The End of a Quarter | Q1

Whether it is your Q1 or Q3, the end of March marked 1/4 of the way through 2016. 

My favourite questions to ponder are:

+ what’s new?

+ what failed?

+ what got better?

What’s new | A beautiful yellow rock on my left hand! The Corker Co was born. A committed strength program with Davey. A Whistler log cabin #gooooal. 

What failed | My attempt to do pull ups. #notyet A lost bidding war in Whistler. A week of cycling in Maui (cause the weather won, yet I think my newly engaged brain realllllly didn’t mind!). My kombucha production — it is a positive vinegar mess!

What got better | Running – a half marathon pb! Sold out + waitlisted classes at Method (I hope they keep getting better, cause I so appreciate everyone coming out, rain or shine). Eating, cooking and creating real food at home waaaaay more often, with no alcohol. #gamechangerperhaps

My Bro and I rocked our first quarterly business review – Q1 is in the books. We approached this more from a place of “what did we want to do” and “what actually happened”. Biggest lesson learned: we realized that we hadn’t set quarterly goals. #gasp! This was some kind of tragedy. We only set annual goals and those were too far out. Q2 will be different… #sleepmetricsmatter.


is it too late now to say…THANK YOU?

Stop waiting until it is too late to make an investment.

There was an awesome gal working for a great company. When she resigned, they threw everything you could possibly imagine at her “to get her to stay” — we will double your pay (you want USD? check!); your partner wants to move to Europe (we will send you to London!); how about equity (our stock price is gonna soar!)?  Instead and brilliantly, she advised them to take everything they were going to give to her and invest it into other high performers who haven’t yet resigned. Because for her, it was too late. 

He busts his butt to fill your studio. Granted, yoga teachers are grateful for the space to practice their gift of teaching – as the studio owner, you are way more grateful to have lit up, passionate people leading students thru their practice. Make sure he knows this. Because it’s too late when he walks down the street to the next studio…

What I believe to be true is: the investment that makes the biggest difference is gratitude. A currency that can only be given from the heart and received through the heart. Cause when you take the heart out of the equation, you are left with merely dollars and (non)cents. So pay your people well and treat your teachers like they matter; they will be grateful…and that might be the reason they stick around!

…and while it might be too late to make an investment, it is never too late to say thank you! After all, second chances are some of the best chances. Good Luck!

Be a MAKER not a TAKER

I’m surrounded by remarkable people who are up to MAKING — when I see him performing, when I hear about how her latest book is progressing, when I eat his handmade sourdough, when when I giggle because he makes me laugh — my heart skips a beat. 

Because MAKING is inspiring. It is creating. It is GENERATING.

And when I get tired, I realize it is because it is much more comfortable to live in a world of taking. We make requests to meet people to take their knowledge, their network, their time. We take their energy. 

So instead, think about everything you’ve MADE today.

+ I’ve made a playlist for Method.

+ I’ve made over 80 people sweat on a bike!

+ I’ve made a smoothie for breakfast.

+ I’ve made an investment in my 50year old self with my favourite new skin care line from Rodan+Fields. #gamechanging (email me for deets — Nina Watts is your gal!)

+ I’ve made my room smell like heaven thanks to Saje’s newest nebulizer.

+ I made someone’s day — I told her to turn down the offer on the mediocre job cause there is a better one 2weeks away!

+ I’ve made dinner for my Man.

+ I’ve made wedding plans! (eeeeeeeeek!)

+ TeamCorker made a commitment to launch a special campaign on an Irish holiday! #tomorrow

Because of Matt Corker, what I know for sure is that everything is a relationship.  My relationship to energy is most passionately vibrational because MAKING energy is way better than TAKING energy.

Go MAKE something! Go make a memory! And most importantly, go make good on your word so that you don’t take (err, WASTE!) one single heartbeat.


The Story of 1:29

*note: this post is as much for me to reflect on the power of progress as it is to share with you. i hear blogs are so 2006, yet that is when i started running and i haven’t stopped since…so maybe change isn’t about stopping and starting; maybe it is about just keeeeeeeeeepin’ on!

I ran my first half marathon about 10years ago, approx 58minutes slower than I ran on February 15th and at least 25pounds heavier. I vividly recall crossing that finishing line feeling SO proud. I had just run 13.1 miles in 2.5 hours! It was ahhhmazing!

