Came across this photo online this afternoon. It was taken by Paul Bednar, a ski instructor from the Skischule I taught with in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. I still remember the rush of fear and adrenalin I got as I looked over this cliff myself years ago. Believe me, when I did it, I did not hang my ski tips over the cliff face.
Here’s the note he posted with the photo:
There was a t-bar at the top of the Zugspitze (elevation 2962m/9718 ft). Once you got off the lift, you could sidestep up another 50 metres or so to a small break in the rocks that formed the border between Germany and Austria. At that point, you could just stand there with your skis still on and look down the cliff face onto the town of Lermoos, Austria.
In other words, one slip and you’re in Austria, almost 3,000m below.
Note the very old-school Völkl’s.
Take a look at this freeriding video produced for network television a few years ago. Just dug it out of the archives. I had the good fortune to work with Jay Hoots and several other experts and coaches to create this feature about injuries and how to avoid them. One of the most spectacular and dangerous sports around. Some really accomplished riders in this piece.
Belated congratulations to Lindsay Jennerich and Tracy Cameron on a brilliant row at the World Championships in New Zealand. We finally got to see the race yesterday on CBC Television. Amazing determination to fight through brutally difficult course conditions. The final 100 metres of the race showed the kind of character and stamina this crew has. Extremely impressive victory.
Tracy Cameron of Shubenacadie, N.S., and Victoria’s Lindsay Jennerich won Canada’s second gold medal at the world rowing championships with a victory in the lightweight women’s double sculls event Friday in New Zealand.
Cameron and Jennerich finished the 2,000-metre course in a time of eight minutes 6.20 seconds. Daniela Reimer and Anja Noske of Germany won silver in 8:07.33 and Christina Giazitzidou and Alexandra Tsiavou of Greece took bronze in 8:09.14.
Canada also won gold Wednesday in the adaptive coxed four.
Also Friday, Jensen of Innerkip, Ont. and Rares Crisan of Mississauga Ont., won bronze in the men’s light pair.
Cameron and Jennerich overcame windy conditions to win Canada’s first world championship gold in the lightweight women’s double sculls since the 1990s.
“We did an excellent job of handling the head- and cross-wind conditions,” Jennerich said.
“We just kept to the race plan — to stay long and keep breathing. … What I thought was really positive was that at 750 (metres) to go we had a lead and we were at a low enough rate, with a good enough rhythm, that I knew if someone was going to challenge us that we would be able to answer.”
Usually I wouldn’t be inclined to declare who my childhood heroes were, but in this case I’ll make an exception. Found this photo on the web today and it brought back memories of striving to improve as a competitive paddler. John Wood (pictured above) raced to an exhilarating silver medal in the Men’s C1 (canoeing) at the Montreal Olympics.
Not only was he racing in the days when competitors from the Soviet bloc were systematically doping, he also lost the 1976 Olympic 500m race by about 5cm. This was a Games where Canada notoriously won multiple silvers and bronzes, but failed to win a single gold.
Wood’s race on a level playing field would have been a gold medal result. It remains one of the heartbreaks of the Canadian Olympic movement. The greatest canoeist of his generation.
Some outstanding photos here of the RBC GranFondo Whistler bike race this past weekend by Dustan Sept.
Here’s some coverage:
They came, they cycled, and most of them got here in the inaugural RBC GranFondo Whistler bike ride.
The event, which featured 4,000 keen cyclists pedalling the 120 kilo-metres from downtown Vancouver to Whistler mostly on a dedicated lane on the Sea to Sky highway, went off with few hitches on Saturday.
“We’re very proud of what we accomplished, proud of all the 4,000 riders and the 600 crew and volunteers who made it happen,” said RBC GranFondo Whistler cofounder Kevin Thomson.
A serious crash occurred early in the ride on the Upper Levels highway in West Vancouver, however. A male rider was rushed to Lions Gate Hospital under emergency conditions. Thomson said he was still waiting for details on the accident, and added that all aspects of the event would be reviewed over the next few weeks.
In light of the enthusiastic response to the event, which is modelled after mass rides of the same name held in some parts of Europe for decades, the plan is to increase the race to 6,000 next year and 10,000 in 2012. A Gran Fondo is also planned for the Okanagan next summer. The results and complete times of finishers was to be available on the event’s website ( http://www.rbcgranfondowhistler.com)at midnight Saturday.
At 47, Cain still races at a high level while surrounded by canoeists who are considerably younger.
