Category Archives: Athletes

Profiles of Ontario Duathletes, Past and Present

Getting To Know Evan Bayer, Recently Crowned Canadian Duathlon Champion

Evan Bayer is just coming off winning the Canadian Standard Distance Duathlon Championships, where his 1:49:36 clocking placed him firmly in the lore of duathlon in Canada and gave him a 1:32 margin of victory on the most competitive field assembled at a duathlon in recent memory. He took some time to answer a few questions about his race and the future for him.

You had an incredible race to easily handle a stacked field at the Canadian Duathlon Championships, winning in an amazing 1:49:36. Tell us about it…what were your keys to victory?

It didn’t feel easy, I felt like it was under pressure the entire way. I knew I needed to take time in the bike but knew it wouldn’t matter if I couldn’t minimize losses on the run. I’ve done a lot of quality run sets in the last 3-4 weeks and I think that helped keep me in contention on Wednesday.

Putting yourself in the shoes of an outsider watching the race…what did you think of the field that turned out, and how the race played out?

It was the strongest field I’ve seen in a duathlon to date which was great. Strong competition beings the best out of everyone.

The two sports are an interesting contrast because one isn’t necessarily beneficial to the other as many people seem to think. As an outsider I’m sure one would expect a large lead to do nothing but grow so it likely came as a surprise to some to see the race shuffle the way it did as it flipped through the two sports.

Your cycling talents are well apparent, considering we have seen 58:00 and 56:34 splits out of you so far this year. Your run today, however, was unlike anything we’ve ever seen from you. What prompted you to stick in the main chase all the way into T1?

To be honest I was racing sick in July. I was fighting a virus of some kind that completely sapped my energy for weeks. Although I was falling short in both disciplines the run was obviously harder to perform as it requires your entire body to be in sync. In hindsight this may have been a blessing in disguise as nobody expected any sort of showing from me on the run.

That being said, I spent the first 28 years of my life running and still run close to a dozen races a year. Early in the season I did the Adrenaline Rush Duathlon in High River and opened with a 34:02 10km and came home in 17:56 5km. Wednesday was all about running to my potential.

We hear you had a little bit of trouble with your chain coming out of T1? What happened? How were you able to recover?

As I was running through the transition my bike rolled over a sprinkler or tree root that popped the bike causing the chain to fall off. Unfortunately I didn’t notice until I tried to mount. I quickly tried to throw it back on but rushed it so it came off a second time when I went to spin the crank. The second attempt to put it on was successful and I was on my way. At this point I was panicked because I knew I had just lost 20-30 seconds and I didn’t have any time to spare given the strong field. It took a couple kilometers for me to settle down and remind myself that there was still 75 minutes of racing left and to continue riding my race rather than trying to immediately pull back the time I lost.

What did you think of the course? Is there anything the particularly suited you, and is there anything you would change?

I really enjoyed the course but would say it definitely favors runners as the run course is very selective and the bike course is neither technical or difficult.

The run course was a difficult but nice loop of downtown Penticton. Going in I thought the hill would be helpful because I consider myself a strong runner but not especially fast. In the end it didn’t really seem to help or hinder me. I did think it was great to see an event not afraid to put something that selective in a course though.

The bike course being so flat makes it very straight forward and safe but a bit harder to capitalize if you favor the bike. I think it’s more difficult to take significant time on such a flat course. My ideal bike course probably has a bit more climbing in it.

What’s next for you? We know you primarily race bikes, but will duathlons play a part in your future at all? Are you planning to race at the Worlds in 2017?

I’ll be heading to Edmonton this weekend for the Alberta Individual Time Trial Championships then changing gears to get ready for my first marathon in Toronto this October. Beyond that I’ll do some cross country running races this winter before preparing for next season.

Right now there are a few things on my radar for next year (gravel and road racing on the bike, road and trail running races and duathlon). I find the variety keeps training fresh but also difficult to balance so I’ll see what I’m most motivated to chase this winter and go from there. Right now the plan is to be back in Penticton next August.

So…where do we place our bet on Evan Bayer to be the fastest finisher at Worlds next year in Penticton?

Evan Bayer
(Photo: Ken Anderson Photography)
Advertisements

Larry’s World (link to article by TJ Flynn)

Larry Bradley is a great friend to duathlon in Canada, and though an unfortunate injury kept him from that elusive Ontario provincial title for one more year, he is still tirelessly doing whatever he can to promote the sport in Canada. Larry unfortunately will not be toeing the line at Nationals in Penticton or Sprint Nationals in Edmonton, but hopefully he can manage to find his way to Montreal on September 10 to punch his ticket to Penticton 2017. One thing you know with Larry is that if he is on the start line, he is there to win!