I like to think that I crossed that finish line, high on endorphins and have loved my running shoes every day since then. I love running ‘fast’, I love running slow, I love trails, I love the track. I love how I feel when I take my running shoes off! And it’s never been about pace times or finish line times for me because I always said “I am just not built like a runner, therefore, I will never run fast”. Yet I would religiously trot along, day after day. What I now know to be true is that it is hard to have big Kona Dreams and not be up for the run. So somethin’ was gonna need to change this year! This year, I was gonna learn how to run! Thanks to Coach Jazz, I think I’ve been on the University running program — it’s simple and consistent and I haven’t missed one minute of it. I’ve also been working with a Strength Coach in the gym who doesn’t let me off one rep of anything and a Brain Coach who is helping me to reprogram my self-talk.

I was feeling properly nervous going into the first start line of 2016. As “ready” to race as one can in February and certainly not carrying any sandbags of excuses, except: 

I landed in the hospital 48hrs before the race. When the paramedics showed up to our apartment, they were convinced that my pain was from appendicitis or I was pregnant. I informed him that I was most definitely not pregnant and I really hoped it was not my appendix because I wanted to run on Sunday! The dude told me he wanted to race IM Whistler and I told him this pain hurt way more than an Ironman! I’ll spare the details, but by the Grace of God, I left the hospital late Friday afternoon and hoped that if I slept right thru to Sunday morning, perhaps I could at least start the race.

My trusty Mikey P and I decided to start the race together in an attempt to really hold back the first 10km. This was a great choice because I was most concerned about my guts falling out! After half way, he was going to take off and I was going to try to hang on. The plan worked! We negative split the race by…alot. It is a very new feeling to hold back so much off the start and be able to finish the last 5km progressively stronger, as I am most definitely known for blowing up.  (Too bad we didn’t have another 13.1 to go cause I think we were right on track!)

Some interesting context, if I ran my first half marathon time (circa 2006ish?) I would have finished approx 957th out of 1049 female runners. Instead, I finished 35th/1049. There is nothing impressive about 35th female, but it is 922 spots higher than where I started. I reallyreallyreally wish that I could meet the ladies who finished 900th + above…I want them to know that I’m cheering them on….to simply.keep.running!

Notes to self:

+ I am so lucky to have such awesome running buddies (in the rain or shine!) for our training runs. They had great days out there and training together makes racing together even more fun!

+ Stay in awe of HotMama’s like Karen who have CHILDREN and still run a very casual 1:17.

+ Know thy body. Love thy process. Never take yourself too seriously. “Being ready” is a state of mind.

+ And always run on the track!

I have 3 sweaty goals this year and running thru the winter to a 1:29 at the First Half was goal number 1. So far, so grateful 2016 — we are off to a good start!

Leadership Lesson #6: A tribute to our Nana

In honour of Family Day this week in BC, it feels only appropriate to honour our sweet Nana who graduated to glory two weeks ago. I find myself stopping my my steps to think “what would Nana do?” more often these days.
She had a heart so big. An endless supply of patience. A sweet, positive confidence about her. Her values were strong, her work ethic real. She desired purpose and family; she never ever took one moment for granted. She wanted to create memories. She loved a surprise. And cried often over all things wonderful in life. She had cookies baked awaiting your arrival and a baby sweater ready as soon as you had news to share about a future child being born. She really lived quite simply with hardly a want in the world. She was as sharp as a whip and still emailing us on her 85th birthday!  The sweaters she knit will remain cherished family heirlooms. Her recipes will be framed and considered family legacy. And her love will live on forever. Because they just don’t make Nana’s like they made our Nana. We love you. Forever.
My Mom just informed me that Nana Ruth spent 17 years working at Fair Havens Bible Conference and another 20 years (!!) volunteering – she was the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director – a role she took so seriously! I spent my summers at the youth camp where I met best friends that I still cherish today, including my Main Man Davey.
So what do Nana’s + Summer Camp have in common? They change your life. And with that…it is the perfect time to share that we are recruiting for the Executive Director of Keats Camps in BC. All details of the role can be found here.
We know Nana would be proud.

