Race Preview: ITU Edmonton

ITU Edmonton

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Joe Maloy

With World Championships in Chicago two weeks later, I think Edmonton provides a great opportunity to race hard and test myself. There’s a chance some athletes will be looking past this race and ahead to Chicago, but I’m not in a position to do that. It’s especially important for the American men because points earned here are factored into USAT’s 2016 Olympic Selection process. I’m not happy with my current standing, and Edmonton provides an opportunity to improve my ranking.

Being a sprint distance world series event, the race is going to be fast. Wait and your opportunity will be gone. That said, it is still a solid 50+ minutes of racing, so you can’t sprint the whole thing. I plan to race aggressively and trust my instincts.

I’ve had some success here in the past (17th at World Championships here last year, 9th in the Edmonton World Cup two years before). It’s also the site of my first-ever world cup race–I DNF-ed in 2011. That experience plays in the back of my mind each time I return. It’s a reminder of how far I’ve come and how much more I still want to accomplish. I’ve been a better athlete each time I’ve returned, and this year is no different.

It’s September on the calendar, and that means opportunities to race are getting both fewer and more important. I’m looking forward to executing the things I’ve practiced and having some fun.

Kristen SKirsten Sweetland

In the beginning of the season you were figuring out some serious gut issues. You seem to have that under control and are ready for a good back half of the season. Hamburg was the kick start, you improved your placing at Rio and now prepare for Edmonton. Do you feel like your form is coming around at the right time?

Yea, it took a long time to figure out but I got a bacterial infection from contaminated water last year. I’m currently still on antibiotics as it is a 4 month long process but I’m already feeling a lot better and coming into form as we get closer to the grand final.

Racing in Canada is probably very special. Are you excited to return to Edmonton and get some redemption since the Grand Final did not go as you planned last year?

Racing at home is definitely special. I remember battling for a World Cup win in Edmonton back in 2007 and that was the coolest experience with the crowd cheering for me! Last year’s race was right when I first got sick from the bacterial infection, hard to believe it’s been an entire year of this! Now that we’ve got it under control it will definitely feel like redemption!

The sprint distance is fast and furious. Does it make the swim and T1 even more important (not saying you can lolly gag in an Olympic distance)?

Transitions are definitely more important in a sprint distance. There’s a popular saying in draft legal triathlon that the race can’t be won in the swim but it can be lost! This definitely is true of sprint distance. These details are always important no matter the distance but small things blow up in sprint distance for sure!

Alex CAlex Coates

You are training in Ontario now, correct? Do you mind the winters???

I am training in Ontario now – in Guelph specifically. The winter was definitely a shock to the system. I did grow up in Calgary, so I’m not completely unfamiliar with harsh winters, but I am a bit soft from my seven years in Victoria. The moment when I decided I really hated winter was when I was running to strength in my new giant winter jacket and snow boots, and my toe caught some ice and I belly-flopped onto the pavement. That was my lowest winter moment. However the Regional Training Centre (RTC) Guelph has the best squad with the smartest coach, and so that made the winter worth it. We also missed the worst of the winter, because we spent a month training in Clemson, South Carolina, this February.

You recently finished 13th at the Tiszaujvaros World Cup. Were you happy with your race (s)? It is quite the event and everyone seems to love the prelim/final format. Were you a fan? 

I am very happy with my Tiszy finish! I have raced a number of World Cups, but that one was probably the most competitive, and with the heats and finals set-up, it was definitely the most intense. The first day has a lot of energy to it, as everyone knows they have to go hard to make the final, but they don’t want to burn all their matches. The second day everyone is just dreading doing the swim again (3 laps around a tiny lake, with the first turn buoy only 100 meters away!), and so the energy is a lot different from a usual race. Honestly, it was an amazing experience, but so painful, and I’m not sure if I’ll ever want to do it again.

Tiszy was probably good preparation for a fast and furious swim—with Edmonton being a sprint I am sure the pace will be on from the start?

Yes Tiszy was the perfect prep for Edmonton. After doing two sprint races back to back, in what felt like 40C heat, doing one seems like a breeze.

You have raced in big races before like Grand Final U23 competitions, but is this WTS start in your home country extra exciting?

This race in Edmonton is extra exciting for me because it will be my first WTS! It is also really close to my hometown, so I think I’ll have a decent sized cheer squad. I’ve raced in Hawrelak Park in Edmonton since I was ten years old, so it’ll feel like going home. 

KevinKevin McDowell

I’m looking forward to this weekend. This has been my first year I have raced on the WTS circuit and I’m learning a lot of what this level requires. Edmonton fits in nicely for the lead up into Chicago. I just moved to Victoria, Canada, which makes it an easy trip to Edmonton. With it being a sprint it will be good to get in one more race and tune up leading into Chicago. I’m going in just focusing on the process of the race and what I need to do. If I can hit all the little things then the end outcome will follow. Since it’s a sprint there is little margin for error and things like transition and positioning become even more important. So those will be two areas of focus for me this weekend. Chicago has been a race I have been looking forward to since it was announced two years ago as I grew up just outside of Chicago. My coach Jono Hall and I have decided to race the U23 race with it being my final year in that category. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to race a World Championships in front of a home crowd with a lot of my friends and family being able to come.

TriPreviewShow (1)

The Triathlon Preview Show

This weekly podcast is your source for all information related to upcoming races in the world of Professional Triathlon. We will bring you analysis on how the races could play out, start list updates and input from the Professional athletes themselves. Hosted by Zach Miller, age group athlete and triathlon enthusiast and featuring input from Emily Cocks, a professional triathlete herself.

Episode 6 features the WTS Edmonton preview with Jarrod Shoemaker

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photo credit: 2013 PATCO Triathlon Junior Men via photopin (license)

About the Authors

Zach Miller
Zach Miller is a sports enthusiast and age group triathlete living in the The Woodlands, TX. He is the Host of The Triathlon Preview Show. The Triathlon Preview Show: iTunes Podcast
Emily is a professional triathlete and swim coach living in Napa, CA. Emily swam for the University of Michigan and completed her first tri in 2004 at the Chicago Triathlon. She worked for seven years as a paralegal, followed by three years as an Assistant Swim Coach for the University of Illinois-Chicago. Presently, she lives and trains in Napa, California while working for the Napa Valley Swim Team and coaching several age group triathletes.