Bear Mountain 10km

This past Saturday morning I participated in “Canada’s Hardest 10km”.  No joke.  It was retardedly hard.

I have been invited by Mark and Nick at Frontrunners in Westshore Victoria to run in this race for the past three years.  One year I had the flu and another I felt that my competitive fire had leached out of my body with the last of any of my race fitness post season.  So I had never taken part in this super cool but unbelievably tough race.

This year I have been having some fun running with a strong run group so heading out for a race at this point in the year wasn’t nearly as daunting as in years past.  However, after the first 2km of the race I was pretty sure the next 8 would be very, very tough!  I think it is awesome that the race had such an insane turnout.  They broke a record for the number of participants this year and let me tell you, you have to be pretty hardcore to do this race.  So Victoria, good on ya for rocking out the turnout for this event.

I was late for the start, as usual, so my prerace warmup was somewhat abbreviated.  I think that probably helped in the end because I took it so easy for the first 3km to let myself warm up and I am sure that paid off in the end.  I was also advised by Jon to really take it easy on the downhills to save myself any potential injuries so again, I was running very conservatively.  I knew I was going to lose time on the downhills so I just tried to make the most of the uphills.

The course starts with a short run on the road before turning abruptly right onto the golf cart path at Bear Mountain Resort.  From there you run either vertically up or vertically downhill for the next 9.5 kms.  There isn’t a flat section anywhere on the course and thanks to the Pineapple Express weather system we have been enjoying for the last few weeks the course was wet and slippery.  Only the bridges were really sketchy but running through some shallow rivers over concrete was interesting as well.

I took the lead at about 5km not thinking I would win, just thinking that I would keep my steady pace and see what happened.  I ended up winning with Sarah Baker taking second (I think she is a triathlete as well!) so good that the girls had a strong race.  One of the fast runners I am training with, Dave Jackson, won the men’s event.  My time was a glacial 41:17 which is not an elite time for a 10km but given the course record for women is 40:15 it wasn’t totally embarassing.  The men’s record was 32:50 or something, set by Jon Brown himself and I am sure he is about a 27 minute 10km runner so yeah, it was hard and slow.  Thanks so much to Frontrunners for hosting me and putting up prize money for this event.. I will be back to try to run it a little faster next year rocking the colors of the Prairie Inn Harriers (thanks Bob!).

The ladies pack heads up the first gnarly hill (Photo by Tony Austin) and man I look haggard!

Age group awards (me and Adrianne Seredick), the overall went myself, Sarah Baker, Devon Mihalyi, Care Wakely and Jessalyn O’Donnell for top five

Good times!  I followed the day up with a wine and cheese silent auction fundraiser at Procity for Jamie and Linsey Duncan which was super fun.  Lots of people I haven’t seen in a long time and a good opportunity to just hang out and be silly.  We dragged the usual suspects back to our house to continue festivities.  Luckily I didn’t over do it but it was very late when I finally got to sleep.  I was tired the next morning so it took a huge amount of motor-vation to get myself out for my long run but by noon I was running up Willis Point into the dump to finish the week with a 1h45 effort in the muddy, wet trails.  It was actually a spectacular day for it.  Unfortunately, that run requires running from the very top of the mountain bike park down to Lochside and that descent was no fun today after yesterday’s race.  I am sure I am going to pay tomorrow for it.  I did a swim this evening hoping hydrotherapy might do the trick but not so far.  I am going to try couch surfing next.  It is off season so there is no freaking way I am going to park my butt in an ice bath until at least January.

Good racing by Sam and Jordan at IM AZ this weekend!  Totally inspiring.  Now if only I could find out how Mar did in Japan…

Resting tomorrow but working on the plan for next year.  For me, the athletes I coach and the members of my team.  Never a dull moment.

The Offseason – Time To Get Prepared for 2010

It has been three weeks since my last race of the XTERRA season and I have had plenty of time to reflect on the last year.  I can’t say I am 100% satisfied with last year but certainly the results were mostly all there.  I wouldn’t want to throw the season in the bin because for the most part it was pretty darn awesome.  I am really proud of winning five races in a row, winning the Nationals and series for the second year in a row and staying up on the podium in every race I entered.  Two pretty good years in a row but still, they have both left me wanting a bit more.

They say that “If you do what you have always done, don’t be surprised if you get what you have always got” or something like that.  So in the spirit of that, I am making some changes leading into 2010.  Those changes are going to be reflected in my program and that of the MelRad Racing Team.

The first change I am making is in my training and lead up to the season next year.  It is disappointing to not arrive at the World Championships with my best form but it is motivating to see the level to which the sport is rising.  For three years in a row I’ve shown up at that race not as good as I would like and unfortunately, you are only as good as your last race in this sport, so the season prior to that can be long forgotten.  Thus, 2010 will be 100% focused on what needs to be done to perform well at that event.  Secondly, Maui is unlike any other XTERRA.  It really isn’t a mountain bike event.. it is a dusty road event and it requires the same skill set that a road event would require.  So, with both of these things in mind, freshness for the late season and preparedness for a road style off road race, I have made some decisions and changes for next season.