Lessons from the Next Generation: The Founders of egg. magazine

I’m wildly inspired by the Richard Bransons and Seth Godins of the world who are obsessed with their craft of building brands and businesses, with heart. I’m also heart-wrecked when I hear anyone say they are “making a business decision” as though a business can exist without people. Never! In business, we make human decisions – relationship choices – that then impact our business or brand. While tough decisions need to be made, they can alwaysalwaysalways be done in a human way. The tough lessons sting more as adults because we have more at stake, or so we believe we do. (I think they sting more because our egos grow and get involved!)
To combat this, I’ve had the chance to jam with the younger generation on their approach and their entrepreneurial spunk is equally Branson/ Godin remarkable! This week was inspired by the hearts behind the #Girlboss movement at Nasty Gal and the CEO who is #doingthings at Outdoor Voices…and also, the sweet editors at egg. magazine in Vancouver, BC. These are indeed the next generation of leaders and I asked the youngest of the bunch a few questions…for a few good lessons:
1. why did you start this magazine?
We started the magazine purely out of boredom. Jack and Ella had just returned from a camp at the Design Exchange in Toronto where they learned to make a magazine. With 3 weeks left in the summer of 2012, they asked if I would be interested in joining their project. Since then, we’ve produced 6 issues.
 Lesson #1: Never get bored. And when boredom strikes, DO SOMETHING!
2. where did the name “egg.” come from?
The name “egg.” came from multiple brainstorming sessions. Originally, there was no real meaning behind it. We just thought it was a cool name. When people started asking us why we called it that, Jack came up with a meaning. He is the “e” as the editor-in-chief, The two “g”s are for the girls (Ella and I) and the “.” is everything else that goes into it.
 Lesson #2: What’s in a name, anyway? Make it up!
3. where the heck does your inspiration come from? (i’m so inspired!)
Our inspiration comes from our own experiences and travels. We also look for trends on the runways of global fashion weeks and adapt them to more wearable looks.
 Lesson #3: Nuff said. Coolest teens I’ve ever met. So travel the world or the web, but don’t ever get bored.
4. if you could meet anyone to feature from Vancouver in your magazine, who would it be?
If we could meet anyone from Vancouver to feature in our magazine, it would have to be tie between the founders of Earnest Ice Cream (for obvious reasons) and the founders of Herschel Supply Co, Lyndon and Jamie Cormack.
 Lesson #4: Icecream matters. More importantly, create a cool brand and a great product seems like a solid common denominator among this tie! 
5. 10 years from now, what do you your life will look like? will egg. still be around?
In 10 years egg. will still be in our hearts, but I don’t believe we will continue on this path forever.  Jack is most likely going to continue on in the field of photography or graphic design, Ella will probably go on to a culinary career, and I haven’t quite narrowed down my path for the future but it will probably be somewhere in the arts.
 Lesson #5: Cheers to the generation that will change careers 18times before they “retire”. So maybe we don’t always need to know where we are going after all…
the heartbeats behind egg. :

egg. Magazine was established in the summer of 2012 by three kids. They wanted to see if they could write, edit, photograph, and print a legit magazine in only three weeks. They succeeded and almost four years later Jack (16/Gr.10), Talia (14/Gr.9), and Ella (13/Gr.8) continue to publish new issues of the magazine at least twice a year. The trio focusses on bringing together personal experiences, Vancouver’s unique businesses and fashion trends. In early September they celebrated the release of their sixth issue which featured an interview with Omer Arbel, a tour of Herschel Supply Co’s Vancouver headquarters, and 4 fashion shoots. They sell each issue at 3 retailers including Vancouver Special, Walrus and The Circle in Whistler. They have a sizeable Instagram  following and solid fanbase of readers. They have plans to release Issue nº7 in mid-2016 so keep these kids on your radar!

KONA: Part 3 – why scales + hair(s) just don’t matter

This post is comin’ attcha live from my favorite cycling trip of the year: Big Vertical Camp in Thousand Oaks, California. Coaches  Jasper + Mike put on an exceptional camp and attract some seriously remarkable cyclists to ride (err, try to keep up!) with. As I jumped on my new cervelo (gleeeeeee!) this morning, it felt like this was the first Kona Camp of 2016. So best I wrap Kona 2015 and get on with it, eh!

Kona: Part 3 – Why I will never step on a scale to weigh myself ever again and more…

 As I mentioned, I landed on the Big Island in a solo mission two weeks before race day. The goal was to get out of the rain in Vancouver and get adapted to the heat and humidity as quickly as possible. What actually happened was that I landed in Kona and got the sh*t kicked outta me! I called my bestie and told her I was 40lbs overweight and didn’t deserve to be on the island. I went for a 2hr bike ride and nearly got blown off my bike, reminded by the power of the winds. I was dripping with sweat while sitting under an umbrella in the shade at 5PM, not moving wondering how it would feel to still be running at this time on race day?

Lesson #1
One day in the heat of the humidity and a selfie looked like this –-

This might look like a lame self-portrait to you, but you see that curl on my forehead? That curl is a result of me cutting my widow’s peak in grade SIX. I always wanted to wear my hair in a pony tail and was teased for having a widows peak – I was called a vampire, so would quickly take my hair out of a pony tail and try to cover it as best as I could. Until one day, I thought it would be really smart to shave it off. I cut it down as best as I could and then borrowed my mom’s electric razor (remember when mom’s had those?) and proceeded to trim it down. Of course, this was tragic as it grew back very quickly with spikes sticking out of my forehead like some sort of dinosaur. And to this day, those strands of hair have never fully grown out – they protest and curl and remind me that I’m not a vampire and don’t mess with what you’ve been given!

Lesson #2
Well, race morning in Hawaii means stepping on a scale. It’s the only IM I’ve had to weigh in at and I vividly recall stepping on the scale in 2012 and feeling okay with the number starring back at me. I was the fittest that I had ever been in my life and I remember thinking if this is how much I weigh, than that is okay! Since Kona 2012, I have gone to see an energy healer and my only question to him was “am I going to be chubby for the rest of my life?”; I did seek out nutritional coaching with a bench mark of success to not feel like “sausage stephy”; and I did make some significant shifts to my relationship with food, especially over the past year. I would say that between more sleep, better nutrition and quality sweat, I was going into Kona 2015 truly in the very best shape of my life. (I think I might have even dropped 2 clothing sizes!) But you know what? When I stepped on the scale on race morning, I was not 2 full pounds lighter than 2012. NOT TWO! In 3 years, I had finished 8 IM races and was embarking upon what I was hoping to be the best race of my life…and was starting the race less than 2pounds down. It’s easy to say that the numbers doesn’t matter…but really really…I’m ditchin’ the scale!

Race night. When crawling into bed felt like too far to go…perhaps what this feels like for people who are trying to “lose weight” on a scale?

Lesson #3
The day after the race, I could barely move my neck from side to side as it was chaffed raw from my skin suit (my fault: I didn’t apply appropriate amounts of body glide). It hurt to walk as my chubby feet were covered in blisters – especially on the tips of my toes. Danielle would carefully apply polysporin which would subside the pain on my neck momentarily until it rubbed off on something and I would beg for reapplication. And Mikey P took a needle and went to town squirting my blisters dry! It was the best feeling! We celebrated with mai tai’s on the lanai and within less than one hour, each and every blister had properly refilled itself. (Lesson from the rower Bro was that we didn’t thread them – check!) I was in absolute awe – we punctured DEAD skin to let blisters air dry and our smart-as-stink bodies just know what to do to prevent and protect. The next day, with my puffy lil feet, we went swimming with dolphins. In and out of flippers and salt water, each blister was yet again punctured and this time, I got off the boat with feet as good as new and a neck rash that felt miraculously healed?! So ditch the creams and the potions and head to the ocean with your friends for real healing!

Bro chasing the dolphins!

The power of Acceptance of these sweet vessels we have been given is not lost on me. Be it a widows peak, a number on a scale or battered feet. No Judgement. Only Love. (and a whole lotta hard work!) On the other side of the mountain of Acceptance, is a sweet town called BELIEF: population 1, you! That’s where you will find me this year.


KONA: Part 2 – The #irontribe

Just like that: the first week of a fresh new year is complete…I’m excited for 2016!

I’m also excited for every darn class that I lead at Method Indoor Cycling. It has become a really awesome community hub where cyclists and recreationalist all come together. (I’ve heard people mocking me at Christmas parties and my Man tries to recite my gear choices when certain songs come on the radio. It’s pure joy…well, pure sweat and JOY!) The reason why I’m telling you this is because to kick off the new year at Method we talked about ditching goals and really committing to what you will FINISH this year. <i could go on…but that is another post.> And after reading Bro’s wise words on completing last year, a gentle nudge from my ever-supportive-Mama and then a full on call out from a fellow trigeek, I am going to hit publish on Kona Part  2 and Part 3.

So here it is…and timely. Because Finding your Tribe and Loving them Hard has no start line or finish line. Your tribe is there for all types of start lines and various forms of celebratory finish lines; my love for the #irontribe is far beyond Ironman.

