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North Vancouver’s “Rad-Chad” Bentley comes full-circle

Triathlon Magazine Canada 3 days 21 hours ago

— by Kevin Heinz

At 6’2″ and weighing 215 lbs at race weight, almost everything about Chad Bentley is big, including the Epic5 ultra distance triathlon he represented Canada at in August.

Racing at the 2018 Epic5 Challenge. Photo: Colin Cross

Growing up in Abbotsford, B.C., Bentley participated in team sports and excelled in rugby, but, when he was 22, he suffered a knee injury, forcing him out of the sport and off the job. As a young guy with extra time on his hands and his main passion taken from him, he substituted exercise with alcohol, smoking and unhealthy foods.

He followed this indulgent lifestyle for a few years until a friend suggested he return to his former athletic self by doing a triathlon. In the summer of 2004, after only six weeks of training, Bentley was on the starting line of the hot and hilly Desert Half in Osoyoos. He had an exceptionally fast swim and started the bike along with many of the province’s top triathletes. Although he faded on the run, his experience motivated him to say goodbye to his cheeseburgers and beer lifestyle.

On the night of Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006, Bentley was sleeping on the sidewalk in front of the Lakeside Resort in Penticton. No, he didn’t relapse, and he wasn’t alone. He was alongside hundreds of other athletes lined up to register for the following year’s Ironman Canada. In those days, the popular way to ensure a spot in the always sold-out race was to be at the registration site the moment it opened, which was the morning after the previous year’s race. The sleep on the sidewalk was a rite of passage, where friendships were made and Ironman dreams were shared. Once Bentley was registered, he began training more seriously and joined the Tri-Cities Triathlon Club in Port Moody. The club gave Bentley the social support and guidance needed to complete his first Ironman in 11:42.

Racing in all conditions at Epic5 2018. Photo: Colin Cross

Bentley continued to do Ironman races but after three of them was looking for even big- ger challenges. After speaking with one of his friends, Lucy Ryan, and reading the book, Finding Ultra by Rich Roll, he was motivated to try Ultraman Canada in 2014. Bentley says the ultra distance appealed to him because of the extraordinary mental component required to complete a three-day event. Having already done two big days and then waking up on the third day and knowing you have to run a double marathon is something an athlete doesn’t have to face in an Ironman. Overcoming the many challenges in his first Ultraman gave Bentley an even bigger sense of accomplishment.

In addition to the longer distances, another component that differentiates ultra-distance triathlons from Ironman races is the small number of competitors. For example, the 2017 Ultra 520K event held in Penticton only had 14 participants. This differs starkly from the thousands in a typical Ironman event. Bentley suspects more people would do ultra triathlons, but they worry they would have to do a lot more training. Bentley says that this isn’t really the case, adding that since an average Ironman athlete is already training between 15 and 20 hours a week, there is probably no more time to train, and you just have to maximize the time you have. The key is to target your workout hours effectively. To help him do that, Bentley hired a coach, Sean Callaghan from Endurance Sports Canada. Together, they were able to design a workout schedule that enabled him to honour his “real-life” commitments and complete his Ultraman strongly.

Epic5 Challenge 2018. Photo: Colin Cross

Another thing that makes Bentley different from many of his fellow triathletes is that he is a vegetarian. Some people may think the lack of meat-based proteins would reduce his ability to recover from his big workouts, but he contends his plant-based diet meets his nutritional needs. He can still put in the miles, recover well and train to his potential the next day.

Epic5 Challenge 

Finishing the 2018 Epic5 Challenge. Photo: Colin Cross

Over the weekend of Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, Bentley became the first Canadian to complete the Epic5 Challenge, comprised of five consecutive Ironman distance races on five Hawaiian islands. In addition to the athletic part of the Epic5, he also used the event as an opportunity to give back to his community. He chose a different B.C. childrens’ charity to raise money for on each of the islands he raced on. Bentley says the opportunity to help out these organizations provided him with additional motivation and a “higher purpose” for participating in the Epic5.

Having completed the Epic5, Bentley has gone about as far as possible in the world of endurance triathlon, so what’s next? For the 2019 season, Bentley plans to focus on shorter events and to spend more time with his family.

Kevin Heinz is a freelance journalist from Mission, B.C.

