From Boiling Point to 15 degrees

It was with some trepidation and a toolkit full of klister that I headed out to Canada last week having being told that only 1 out of the 7 years the meet has been running had been sunny. Thankfully though Boiling Point Wheelchair Track Classic in Windsor, ON proved to live up to its name!


As a first-time visitor to Canada, Windsor was a great place to go as it’s right on the border with the USA, so I flew into Detroit and drove over the bridge into Ontario. There’s something far more exciting about driving over a border than flying the same route, and the view down over the Detroit River is certainly a great introduction to the country. I arrived on Wednesday evening totally exhausted and headed straight out training to try and get used to the heat before Thursday’s track meet. 10 minutes in though I took refuge down a lovely shaded street to work on my sprints – however much I’d tried to acclimatise on rollers at home it was nothing compared to the temperature and humidity in Windsor! After half an hour the jetlag set in and I sleepwheeled back to the University of Windsor Alumni Hall where we were staying.

Unfortunately the jetlag was still in situ at the Twilight track meet the next day and I was disappointed with my times in the 100m and 200m. Ths was only a warmup meet for the Boiling Point allcomers and elite finals meets on Saturday, so if any races had to go badly I’m glad they happened at Twilight instead.

A relaxed day by the river on Friday, checking out the sculptures that run along the bank including a very cute elephant family and a commemoration garden with both an English and a GB flag in it that made me feel very at home turned out to be the perfect preparation for Saturday’s packed day of racing. I felt rested, relaxed and excited for the allcomers event in the afternoon and achieved Personal Bestss in both the 100m and 200m. Sadly the wind picked up for the 800m so our times were very disappointing and I elected to scratch from that event in the evening’s elite finals.

Panoramic freeze-frames from my 400m final

After a 3 hour break in which I gulped down some cereal back at Alumni Hall we returned to the track and I improved the afternoon’s sprint times again to set 2 new PBs in the 100m and 200m. As the 200m was a prize money event I was particularly pleased to come 3rd to Anjali Forber-Pratt (current World Record holder from the USA) and Shirley Reilly (another USA Paralympian). The meet ended with a pursuit in which the last athlete to cross the line gets eliminated each lap. It was my first attempt at this type of race and I expected the girls to go steady for most of the lap and sprint to the line but instead the speed stayed high so it was a tough race! I stayed in until half way and it was a lot of fun to do something a bit different after months of standard track sprinting!

It was a bit of a whistlestop trip so the next day I headed back over the border to Detroit to fly home. I had a great time in Canada and Delta upgrading me was the icing on the cake! Next weekend and the weekend after we have track meets at Bedford and Stoke Mandeville so I’m hoping they’ll bring more PBs..fingers crossed!

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