|Bike covered ready for the rain.|
|Me swimming taken by @BrendaTeamTTF|
The course is counter-clockwise, which I prefer, but I didn't even make to the first turn-buoy before I was having some problems. I was short of breath but making progress, but then I took a big mouth-full of water and started to choke a bit. There was a paddle border nearby and I signalled for him to come over. He got there real quick and I latched on. I took about 45 seconds or so to catch my breath and took off again. I worried this was the shaping up to be a Quassy flashback where I had to withdraw due to an allergic reaction to the pollen. Was the water too cold? NO!! Was I having some allergic reaction? NO!! So I continued swimming and I got into a quick grove. After the first turn I headed down the canal to the far buoy. At this point, it started to rain again and I couldn't see the buoy in the distance. It was at this point that the athletes from the previous wave caught up to me and I could follow them. It was a long stretch to that second turn (maybe about 700m, or 750yds). The water was noticeably colder as we neared the exit to the sheltered area. The rest of the swim went pretty well except for one smack I received right at the bridge of the nose as another swimmer went by. My final swim time for the 1.5km was 0:52:43 which was about 8-10 slower than I had hoped. Given the rain and the slow start, it would do, but I wasn't sure now I would be able to finish under 4 hours.
Transition was not that great either, coming out on my bike in 04:22. In fact, that time really sucks as I usually try and complete T1 in under 3 minutes. Again, I had to deal with removing the plastic bags off of the bike and getting my shoes out as well. The rain had stopped so I only hoped there wasn't a lot of standing water on the course.
This is BY FAR, my favorite triathlon bike course. I grew up in this city and drove both the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway (DVP) many countless times. Like the NYC tri, they bike course is closed, which rarely happens, so it really is a fun ride. With the new tri bar set-up I was able to stay aero for a lot of the course. I was passed by a lot of cyclists, but I also was able to pass quite a number myself. The roads were wet without a lot of puddles. I don't really feel I ever had to drive slower than I hoped. Including the roads we travel on, we pass 3 different stadiums, BMO Stadium (Toronto FC), Roger's Centre (Skydome-Blue Jays) and Air Canada Centre (Leafs and Raptors), pretty cool.
At the turn around, near DVP and Eglinton, I blew a kiss to mom. The last place we lived together, when I was still in high school, was up at DVP and Lawrence, just a couple of miles away. The way back is down hill and I was able to make up some speed, but at this point, we also faced a headwind. It was at this point that a motorbike pulled up beside me and was filming, they had the camera on me for a couple of minutes, including a point where I passed two other cyclists. The came up beside me again and asked if they could chat a bit. Well, those of you who know me, know I wouldn't have a problem chatting to a camera! LOL. I found out they were from TSN and are putting together a piece on WON WITH ONE, including Simon's work with the team. I found out it will be aired in Canada sometime in August.
When I returned to T2 all was going well. My bike leg was 1:35:36, more than 5 minutes faster than 2012, so I was able to make up some of my slow swim time. T2 was 4:23m again, WAY TOO SLOW. I need to be A LOT FASTER in transition. Again, I don't know if it was all the rain, but that is something I must remedy.
I took off on the run and things went well. As I ran along the shore, I looked out on the water, as at this point, the last of the sprint racers were starting their swims. It was then I noticed a paddleboarder was waving at me and cheering. It was the guy who had come along to me while I was in the water. He was REAL HAPPY to see me out there on the run. Sure made me feel good!!!!
I was able to start out running for 1:30 and then walking for 0:30. As time went along and things felt good, I was able to switch to 3:00 of running followed by 1:00 of walking. There were lots of great kids manning the water stations cheering us along. GREAT VOLUNTEERS for sure!!! It had started to rain a little around the 3K mark for me and then the skies opened up to a total downpour. For the next 4-6K it literally poured buckets. I was running through 2-4 inches of water and was totally soaked. I soon realized I would not be breaking the 4 hour barrier, but being so wet, I started to laugh. Getting to the water stops, it was a delight to see the kids still out there cheering us on. As people passed me, I would yell out, "SWIM, BIKE, SWIM". Got a few laughs!!
|My finish taken by Jan Ditchfield|
As I neared the end I was still feeling real good without any back or leg pain. As I neared the finish, Marilyn was there and as I entered the finish chute, I could see a large group from WON WITH ONE, waiting for the sprint finishers. I was really happy to find out my run time was 1:29:44, 3:30 faster than 2012. So really, if I had been able to have quicker transitions and a slightly faster swim, I would have beat 4 hours. My final time was 4:06:47. Given the crummy weather, this was a REALLY GOOD RACE!!!
|With Jan Ditchfield|
I got back to transition to get my WET gear and bike and then took it all to my car. The drive back to Orangeville was uneventful and as soon as I got back I took a refreshing dip into Bonnie's pool. We had a long day ahead of us on Monday, having to drive the 500+ miles back to MA.
|Getting my award with Steve Fleck |
(taken by M. Fennell)
|Finally meeting fb friend Irina!!|