Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

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barton bourassa
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Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

Post by barton bourassa » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:49 am

Well, that was "fun" I am sure! With a good night's sleep and almost 24 hours to reflect, I can now think about this somewhat dispassionately and with a little detachment.

First I'd really like to congratulation everyone that toed the line and started this race. Without really realizing it myself, we were up against some of the best if not the very best age group riders in Canada. Some of those riders like Andrew N and Stephane ride with us all the time! I knew the course but really had no idea of the caliber of riders I was starting with.

Way To Go Everybody!

For my race, I thought I was really taking it easy the first lap but when I hit the half way point of that first lap in less than 11 minutes I knew I was going quick for me. Even this early in the race I only had 2 other riders in sight. Andrew and Joe and the rest were far gone down the road! Things really did not feel too bad until lap 4 when the cramping started. Then it all fell apart.

I managed to finish, barely! I am pretty sure Andrew lapped me twice although I did not see the second time because of being in my own private mental and physical pain locker. I almost quite half way thru lap 5. I even got off my bike because of sever hamstring cramping. The cramping prevented me from getting back on my bike for about 15 minutes. I rolled thru the end of lap 6 and decided to just keep pedaling, regardless of how slow I was going. Those last 2 laps were some of the toughest kms I have ever run or ridden. I really just wanted to finish.

So, two main goals accomplished. One for my wife; I stayed upright and out of the hospital! One for me; I finished!

I know a number of others were pulled off of the course after being lapped. I was not for some reason. Either that or I did not hear when I was told to stop!

Thank you for all of the encouragement. The cheering as I finished the sixth lap was very motivating even though I was completely incapable of acknowledging it in way physically!

Again, congratulations to everyone that started this race yesterday and to those fortunate enough to finish. What an accomplishment!

Mikael and I are already planning for next year! Maybe we can recruit a few more 60 something C type riders to join us for next year's Canadian Master's Championships!!

And, good luck today to all of the riders taking part in today's Criterium. Go Tripleshot!!!!

Barton.
Barton Bourassa

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Rolf
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Re: Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

Post by Rolf » Sun Jun 03, 2018 6:58 am

What an ordeal, Barton! When I saw the race results and finishing times, I thought there was a story there, for sure.

Kudos for your commitment to training all these months and for your perseverance during the race. 8)
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Ann
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Re: Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

Post by Ann » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:00 am

Barton,

Congratulations on accomplishing your goal! I thoroughly enjoyed following your consistent and purposeful training, and also doing a training ride with you. And I was so glad to see you finish yesterday.

You worked so hard and gave it everything. So many people quit the race while you persevered through intense cramping. You should be so proud of your great accomplishment!

Ann

Alec
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Re: Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

Post by Alec » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:38 am

Congrats to finish, Barton. Really tough course and competition. Respect for putting your front wheel on the start line to race.

Incredible ride by Andrew Neale - a National champ in his first year of racing. I remember taking him to a masters race up island, where he did well with little formal training. In the medical world, we call him a genetic freak.

Shout out as well to National champ Heather Simonson as well.

Good luck to all racers today in the crit and be safe.



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Rolf
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Re: Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

Post by Rolf » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:44 am

Got any photos of yesterday's road race?

Please upload them to this shared gallery. Thanks!

(Lots of awesome official photos here.)
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myboys
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Re: Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

Post by myboys » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:06 am

Yep, that was a tough one.

After I dropped my water bottle in the middle of the third lap, I and went back for it (I really, really like that water bottle) Shelagh and I were separated. Jill Pasteras told me that a lap later, the course officials were yelling at me to drop out, but all I could hear was the TSC crowd cheering me on every time I passed Hans Helgesen School. I think the officials must have just given up on me, and thought, just let the poor sap finish the race. Every Tripleshotter who passed me, Martin, Joe, Louise, and Andrew (twice) all shouted out encouragement every time (and even some Wheelers, who l now love).

Barton, thanks for all the rides! I may not have been fast (or anything resembling fast), but I did those hateful seven freakin’ laps. And no cramping. Although, that came later right inside the entrance to the grocery store when my legs seized up for a good five minutes.

Louise, it was so wonderful to see you in the TSC kit on the backside of the course, offering encouragement. Thank you Joanna Fox for being the support at a really ugly part of the hill.

And congratulations to Andrew, and Heather. You are my cycling heroes.

