Presenting: 1st annual TriKa swimmeet

10 12 2009

Blazing a triathlon trail: Dan Martin

24 11 2009

Some people think outside the box. TEDxBrussels promised to burn the box but forgot to light it. Dan Martin intends to swim, cycle and run the box around the world. Seriously.

At high tide on May 8th 2010 I’ll dive in to the Hudson River from Battery Park in New York. I’ll swim down stream past the Statue of Liberty and across the Atlantic to Brest in France. I’ll be swimming eight hours a day, no wetsuit, no shark cage. When I touch the boat at night we will GPS mark the spot I finish and start from there the next day.

From Brest I’ll cycle east through Europe and across Russia. Pedalling through Siberia in winter and then crossing the Bering Straits when they’re (partially) frozen from Uelen to Cape Wales. The Bering Strait will be by far the most dangerous and challenging part of the trip. I’ll essentially be manhauling me and a floating sled across 50miles of slush ice and strong currents mainly in the dark.

From Cape Wales in Alaska I’ll run to New York finishing with a New York Marathon in November 2011.

What could possibly go wrong?

Dan, I wish you the best and will try to support you any way I can.

The road to recovery: swim, cycle, blog

8 11 2009

Hamstring tear or not, I’m working out. Swam 30′ pain free minutes on Friday and made a half-hearted attempt at aquajogging. I’m sure it is an excellent post-op recovery method, Wikipedia, but you look like a doofus out there (lexical hat tip to Sandy W.). On Saturday, I cycled. For an hour. I. Love. My. Bike. Will go for a longer ride today and try to resume jogging on Monday.

Picture taken from the brilliant website.

First Ironman, now José James: K-Swiss

4 11 2009

First, K-Swiss partners with IM, then with and now with the man.

I can’t wait for José’s sophomore effort, Blackmagic, to drop. I know what I’m buying my family and friends for their 2010 birthdays/anniversaries/newborns/sex changes.

Playing with the big boys: Bruno Clerbout

12 10 2009

Hometown favorite Bruno ‘Bruce’ Clerbout made a phenomenal Kona debut, taking 25th place overall with an astonishing 3:01:01 marathon. I have never seen Bruno this ecstatic. Way to put your name on the international triathlon map, Bruce. Ditto for Pieter Hélin (53rd place overall, as an agegrouper!). Here’s a hip hop mix to celebrate your achievements.

“Retüling” my aero position

15 09 2009

Did the unthinkable this morning: took a break from writing and drove to near Aalst to have my optimal aero position “retüled”. Shop owner John – a former amateur cyclist turned amateur triathlete – is Belgium’s first qualified Retül fitter. Retül brings 3D motion capture to bikefitting. It is a very accurate, tech-heavy and transparent method for establishing optimal cycling position. Costs a pretty penny, too.

The protocol works like this: following a brief intake interview, motion detection markers are attached to your wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle and foot. Two cameras then record your pedal stroke. This allows for very accurate, dynamic measurements of cycling biomechanics. For instance, in the video below, you can see that my right leg pedal stroke is slightly irregular in comparison to my left leg pedal stroke (which is perfectly horizontal).

In the end, your measurements are translated into an optimal aero position. Here is the before and after video. The top frame mirrors the bike position I had during my LD debut in Brasschaat. Notice the more compact, relaxed bike fit in the bottom frame.

Rutger Beke hurts foot, breaks Zipp wheel

3 09 2009

Poor Rutger, just five weeks before *the* race, he slips off his pedal while mounting his Ridley while storming out of T1 during yesterday’s Zwintriatlon. The result: deep flesh wounds caused by broken Zipp spokes, requiring immediate surgery. He may have to forfeit Hawaii. Ai ai. Say it ain’t so, Rutger. Really wanna see you shine in Kona.

[H/T:, picture by Annick Caneele]

Belgians are of two physical types

29 08 2009

Having tossed me this personal-narrative bone, van Lierde strips down to his swimsuit. The Belgians, it has been said, are of two distinct physical types: the ample, rosy burghers famously depicted by Rubens, and the wraithlike subjects of van Gogh. Stomping around in rubber boots, complacently hosing down the pool deck, Damien van Houck appears pure Rubens. Lean and rope-muscled, his hair a severe black skullcap, van Lierde seems van Gogh to the core.

John Brant profiles Luc Van Lierde in Outside Magazine, November 1997.

A boy amongst men: Alistair Brownlee

15 08 2009

I have just witnessed the coming of age of Alistair Brownlee at the London ITU Olympic distance triathlon. He won the race in a blistering 1:41:50, his fourth consecutive ITU win. Phenomenal. How he manages to squeeze out that kind of power from his 11-year-old physique is beyond me.

TriKa 3.0 race report: and the winners are

26 07 2009

Bruno Clerbout and Sofie Goos! Thanks everyone for making our third edition such a success. We would also like to thank our sponsors for their support, feedback and cooperation. Special shout out to Trees & David, Wendy & Jerre, Ellen & Pieter, Lieselotte & Jeroen, the Pinoy fam, Joris, Kurt, the ITM massive and the two anonymous reviewers. Much appreciated.

Men’s podium (L-R): 3. Pieter Hemeryck 1. Bruno ‘Bruce’ Clerbout 2. Geert Janssens

Bruce meets the press. I wasn’t able to shoot the women’s podium, alas. My apologies, ladies. Complete results, clickiddy-click here (overall) and here (waves).

More media coverage: