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March « 2010 « Mathieu O'Halloran's Blog


Archive for March, 2010

Tour of Hope day 5.

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

Hey well I have been busy moving around, but heres a late report of the last day of the tour, with the 35km climb to Bagiuo!

Here a link to a viedo of the tour, credit of Reg Plops

Anyway, the day started a bit earlier than the other days and at a much slowler pace. Once we got to the bottom of Macos high way, we took a long gatorade break and then up the hill!

I went off the front to make sure I could go at my own pace. I felt pretty solid, just ticking my legs away. The most tedious part of the climb, was the fact that there was so many downhills, especially the long one before the end. It got a bit cold near the top and someof the road got a little ruff, especialy where someof the landslides had happned during the Ondoy flood last year.

Once near the top, I put on my run shoes and did some running around. But it was a bit crowded, so after a short break I decided to run back down the hill and cheer and push the other ridders gridding up the final section of the hill. Which was the steppest.

Once at the top we regrouped and then went to this field where we where greated by locals and had our pictures taken.

Anyway, here are some cool photos!


Narly old shcool bike!


Yest he climbed, up to 4000feet of Baguio on that thing with his chuck taylors!


He is the king of the mountain!

Finished the tour!


Going into the cube for photos and rest!


Me and my little Joyette taking finishers pictures ;)


THE Redg Plops.


Well, this was a good tour for a good cause. A very healthy way to see the Philippines and spread the awereness/screaning/prevention of cervical cancer. I strongly recommend anybody who has the oppertunity to join, to do it up!

I meet many new people and see many new places.
Got to now even better people that where aquaintances…
And it was great timing right after a big race!
Especialy that my race did not go as I had believed that I could perform.
This was a great way to get my mind out and about!

Up next, is a trip to Cagayan the Oro in the Mindano part of the Philippines where we will be making steps towards out social developpement program!

Keep you all posted!

Tour of Hope day 4.

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Hey again, this is 4 blogs in 4 days, woah the most I have ever done! Lets see how long I can keep this up eh! So after re-loading on lots of rice for supper and breaky, well, cereal for me ;) We where all faced with the longest day of the tour, 120km!

Heres a picture of us, rolling out of Dagupian on our way to the rolling hills of the in-land of La Union and of course, we had to deal with a few jeepneys! What did you expect, its the Philippines!


Heres a picture of me yesterday, side by side with my little Joyette! She is actucally feeling sick since yesterday, problems with sinuses and diarrhea! I know these sound like lame excuses, but being slightly de-hydrated on such hot days and long rides, can really hurt! But shes strong and a veteran of about half a dozen tour of hope!


And heres me, 25km after the start (we stop every 25-30km to regroup) having a Gatorade, my favorite flavor red…NOT we have only had red Gatorade this far, so ith kinda startig to get to me :(


At the finish, after another hot day, the last few kilometers had some serious traffic and a super hilly section just before we got greated by local doctors in San Fernando, La Union.


And after another day in the saddle, for a good cause, we went for a short open swim in the South China Sea, to lossen the body, before tomorows big day up Baguio!!!


Credit for fotos Redg Plops

Tour of Hope day 3.

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Hey todays stage started early once again, and was interupted by a crash early on because of a carless drive to cut off a group a girls who where ridding in “no mans land” Bumps and scratches where the worst injuries…

After that we got rolling of some rolling terrain outside Tarlac which was taken full advange by the Polo/Cervelo team (they almost all ride Cervelos bought at the TBB in Subic bay.


Heres Jon Jon “the ghost” Ruffino with his Ghost suite to protect himself from the sun! Hes just fresh off a training camp and came in last night!


Like I sayed, it was hot!


Srambling for some shade at each Gatorade stop!


Two bikes just standing by themselfs!


Me taking pictures of the paparazzi ;)


And here is a happy group of cervical cancer advocates at the finish in Dagupan, the cycling capital of the Philippines! Tomorow we head to La Union and then after that, the final day, the climb up to Baguio!!!


Tour of Hope day 2.

Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Hey well today’s tour day started early after a big breakfast we where off. After we left the safety of Clark, we passed through a few small towns and then the pace quickly pick up by the usual suspects from Polo tri.


Our first Gatorade stop came pretty quickly. These stops are always at a gas station every 25km to 30km and we basically take over the entire area, looking for a spot to sit in the shade!


We went through some very nice rural roads near Tarlac, which where bordered by rice fields


One thing that I always found strange is that the locals put their rice out on the side of the road to make it dry quicker! But very often, cars and motor cycles just drive over the rice on the road. Personally I would not like it if somebody would drive over my super!


Here is a picture of me and Max Telford, Max hales from New Zealand now lives on the Island of Cebu! He’s the oldest participant in the tour at 67 years young, and actually competed at the 1968 Mexico Olympics in the marathon. He also the first the run the Death Valley marathon in California and also ran from Anchorage Alaska all the way to Halifax Nova Scotia, 50 miles a day. WOAH that’s like a 6 hour flight my plane!


Anyway we got to our final destination of Tarlac city, and where we where greeted by the locals and of course, went for a run!