Let’s do it all over again next year! This club is awesome.

JTyre
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Re: Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

Post by JTyre » Sun Jun 03, 2018 11:51 am

So inspired by watching our friends race yesterday that we rode the course this morning. Oh my gosh, brutal! You’re phenomenal althetes, each and everyone of you.

On the way back today we watched the 60+ crit., and were once again blown away. Didn’t notice any Tripleshooters in the crash on the final lap, thank goodness! Fingers crossed though for those in the pileup. Let us know what happened, Andrew, Ritchie and/or Jim.

John

jbarrett
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Re: Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

Post by jbarrett » Sun Jun 03, 2018 1:57 pm

I agree with everyone, it was an experience to be remembered. Somewhere, there's pleasure in the suffering and gratitude in knowing you're asking your body to try a little harder.
Thanks to everyone for the supporting cheers and encouragement. It's amazing how hearing your name called out during a tough moment inspires the discovery of extra reserves.
There's some not so old 50's moving into the 60's and 40's into the 50's columns over the next few years ... it's going to a boost for us all.

LouiseF
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Re: Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

Post by LouiseF » Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:23 pm

You guys were all awesome out there, whether you were lapped or you won. You all inspired me and many others! Putting yourself out there by racing is a brave thing to do: you might crash, it might not go your way or you might win.

I think we're all drawn to watch these kinds of events, not just to see the drama and the winners but to be inspired. It makes you reach inside yourself and think about what you too can do. And I don't mean just racing (although that might be what it inspires you to do). It might be a physical feat, a test of endurance, or something personal in your life that you need guts, endurance and tenacity to face. You were all part of doing that for everyone who was there yesterday.

All the TSers I saw out there yesterday were classy, smiling (sometimes) and tough presences on the course. You guys rock!

L3

SteelBuns
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Re: Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

Post by SteelBuns » Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:56 pm

LouiseF wrote:All the TSers I saw out there yesterday were classy, smiling (sometimes) and tough presences on the course. You guys rock!
Well put L3.

When our racers got home lets just hope they received the requisite pampering,

Image

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JohnT
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Re: Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

Post by JohnT » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:02 pm

I really felt a Tripleshot 'family' thing this weekend - thanks everyone. Congratulations, to others that raced, to everyone that volunteered and especially to our new National Champions.

JT

L2R
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Re: Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

Post by L2R » Sun Jun 03, 2018 7:28 pm

Is it too early to start training for next year? :lol: I haven't quite digested or assimilated all my thoughts about yesterday's experience but I have to echo how much I appreciated all the cheering from my fellow Triple Shotters. L3 you were everywhere!!!! And so many people at the start finish line! And my husband snapping photos at one of the corners! And Joanna at the feed zone looking after me like I was a pro. What a wonderful team. It was great riding with Mary for the first couple laps; what a difference! My attention and focus certainly drifted when I was riding alone. And Louise W and others; it was so fun training together and I look forward to the next time. Congratulations to everyone who rode yesterday. You all looked amazing.
Shelagh

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Rolf
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Re: Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

Post by Rolf » Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:45 pm

So great to feel the glow coming off this page!

Here's a picture that tells a story...

Image

[Photo: LouiseF]
Last edited by Rolf on Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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barton bourassa
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Re: Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

Post by barton bourassa » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:37 am

That is a fantastic photo! It says it all!! Thank you for putting this together Rolf!

You look great Andrew!!

Barton.
Barton Bourassa

LouiseF
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Re: Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

Post by LouiseF » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:53 am

Andrew had been riding with the guy behind him since the 2nd (?) lap, usually sitting just behind this guy when they came by me. By this lap (4th?) Andrew was pulling away. Judging by the body language of the two leaders during the earlier laps I wasn't surprised how this played out. It was so much fun to watch you all!

Thanks for cropping and posting Rolf!

AJ Neale
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Re: Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

Post by AJ Neale » Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:44 pm

I want to add my congratulations to everybody who lined up for a race this past weekend, a thank you to all the competitors who came from far away to help make the races so compelling, and most of all, a huge hug of appreciation to everybody who cheered, volunteered, handed out sustenance or stood by the roadside and shouted our names. If you have never received such warm support, you should race next year and see what it feels like. It is truly wonderful, and as John Taylor said, it’s like family. You feel so encouraged and uplifted; the hills don’t get any easier, but you sure feel like you are getting helped up them.