Here’s a great piece written by Multisport Canada ambassador TJ Flynn on Larry’s season. Larry is back at it and getting ready to return to racing. The rest of the country is getting faster (prime example occurring this weekend in Verdun, a thrilling race that will be recapped on Wednesday), and I have no doubt Larry will be right there. Cheers, my friend!

READ: Larry’s World, by TJ Flynn

(Photo: MultiSport Canada/Zoomphoto.ca)
(Photo: MultiSport Canada/Zoomphoto.ca)

Catching up with Brian Moore (from Triathlon Magazine Canada)

As we head into National Championship season, let’s meet some of the athletes! A few weeks ago, a familiar name popped up on the start list for the Canadian Draft Legal Sprint Duathlon Championships in Edmonton, AB. Brian Moore was the winner of Triathlon Ontario’s “Du the Double” challenge in 2015 and finished 5th at the Canadian Sprint Duathlon Championships at Esprit last year. He showed up at Gravenhurst for his “Du the Double” defense this year a little dinged up and the results suffered, but he proved his form with an impressive win at his hometown Bracebridge sprint duathlon event last weekend to show he is ready to take on Canada in Edmonton.

With his cycling ability, Brian has to be considered a favourite for the gold in Edmonton, and he is even bringing along his brother David, another intriguing prospect in the Canadian duathlon world! This is an old article, but the sentiment remains. Enjoy!

READ: Catching up with Brian Moore

Brian Moore
(Photo: Multisport Canada/Mike Cheliak)

Where Are They Now? – Zach Steinman

Interview and article by Larry Bradley

When you look through results pages of local duathlon races, you will notice a lot of familiar names filling the sheets year after year. For many of us, duathlon and triathlon are lifestyles that we stumble onto by accident. We challenge ourselves to try it once to test the waters, then the fire is lit and a passion is born.

For me, it was in the fall of 2006. Coming from a very small town in Ontario, I had no idea duathlon even existed and thought triathlon was only reserved for Olympic heroes played out in tropical locations. That all changed the day I was clicking through the internet, searching for a running race to drive a future fitness goal. My search uncovered these mysterious sports available to the general public as a recreational outlet.

With most of the other options at the time being half or full marathons, I decided to give the 2k run, 20k bike, 5k run a shot and registered for Guelph Lakes 2. It was at this race I first saw Zach Steinman in action. He was leading the charge along the rolling, park path and pulling the field through the Guelph Lake Conservation area at speeds I could not imagine. I was amazed that we were all running this hard with a bike ride, and another run, ahead of us.

Zach Steinman
Zach Steinman

As I suffered through a Sunday cruise on the back roads of Wellington Country, the leaders hammered their aerodynamic space ships at breakneck speeds. At the end of the day, Zach was sitting second on the podium and I had been humbled once again in my pursuit of weekend warrior status.

Thinking back to those first few years, I fondly remember many of the people that influenced and inspired me to continue in the sport. Thankfully, a number of them are still pushing their bodies to run, bike and run summer after summer. Others, like Mr. Steinman, have moved on to other pursuits to explore new fitness outlets.

I often see their achievements and training logs on results pages and social media so thought it would be fun to share some of their current thoughts with the DuathlonCentral.com viewers. Recently, I caught up with Zach over the web from his home in Nova Scotia and picked his brain about his duathlon days. Enjoy!

LB: Just before you moved to Eastern Canada, you stopped competing in duathlons and switched your focus to cycling. What was the biggest influence in your change of sports?

ZS: As you know running is a lot harder on the body than cycling, I decided to give my body a rest from the pounding of running. I also had plateaued as far as my running speed was concerned and decided to concentrate on getting faster on the bike.

On the run
On the run

LB: What was your most memorable Duathlon moment?

ZS: I’d have to say taking the overall win in the Niagara on the Lake Duathlon (2007 -2008). My Father was there to see me take the win and help take a couple pros off the podium. A not so young, but up and coming, David Frake took second that day 😉

LB: You came back to duathlon in 2012 and represented Canada at the World Championships as an Age Group athlete. What brought you back after your hiatus?

ZS: I wasn’t in the best running shape but decided to jump in one of the races out here which happened to be a world qualifier. My bike split got me a substantial gap after the second transition and muscle memory kept me together enough to win the age category. After we discovered I had qualified for worlds my wife and I decided to use it as a bit of an “active” vacation.

Leading the way
Leading the way

LB: From your duathlon races out in Nova Scotia, what were the biggest differences between the Ontario scene?

ZS: I’ve only done a few Duathlons here in Nova Scotia but much like the cycling scene here the numbers of participants are lower but the quality and drive of the participants is top notch.

LB: Is there one tip you would give to the newer duathletes entering the sport?

ZS: Quality workouts over quantity of workouts. All the best.

If you’re ever in the area, make sure you check out Zach’s bike shop, Bicycles Plus!

Zach laying down the watts
Zach laying down the watts