The post North Vancouver’s “Rad-Chad” Bentley comes full-circle appeared first on Triathlon Magazine Canada.

80/20 Triathlon

Triathlon Magazine Canada 3 days 22 hours ago

— by Helen Powers

Training with less intensity isn’t something that most triathletes aspire to, but there is scientific evidence suggesting that you should. Spending too much training time at moderate or high intensity might give you bragging rights. However, there’s a good chance it will harm your race performance.

80/20 Triathlon, puts forth this philosophy that training at a lower intensity will enhance improve performance.

American exercise physiologist Stephen Seiler analyzed the training methods of elite endurance athletes back in the early 2000s and found that 80 per cent of their training was done at low intensity and just 20 per cent was performed at medium and high intensity. Testing this rule on average athletes showed improvement, even for those who worked out as little as 45 minutes a day.

According to authors Fitzgerald and Warden, this approach will transform your triathlon experience, make your workouts more comfortable and enjoyable, enhance post-workout recovery, reduce injury risk, accelerate fitness development and take your race performances to a whole new level.

“Exercise physiologists place the border between low and moderate intensity at the ventilatory threshold, which is the level of exertion at which the breathing rate spikes,” write Fitzgerald and Warden. If you are a typical trained triathlete, this point will be around 78 per cent of your maximum heart rate so anything below that is a low-intensity workout.

Balancing your training load is a key to long term success.

Eight common barriers keep triathletes stuck in a rut of moderate workouts. One of these, intensity blindness, is the tendency to perform at a “preferred pace” rather than at a low intensity. An individual’s preferred pace is usually slightly above the ventilatory threshold and, therefore, not truly in the low range. Overcoming this barrier requires objective measures for accurate monitoring and control.

Every triathlete that Fitzgerald and Warden coach is put on the 80/20 program and every athlete has positive results when they follow the plan, like Billy Hafferty. He was having trouble qualifying for a world championship by training hard, but was experiencing a decline in performance. Describing his previous low-intensity training as “before, my easy days were just kind of whatever,” his perception of low intensity was off target.

Previously, Hafferty was cycling at a low intensity just 50 per cent of the time, then it increased to 61 per cent and then rose to 78 per cent in the lead up to his breakthrough race. “He had no idea that he was doing so much of his training at moderate intensity and no clue how much it was holding him back before he came to us,” write Fitzgerald and Warden.

80 per cent of training at low intensity and 20 per cent at high/moderate intensity.

To get comfortable with the difference, the authors suggest a “week of slow” to experience swimming, cycling and running below your ventilatory threshold. This helps to recalibrate your perception of effort, break the habits surrounding moderate intensity and experience a taste of the benefits.

An interesting history section challenges the long-held perceptions that triathlon is only defined by intense effort. Impeding the evolution of better training methods were those triathlon pioneers whose mindset was more adventure-seeking than competitive. In 1983, a newcomer, Mark Allen, found the punishing combination of high volume and intensity wasn’t tolerable.

After a series of injuries, a chiropractor guided Allen into a mostly low-intensity training approach. “For the next 14 years,” write Fitzgerald and Warden, “Allen was the best triathlete on the planet, and by the time he retired in 1997, his way of training was everyone’s way of training – that is, every elite triathlete’s way of training.”

With a classic “less is more” philosophy, the book provides many options for work out plans that slow you down in order to achieve your greatest performance in triathlon.

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Smarter Trainer workouts: Raise your power with a Tabata workout

Triathlon Magazine Canada 4 days 2 hours ago

Waking up to see zone 6 efforts in your planned workout is always a bit intimidating. Those type of efforts have never come easy to me before 7:00 AM. But nonetheless I steeled myself for what about the wakeup call I was about to get this morning. On the bright side, the winter is a really great time to build in some intensity. They don’t take super long and using the erg mode on modern smart trainers is a ruthlessly effecient way to build your high end power.

On the docket was something that resembled a Tabata workout, but with alternating zone 6 and rest intervals of equal length. The intervals ranged from 200% of FTP to 130% of FTP for 15 seconds with 15 seconds of rest between each on the intervals. The workout called for 20 reps and 3 sets of those efforts.

