photos courtesy of Trent Dilkie

Ed. Note—with most races cancelled for 2020, local promoters and athletes of all levels are turning to smaller formats to recreate that competitive buzz. Read on for Wattie Ink. athlete Cody Beals' account of the Canadian C3 Invitational.

You may have heard of "The Big Friendly" track meets popping up in and around the wilds of Oregon, with big names competing in intimate formats as a way to dissipate some bound-up competitive energy and to put to work all of the labor associated with endurance training. The Canadian Cross Training Club (C3) and triathlon commentating legend Barrie Shepley organized a similar event last month, keeping the location under wraps to limit spectating and to maintain social distancing. The organizers ran a handicap-style race, with up-and-coming Canadian professional Tamara Jewett getting a 17-minute head start on the men. The competitors swam 2k, drove a short distance to the bike loop, completed three 18k circuits on the bike, and then charged 15k on gravel trails. Jewett held on to take the overall title, followed by Jackson Laundry (one of Beals' regular training partners) and Beals himself. Taylor Reid (another of Beals' training partners) took third place in the men's field. Beals was able to show off his custom Wattie Ink. racing kit for the first time this season, rocking his distinctive style.

How are you coming up with innovative ways to stay competitive? Drop us a line on our Facebook or Instagram pages and let us know.

Beals displaying excellent dolphin diving technique

The bike course climbed the Niagara Escarpment three times, making for a challenging circuit

Beals ran 3:28/kilometer over the 15k soft-surface run, which translates to 5:35/mile pace

A details guy, Beals never forgets to stop his watch at the finish

The final podium, with Jewett, Laundry, and Beals

All six participants of the invitational, with champion Jewett at right