Finally got my first triathlon in for this season on Sunday. I raced the Multisport Canada event in Binbrook and had a pretty respectable showing for my first real race with a winter of swimming under my belt.
The conditions were not perfect as we had overcast skies and touches of light rain on and off during the morning. It did not cause any problems but just had you act a little more cautious in the corners on the bike. The run cause on the Conservation Area trails was also muddy and slippery due to the recent damp weather but it made for a more challenging event.
The swim went well as I stayed in freestyle form for the entire 750m, the first time I have been able to hold form in competition. My relaxed approach was not speedy by any means but I saw large improvements and ended up as the 50th person (of 257) out of the water and feeling strong for the bike.
On the bike, I hammered out the best split for the triathletes and duathletes (Wolfgang had a better time but he was in the relay) and averaged, on my computer, 39.5km/h for the distance. I think we ended up a little longer in actual distance compared to the stats page so there is a reporting variance. My computer is usually pretty close so I am pretty certain that I was hitting higher speed than what the results average shows. Not really important but I like to compare to see how close I can get to my TT averages in our weekly club events.
After a good transition, I started to roll on the run through the mud and wet grass. I felt energized and was ready to catch some people ahead to move up the results page. Before the 1km marker on the damn, I had secured two positions and could see the other runners stretched across the other end of the curved water barrier. I had four (plus one from the Wolf's relay team) people ahead of me at this point. At the turnaround, around the two km area, a made it past one more runner but could now see my chasers. There were some strong looking triathletes coming up on my tail so I had to push hard.
By three kilometres one of the younger speedsters caught me and started to create a gap. On this day, I was not going to go down that easy so I stepped it up and his pace pushed me past another athlete into fourth. First and second were well out of reach so I was just trying to stay close with the youthful legs that was a few steps ahead of me.
On the final couple of km's we headed into a forested loop where we stayed in check so I didn't think I was going to have the mustard to get past him but luckily he didn't have the gas on one of the final uphill sections and my strength in this area paid off. As we flattened out, I stepped on the accelerator to push up the pace and he was not able to answer so I made it through the final few hundred metres alone and race up the finishing area in third. I just had to hope that the starting waves behind us were not as fast.
Thankfully, my time held up and I posted the third overall time and first fastest for my AG. Next up is the Welland Half Iron Distance in a few weeks. Should be a good training session for Timberman in a few months so that I can see how 2k in the open water feels.
After the race, I met up with Running Free team members Roger Hospedales, Peter Geering, Steve Good and Karen Gamble and had some time to catch up and share racing stories. Great work everyone!
Also, I had the opportunity to meet a very promising future star, Robbie Chapman. This young racer from the Cornwall area is really dedicated to the sport and dreams to be a top triathlete on the Ironman circuit in a few years. I don't hear or see many inspiring examples from the teenage population everyday so I was very impressed with his outlook on life and hope he sticks with his goals. I realize it is not for everyone but it is so much better to have this influence in their lives to keep them out of trouble.