Canadaman/woman 2019 written by Alex Guimont
Three weekends ago was the Lac Megantic Canadaman/woman. This event is part of the XTRI Series and is an adventure triathlon with ironman distances. It consists of a 3.8 kilometre swim, a 180 kilometre bike, and a 42 kilometre run that ends at the top of Mont Megantic.
For the Past three years, Mike McKay and Dylan Page have been part of the media team that covers the event. Two web videos are made and one TV show every year. This year, I got the opportunity to join the team as the editor of the two recap videos that would be shown at the event banquet on the Monday, and later put on the Canadaman/woman website.
For me, this was a big deal. I consider myself a stronger shooter than editor, and even then, my experience in filming is minuscule when sized up beside the other guys on the team. So to be editing these two videos especially with such a time constraint, for me, felt like no small feat. I simply wanted to edit two videos that did justice to the incredible shots the guys were getting and represented the experience of the whole team.
The editor of a media team is a bit like the goalie in hockey, A team can have the best forward in the league but if the goalie is swiss cheese then it doesn’t matter for much. I was definitely feeling this pressure. However, everyone on the team was clear that they had my back and they certainly wouldn’t leave me hanging out to dry. One of the many reasons that this team is such a special one.
We arrived in Lac Megantic on Thursday evening in order to give time to setup my editing station and overall getting set up before diving into the chaos of the weekend. Friday was the day of reparage, this meant testing gear setups, meeting about the schedule for the weekend, and shooting some landscape shots. It was a good opportunity to get comfortable working with the guys, although that really didn’t take much effort.
The sprint triathlon event was Saturday morning and I got to be a shooter for this one. It was my first time shooting a live sports event, and the learning curve was steep. It did not take too long however to slip into the rhythm of it all. My job was shooting the transition zone and the finish line. It was a super great experience and I’m really happy I got to be out in the field for this.
After the first half of the competitors crossed the finish line, Mike, Dylan, and I headed to be the house so that I could sit down to start editing the recap for that day. The guys went to sleep around 10:30pm. As they were waking up at 2 am to shoot the start of Sunday’s race, I finished the edit at 2:15am, just in time to give the guys a wave as they were leaving and promptly fall asleep until I had to be up again at 7. At this point, I was stoked to be done the first edit but I knew that it was only the warm up, and the real test was still to come.
I essentially had two jobs throughout the day Sunday. I was the editor as well as acting as what, traditionally, would be called DIT, director of information technology. This is a fancy word for, guy who makes sure none of the footage gets lost. Throughout the day, SD cards would be brought to me, I would back them up, and send them back out into the field. I began going through the first batch of footage immediately. I did so until about 1 o’clock when I actually began editing the video together, and as I got further and further along, more and more footage would be brought to me. For the amount of footage that was being shot, I felt that the workflow was quite good. No doubt there were moments, okay more than moments, of being overwhelmed, but I forced myself to trust the process and just keep my head down.
Around 10:30pm I was about half way through the edit and some of the guys began to trickle back in the the house. More footage kept rolling in and the guys helped by scrubbing through their footage and pulling out the good shots. A couple hours later I finished the edit and made the final export at 4am.
All in all, Canadaman was an intense weekend that doesn’t include a lot of sleep. But the learning and the end result was well worth it. I’m glad I got to experience this event and hope for it to be my first of many.