WU: 15 minutes
1 x 15 sec @ 200% FTP
1 x 15 sec @ 50% FTP
18 X 15 sec @ 150% FTP
15 sec @ 50% FTP between each rep
1 x 15 sec @ 200% FTP
1 x 15 sec @ 50% FTP
5 Min @ 50% FTP

4 x 15 sec @180% FTP
15 sec @ 50% FTP bewtween each rep
6 x 15 sec @ 160% FTP
15 sec @ 50% FTP bewtween each rep
6 x 15 sec @ 140% FTP
15 sec @ 50% FTP bewtween each rep
4 x 15 sec @ 120% FTP
15 sec @ 50% FTP bewtween each rep
5 min @ 50% FTP

2 x 15 sec @ 200% FTP
15 sec @ 50% FTP bewtween each rep
2 X 15 sec @ 120% FTP
15 sec @ 50% FTP bewtween each rep
2 x 15 sec @ 150% FTP
15 sec @ 50% FTP bewtween each rep
2 X 15 sec @ 120% FTP
15 sec @ 50% FTP bewtween each rep
2 x 15 sec @ 200% FTP
6 x 15 sec @ 150% FTP
15 sec @ 50% FTP bewtween each rep

5 min cool down

I was coming off a block of about 4 weeks with mostly sweet spot efforts so this was a great way to kick start my return back to serious intensity. The near constant sprints and with what felt like ever decreasing recovery periods gave me traumatic flashbacks to early season criterium racing. But it’s all for the best and with my focus turning to really nailing sprint Tris this season it really knocked the rust off.

One thing I’ve changed this off season is I’ve moved to the H2. I’ve used other smart trainers before but this is my first experience using a direct drive. On these zone 5 efforts I really appreciated not having any tire slippage. Is there anything more frustrating than not seeing the real numbers your putting out because your tire is slipping? But of course in this case all that power is read through at the hub and the numbers are accurate to within +/- 2%.  I’m also a big fan of erg mode and one of the advantages of using the H2 is that on the big swings between intervals you’re able to hit those power numbers right away without the contact patch between tire and roller being an issue.


The wide base and legs on the H2 were particularly appreciated during this workout as well. The wide stance meant that even as I was flailing about during the final intervals the trainer and bike stayed stable underneath me. The adjustable foot help with this too as they ensure that warps in your floor won’t lead to a wobbly trainer.

The next few weeks should continue with some more high intensity sessions coupled with exploring time in Watopia and the other Zwift courses. The move over to the direct drive of the H2 has made the a really great option to keep things fresh as we power through the Canadian winter.

The post Smarter Trainer workouts: Raise your power with a Tabata workout appeared first on Triathlon Magazine Canada.

How to dress for winter running

Triathlon Magazine Canada 4 days 2 hours ago

The winter solstice is right around the corner, but the long winter grind has just begun. While most triathletes will opt to ride indoors in the winter months, many triathletes rather brave the cold than run on a treadmill.

Running outdoors does take some practice. Knowing what to wear is one of the most common dilemmas for winter running. To save you time, here are a few tips on how to dress based on what the thermometer reads.

Keep in mind that everyone has different preferences, and with a little practice you’ll learn what works for you.

Carley Kenwood racing at the 2017 Winterlude in Ottawa, Ontario.

10 C (balmy, by winter standards): For most, half-tights or capris are fine. Those that are brave enough may even opt for shorts. Though a jacket is not necessary, you may consider a long sleeve top over a short sleeve. If it is raining, put on a light shell over a short sleeve. Gloves are not usually necessary.

As the temperature begins to drop, remember that when running your core body temperature will rise after 5-10 minutes, so make sure to dress accordingly. Avoid putting on puffy layers. Your extremities may need extra clothing, but your core is likely to overheat.

Related: The essentials for cold weather running

2 C (relatively mild): A long sleeve, possibly over a tank or short-sleeve, with half-tights, full tights or capris, ball cap and thin gloves.

0 C (freezing, but not that cold): A light long sleeve base layer under a warmer half-zip-style long sleeve, hat or buff and gloves.

-5 C (cooler): A light layer or two plus jacket, tights, toque, and consider a neck warmer or buff if it’s windy, and warm gloves. Consider layering a pair of long shorts or capris over your tights to keep your rear end warm, or invest in some fleece-lined running tights.