Barton, Mary, Shelagh, Joe, Louise, Martin, James, John: I was inspired by you. Your enthusiasm and perseverance during a difficult race made it seem like a team event. Whenever I saw one of you on the road, my legs felt a little bit stronger and my race became instantly happier. I hope that happened for you too! I am sorry that some of you were asked to exit the race when letting you finish would have been fair and safe …… you committed to a big event, so completing it might have made it more satisfying I’m sure. It’s probably also safe to say that at some points in the race, we all wanted to stop!!

Thank you for your photo from the middle section of Liberty Drive Louise ( it’s a great one! ) because it is a perfect snapshot of the part of the race that I want to share. And I apologize in advance because it’s not a short story. In a long race, I think many competitors end up spending a lot of it alone, in their own world of suffering and contemplation. On Saturday, I spent quite a bit of the race with a new friend, and it was both unexpected and very satisfying. As we passed the feed zone for the first time, a lone rider scurried up the hill, while the rest of us groaned along behind. Having little race experience, and therefore few race tactics, I relied on instinct to make the quick decision to chase him down like a puppy after a ball. I caught him before the descent down to Liberty and we rode more or less together to the start of the climb with the group not that far behind. By the top of the climb we could still see the pack behind, so I said “I’m not sure we can get away”. And my experienced friend said “Yes we can, just keep going”. So we did. I looked around again just before dropping down onto Kangaroo Road and offered something like: “They’re not that far behind”. But he just repeated that all we had to do was “Keep going, we can do it”. “We”. I was buoyed by his confident instruction and I thought OK, let’s see if this will work. On the next climb up Liberty, we had left the pack behind, and we hadn’t seen them for at least 10 minutes. I think I felt a small bit of relief and I looked over and said: “I’m Andrew” and he said “Rob”. And off we went. At that moment I understood about sport and camaraderie and humanity, and I think I gained energy going up that hill. We shared pulls for the next 4 laps, but it became clear that I was a bit stronger on the climbs. Rob asked me to steady up a few times, and asked me to ease off when it was my time to pull on the flats so he could catch his breath. By lap 5 I soft pedaled at the tops of the hills and called out “Are you good?” or “You OK?” before we took to the rollers. It surprised me how quickly I felt part of a mini team and it was reassuring to have a partner on the road with the distinct feeling that we had helped each with different aspects of the race. At the last feeding, he said he needed a bottle, so for some reason I said “Me too” even though I didn’t need one, and I waited for him to join me at top of the hill. We carried on and I think the photo may have been taken on Liberty on our lap 5 or 6 when we were overtaken by the 40-49 guys. The lead car for their group came up to us and instructed us not to hang on to the back of the group, and Rob laughed and said “Don’t worry, we can’t”. Levity while in pain! On the last pass through the feedzone I had the feeling that if I just kept up a strong pace for one more lap, I might have a chance to win a race! When I crested the 3rd little bump about 500m up from the feedzone, I looked back and didn’t see my friend at all. For a brief second I was sad and almost ( ALMOST ) contemplated stopping to wait for him. My legs were starting to feel a little bit crampy, so I shook them before ascending Liberty for the last time. I felt fine by the top and when I looked around I realized I was all by myself with my own follow car so I took off with a bit of a smile. The driver of the follow car came up to me after the race and said he really enjoyed watching me finish, so I assume he meant the wonderful, fast descent on Kangaroo, when I probably was smiling with my speed. Rob may laugh at my account of the ride if he were to read it, but it was very special for me by being able to share it with him. We had a hug at the finish line.

Winning a race is very rewarding, but I enjoyed the stories, the group accomplishments and the amazing feelings of support, teamwork and friendship even more. 360 days to go!

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EricS
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Re: Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

Post by EricS » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:15 am

Best race report ever ^
Eric Simonson

Fozzy
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Re: Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

Post by Fozzy » Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:53 am

It bought a tear to my eye.

Greg F
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Re: Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

Post by Greg F » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:43 am

Superb story, Andrew, thanks for sharing. That win couldn't have occurred to a finer or more deserving person.

POC
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Re: Canadian Master's National Road Race Championships

Post by POC » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:25 pm

What a great report Andrew. It's so informative and emotional at the same time. You are a credit and role model to all who ride bikes.

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