KONA Part 2: Everything I’ve needed to know I’ve learned from the #irontribe

PapaBear booked his ticket to Kona before the sun set in Whistler on race day. This man flew across the continent to be there. He shows up where no one else is, with his huge Canadian flag and loses his voice cheering right until the very end. He has taught me to always go the distance!

Chad is the definition of impeccable. There really is no other word for this man. His heart is huge, his hospitality is unparalleled, his truth is real and he has welcomed us Corker’s into his life with so much love. I have learned the power in preparing for dinner the night before, so that everyone can feast on love together the next day!

Barb has been my go-to massage therapist in Vancouver. She is usually fully booked between patients and her awesome adventures. What I love about her is that she always finds a way…to bring the massage table along and treat us with her magic hands, while still waking up before 5AM to go for a run. There is never an excuse from Barb. Ever.

Coach Jasper has served as a constant reminder in staying unattached to the outcome and focused only on the present – with integrity of your very best effort. While I’m insanely grateful for his coaching expertise and every interval he had me do leading up to the race, I’ve learned more from his pep talks on ego and the power of coke than I ever learned in school.

he’s also taught me to never take myself too seriously! #shirtsoff

Danielle booked her accommodation in Kona in June. #WTHeck! She just believes before you have a second to doubt yourself. She is a beautiful author, artist, poet + Mama; I show up to her house sweaty with protein smoothies – it’s a soul sistahood that just works that way cause we share hearts of equal size, function and passion! She has taught me that our heart truly get what ever our heart desires, and that those moments are indeed best when shared.

Danielle’s son, H was a true champ in the Kona heat, without one chirp of a complaint all day long. (IM is long for adults; I think it might almost be unfair to bring kids out on race day.) That said, it was the day after the race when he was body surfing epic waves and no one could out last him in the ocean that I found so impressive. I wanna have his relentless pursuit of pure joy and play in my life!

Mikey is my training partner in crime. Hours on his wheel, hanging on at the track and sorting thru life-logistics were probably more than a full time job. He is the king of doing WHATEVER it takes. And he has taught me that it really can be fun to work hard together! #funmatters (I’m seriously grateful to his partner Kyle for not only sharing him with me all year but also sending him to Kona as a birthday surprise. That was unreal!)

Matt/ Bro aka Captain Corker is the mastermind behind the #irontribe. He has an uncanny ability to bring people together to get excited about quite literally, anything. Yet what he has taught me is the power in believing in someone else, in their dream, more than they could believe themselves. If you need a dream catcher or believer, I tell you, Matt Corker is your Man!

DaveyF is simply the love of my life. I’m not certain that in this lifetime I will ever be able to properly thank him for his endless support. I don’t take one second of it for granted. He has taught me the power of love, truly.

Honourable mention to:
+ the #teamtrav posse who hung out with a really rad lululemon crew. They were there to support their pro athletes of team BMC and of course, I was so insanely grateful for their cheers – Trav’s words of never taking a moment for granted and Lauren’s virgin Ironman delight!

+ to the power of technology cause every last text, facebook message, TeamFranti’s video message, squeals from my Mama…they all meant something in the moments of butterflies leading up to the race.

+ friends and familiar faces of Vancouver – Britni + Warren are a power duo that really know how to make the dream work and I don’t know anyone who trains as beautifully + religiously as Britni!; MJ + Steve are the example of neverever giving up (I might have passed Steve in a portapoty and MJ’s cheers are always of pure surprise! I love that about her.); Barry + his family …cause once that man decides to go for something, not even a broken foot will hold him back. His relentlessness is one of my favorite qualities

+ TeamBicicletta – Graham + Kevin bring a level of calm, cool and collected cause GFox can ride circles around trigeeks, so I’m certain he thinks Kona is really no big deal! It keeps us real. ;)

This was the crew who made the week in Kona something special. Thank you! If this is the crew who I get to make memories with for the next 39weeks en route to Kona2016 and then for the next 390weeks thereafter, I consider myself so totally lucky. I’ve found my tribe and I promise I’ve got so many heartbeats of love for these people!

Now go find your tribe… xo

#best9of2015: Top 9 Lessons from my Bicycle

1. Just start. January is a great time to get fit. Heck, January is a great time to kick off a training camp in the sunshine! Big Vertical Cycling Camp was some of the most beautiful riding I’ve ever done, with remarkable human beings, hanging on for dear life. Can’t wait to go back to kick off 2016.

