeo health clinic and to get some testing done with Luke at Balance Point Racing.  The results were pretty shocking as it appears the 2 month training camp at altitude in Guatemala combined with Lukes science is starting to pay off. 🙂    

P/C:  Thanks Braison Images for the Sunshine Coaster picture in the lush forest and Eileen for the one of Dad and I.

  

 

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