Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Shubie Doobie Tri 2011

Well here we were, early Sunday, Dartmouth, and tons of fog. Wow, Shubie Park was truly fogged in. I headed to the beach to see the water and I could barely see 10 feet. Needless to say, the Shubie Dooby Triathlon was going to be a little late starting.

Still I arrived at the Tri early to grab a nice spot in transition and have a chance to relax. This was, after all, my second open water swim Triathlon and my first was a few months ago in Ingonish. After setting up my bike, I decided to slip into my wetsuit and go jump in the lake.

Having been here the day before, I knew the water was going to be warm. And it truly was. The previous day it was 22C and I doubt it had cooled much over night. So getting in was rather easy. And it helped me settle the nerves a bit. Also the wetsuit was rather nice to have on me as I was standing in the cold, waiting for my race to start. In fact I probably stood around in that wetsuit for well over 1 1/2 hours. Thanks Xterra for making it so comfy.

Eventually the Olympic Distance people took off. This gave we Sprinters another opportunity to bounce about in the water, I mean do a proper warm up. Finally, almost an hour late (due to fog, not organization) we got our pre race lecture and we set out for the swim.

Okay this isn't actually the Sprint start but it looks pretty close.

Now due to the larger number of participants in the Sprint race, and the fact that the swim start area isn't that large, the RD (Mark Campbell) split it into a wave start of men then women. Less people in the water together made me happy. We took off like rockets into the water and unlike Ingonish, I actually didn't hold back. I jumped right in and started doing a version of the front crawl. I say version, as there were many thrashing bodies around me and I couldn't quite open right up.

Eventually I got a good rhythm going and headed for the first buoy. I didn't panic as I had my head hit a few times, or my legs grabbed or my arms pulled. I pushed through and fought for my ground. It felt rather good.

Finally after what seemed an eternity, I round that farthest buoy and headed to the shore. 15 :22 is what the chip timing people say I did my swim in. And I will take that. Turns out I was 78th fastest out of 127 people. Okay so not really all that fast.

Off to T1, and a leisurely change to my bike shoes, helmet et al. (I was a bit dizzy and therefore in no rush) and away I went. The start of the bike ride was a bit drafty (hint hint), but I was okay with it as the road is busy, and the riders are just getting settled down. Also it allowed me to pass at one point 6 riders in a row. And I think I did so in my 15 second time allowance.

I had never done this event before and didn't really know the course well. People warned me prior about the large amount of hills. I just thought, good. And I pushed hard for the next  39:26 (including T1 time or what must have been over 2 minutes), passing many riders. The drafting got less severe after I finally reached the turn around. Most people seemed to have settled a bit. I knew, though, that I couldn't slow down as I needed to make up some time still and had less than 10 kms to do it in (well maybe more as the course was a bit long according to my bike computer). At one point I apparently hit 62 km per hour in my rush back to the TZ, where I finally arrived with an average speed of 30.4 km/hr and the 6th fastest bike split of the day (33.2 on my bike computer which accounted for the extra biking distance and didn't include my transition time). Bike racked, helmet off, shoe change and away I went on the run to the finish.

5Kms of hilly trails awaited me and I followed David Kilpatrick for all of it.

This is the only official photo of me at the event, check out those calves. 

 We paced each other well, but I had just enough to hang with him. Also I was unaware of the course and was quite surprised as I rounded a corner to see the finish line. Dave was off like a flash and I was as well, taking one runner in the process but not being able to keep up with Dave. In the end I had the 12th fastest run time of the day with a 24:07 (oddly faster than Dave's time due to T2 timing).

So all in all I exited the water in 78th place and clawed my way back to 17th overall and 3rd in the Age Group Men 30-39, with a total time of 1:18:54. Not too shabby.

With a little swim practice, I say, watch out!
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