2. Life is freakin’ precious and nevereverever take one day (of riding) for granted. This was my last ride with #teamtrav – it was the end of February and we climbed Cypress Mountain. Less than two weeks later, he was in the hospital recovering from ultra-surgery and *luckily* not paralysed.
3. Always be up for the adventure. Davey had a conference in Dubrovnik and we thought it would be fun to cycle the islands of Croatia. His longest ride through hair-pin-euro roads made for white knuckles and awesome memories.
4. It’s worth the climb. Haleakala is my favorite ride of all time. It always reminds me to find comfort in the uncomfortable and joy in the journey. Not to mention (weather) change — the only true constant in this lifetime.
5. And climbing is meant to be done with best friends. This was taken on May 2nd with Mikey, our first ascent of Pemberton to Whistler. We did this climb 12times between May and race day (IM Whistler). Something tells me we have even more of these in store for 2016!
6. Never. Freakin’. EVER give up. This was my 7th attempt to qualify for IM Hawaii. This pic was taken at IM Whistler 60km into the bike ride when I was about to call it a day. I was freezing cold and completely deflated with a darn mechanical. While it wasn’t my fastest race, it was indeed my most proud finish line with a ticket to Kona! (1st F30-34/ 2nd amateur female OA)
7. “Find your tribe. Love them hard.” – Danielle LaPorte We’ve packed Method Indoor Cycling to gain qualify fitness  friendships on the bike. Rain or shine, I’m always so insanely grateful to have a full room to rock out hard intervals with.  ‘cause how you do anything is how you do everything!  
8. We live in a beautiful place with beautiful people. The Whistler GranFondo might just be an annual event on our calendar. It is the most gorgeous ride on the coast with great aid stations! Yet what really made this special was riding with Sian who I had the sweet pleasure of coaching to her first IM finish line this year. The B78 Coaching crew full of eager athletes has given sport an even greater purpose to me. It reminds me of the vulnerability of really pouring your heart into something you love for no greater reason than the love of it!
9. Do it for the L O V E!  When you dream a bigger dream, the world will rise to celebrate with you. When yo do it for the love, you will do whatever it takes. Qualifying for Kona2015 + Kona2016 before October, really truly felt like a dream come true. And having #teamtrav/ B78 in Kona for the big day made me realize the most important days are the ones spent with people we love…doing what we love. So let’s do more of that!

KONA: Part 1 – Ironman Hawaii Race Report

Ironman Hawaii was my 3rd IM finish line in the last 3months, so to declare that I’m properly cooked is an understatement. As my blisters subside and the chaffing heals, I’m reminded just how remarkable our bodies are. I want to capture the facts and more importantly the feelings of this really special event, I want to share my gratitude for all of the cheers and I want you to know what it feels like to weigh in on race morning. I have 3 posts compiled and I hope you will stick around for the aftermath of Ironman Hawaii 2015.

Kona: PART 1 – IRONMAN HAWAII Race Report


I landed on the Big Island 2weeks before the race in an attempt to get acclimated and out of the Vancouver rain. Two weeks was great and, I think next year it might be longer. I spent the first week getting my patoot kicked by Madame Pele and the Kona sunshine, which didn’t leave a ton of room for confidence going into race day. Yet I knew I wasn’t going to be alone in the battle against the lava fields and there is something sort of grossly comforting knowing we will all be suffering. Race week arrived and so did my sweet Man. There is alwaysalwaysalways a certain kinda peace with him around. I know he wants the best and I also know he will love me just the same if I completely implode. Coach Jazzy also arrived with bro-in-law Chad and the pre-#irontribe was complete. We had a week together before the rest of the crew landed. They shopped and cooked and beached and ran and laughed and lanai’d. It was awesome. And by the end of the week, despite a few moments of serious pre-race nerves, I was feeling really darn grateful and ready to do what I love to do so much…race!

