This year two locals Gary Maxwell (previously known primarily as Andrew Maxwell’s Dad, now an IM Hawaii qualifier in his own right!) and Dan McCluskey, local go fast guy and friend of the SB Tri Club, both finished the Subaru Ironman Canada on August 27th.
Having connected with both athletes since the race I can say that each of them had good and bad moments during the day, happy with two out of the three “events”. Gary reported that the lake that had been calm all week in the morning had a bit of a wind chop that increased as the morning went on, and some athletes after wards saying this was a factor for them. Gary was happy with his swim, over 25 minutes faster than his IM Hawaii swim, so give a few seconds to the wetsuit, but more credit to Gary for working on his stroke.
Reports of strong gusting winds on the course proved true, while slowing many a rider on the fast descents where they had hoped to make up time. Combine this with a day getting warmer and warmer, and well I guess you can say it’s just another day in the life of an Ironman competitor, the fourth or fifth element; however you want to look at it.
Gary said the bike was a challenge, probably consuming more energy and effort than he would have liked, leaving him a bit flat for the run, while still able to maintain a steady if not as fast as hoped for pace. Starting an IM run feeling like that, shoot any long distance run like that, is mentally very taxing, so hats off to Gary to staying the course and finishing.
Dan put in a strong swim and was riding up front in his age group, listening to his inner conscience that kept reminding him to hold back, let it come to him, saving something for the run. That he tells me that sometimes he hears my voice saying this is scary, but if it helps him with his pacing, so be it. He too said that the run was a struggle, never on the pace he hoped for, but he still managed to hold off his competitors and secure an Ironman Hawaii Qualifier, number SIX for Dan. Having qualified the first time back in ’95, Dan has now qualified in three different decades, a testament to his longevity and some would say stubbornness, and I mean that in a good way.
Here’s the numbers, great job guys!
Dan McCluskey 109th overall, 3rd in AG, M50-54, 10:21:59, 1:00:17, 5:16:37, 3:58:20
Gary Maxwell 798th overall, 8th in AG, M60-65, 12:13:46, 1:20:05, 5:57:01, 4:47:30