Well, RAAM 2017 is well underway and you know what that means? Yep, we are one year away from the starting line for RAAM 2018. As much as it is a year away, that year is likely to fly by, so it’s important that I keep progressing with my training. Of course, why wouldn’t we take a look at this year’s event and what’s been going on.
For starters, the media coverage seems to be growing leaps and bounds each year. Breakfast Television (BT) did an interview of a Canadian Team that headed down. I was rudely awoken by a close friend’s text stating that CBC Radio was doing an interview. Good to see people are still listening to CBC Radio. It has been covered by some of the major US news networks and followed very closely by the RAAM production team. Personally, I have been getting my updates via Facebook and below are some key notes:
The Austrian RAAM record holder, Christoph Strasser, looks to be back on form and poised to take the title again this year. After missing the last two years (2015 DNF, 2016 recover from injury), he’s demonstrating he is the man/beast to beat. I don’t know his intentions for RAAM 2018, but it will be nice to meet this guy in person and see his raw power first hand. Well, for a few moments anyway.
Rookie Sarah Cooper is set to take the women’s title this year, as she is absolutely dominating the field. She has a promising future in Ultra-Cycling, but has a long way to go to catch seven time champion Seana Hogan. Unfortunately, Seana Hogan had to call it quits, due to “medical issues”. It’s not something any rider wants to do, but sometimes you have to just look after yourself.
Not all issues halt riders, but some of the problems you can encounter just pop-up. For instance, altitude sickness can effect even an experienced rider, so you never can tell what you may need to deal with. I never thought I would quote Mike Tyson, but “everyone has a plan, until you get punched in the face”. Ummm, yeah, I would say altitude sickness could be considered a punch to the face.
Fortunately, veteran Chris Hopkins was not halted due to altitude sickness, but he did have some challenges with the altitude that forced him to stop and deal with it. As someone who has done a fairly long race (Ohio Challenge), it is the best advice I can give to anyone thinking of taking on these distances. If you encounter a problem, deal with it right then and there. The longer you delay fixing it, the more of an issue it becomes. This goes for issues encountered during training or in a race.
A few weeks back I announce my team had partnered with Pancreatic Cancer Canada (PCC). Well, we are about to launch our PCC page on our site, www.shukercycles.com to help drive donations. My team and I are ‘Riding for Gerry’, my father-in-law who passed away this January, due to pancreatic cancer. Stay tuned for announcements.
To date, I have pedaled for 6448 KM’s and while some of them did not produce any real distance (Trainer / Virtual KM’s), my legs still had to turn the cranks. This past Saturday I had the opportunity to get out on the roads and put in some long distances. 302 km’s that started with me heading north out of the city to Stouffville, then heading west to through Nobleton, Caledon, Halton Hills, Dundas and back into the city. A great ride all round through some lovely Ontario townships. Most of my fellow cyclists are familiar with these cycling hot spots, but if you’re not, I highly recommend these rides.
Hopefully the heat sticks around for a while longer because the rain doesn’t seem to be stopping. I don’t mind a little rain when it is steaming hot, especially with some of upcoming rides. It’s time to lengthen out the distances:
- June 25 – Hairshirt TNT: An annual ride (more like a race) that takes approximately 50 to 75 people from Mississauga to Niagara and then back again for a round trip total of 322 km’s
- July 8 – Saratoga Springs, NY 12/24 hour: I will be competing in the 24 hour race. Another annual event that consists of a 60km circuit that you complete as many times as you can within a 24 hour time period. This year will be my first year. To my fellow cyclists, if you are interested in joining, let me know and I will share further information with you.
Oh yeah, it’s that time of year again when the kids are so excited to be finished school. Let the fun begin, along with delivering kids to/from camps… Personally, this is a bit of a tough year for me as my daughter moves into high school. I swear it was just last year that I was dropping her off at Senior Kindergarten. She’s done very well and I know that she is destined for great things. Nice work Sophie and keep up the effort. Sammy is just itching to close out the year and fill his days with sports, sports and more sports. I love watching this guy play in the school yard, with friends on the street and with his hockey mates – who he really misses.
If you’re interested in learning more about our RAAM 2018 campaign, feel free to drop by our booth at the East York Canada Day (July 1) event at Stan Wadlow. Also, we are going to be sharing the date for our ‘Intro to RAAM’ event, which is likely to be in August. Tickets will go on sale very soon, so stay tuned for that announcement.
And somewhere in all the above, I managed to squeeze in just under 500 KM’s of riding. These weeks are going to see some longer distances very soon. Here’s a quick note on my riding during last week:
Monday, June 12 – a nice rest day in preparation for some longer rides.
Tuesday, June 13 – Zone 2 ride on the trainer. Always done before Wednesday’s intensity training at mindset CYCLING. Get the longs pumping and ready for the next day’s effort.
Wednesday, June 14 – Back at mindset for some z2/z6 intensity training. Pete decided to add in some more intervals this week, but to be honest, compared to the week prior (after my overnight Test) this week was much easier.
Thursday, June 15 – An easy outdoor ride. Nothing more than 140 HR.
Friday, June 16 – Rest day in preparation for long ride on Saturday.
Saturday, June 17 – a planned long ride, which was fantastic. I spent the entire day cutting / dodging rain clouds, but in the end I got soaked in Dundas. Not a big fan of descending in the rain, so I had my hands firmly on the brakes while heading down the escarpment.
Sunday, June 18 – Kids took me out for father’s day brunch. We hung out in the afternoon and then I snuck in a ~2 hour ride. All in all, a fantastic weekend.
Have a good one folks!