Race Morning

I slept like a baby and sprung out of the bed as my Bro + Mikey had arrived at midnight the night before! It really did feel like Christmas morning and Santa was waiting in the living room. This has become some sort of routine – coffee, peanut butter on a bagel with 2chubby bananas, grab a bottle of electrolytes and get out the door! Mikey, Bro, Davey are the pre-race Ateam. #nextyearmikeyraces (there will be more on the #irontribe in the next post…)


We got in the water early and were waiting around for the age group men to go off 15min before hand. (FYI: 15min on race morning, treading water feels like an eternity!) Once it was our turn to swim out to the start line, a group of women took off from shore and it was in that moment that I was oh-so-quickly reminded that this was the World Championships and the best of the best were there. I was quickly pummelled and women were swimming on top of me in short order. When we stopped at the line, I looked up and who was beside me but B78’s very own Britni! Every time we race together, I swear we end up seeing each other side by side at the start and it is just so cool. She is an athlete that I very much look up to and this was her 10th Kona experience. Alas, the gun goes off and the water battle begins. After about 400m a few packs had formed and by 1500m we were catching the men. I tried to stay on the toes in front of me yet found my sighting to be horrible and by the first corner my neck chaffing was really bugging me (which made sighting even more challenging). No excuses – I wasn’t swimming in a straight line and I wasn’t swimming as well as I know I can. I always focus on swimming as well as I can from buoy to buoy and that was all that I could do. I exited the swim and look down at my watch in disappointment. OY! Well, it happens…and there was nothing I could do except scurry thru transition (wait…why were there so many ladies in the change tent with me?! Oh right…Kona!) and focus on a great bike. The volunteers at every.single.event are truly remarkable, but I gotta say – the volunteers here were NEXT level. I had 3 people, speaking different languages, getting my shoes on and sunscreen lathered and out that door as fast as can be. #mahalo


I had an agreement with Bro + Davey that if I was top20, I wanted to know my placing, however, if I was more than 20th, I didn’t care to know. (And the deeeeep deeeeeep down goal was that if I could finish top10 in my AG I would be utterly elated!) I also had an agreement with Coach that nutrition and effort were all that I could manage on the bike. So I whipped my Sugoi Speed Suit up over my shoulders (the BEST decision on outfit choice, ever!) while running to my bike, with a calmness that as soon as I hopped onto that saddle, it was time to hunker into the “game plan”. With SERIOUS gratitude to the Cervelo team + Velofix Hawaii, I felt very confident that my bike was ready to ride so it was only going to be a question of my lil engine. I got out onto the highway and realized I was in the middle of the men’s race with not many ladies around. And sure enough, by the time I hit the #irontribe, I saw Davey holding up 8 fingers! I was 8th! That got a fist pump and a big “heck yes”…and out to the highway I went. I wasn’t smart enough to know what race numbers corresponded to what age group, which was an absolute blessing at this stage(!!) of the race. A few ladies would pass me and then we’d pass some more men, so it was a proper game of cat and mouse. I knew my HR wasn’t to creep over 155 (I beat high!), I knew where my watts should be and I knew I was going to drink every 5 minutes/ eat every 10minutes – I made that agreement with myself. My ride was going well out to Hawi – I saw Pops at the turn around waving his huge Canadian flag and I saw the famous speedos with a jumping LaPorte in Waikoloa which was the last happy moment of the bike.

Wardrobe Change! They really know how to cheer!

Because moments later, Ma Pele let the head winds rip and despite my best efforts to stay positive and maintain my agreements, it felt like a furnace of hot air being blasted at my head and the idea of “a fast bike split” was quickly disappearing. I was really bummed because my swim had already been slow, enough women had passed me that I thought I surely had slipped into 30th and the only thing I thought I could control would be a best time and that too was slipping away.


