Wednesday, September 12, 2018

MY YALLA SUMMER!

Good day readers - well summer 2018 is now done & dusted. It will go down as my busiest to date. Here are the numbers in just over 2-months:

-12 countries
-7 of which were new ones
-6 races
-5 weeks in training camp

I won't go into much detail, on the lead-up for all this. Let's just say, getting things organized & done, for others, was the focus. Performance, well, not a high priority yet...

Anyway, it all started with a trip back to my 2nd home: The Philippines. More specifically, to Subic Bay, for the Asian Qualifying race for the Youth Olympic Games.

One of the Youth/Junior athletes @ the Qatar Triathlon Federation, Aziz, shows promise with his attitude, and physical abilities.

It would be the first time, he would ride his bike over hills. And had only experienced rain, sparsely in his life...The race would be hilly and wet.

Pre-race open water training

The best 16-17-year-old athletes in Asia

With SEA Games 1-2 finishers, and last years Malaysia campers, Rambo & Nikko

The weather was so bad in race morning, the swim was cancelled, and it was turned into a Sprint Distance Triathlon...Aziz raced hard from start to finish, and managed a respectable finish.

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Up next, was an ITU Continental Cup in Kyrgyzstan. This time around I would be going with Ebrahim, the reigning Qatar National Triathlon Champion. Due to his full-time job, we arrived at the race, the day before the event. 

We went over the course, & transition. Then it was race day!

Our ride after an overnight flight VIA Turkey

Pre-race
In-race

Post-race

He managed a respectable finish, for his first international Elite race, of which was done @ high altitude...In the end, I really enjoyed my first trip to Central Asia, and would love to return in the near future!

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A few days afterwards, we boarded the plane towards Switzerland, for an altitude training camp with Trisutto, in St. Moritz.

It was great to be back in the mountains, and to a country that resembles in many ways, my own: Canada. We rolled into the first 2-weeks and then got into the thick of training, with consistent triple sessions, some with top athletes, or with some strong age groupers, I have been training for some time, online.

The emphasis was to improve specific ITU skills, work the hills (we none in Doha), increase recovery, and reap the benefits of altitude training.

Post-card picture


Saw the running legend Mo Farah at our hotel resto

Being humble by female pro's
Trying to keep fit at the track

With the champ, Nicola Spirig, and the legend, Brett Sutton


Criterium training around the track oval with Carlos

My smallest camper, William, doing some yoga post swim

Drafting brick workout with Martin
The view from our weekly Kenyan style long uphill run


Coach Brett doing this thing @ the track

Happy campers enjoying coffee & pastries after a long, cold, and hilly workout


A VERY international dinner

Volunteered @ Nicola's race

Coach Bretts wife & daughter helping the next generation of Swiss triathletes
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As the camp ended, I travelled to Sweden, to support a small group of Qatari athletes, doing their first Ironman distance, and their first international race.

This was my first time in Scandinavia, and I really enjoyed the laid back atmosphere...But was "price shocked" by the low quality of accommodation...The landscape & fresh food made up for it ;)

Saturday morning shift

Ready for 2000+ racers to finish in Kalmar

BoShaeen all smiles after managing a strong first IM & new Qatari best time


No filter
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The day after the race, we travelled down to Copenhagen in Denmark, which was one of my favourite places during my Euro-trip. Very liberal, multi-cultural, and organized.

City centre

Rented "not a road bike" to tour the city

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My next destination was a Canadian tourist favourite: Amsterdam, in The Netherlands. This was my favourite place during my Euro trip! Supper liberal, lots going on, plenty of young people, and good/interesting food.

This is where it started and finished...

Another country...Another canal driven capital city

Euro alley...early morning

Ummmmm

Flag shot

Yayyy

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After a train ride, I arrived in Belgium, more specifically: Liege, VIA Brussels. It was great to be able to whip-out my rusty "joual" french and relax a bit, as I was starting to get tired from all the travelling...

Neutral grounds

Either you like Sangria or your wrong

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Another train ride and I was in Luxemburg, one of the wealthiest countries in Europe. This, another favourite destination, of which I would love to return. Small, organized, modern, low cost, efficient, etc.

Just another flag pic

Feels like the future

Rainy day

Cashew pastry - it has to be healthy...right

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Onwards, for a longish & complicated train ride, to the micro-country, Liechtenstein.

Hold your line

Bien sur

Coffee with coffee accessories


Working on the fly with the descent on board WIFI

In case you don't know where this place is

Vaduz from the top

Walking around town

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From there, I made my way to Zell Am See, in Austria, for the Ironman 70.3, where a few of my age group athletes where racing.

I had been here 3 years ago, as it was the site of the 2015 70.3 Ironman World Championships.

Hotel view

Reflexion shot

Training camp anybody

Rain rain, go away, please come back another day

My longtime athlete Essa ready for his first 70.3

As you can see, they cancelled the bike leg...For an expensive, and long aquathlon

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I hurried back to Zurich, to grab some stuff, and then fly to Doha for 1 night.

YES

How romantic

Catching up with Carlos

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After 20 hours in Doha, I boarded the plane with Ebrahim, towards Jakarta in Indonesia, and then eventually, the South Sumatra island city of Palembang, for the 18th edition of the summer Asiad.

That would be us

Me loves the special treatment

Happy for this unique experience

Let's go

A bit of local food

Our home for the week

Happily greeted


Catching up with Trisutto folks pre-race

Local fans

Our support crew

More fans


Pre-race practice

Showing how it's done

Sorting out the gear

Last pre-race workout

Race morning instructions

Time to go

Elite men lined up

Women...Take your marks

Post race

The biggest flag of Qatar I have seen...ever

Heading to the closing ceremonies

Waiting out the rain

Where are you from

Security was in full force

Inside the stadium

The passing of the 2018 Asian Games, to the 2022 Asian Games which will be in China, with Indonesian President Joko Widodo & Alibaba founder, Jack Ma present...No wonder the security


A unique & fantastic experience

A wefie with the North Korea delegation

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Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the pictures & quick captions...Now it's back to business as usual, in 40+ degree heat, in Doha...