I am planning a much later start and a very focused offroad schedule next year (read:  do what needs to be done and no more).  Secondly, I will be training with some different groups than I did last season.  I knew I was going to be leaving the NTC group to go swim with another group back in the fall.  I think a change to a swimming program rather than a triathlon program is going to be very difficult for me but I think the change will be good.  I can’t swim at my present lack of ability anymore.  I have found a coach who might be able to do something with my abominable swimming.  We’ll see.  He says he’s up for it.  More on that later.

Secondly, I will be devoting a large chunk of time to learning how to run well.  I am training in Victoria with a very, very strong group of runners coached by Jon Brown (marathon legend).  I am hoping his expertise will help me to not only be a better runner but also help me to help my athletes be much, much better runners.  This is another reason why my season will be shifted to as late a start as possible.  So, running with runners, swimming with swimmers and you guessed it… riding with cyclists.  I look forward to training this winter with Houshang Amiri and his squad through  here in Victoria.  I have missed the group that I trained with which helped me get a World Title in 2006.  Sometimes you come full circle to find the best place for you was where you started.

Finally, there has been some misunderstanding as far as MelRad Racing is concerned. I have the opportunity to give my athletes the support of all of my sponsors and all of my knowledge to try and achieve their goals so I am holding all spots to MelRad Racing for athletes who are coached by me until I have decided I have enough athletes and/or all of the spots to the team are taken.  As their coach I want to help them win.  I have an outstanding lineup of pro and amateur athletes who are confirmed to be racing for MelRad in 2010 with a very few spots available.  The team will be nearly HALF the size of 2009 in order to better support the athletes we choose.  I have made a call to the XTERRA community to see if anyone is interested in coaching to see if anyone would like to have a season coached by me.  I will close coaching applications by January and then will not accept any new athletes, to the coaching program or to MelRad Racing, by then.

So for those of you not interested in a coach but feel you have something really special to bring to the MelRad Racing team then I would encourage you to apply.  But keep this in mind.  MelRad Racing will not sponsor anyone who is just looking to get free stuff.  That is NOT what we are about.  We want someone who is truly an ambassador without compare.  We want the person recognized in their community as the leader in attitude, altruism and amiability.  I don’t really care if you won a bunch of races if you didn’t inspire people in the process.  We are going to support people who are out there with a big, fat smile on their face enjoying life and blogging about their adventures.  We are going to look for people nominated by their peers as the most amazing candidate for MelRad Racing that we simply could not overlook them in the selection process.

So please apply at racing at melrad dot com.  However, your application must have a nomination from another person in the XTERRA community explaining WHY you should be considered.  I don’t want to only hear from you how awesome you are, I want to hear it from another person who thinks so.  Make sure you put at the top WHY you should be considered.  I encourage you to put your results somewhere near the bottom.  The application will be evaluated that way.

In addition, you must be willing and able to submit monthly updates to documenting your season with the team.  If you are not interested or can’t be bothered to write anything, please don’t apply.

So, applications for coaching and for the team will be accepted until January 1.  If you are looking for coaching, please send an inquiry through the CONTACT tab on this website.  If you want consideration for the team, go to racing at melrad dot com.  But don’t forget to include your nomination from a friend.  It won’t be considered without it.

Thanks and happy offseason!



Fotos from Maui 2009

A few images from the race as captured by Nils Nilsen…

When I’m good I’m good.  When I am not, I am human.

Biking up Heartbreak Hill:


Biking a grassy section on the climb and not looking too great:

The tough beach section of the run:








Do You Need A Coach? Do You Have The Right RADITUDE?

rad⋅i⋅tude  [rad-i-tood, -tyood] 

1. manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to complete awesomeness, a tendency or orientation towards being totally rad, esp. of the mind: a positive raditude

2. the extreme desire to race hard and have fun


In 2010, Melanie McQuaid is inviting 10 lucky amateur racers to Mel’s Rad Racing Team.  As witnessed in 2009, MelRad Racing is the most visible, most fun and most professional team any amateur could be on.  In 2010, it gets even better.

The team is getting even more pro with more pros being added to the roster with Melanie.  Announcements coming soon!

So, when do you get the chance to race on a professional team but be an amateur?  When you are on Mel’s Rad Racing Team and your job is to seek your regional, national or world championships title but still be a great mom, dad, nurse, doctor, teacher or whatever it is that makes you an awesome well-rounded and great ambassador for your sport and your team.

The first round of invitations are going out right now for coaching.  If you need a coach for 2010, are looking to win races and want to focus on XTERRA and 70.3, there are a limited number of spots to be coached by Melanie.  Athletes on the coaching roster will be offered spots on MelRad Racing FIRST.  If there are spots left after the coached athletes have chosen whether to accept a team spot we will then send out an invitation for NOMINATIONS to the team. 

The number of spots left is extremely limited.

So, ask yourself, do I want to get to the next level?  Do I want to qualify for Hawaii?  Do I want to focus one year of my life on my sport and my potential?  If you do, there may be a spot for you to work with a three time World Champion, three time National and Overall Series Champion and fearless leader of the Raditude movement.

Contact us through the website.  Applications for coaching and the MelRad Racing team will only be accepted in November until the program is full.

2010 Raditude Tour…. are you in with MelRad?