T2 in Kona is a mean joke – because nothing feels quite as great as hoping off your bike, yet nothing hurts quite as much as running bare foot around the entire perimeter of the pier to get to the change tent. However, yet again, volunteers FOR THE WIN, as they draped my shoulders in an ice cold towel, vaseline’d my chaffing/ sunburnt neck and didn’t tell me how hot it was. I saw Lifesport’s Dan Smith as I was coming into T2 and wanted to exit quickly to try to run with him – at this point in the day, misery certainly loves company! Surprisingly, I got out on my feet and felt pretty okay physically, but the mental battle was a challenge. I promised to give it my best on the final IM of the year and I really wanted my times to reflect that effort…and I was feeling down about that not being my reality. However, within the first couple of miles, I passed the #ironboys who were all cheers and Jasper who made me feel like I was having an “okay” day. I also passed lots of people walking. And it hit me then that this was not a day about being top10 or a best time. This was a day of remembering how hard I had worked to have the PRIVILEGE of running down Ali’I Drive. And with that, I was off to trot my way thru this marathon. I saw TeamVancouver on the out and back – the men of my hometown were all in fine form and TeamBicicletta were all smiles despite the carnage. I actually think I recall GFoxxy trying to take a picture after an aid station where I couldn’t throw water on my face fast enough – thank goodness that didn’t make the instagram feed! By the infamous Palani Hill, there was just not a lot of grace left in my heart – it was gonna be a whole lotta grit to finish this race. I pride myself on usually being able to go to a happy place, a grateful place while suffering and it was realllly really tough on race day to find that special place. Thankfully, I hit the top of the hill and was greeted by none other than TeamMcKenzie – Trav + Lauren were in full force. Lauren was the ultimate and I looked at Trav and said “please tell me something” – I will not forget the look on his face that just said “ be grateful you are doing something that I wish I was doing right now”. We’ve raced in TeamTrav hats all season and there was something really special about seeing them out on the race course – it was like the belief in the dream to race in Kona, this year or next year was a united force. Moments later, Coach Jazz was out on the Queen K on his bike and I don’t have words for this experience. He rode a km or so ahead of me and had the best combination of encouragement meets tough love, but ya know what else he had was the attitude of a champion. Women would run by me and he’d ride up on them to offer them words of wisdom and encouragement. I’d watch him cheer for every single person. His IronSpirit runs deep and he is so there to see everyone cross the line.

these guys!

And when I hit the Energy Lab, the boys popped up with tunes + new custom t’s that brought the first smile of the run to my face! Oh these guys! I knew they had to travel to get out there and they were the icecube to a warm drink – they made it SO much better. The energy lab was a hot, soul sucking journey as it always is. Climbing out of it really makes you question if you can make it home? I swear it was at least 6degrees hotter at the turn around. Well, yet again, I see the #ironboys…they ask me how I’m feeling and to be honest, at this moment in time, I fight back tears of defeat and say “I feel like I’ve got 10km to go”. I see the look on Mikey’s face as he proceeds to take a team selfie running alongside me and I know that his heart beats to be racing Kona2016.

leaving the energy lab, barely getting one foot off the ground. #thestruggleisreal

So I rallied those final 10km, like I was racing with my Mikey. I tried to walk for less time at the aid stations. I took in more salt. I tried to just…keep…moving…forward. With 1mile to go, ONE MILE, I had run back to TeamMcKenzie – I was hoping Lauren would run with me and truthfully, I was nervous to see Trav because in that moment, I just didn’t have the capacity for the best kinda tough love he knows how to dish. And ya know what he said “savour this moment, take it all in on Ali’i”. Of course he knew exactly how I was feeling – he’d been there the year before – and he knew the sufferfest. This is when I really recognized how raw and vulnerable it is to race “your best”. It takes guts. Lauren was all love and trotted along side of me shouting sweet words of GO, while I heard Trav say “you are top 10”. #WOAHWOAHWAOH I asked Lauren to look behind and see if any girls were running up on me. She promised me that there was no one in sight*. I thought that I would give it my everything and hope Trav was right that I was closing in on Top10. That last mile is the second meanest joke of Kona because it feels way too long.

Well, guess what? As I turned the corner onto Ali’I Drive – the cheers went from “go steph” to “go girls”….I was getting passed with 400m to go! And I was getting passed with intention – she turned back and looked at my race number and took off! I screamed “how old are you?” to which she said “your age” and I knew the race was not over yet. The story of my season has been getting out-sprinted. 2nd OA amateur at IM Whistler just isn’t quite the same as WINNER and 11th is just not the same as Top 10 in Kona. So with all of my might, with a very calculated guess of how long I could sprint, I waited 50m and went for it. I went ALL IN, like a Tuesday morning track session. And I beat her!

(*To Lauren’s credit: this chic was 90sec back with 1mile to go, so she was seriously hunting me down!)

I crossed the line 10th, as the first Canadian in my AG and the second Canadian female of the day! (Unfortunately, our two Canadian pro’s didn’t finish.) I crossed the line with absolutely everything I had in me. This might not have been a best time, but it was indeed my very very best effort. And for that, I am both insanely grateful and mighty proud.

Stay tuned…coming up next:

Kona: Part 2 – Everything I’ve needed to know I’ve learned from the #irontribe…CaptainCorker, my Davey Frey + their tribe make for the most special experience. (And it is a LONG day for spectators, yo!)

the #irontribe in #teamtrav hats!

Kona: Part 3 – Why I will never step on a scale to weigh myself ever again