Bike - 30K
Run - 7K
This was the third time I've done this race. Previously, I've come in 3rd and 2nd in my age group, so I only had one finishing spot on my mind.....top of the podium! Depending on who shows up, I thought I'd have a chance. I can name 3 or 4 guys who will beat me every time, but if they're not there, I thought my chances were good.
I was heading to the race site with a friend from New Hamburg (Darryl Huras) that also signed up. We were a bit late getting there and found ourselves in a bit of a lineup to get into the conservation area. After finally getting in and parked, we grabbed our gear and bikes and made our way to transition. We were both in the M35-39 age group, but the rack was nearly full (which goes to show how late we were). The overflow rack still had some spots, so we decided to just drop our bikes there, which turned out better for us anyway (better spots closer to the end of the rack). Once our bikes and gear were in transition, we went through the registration process and then back to the transition zone. By this time, it was pretty much 8am, and the race was at 8:30, so there was clearly no time to warm up.
Once I got all the gear properly laid out and my wetsuit on, it was already about 8:15 or 8:20, so I headed to the swim start to get a quick practice swim in and do a final wetsuit adjustment. I likely only got about a 75 or 100m warm up swim in before I had to get back to the line for the start. It had been pretty warm for the last week, so the water temp was pretty high. They were still allowing wetsuits, but many people decided not to bother. I wore my new sleeveless XTerra wetsuit that I got last fall. Even being sleeveless, I felt pretty hot by the time the swim was over.
At 8:30, the horn blasted and since I was in the first wave, I was off. I decided to try and go out pretty hard for the first few hundred meters, but that still didn't get me out of the thick of things. As normal, there was some grabbing and pulling going on, but I just kept on pluggin away. Normally, I drift a bit to the right, but today, I felt like I was drifting left. I started about 10-15m to the right of the buoy line, but about half way out, I had made my way all the way over to the buoy's. Oh well, at least I was still on course. Along the way, I tried to grab some feet whenever I could. People seemed to be swimming all over the place, so I think I was in and out of drafts for most of the way. Finally, we made it back to shore and the swim exit, and my garmin showed 16:02. That works out to about a 1:36/100m pace, so I was happy with that. Once out of the water, there was a decent run up a hill to transition. When I crossed the mat, it was 17:05 and I was already 1 second faster than last year and 38th overall in the swim. Good stuff!
I quickly made my way to my bike, got my wetsuit off, helmet and shades on and was off. T1 took 1 minute, which is slightly longer than last year, so I lost some time. I really need to do these transitions faster!!
Once out on the bike, I quickly got into my shoes and up to speed. The first 10K are pretty flat and fast. There was a bit of a cross/tailwind and the speeds were approaching 40kph+ and I was making my way through a number of racers. After the first out and back section, we had to deal with some hills and headwinds. At this point, I was likely in about 10th place overall and the field had started to spread out, such that I found myself biking all alone. I tried to work with another guy to try and bridge the gap to a small group just up the road, but eventually, he just fell off the pace and I was by myself. Once we got back on Wellington Rd. 18, it was a slight downhill and nice tailwind back to transition where I was averaging about 43kph. I arrived back in transition from the bike with a split of 46:14, good for 7th overall with an average speed of 38.9kph. Interestingly, this is where I improved the most over last year, as I did the bike course about a minute and half faster this year. I quickly racked my bike, got my shoes and visor on and was out of there in 42 seconds.
Garmin Bike Split Data
At this point, I was just behind an athlete (James Corcoran) who I battled with at last years race pretty much the entire way. I only slightly outran him last year, so I thought I might be able to catch him. As we started off, we stayed consistently close (I was about 100m behind him). After a few K though, he started to pull away. I kept running along at a decent pace, just under 4 minute K's. The run had two out and back turn-arounds, so after the first turn-around, I noticed I was in 8th place overall and running pretty much by myself. There wasn't even anyone in front of me to go after, and the nearest person behind me was about 25 seconds back, so my goal was to stay in 8th and not let anyone pass me. After the second out and back, I noticed I was gaining on the racer in 7th, but there just wasn't enough time to catch him. I still held a decent lead over they guy behind me, so I just maintained a good pace all the way back to the finish line which I crossed in 1:31:58. My run split was 26:59, good for a 3:52/K pace and an improvement of 13 seconds over last year! My total time this year was about a minute and a half faster than last year, which was all due to the faster bike split. The one thing that might have helped this along was the fact that last year, I rode my Zipp 808 rear, but this year I had my disc?....or possibly, I might be more fit from all of the IM training. Likely a little bit of both!
Garmin Run Split Data
So after the race, I waited around for Darryl who finished about 9 minutes later (Interestingly, our swim and bike splits were nearly identical, but my bike is a lot stronger, which shows that if you want to do well in triathlon, you pretty much need to be strong in all three disciplines!). We both got a massage before getting something to eat and grabbing our gear. Once the results were listed, I checked to confirm my 8th place overall and hopefully first AG win in a Subaru series. Lucky for me, I did keep 8th and did win my AG, so it was a solid day!
Up next for me will likely be the Muskoka 70.3 up in Huntsville for the 4th year in a row. I hope to get a few solid training weekends in throughout August so that I can shoot for another podium spot up there, to hopefully cap off another successful triathlon season!