Ten o'clock rolls around and they send us off along the very familiar 4k opening run. I knew some folks like to take this out very fast so I just eased out this time and found a good pace to settle into. My motto was "stick to your own game" for this race so I tried not to worry about who was around me unless I felt I needed to use someone as a shield against the very small breeze in certain directions.
Entering transition area in 8th Place
Knowing most of the competition, I knew some of the guys like Eric Box, Francois-Olivier Cote and Luke Eghoetz would be pushing hard on the bike so I just wanted to minimize the damage they would inflict on this portion of the race. Coming out of transition, I got into my cleats very smoothly and got a drink of gatorade into my system before turning for our first little climb.
I seemed to be keeping contact with a few guys in front of me but my usual extra gear was not in my legs at this point. I figured if I spun up the first few hills, I would eventually find my power on the longer rolling straightaway. I eventually passed on rider during the first 5k stretch but was not making up enough ground on the other guys up the road.
I continued to push on down the road at a pace slower than previous races just hoping others were not finding their hammering speed. That hope was dashed just after the 10k marker when the first of the power squad sailed past. Mr Box was crushing it and looking super smooth in doing so. Next was Luke and then Ming just before the halfway turnaround.
When I hit the turn, I tried to power up and hang close but they were slowly sliding out of sight up the road as even a few more guys made their way past me. I was feeling depleted as I cannot remember the last time so many riders crushed me on the bike. Usually it is one or two guys but I at least pass a good number as well to make up positions. What was going on?
I hung in there and counted down the final kilometres of the ride just wishing my legs would be ready to run. BY now the humidity was soaring and the heat felt like it was going to be a factor. With my lunch time runs, I thought I would be able to tackle the heat and come away with a respectable run and make up a few positions down to the wire.
Finishing the ride, about to turn back into transition.
For the final 2k, I just tried to keep the legs moving steady and get home as quick as possible. As I finally reached the finishing area, I was shocked to see my time. I was five minutes off my previous two efforts on the Waterloo out skirts. I was bummed to say the least.
So now it is back to the drawing board. I have been training quite hard so to see this result is a little demoralizing, especially when the running speed is better than ever (new 5k pb just last month) and my cycling should be at least as good as ever.
Although, I did not have a great race, I was happy to see a number of folks climb up the results page.
Congrats to all those who participated, volunteered, cheered (especially my aunt Cathy for her support and pics!), worked and organized a great race!
The long and lonely start to the final run.