Tour Of Hope day 1.

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

Hey today marked the beginning of the tour of hope Philippines a 5 days 500km casual bike tour from Manila to the top of Baguio in the Luzon section of the Philippines! The main reason why I joined is because my little Joyette is one of the organizers and of course it’s for a very good cause, the awareness of cervical cancer!


We started early, at 4 am to get to the start line in Makati City! After registration, chatting with friends and the briefing, we where off!


There’s actually a few celebrities joining the tour this year, amongst the 100ish riders and if anybody has been to Makati city and then driven to Clark Freeport Zone, knows that there lots of traffic! So those two things made sure we had a good escort with Police and bodyguards in front, beside and behind us.

After a little traffic we got rolling. There’s a variety of levels ridding here, and this is by no means a race, but a tour for awareness. The pace was mostly pedestrians and we stopped and regrouped every 25km for a Gatorade brake.


We got to our hotel in Clark after lunch, about a 100km total and a few of us went for a short run off the bike at the local park, which has a really nice 2.5km path for running!

At night, we had a Japanese supper with a short de-brief from the day, a little more on cervical cancer awareness and then what’s up for tomorrow!


credit Redg Plops for fotos

IM China race report.

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Hey heres a brief blog about my race at IM China.

On the start line, given who was present, I had only 1 goal, and that was to NOT lead the swim, and just save energy for the rest of the day. READY GO! I swam the majority of the swim behind my teammate Hiro as he navigated us in zig zags around a sea of age groupers over an un-orthodox 4 lap swim course.

We took the outsides of the course very wide but at the middle buoys, we just had to get her done, even if that meant going over a few age groupers…The worst where actually the breast strokers, as they would pop up in your face…That water was very murky…

Me and Hiro came out of the water, a short while behind the leader in 2nd and 3rd place respectively. If felt poised and was happy to be out of that crazy swim.

On the bike, the wind was pretty strong already, so I decided to once again pace off Hiro for the first 90km. A few riders would come storming by, I tried to go 10m behind them, but just could not, and I knew there was still a long ways to go in this race.

Actually, a big chunk of the guys that passed me on the first 90km, did not even finish the race.

At 90km mark on the bike, I took my special need and then the wind was just insane. I train a lot in the wind in Subic Bay and this wind was something else. At that point, I lost Hiro and then until the next aid station, 15km away, I struggle to move forward. This was the hardest part of the whole ride, I had to chase away negative thoughts from inside my head and just keep moving…

Finally at that aid station, I stopped, got off my bike and had some food, drank and stretch, maybe I spent 5-6 minutes there.

I got back on my bike, and started to build my rythum, next thing I know, I was passing ridders that had passed me earlier and feeling strong. I rode very strongly over the hills and I keep that feeling all the way to transition.

Once a fresh and dry pair of socks on, I started conservative, I alternate feeding on bananas and water at 1 aid station, and the next was Gatorade only, REPEAT. At the first turn around, I saw I was still in good position and could get a paycheque. After 10km I started to pass a few athletes but then at 15km, I got passed by 3 guys pretty suddenly. I keep my focus and moving forward. But at about 25km, my legs, lower back and neck where extremely tight which caused me to stop longer at the aid stations. Not to long after, my hip flexors started to cramp up, of which compelled me to walk it off…

With about 4km to go, 2nd place female Nicole Leder came up from behind me and encouraged me to run with her to the finish. I took her invitation but still had to fight off some cramps and crossed the line to be created by my teammates.

I’d like to thank all of my sponsors, The Bike Boutique, Cervelo, Avia, Blue Seventy, Louis Garneau and 3T. And especially all my fans, friends, familly and teamates. And of course Joyette, Alex and Brett who continiously believe in me, even though my race results are so inconsistent…

Going 2 China, take 3.

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Hey a lot has happened in the past few weeks. I finished off my preparation for IM China, had to take care of some paper work in the city and go some new sponsor goodies for the race.

I now travelled to the city before my flight to organize a few details before I leave, and also to make sure that I am close to the airport since I have an early morning flight on Thursday.

Been testing out my race set up in training, you know all the little details like what I will be wearing, ridding and eating. All of which have been tried tested and trued.

My home in Subic Bay is actually pretty close to the race site in China, its pretty much shares the same ocean and weather and wind. My guess is that renting a boat and floating there would be faster than taking the plane, but that’s risky and out of my budget.

Last year’s race in China was well, a disaster. Not just for me, put for many athletes on that day. I even saw the race winner, walk a few times…

This year, I am without a doubt much more prepared, mentally, physically and technically. The past 2 months have very different from last years before the race.

From what I see on the website, it will be the same course as last year, besides double the loops on the swim. Which will make it more complicated, and well break things up easily with many turns and possible currents and also the over lapping of the slower athletes.

The one thing that’s clear in my mind, is that both years I raced in China, there was crazy rain the week going into the race. And then on race day, it was clear, hot and humid.

Looks like different forecast for this year as the race is earlier. But you never know…

What’s that saying, third time lucky?