Monday, March 5, 2012

Tri the Oval - Race 1 of 2012

Well race 1 of the 2012 season has come and gone. Truthfully it came and went a couple of weeks back and I am just now getting to a review of things.

This was the new Halifax event called Tri the Oval. A winter triathlon that was designed to take place in the confines of Halifax's Commons and take advantage of our new permanent outdoor long tack speed skating oval.

The price for this event was far too good to pass up, even if I am a poor skater and not at all used to mountain bike riding. Still for the fun and the hat, I knew this was one for me.

As I posted previously I needed a mountain bike and some practice. So I borrowed one from my friend at Sportwheels in Sackville, Mike. He lent me a spectacular 26" Devinci racer called the Desperado.  It was more than enough bike for this event. And I took full advantage of the Sportwheels weekly mountain bike rides in preparation. Heck I may want to take up this sport, at least in the winter.

But back to the race. We started with a 12.5 km skate. Sadly I have no photos of me on the ice. But I was on my awesome 1990's CCM hockey skates. As I said I don't skate much. But I had been getting out and skating the oval weekly to get ready.

The wind was blowing fairly strong going one direction, but it did make for an easy other half of the oval. I knew I would place well behind those on speed skates, and I would also be wasting so much more energy pushing myself. But I finished somewhere in the top 20 of the 80 people involved in the event. So that wasn't too bad.

Luckily here we were chip timed and had our laps counted for us. When our names were called we left the ice. I wish that were the case on the bike.


Sadly we had no snow and therefore what could have been a crazy fun bike ride was mostly just paved paths in the Commons. Still, the crew did their best and created a bit of single track and some good bumpy frozen ground. This should have been super easy for me to do well in, but alas problems arose.

First off I was following a rider who was travelling an equal speed to me. I figured that would be fine. But we miscounted our laps and left a lap early and racked our bikes. We did figure out the problem before we got too far into the run and went back to finish the bike ride. It was at this point that my rear wheel fell off, which took me a minute or more to put back on. Ahhhhh. And way, back on the bike and I finished things up



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Now onto the run. Three times around the commons (and a bit). I was feeling pretty strong and I wish I could tell you how fast I was going, but my fancy GPS watch messed up somehow and I lost ll of my times. I blame me as the watch is rather dumb and needs to be told what to do. Obviously I didn't tell it the right things.

So I think I ran fast. I know I passed people and I felt good. I also know that by this time I was way over dressed and stripped off my gloves and hats and balaclava. 

I crossed the finish line in 55 minutes (that much I know) and 20th place overall. A good time based on what I had planned prior to the event. But I know I wasted minutes the bike mistake that would have probably moved me to 15th place or so. Alas it was not to be. Also I am sure that incident mentally slowed me down as I probably could have pushed the run a bit more. 

Still it was a fun and well organized event. I look forward to taking part in it next year and who know, maybe by then I will learn to count!
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