-10 C (cold): For many, this is where we draw the line. If it’s colder than -10, we don’t go out. Any colder, it becomes a question of risk versus reward.

If you do go out, dress warmly with at least 2-3 layers on top (for example, a base layer, long sleeve and jacket), and a warm hat and gloves. If your hands get cold easily, consider using hand warmers.

-20 C (extremely cold): Layer up, and cover any exposed skin (remember faces, wrists and ankles). Add some long underwear/merino base layer bottoms under your tights. A balaclava or neck warmer is strongly recommended.

“Well, I ran 26K yesterday in Peterborough, Ont. It was -22 C.” Submitted by Adam Sale to Canadian Running Magazine in 2017

Most importantly, layer up. The best way to dress for cold weather is to layer technical fabrics, for maximum warmth and breathability. Many people swear by merino wool base layers, since merino is warm, naturally wicks away moisture and doesn’t harbour bacteria or odour.

Protect your extremities. You’d think that the activity of running would keep your toes from freezing, but at -10 or below, it can be a challenge to keep your feet comfortably warm. Consider layering your socks (two thin layers are warmer than one thick layer), and if you do a lot of cold-weather running, consider investing a shoe designed for the purpose, such as the New Balance 910v4 GTX, the Arc’teryx Norvan LD GTX or the Under Armour Charged Reactor Run.

Hat or not? If you’re a hat person, the choice becomes, at what temperature do you switch from a peaked hat or ball cap to a tuque (for us it’s around 0 C). If you hate hats, you’d be wise to wear something on your head–even if it’s just a headband or a buff–when the mercury goes below -5 C or so.

A version of this article is on the Canadian Running Magazine website, written by Anne Francis

The post How to dress for winter running appeared first on Triathlon Magazine Canada.

Winter Getaways for 2019

Triathlon Magazine Canada 4 days 4 hours ago

Face it, by the time you get to February you are going to be ready for a break from our Canadian winter. There’s only so long you can stay motivated hammering out hours and hours on the trainer, enduring cold running efforts through the snow and having your hair freeze between the pool and the parking lot.

The solution? A winter getaway. Something to look forward to throughout the winter that will keep you inspired and training hard as you gear up for a big 2019. With that in mind, we offer up this list of race destinations and training camps, one of which is sure to pique your interest.

WTS BERMUDA April 28–29, 2019

Triathletes racing at WTS Bermuda.

Just a few hours flight from Toronto, Bermuda is a tiny island that has a rich history of triathlon racing and training. In addition to taking in the opportunity to watch some of the world’s best athletes, heading to WTS Bermuda for either the sprint- or standard-distance races will give you a great chance to kick off your race season in style. The swim in the beautiful blue waters of the Atlantic is followed by a challenging bike course and a picturesque run along Hamilton’s Front Street.

In 2021 Bermuda will also host the ITU Grand Final event, so a trip for an early-season race-cation can also serve as a chance to preview the world championship course.

IRONMAN 70.3 COLOMBO Sri Lanka, Feb. 24, 2019

Triathletes racing at Ironman 70.3 Colombo.

Set in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, Ironman 70.3 Sri Lanka offers you the chance to take in a hot-weather race in one of the world’s most exotic tourist destinations. You’re pretty much guaranteed race day temperatures that will reach the 30s, but believe it or not, it’s likely one of the cooler Ironman events you’ll find in Asia.

As part of a special Women for Tri initiative, the race is offering a 25 per cent discount on women’s entries, along with an additional 25 women’s qualifying spots for the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nice, France, too.

As fun as the race might be, heading to the race offers up the chance to tour the exotic, tear-shaped island that’s just south of India. Beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, exotic scenery and wildlife, along with rich history are all draws that make a trip to the spectacular island a one-of-a-kind experience.

Related: 4 reasons to do a holiday training camp

BERMUDA TRIATHLON CAMP Feb. 22–March 2, 2019

Bermuda Triathlon Training Camps

Hosted by B78 (head coach Jasper Blake) and Human Powered Racing (Mike Neill), this unique camp will be held for the ninth year in 2019. While most of the participants are local Bermudans, Canadian campers are welcome and are often put up by local triathletes in “homestays.” The camp training sessions happen in the early morning and in the evenings (Saturday and Sunday are full training days), leaving days free to explore the beautiful island’s pink sand beaches and unique historical sites.