“Now it’s fun for a different reason. It’s fun because I’m coaching. For me to play a part in helping them reach their goals is really gratifying — although that’s not to diminish the fact that it was really fun to race.”
From the outset of an interview, Larry Cain was fourthcoming about his past.
Cain — who won gold and silver medals in canoeing for Canada at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles — made light of his near-medal performance of four years later during a rare respite Friday at the Canadian sprint canoe-kayak championships in Regina.
“My friends took me out and gave me the top of a beer can with a string through it,” recalled Cain, who was fourth in the C-1 1,000 metres at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. “They called it an aluminum medal.”
The gold and silver medals — won in the C-1 1,500m and C-1 1,000m, respectively — are displayed on a shelf at Cain’s home in Oakville, Ont., where he coaches with the Burloak Canoe Club. He is happy to discuss his own accomplishments, but becomes especially animated and expansive when talking about medals won and sacrifices made by the canoeists he coaches.
Cain also found time to win a gold medal of his own on Friday. Along with Aaron Rublee, Cory Rublee and Evan Smith, Cain won a men’s C-4 1,000m race and the accompanying John W. Black Trophy (which was first presented in 1905). The Black Trophy is among the most-coveted awards at the nationals, which are in their 111th year.
“It was a lot of fun for me to win it with them,” Cain said of the efforts dedicated toward winning the Black Trophy. “I’m really here as a coach, but it’s great to be able to get out and race. That part of my career is not really my focus anymore.
Read entire article here.
In his K-1 500 heat, Van Koeverden clocked one minute 43.448 seconds to finish ahead of world championship teammate Angus Mortimer of Ottawa (1:43.448).
Van Koeverden won bronze in the event at the world championship in Poland on Saturday.
In his K-1 200 heat, Van Koeverden took top spot ahead of Hughes Fournel of Lachine, Que. Ryan Cochrane of Windsor, N.S., and Andrew Willows of Carleton Place, Ont., were the victors in the other two heats. “My goal this week is to race well and do my club proud,” said Van Koeverden, competing at his 14th Canadian championship for the Burloak Club. “I want to win the races I traditionally win.”
Van Koeverden didn’t use jet lag from his recent arrival from overseas as an excuse for performances this week.
“I try not to think about it too much,” he said. “There is no trick to getting over jet lag. I just try to manage my time and be as prepared as best as I can when I’m travelling. I’ve done this enough times in my career.”
In the C-1 500 heats, Olympic bronze medallist Thomas Hall of Pointe-Claire, Que., was first in the opening heat with Andrew Russell of Dartmouth, N.S., second while in the second race Richard Dalton of Halifax finished ahead of Mark Oldershaw of Oakville and Ben Russell of Dartmouth. Emilie Fournel of Lachine, Que., took a women’s K-1 1,000 heat ahead of Una Lounder of Dartmouth and Kathleen Fraser of Mississauga, Ont.
Read entire article here.
How good does that sound? Congratulations Ryder.
Ryder Hesjedal of Victoria will roll down the historic Champs-Élysées in Paris today as the breakout performer of the 2010 Tour de France.
He’ll also be the Island’s biggest sporting landmark performer since basketball player Steve Nash and triathlete Simon Whitfield.
The Belmont Secondary graduate is assured of delivering the best result by a Canadian in the Tour de France since Steve Bauer of Fenwick, Ont., finished fourth in 1988.
Hesjedal will enter the 20th and final stage of the Tour in seventh place overall after yesterday’s 52-kilometre individual time trial from Bordeaux to Pauillac saw him move up from eighth. That will be his final placing as today’s last stage, a 102.5-kilometre flat ride into Paris from Longjumeau, is largely ceremonial.
“To be talked about in the same company as Steve Nash and Simon is pretty humbling,” said Hesjedal from France. “Seven is a pretty cool number, especially when it comes to [overall placing in] the Tour de France.” Hesjedal described the support on the road as “unreal,” saying he saw several Canadian flags waving, keeping him focused after three weeks of hard racing.
Ryder on the way to an inspiring 4th place stage 17 finish, only 1:27 behind Andy Schleck, the stage winner. Hesjedal now sits 8th in the GC, the best showing by a Canadian since Steve Bauer’s 4th in 1988.
After making the selection with the yellow jersey group over the top of the hors categorie Port de Pailhères climb, Ryder Hesjedal settled into his own tempo on the final climb up to the finish at Ax 3 Domaines. In doing so, he finished ahead of four big names ahead of him on GC — Liquigas’ Ivan Basso and Roman Kreuziger, Astana’s Alexander Vinokourov and Caisse d’Eparnge’s Luis Leon Sanchez.
