Monday, 17 June 2013

Guelph Lake Olympic Distance triathlon

So my first race in Canada... and also my first race this year, actually. I was really looking forward to it. Coach Sheri even gave me the day off the day before the race, just so I could go really hard! She did drop a bombshell though - I was not to use my watch! Now if you know me, I'm not a high tech gadget person, but I do like my timing splits. I'm a habitual watch-looker, even when I'm not working out. Anyway, she wanted me to focus on my form and technique and I guess the Olympic distance is short enough for me to go really hard without having to worry about the time.

Guelph is about 1 hour 40 minutes drive away. As the race start was a late 8.50am, I was able to leave on the race morning itself without having to spend the night in Guelph. It was pouring heavily as I was driving down. I hoped that it would stop when I got to the race venue but it didn't. I arrived at about 7.30am, did the usual race pack and timing chip collection, bike racking, last minute toilet visit etc. It's been a while since I've gone through this ritual.

If you look closely enough, you can how wet my bike was. After I came out from the swim, that yellow towel of mine was brown with mud!
I bumped into Sheri right before the start of the race. She's competing in the women's 55-59 age group and we were starting in the same wave. Now, don't be fooled by her age. She is one fast lady! Apart from trying to get a PB, deep down I was also really afraid of getting beaten by her!

The swim was a one loop - rectangular course, going clockwise. The water was pretty calm and visibility extended up to the end of my fingers. For some reason, I was swimming mostly on my own. I thought I swam pretty well - I kept close to buoys.  Although my time wasn't really a reflection of what I felt. I came out of the water in 25:22 but looking at the results, only one person swam under 20 minutes today, so I guess I wasn't too bad. Sheri was hot on my heels coming out in 26:12!

Into the muddy transition area. Had my helmet and sunglasses on without much drama. Onto the bike, it still hasn't stopped raining. It took me a while to get on the saddle as the road out was a bit bumpy. It stayed rough for about 5kms or so. We had a couple of sharp corners before the 10km mark. With the slippery roads, I played it conservatively and really squeezed on my brakes far before the corners. I was feeling pretty good up until the turnaround point. I was clocking over 35kph on my bike computer, it was the only digital feedback I had for this race! Hey, she didn't say anything about not using a bike computer.

But in the second part of the ride, I started feeling really cold. And the chill I was getting from the rain water on my arms were causing me to shiver so badly I couldn't steer properly. It didn't help that I noticed Sheri coming in the opposite direction just shortly after the turnaround! I eventually got back to transition in 1:10:34 and true enough the emcee announced Sheri coming in just seconds after!

And I bolted! Probably started off the run a bit too quickly but I soon got into a rhythm. One by one I was overtaking some of the guys ahead of me. I was feeling warmer and much better now. The rain stopped too. I managed to extend my lead over Sheri a few more minutes. Finally, I crossed the finish line with run split of 41:43 and overall time of 2:20:19 - missing out on my PB by 1 minute. I was 37th overall out of 297 and 9th out of 29 in my age group. And Sheri? Well she finished just 5 minutes after, 2nd overall female and almost an hour ahead of the next person in her age group! Full results here.
Looked like as though I went for a trail or adventure race!
The finishing area was great - I had active release therapy and Subway was one of sponsors and we each had a 6 inch sub along with a bowl of salad, crackers with cheese, Powerbar Harvest and many other snacks. Sheri was really nice to give me her one of her prize - a headsweat cap. The carpark was really muddy and most of us had trouble driving out because our wheels were getting stuck.
Hopefully better weather next year!


Anonymous said...

Good timing considering the rain and cold temperature. Cant help noticing your coach slightly faster on the bike. Well done and keep it up...Blacktoes

K3vski said...

Thanks dad! Yes she is one fast lady!