Training in Florida

While Florida is always a popular winter destination, most of the state is dead flat, which doesn’t exactly lend itself to exciting cycling opportunities. The hilliest part of the state, though, is near Clermont, which is just minutes away from Orlando and offers some fantastic training, thanks to both the terrain and the popular National Training Center, a popular facility for pro triathletes from around the world. A couple of Ontario-based coaching groups offer training camps either in or near Clermont. With hundreds of kilometres of bike trails to go along with the quiet and surprisingly hilly Lake County roads, it’s a great spot to dial in some heavy-duty winter training and escape the cold. Lake Louisa State Park, a regular venue for ITU Pan American Cup triathlon events, offers excellent training in all three sports, while the infamous Orange Groves provide some challenging, but beautiful, run terrain.

NRG Feb. 9–16 and Feb. 23 & March 2, 2019

NRG Training Camps in Florida. Photo: VIRB Picture

This fully-catered camp organized by NRG Performance Training (head coach Nigel Gray) includes two different weeks of training. The first week is geared toward beginner to intermediate athletes, while the second week is for intermediate-to-advanced participants. Athletes stay in beautiful houses alongside a golf course and lots of personalized coaching that includes underwater video analysis and customized training during the week.

Related: Karsten Madsen’s tips to planning your own training camp

LPC FLORIDA TRI CAMP March 2–9, 2019

LPC training camp in Florida.

With accommodations at Emerald Island Resort, just three miles from Walt Disney World, the LPC camp offers a great opportunity to combine training and a holiday for the rest of the family and friends, who can enjoy the various attractions and shopping destinations. Last year’s camp filled to capacity with 55 athletes (along with eight coaches) of varying abilities who enjoyed the challenging training and coaching.


Training in Tuscon, Arizona.

Now entering its fourth year, this VIP experience camp features bikes provided by Argon18, a pool nearby the full-service resort and lots of specialized coaching. Head coach Bart Rolet is a certified Swim Smooth coach and leads the swim sessions, three coaches lead the bike sessions and Jerome Faverial, a level 3 NCCP coach, oversees the run sessions. Next year’s camp will share some sessions with the Wattie Ink. tri group, which will feature regular Kona top finisher Heather Jackson.

The post Winter Getaways for 2019 appeared first on Triathlon Magazine Canada.

Nevis Triathlon 2018 race report

220 triathlon 4 days 6 hours ago
In search of a warm overseas race to end the 2018 season we headed to the Caribbean to take part in the Nevis Triathlon

Free 8week winter base strength training plan

220 triathlon 4 days 8 hours ago
This winter with the help of this plan build a strong base from which to launch your 2019 season

Goodbye Rouvy Tuesday

Slowtwitch 4 days 11 hours ago
In Part-2 of our series on Rouvy, we explore virtual rides, a prime feature of this stationary platform.

Comeback stories of 2018

Triathlon Magazine Canada 4 days 21 hours ago

The 2018 season was filled with numerous standout performances. There was Daniela Ryf’s dominant long course season, winning both the 70.3 and Ironman World Championship. Jan Frodeno’s spectacular performance at 70.3 Worlds. Patrick Lange’s sub-eight-hour Ironman in Kona, and Kristian Blummenfelt’s world best half-Ironman time of 3:29:04 in Bahrain. Don’t forget the thrilling battle between USA’s Katie Zaferes and Britain’s Vicky Holland for the 2018 WTS title, and Mario Mola’s third straight WTS win.

Related: The best of 2018: Canadian performances 

This year, also had a number of athletes return to competition after a car crash, stress fracture and childbirth. Here are some of the biggest comeback stories of 2018:

Tim Don, the man with the halo

Tim Don finishes the 2018 Ironman World Championships, a year after breaking his neck. Photo: Kevin Mackinnon

Days before the 2017 Ironman World Championship, Tim Don (GBR) was hit by a car on his bike. The accident left him with more than just a few cuts and bruises, he also sustained a broken neck in the crash.

Following the injury, Don went through a strenuous physical therapy protocol to return to health.

