Both 2man races are now finished for team trials and Team Spring had a good start to the season. Race number 1 went well, 2 fastest pushes of the night with Derek Plug on the back fired up as per usual. Unfortunately I didn't drive as good as I would have liked and Team Rush ended up winning by 28/100ths of a second. Our 2nd run was much better, posting a time just 5/100ths behind Team Rush but the damage had been done on the first heat.
Race number 2 was much better. Derek and I equaled the fastest push on the first heat and I drove the track much better than the previous day. We were first off in the heat so I had to wait until some more sleds cam down to figure out how good the run was. Turns out it was good enough to be in first place after run number 1 but it was close...we were only 3/100ths in front of Team Rush.
I knew my first run was a great run and I would have to pull out a near perfect run to maintain my lead and win this race. Derek also knew the importance of the run and we both stepped it up. We pushed 7/100ths faster on the push, an amazing effort from Derek and the drive down the track...amazing. It wasn't a perfect run but it was much better than the first, one of the best runs I have had on this track in a long time. We ended up going faster on our 2nd run and winning the race by 39/100ths of a second. Derek and I were pumped at the bottom and really happy with the start of the 2man season.
The best part about this race though wasn't the winning, it wasn't out pushing the competition or driving better than the rest, it was a conversation I had in the start house before the 2nd heat. Lyndon Rush came up to me with about 5 minutes to go and spoke to me about how to handle myself, how to handle my emotions and how to lay it down when your in the winning position. He spoke about the pressures he was feeling during the 2010 Olympics before the last run where he and his team won the bronze medal and what worked for him under such pressure. Now this was definitely not as much pressure as a bronze medal position at the Olympic games, but the act of him speaking to me, helping me and wanting me to do well...that was amazing. That's what I want to feel on team Canada, that was something that was missing for a long time on team Canada and I'm not sure if it's my influence or the fact that Lyndon and I get along well together, but regardless, it was refreshing to see and hear and I am excited to race this season alongside such an amazing athlete as Lyndon Rush. Thanks buddy.
4man results to follow
I had my first 4man race over the weekend during team trials and had a blast! I started to think, why did I never race 4man before and then I remembered I used to slide for Australia and never had the money to do so, but lets not talk about that now. So to be selected to the Canadian national team I had to place well in the selection races. There are 2 X 2man races and 2 X 4man races. The weekend past was the first of both disciplines starting with 2man. I teamed up with Derek Plug and we manged the fastest starts of the night. Keep in mind that Olympic bronze medalist Lyndon Rush was not competing as he is already pre-selected for the team. So Derek and I had great starts and I manged 1 and a half good runs. My 1st run was pretty good, not perfect by any stretch but I'll take it on race day. 2nd heat was going great but had a bunch of trouble down the bottom section of the track to lose a little time. Derek and I had the fastest run in heat 1 and the 2nd fastest in heat 2 but we had enough in the bank to still finish in first place.
Onto the 4man race. I definitely was a little nervous coming into this race but training had been going well and my runs fairly consistent. The team is very new, all of us have never slid together before and Graeme Rinholm was on his 12th run of his sliding career. Even with a lack of team practice, we still managed to out push the field at the top once again which I think was the secret to the speed. We had the two fastest heat times to win the race, win my first ever 4man race in my first time racing 4man.
This weekend coming is the 3rd and 4th selection races to make team Canada and it also doubles as Canadian Championships so Team Lyndon Rush will be racing which will be awesome. I look forward to the competition and hopefully keeping him on his game. Full results are on the home page.