It’s spring! Hello, warmer weather and springtime road races. If you needed any more motivation to do a road race, over the March 16/17th weekend, two professional triathletes won half-marathons on the west coast. In Portland, Oregon, Jesse Thomas ran a 1:08:07 to win the Shamrock 1/2 Marathon. And in Vancouver, Rachel McBride won the Shamrock’n 1/2 Marathon in 1:20:33.

Related: Break out of winter with a 5K road race

View this post on Instagram

The smile of an overall win and half marathon PB of 1:20:31 at the @try_events Shamrock Half Marathon!! Course may have been a bit short at 20.3km (according to my Vantage V), but that still puts me at a PB of 1:23:20 (3:57/km, 6:21/mile). The flat, gravel, 2-loop course around Burnaby Lake is one of my favourite places to let ‘er rip. This was my first open half marathon finish in maybe 9 years!?! I rarely get the chance to do running races, because I have struggled so much with running injuries and just haven’t felt like I was able to stress my feet like that. (@topoathletic has made a huge impact in what I am able to do with my running!) // I am so grateful to all my coaches who have gotten me so strong already this early in 2019. The most incredible @lisa_bentley123 has given me the courage and confidence to run with my heart, trust my speed and set big goals (that I blew out of the water today!). @drmattwarddc and @restorehuman built me strong and stable. JF at @allanmcgavinclinic got my feet back on track after Kona. And @dr.jbro put my head in the right place to be f’ing strong and bust that ceiling. // I am over the moon today with this run. Time to celebrate and thank my team who makes this all possible. #ittakesavillage . . . #topoathletic #movebetternaturally #wattieink #rocktheW #compressportcanada #bloodsweatanddata #teamzealios #FieldWorkNutrition #purpletiger

A post shared by Rachel McBride (@rachelmcb) on

In 2018, McBride won Ironman 70.3 Victoria, finished second at Ironman 70.3 Mont-Tremblant and fourth at the Ironman African Championship in South Africa. Based on her Ironman and 70.3 success in 2018, she qualified for the World Championship in Kona. In her debut race, McBride came off the bike inside the top-10 and went on to finish 28th. In 2019, McBride hopes to learn from her first Kona experience and begin her qualification process at Ironman Lanzarote.

But before McBride begins her triathlon season, she will have done a number of single-discipline events. Most recently it was the Shamrock’n road race, and at the end of April, she plans to do the Cascade Gravel Grinder – a three-day gravel stage race.

These types of races give you a benchmark and are a way to keep sane (the tri season is still far out). “It gives you quick letter grade on where your fitness is – it lets you see if your plan is working or if you need to make changes,” says Karsten Madsen, a top ten finisher at the 2018 Xterra World Championship.”Doing an early season event is the perfect opportunity to get back into the racing mindset,” adds Matthew Sharpe, an elite Canadian triathlete on the World Triathlon Series.

So, check your local running or cycling series and get outside, the tri season is just around the corner.

Report error or omission