To mark his return, Don competed at the 2018 Boston Marathon and finished in 2:49:42. In his comeback triathlon, Ironman 70.3 Costa Rica, Don won in a time of 3:49:59.

Related: Tim Don “The Man with the Halo”

Just a year after the horrific crash, Don returned to the Big Island of Hawaii and finished the Ironman World Championship in 8:45:17.

Matt Russell’s remarkable comeback

Matt Russell finishing third at Ironman Mont-Tremblant 2018.

On October 14th, 2017, Matt Russell (USA) was competing at the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. After passing the 120K mark on the bike, Russell collided with a van going over 45km/h.

Once the medics arrived, Russell was immediately transported to a hospital where his injuries were assessed and treated. The crash left Russell with a severed sternocleidomastoid (a muscle in the neck) and jugular vein on his right side, as well as a concussion.

After months of recovery and rehab, Russell returned to racing at Ironman 70.3 Texas. Throughout 2018, Russell’s results steadily improved with top ten finishes at Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga and Mont-Tremblant. Then at Ironman Canada, Russell finished in third and reached the podium for the first time since his injury.

Related: The remarkable comeback of Matt Russell

Thanks to another third-place finish at Ironman Mont-Tremblant, Russell was given a wildcard entry to the 2018 Ironman World Championship.

In his return to the World Championship, Russell finished in 8:04:45 which was good enough for sixth in the world.

Tara Norton becomes Ultraman World Champion

Tara Norton crosses the line with her daughter at the 2018 Ultraman World Championship. Photo: Bob Babbitt.

In 2016, just days after the Ultraman World Championship, Tara Norton (CAN) broke her femur.

After a year of recovery and intense rehab, Norton returned to racing ultra-endurance events in 2018.

Related: Tara Norton: “I was just thankful to be racing”

In August, Norton became the first solo woman to conquer the Dóxa Threelay, a two-day event that covers 285 miles with 36 legs that don’t follow the traditional sequence of swim, bike, run.

Then, on Nov. 23rd, Norton returned to the Ultraman World Championship and won.

Terenzo Bozzone returns to racing after a devasting crash

Terenzo Bozzone wins Ironman Western Australia.

After one of the best starts to the 2018 season, Terenzo Bozzone (NZL) was hit by a truck on June 3rd in Kumeu, New Zealand. The five-time world champion sustained a number of injuries in the crash, including a broken eye socket, concussion and multiple wounds to his body.

Related: Terenzo Bozzone wins again

After five months of rehab, the Kiwi returned to racing at Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney. Up against a strong professional men’s field, Bozzone won the race. Then, just a week after his comeback win, Bozzone won Ironman Western Australia.

Holly Lawrence’s comeback win

Holly Lawrence wins in her comeback race at Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship. Photo: @hollylawrencetri

After eight long months of rehab, Holly Lawrence (GBR) returned to racing with a win at the Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship in Bahrain.

Earlier this year, at Ironman 70.3 Oceanside, Lawrence discovered she had an undiagnosed stress fracture in her foot. Despite the pain, Lawrence still managed to finish second behind Germany’s Anne Haug.

Related: Holly Lawrence’s comeback win in Bahrain

At the 2018 Ironman 70.3 Middle East Championship, Lawrence set the fastest swim/bike split of the day and was able to hold onto her first-place position as Sarah Lewis (GBR) made a late charge in the 21.1K run.

Mirinda Carfrae’s return from maternal leave

Mirinda Carfrae wins 2018 Ironman 70.3 Augusta. Photo: @tointr.

Early in the spring of 2017, the triathlon couple of Mirinda Carfrae (AUS) and Tim O’Donnell (USA) announced they would be expecting a baby girl in the summer of 2017.

Related: The tri couple of O’Donnell and Carfrae double up at 70.3 Augusta

After giving birth to Izzy in August 2017, Carfrae planned on returning to triathlon in 2018.

As the 2018 triathlon season progressed, so did Carfrae’s fitness and results. Despite missing the podium at the Ironman World Championships by eighth minutes, Carfrae, a three-time world champion, has been able to return to an elite level after given birth to a baby.

The post Comeback stories of 2018 appeared first on Triathlon Magazine Canada.