After a few years off the short stuff I jumped into the Multisport Canada Recharge with Milk Wasaga Beach Olympic distance race last September to get ready for Hawaii. That was a very rude reminder how much speed based triathlon racing hurts! Apparently I forgot all about that because this past Sunday I raced the Woodstock triathlon as part of the Recharge with Milk triathlon series.
The first thing I absolutely loved about the race was how chilled out it was. Everybody was really social. The conservation area was small and tightly spaced so everyone had to gather around and share laughs. The Hero Burger food and Recharge with Chocolate Milk booths were hopping and the expo was jammed packed with great deals. It reminded of racing when I first started! I loved the vibe instantly. Add onto that Steve Fleck's very personable announcing, complete commitment to give updates to the days real event (Ryder Hesjedal's Giro winning Time Trial!), perfect racing weather, and well, we had a great formula for success here!
My goals were modest but firm. I wanted to swim well, bike hard, then run under 30 minutes for 7.5KMs finishing under 1:30 total.
I started in the first wave with pro, under 39 men, and elite age groupers and boy, I was SHOCKED how fast these kids were to start the swim! HOLY! I thought I did great work this winter getting my swim up to speed but WOW!! Instantly gapped. I rounded my swim in just over 11 minutes and by the looks of quality swimmer times either the swim was a tad long, or a current kept us at bay on the way back to shore. I came out of the water about 9th with some work to do.
As the bike started the sensations were odd. I am used to flying and flying I was not. Getting over on my gear proved difficult but I smiled and enjoyed the pain. Embracing the power of lactic acid I did everything to try and get to the front but only got to 5th coming off the bike. Generally I was pleased. My heart rate told me I was racing hard, about 95% of threshold the whole way. I can't really ask for more. I just need more threshold bike work and maybe, just maybe less wine-:)
Out onto the run I was prepared to feel serious pain. First the legs felt great, then they felt like they were on fire, then they felt great again. It was on/off. I loved it though! The run course was hard packed gravel pathway and was really inviting to almost get lost in what you were doing vs. those darn road out and backs so many races have. A beautiful winding pathway provided plenty of distraction from the pain chamber I was in. Slowly but surely I was reeling in 4th place when I took a wrong turn in the loop. I went left not right. Getting turned around I lost about 45 seconds all told and ran a bit angry for 800 meters. Then my legs asked me what the hell I was doing as I really locked up!
I was then passed by a 26 year old kid; ah, man. I learned his name is Art Hare and the dude can run. I was talking to myself to stay with him but then I laughed at this thought:
- Dude, you're 41.
The final few km's I kept my pace steady and prayed the suffering would end! As I turned the corner to finish I had to laugh, 1:30:20 finish time and just over 30 minutes for my run. Losing my bearings cost me but that's racing. I shrugged it off. I was having to much fun!
As I shrugged it off the kid (like Art at 26 is a kid? To 41 it is!) was all sportsman talking to the race director John Salt telling him I misfired a corner. John took that really seriously and asked his race course lead to come talk to me. We shared our thoughts all in the name of continous improvement for next year. I will tell you this, no other race series I have raced takes that opportunity to listen to the athlete. I was very impressed. the Multisport Canada team really have taken their series up a level. I am impressed.
Thanks to John Salt, his team, Steve Fleck for great announcing, all the sponsors of the event, my personal sponsors or Endurosport, New Balance Toronto, Cervelo, IFG, and Rudy Project.
Last, a really big shout out to Eon Dornellas. It was great to catch up my friend and glad you are doing amazing!!!!
Next up is Binbrook as part of the same triathlon series June 9th.
Train safe friends and thanks for reading!