Hesjedal finished 12th on the day, just behind RadioShack’s Levi Leipheimer.
Was he pleased with his result? “Big time.”
“I was ahead of a lot of guys I wanted to be ahead of. Mission accomplished,” he said after the finish. “Especially after what I did on stage 12, even stage 3. I don’t know how many guys are going to be ahead of me on GC that have been going in all-day breakaways. I’m still feeling good, and we’ll just keep it going.”
Hesjedal got into a long-range move on stage 12 with 17 other riders, and made the final selection with Vinokourov and RadioShack’s Andreas Klöden that was only swept up in the final kilometers of the climb to the finish in Mende. On stage 3, Hesjedal attacked solo out of a breakaway on the cobbles. He was caught by the rest of the breakway, though, and finished fourth.
“I’m really happy today. I was a bit scared after the last two stages. Yesterday was hard; it just never stopped. It was singlefile all day. I could feel my legs after that, and I was a bit nervous for today,” he said. “But after we started climbing, I settled in, and I was comfortable as could be. And I showed that on the last climb.”
Read whole article here.
By John Wilcockson • Published: Jul 11th 2010 3:50 PM EDT
After finishing stage 8 Sunday atop the difficult climb to Avoriaz, Ryder Hesjedal was pleased with his performance, placing 14th on the day and slotting into sixth place overall, 1:11 behind new race leader Cadel Evans, and only 10 seconds down on defending champion Alberto Contador.
It was Hesjedal’s best-ever ride on a mountain stage at the Tour, and it firmly establishes him as leader of Garmin-Transitions following the withdrawal of Christian Vande Velde with a broken collarbone last Monday.
Asked about his fight for a high GC position, Hesjedal said, “It was hard, really hard. The first big climb, the pace was really hard, and the selection was already small, but I felt pretty good. You know, once I made it up that climb I really focused on the last one.”
“I felt pretty good, but halfway up I just had to settle into my own rhythm, and I think that was good as I only lost a minute and a bit. As much as I wanted to stay with the Contador group, I knew my limits.”
Commenting on the stage, Garmin team director Matt White said, “It’s safe to say that Ryder has done some of the rides of his life here, and today was no exception.”
White later said, “Losing Christian was obviously a negative for the team, but it provided Ryder with an opportunity to step up into a GC role — and he’s done it. I’m really proud of what he’s accomplished here already and, for now, we’ll keep taking it day by day.”
Read entire article at VeloNews.com.
Canadian Ryder Hesjedal maintained his fourth-place standing overall in the 2010 Tour de France after the fourth stage Wednesday, but admitted that heady ranking is taking some getting used to.
“This is unknown territory for me,” said Hesjedal, who stayed 46 seconds behind overall leader Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland, following the 153.5 kilometre fourth stage from Cambrai to Reims.
“It’s a high placing at the moment, but in cycling, you just have to take it day by day and see how it all unfolds. There are a lot of good riders who were expecting better but who are already out (because of the barrage of crashes over the hectic opening three stages). All I know is I’m going to fight to the bitter end for three weeks.”
Heroic ride for Hesjedal today in Stage 3 of the Tour de France. He gutted out an amazing 4th place over the dangerous Paris-Roubaix cobblestones. As if it wasn’t impressive enough that he led most of the way through the race, when he was pinned back by the chase group of Cancellera, Schleck, and Norwegian sprinting star Thor Hushovd, he didn’t crack. He hung on their tails for the final 9km and actually led out the sprint to close out the race. Truly impressive ride.
Yes! The 2010 Tour de France is underway. The results of the Prologue time trial are in today and Victoria’s Ryder Hesjedal finished a very respectable 37th. He’s riding the confidence of a very good 2010 season and has said in recent interviews that he might just win a stage this year.
Here’s the Tour route video for 2010:
From CBC Sports:
Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland won the prologue of the Tour de France on Saturday, with seven-time winner Lance Armstrong finishing an impressive fourth to start what he’s calling his last ride in cycling’s main event.
Cancellara, who has won four Tour prologues including last year’s in Monaco, clocked 10 minutes for the individual time trial on 8.9 kilometres of rain-dampened roads in Rotterdam.
“That was a great opening for me and the team,” Cancellara said, referring to his Danish squad Saxo Bank. “It’s an amazing day. I’m really happy.”
