For those who don’t know, four laps of Nancy Greene Lake is roughly equivalent to the distance of the first leg of an Ironman Triathlon.
Rossland’s Dallas Cain has been swimming the four kilometer circuit in the frigid alpine lake nearly every day for the last few weeks to prepare for Penticton’s Subaru Ironman Canada triathlon on Sunday.
This year, he has taken a different approach to training, putting quality training ahead of quantity. Cain competed in half triathlons and marathons this summer, forgoing the big races to focus on Penticton and freeing himself up to spend more time with his young family.
“It seems to have made a big difference, I just feel really recharged,” said Cain. “I definitely feel more ready than I ever have before, I’m just excited to see what that means.”
The Penticton race is the oldest triathlon in North America where racers swim 3.8 km, then bike 180 km before completing a gruelling 42.2 km marathon – all done in 32 C heat.
Cain was in Penticton this week scouting out the course in anticipation of the race.
After training hard this last month, he is finding it difficult to relax leading up to the triathlon.
“The saying is, ‘the hay is in the barn,’ the hard work’s been done but it’s tough to sit around especially here in Penticton when everyone is out riding and running.
“You feel like you should be doing more, the hardest thing is not to do much of anything.”
Cain won Cyswog ‘n’ Fun race in Nelson earlier this month, and took first in the half-marathon in Sylvan Lake and came second in Osoyoos.
As for Penticton, his expectations are more modest.
“My goal in Ironman racing is to break nine hours, I know no one from the Kootenays has done it . . . I’ve been chasing it for a while and for me the nine-hour mark would be a real validation of how I felt the last couple years.”
In the 2010 race, Cain was disappointed with a 9:32 time good for 32nd place overall out of a field of over 2,700 racers and 20th in the men’s professional category.
A sub-nine-hour race would put him near the top-10 amongst pros in Penticton, a great accomplishment against a world-class field of racers.
Cain’s strategy for Sunday is hoping his time in Nancy Greene water will translate into a decent swim. He’d like to get out of the water feeling good, and make up time in his best event the bike before finishing strong in the run.
After winning the amateur title at Ironman Canada in 2008, Cain turned pro, putting him on a completely new level, one that is fiercely competitive and has prize and sponsorship money riding on every race.
Cain’s brother Ryan, from Cranbrook, is also competing as an amateur and is expected to finish strong.