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Jun 10 2013

Subaru Milton Sprint Triathlon – Race Report

The sky was overcast on the drive to Kelso Conservation Area, with some heavy showers mixed in.

By the time I arrived though, the rain had stopped and the ground is almost dried out. The weather was cool and not too windy. It looked to be decent conditions for a race.

Only now did I realize I forgot a towel to setup my transition stuff. I was never more grateful for the race t-shirt than this day! It was a good enough replacement for a proper towel.

I met up with a few training friends, ate my English muffins with scrambled eggs, and started to get into my wetsuit for the first time since last August.

Swim


I went in the water first to swim a few strokes as warm up. It was chilly but not an issue with a wetsuit, and I was suprised the water was not totally murky from all the rainstorms over the past week.

Finishing the swim legI started in the first wave, and as usual, just trying to follow the crowd while avoiding getting knocked out.

There was no major incident, and felt pretty good at the first of 6 buoys on course.

After that, I thought breathing was getting difficult, or could be some sort of minor panic attack. In any case, taking things down a notch and taking an occassionally breast stroke or two seemed to help. Then other things took my attention, such as getting passed by the next wave…

The water was a bit choppy in outer part of the loop, and the sun was right in my eyes so I could barely see ahead. I shouldn’t complain about the sun if I knew what the weather would be later on!

I wanted to get closer to the buoy, but could not get around this guy right beside me, so I kept hitting him accidentally on purpose. Then another wave of swimmers came by, and this time I got my goggles knocked off. Just desserts, I suppose.

As I passed the last buoy, I just wanted to get out of the water as soon as I could. The 750m swim ended up taking just under 19 minutes.

Transition 1

I really had trouble getting the wetsuit sleeves off for some reason. A little more practice might help here.
Almost 4 minutes later, I finally rolled my bicycle past the mount line.

Cycle


Out on the bike courseHeading out of Kelso, I spun at an easier gear to get my legs going. Despite my efforts, the first 5km or so was a gradual incline to 6th Line Nassagaweya did not feel great. It was almost like the feeling of putting in too much effort without enough warmup – hard breathing and elevated heart rate.

Then everything seemed to settle down after climbing up the escarpment, and I got down to work.

Some interesting dynamics in this no-draft race: during the rolling sections, I passed half dozen riders on the incline, and then the same guys would overtake in the subsequent downhill section. And then this would repeat, almost always with the same group of guys. So I was basically riding with them but not with them.

Finishing the cycle legNear the turn around, rain started to sprinkle, and then turned into downpour fairly quickly. I suspected there might even be hail. That’s what helmets are for, right? Too bad it didn’t protect my face.

The rain didn’t last too long, and I cruised back to transition.

Transition 2

Man, did the rain ever start to pour again just as I racked my bike! It was a strange experience struggling to put on running shoes in a downpour. My visor was already soaked, but I put it on anyway.

Run


Yes, it was raining this hard during the run legOnce again, I got serious stitches on both sides during a triathlon run leg. I actually needed to walk a bit up the the hill in Hilton Falls section. Perhaps my suit was too tight?

The rain was coming down hard for the entire duration of the run. Many sections of the course were dirt trails, which meant there were really muddy sections all along, some with no traction at all.

It was difficult to see anything in this rain, with or without glasses, but really didn’t matter as there was no point to seeing and avoiding puddles.

Finish

I did finish in less than 2 hours, which was all right. I was competitive in cycle and run legs, but lost lots of time in transition and swim. Transition should be an easy fix, but swim would need more work. Losing 10 mins to the winner in a short race like this is a lot.

At least the rain stopped at the end, so I could take my time to pack up the gear. There was really not much to do than shove all the soaking gear into the pack and let them stew until I got home.

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