Germany’s Tony Martin, who had led for most of the day, was second, 10 seconds back, and David Millar of Britain placed third — 20 seconds off the pace.
Armstrong trailed 22 seconds back in fourth. Perhaps most impressively, the American edged out rival Alberto Contador — the defending Tour champion and top pre-race favourite — by five seconds.
Ryder Hesjedal of Victoria was 37th, 46 seconds off the pace, while Michael Barry of Toronto was 120th, 1:08 back. The top rider for the Canadian-owned Cervelo TestTeam was Lithuanian Ignatas Konovalovas, who was 33rd, 44 seconds behind the leader.
Read more at CBC Sports
BY CLEVE DHEENSAW, TIMES COLONIST JUNE 20, 2010
Rower Malcolm Howard of Victoria went looking for a new challenge after winning gold with the Canadian men’s eight at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.
So he struck out on his own, trying to accomplish alone in the single sculls at London 2012, what he did with seven supporting oars at Beijing in an attempt to give Canada its first threat in men’s singles since former world champion and 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics silver-medallist Derek Porter of Victoria. Mount Douglas-grad Porter had also turned to singles after winning gold with the Elk Lake-based Canadian eight at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics.
Read more here.
Malcolm finished 6th, another step toward competing in the singles at the Olympic level.
Great article from Alex Hutchinson, from sweatscience.com. The concept applies to much more than running …
Developing a feel for your speed is key to efficient running, Canadian athletes learn
From Thursday’s Globe and Mail
Should I be pacing myself or going all out when I’m training?
Last winter, gold medalist Simon Whitfield led a squad of triathletes from the Canadian national team on a trip to Nike headquarters in Portland, Ore., for a 10-day training camp. Their goal: to elevate their running game by learning from the elite crew of distance runners and highly sought after coaches based there.
One of the key lessons they picked up was the importance of finding the right pace – that, at least in training, going faster isn’t always better. It may sound obvious, but sports psychologists believe that learning to monitor and adjust to feedback during training is a powerful tool for developing expertise – even in apparently simple activities such as running and biking.
The group Mr. Whitfield trained with in Portland included Simon Bairu of Regina, who earlier this month smashed the Canadian record for 10,000 metres by 13 seconds at a race in Palo Alto, Calif., running 27:23.63. Chris Solinsky, another member of the group, broke the U.S. record in the same race, and a third member of the Portland group also dipped below the old U.S. record.
“They’re so precise about their pacing,” Mr. Whitfield says. “We came home with the message that when a tempo run is supposed to be, let’s say, 3:05 [per kilometre] pace, then 3:03 pace is not a success. That’s a fail.”
Such precision may be daunting, but it’s a hallmark of “deliberate practice,” a concept advanced by Florida State University cognitive psychologist Anders Ericsson and popularized in recent books like Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success. The best way to master an activity is not simply to repeat it mindlessly over and over again, Dr. Ericsson argues, but to set specific goals and monitor how well you meet them.
The theory is most commonly applied to highly technical activities such as tennis or violin; for simpler activities such as running, “practice” usually involves simply heading out the door and doing it. But in a study of the training practices of elite runners by University of Ottawa researchers Bradley Young and John Salmela, what separated the highest-performing group from their less accomplished peers was how much they incorporated elements such as interval training, tempo runs and time trials, all of which require ongoing attention to pace and other feedback.
Huge crowds running past our door today for the Vancouver 2010 Sun Run. Apparently 51,397 registered for the event this year. My daughter ran it for the first time without training, with teammates from her Ultimate league, and finished in 19,852nd place and finished in 1:10:29. And that’s exactly the beauty of the Sun Run. I loved seeing how many took strollers or walked just to take part.
, originally uploaded by inklake.
VANCOUVER – Waves upon waves of runners poured down West Georgia Street during the 2010 Vancouver Sun Run.
Kenyan-born Kip Kangogo of Lethbridge, AB won the 2010 Vancouver Sun Run with a time of 29:02. The winner of the women’s division is Malindi Elmore of Kelowna with a time of 33:06.
The top Canadian-born runner is Eric Gillis of Guelph, ON with a time of 29:05, putting him in second place overall – just three seconds behind the champion Kangogo.
Before the run started, inside the Sun Run headquarters at the Hyatt Regency hotel, the Vancouver Sun’s vice-president of promotions, Jamie Pitblado, addressed a breakfast audience of media and race VIPs.
Aside from wishing all in attendance a Happy Mother’s Day, Pitblado announced the total registration for today’s Sun Run at 51,397 participants.
Read more here.