Sunday, August 12, 2012

2012 Bridgetown Sprint Triathlon

So last weekend was a hot one, especially on Sunday (Aug 5th) and in the Nova Scotia Valley that means extra hot. I think the temperature that day in Bridgetown topped out somewhere around 35C and there was not a cloud in the sky.

I had to get up super early for the close to 2 hour drive to Bridgetown to be there by 7am to check in. Oh man that was rough but I did it. Turns out I was all alone at check in so that wasn't a huge problem getting through the line of 1. I got my chip and body marking (#275) and swim cap and headed to watch the start of the long course triathlon, which had been delayed by a half an hour due to heavy fog. It was here that I learned that the water temperature was going to be too high for a wetsuit. Ugh. As we all know my swimming isn't the greatest and a wetsuit certainly helps keep me a lot closer to the leaders.

This swim is also interesting as it is a river swim and a tidal river at that. So the current could be strong, non existent or backwards. And it is a muddy brown river as well. So all in all a slow swimmers dream (not).

Anyway, the next race off was the Olympic Distance then finally we were up. Now it was just after 9am, I was tired from being up early, a little overwhelmed with no wetsuit and standing in a warm river with a current. Oh well here we go!

The swim was hard. I did stick to the bank (as I was told to) to reduce the effect of the current and it seemed to work. I was swimming pretty much solo to the first buoy when all of a sudden a got a bit punch to the head. This turned me the other way were I received a kick to the side. Wonderful I thought. Around the buoys was a bit of a mess of people and it certainly took me off my pace, but I got around nonetheless. Then it was current surfing to the next set up buoys, which was cruelly past the swim out. Blah.

Finally I got out of the river with a horrible swim time of 19:45 (though the fastest swimmers were in the high 12 minute range, so it was obviously a slower swim). This put me at 43 spot overall. But I don`t worry about those things that this point in a race. I go like a mad fool that is gunning for first.

I was in and out of transition really well in 47 seconds for the 5th fastest T1 of the day. And this was the day I got to use my new Louis Garneau Tri-shoes (thanks Sportwheels for ordering those in). I had practiced a few days with these shoes, doing flying mounts and dismounts and I was ready to try this out in a race. And up on the bike I went, pedaling out of the parking lot we were in and onto the main road, then easily slipping my feet into the shoes and zipping away.

The road was almost entirely flat with little wind in either direction. Being behind like I was and knowing I had a mere 20km to go, I went all out. I passed numerous cyclists on the way to the turnaround. Some were Sprint athletes, other Olympic distance (who did the loop twice).  By the end of the ride I had made my way somewhere into the top 20 with a 4th fastest ride of the day at 33:30 for 20km (avg speed of 35.8).

Now I had done flying dismounts before so I wasn't as scared about this, though it is always a little cause for concern. But I was off the bike and on the long run to T2. And I must say, it was quite long, with the option of running on grass or dirt road. I ended up mostly on the dirt road as I needed to pass others.

I was out of T2 in the 6th fastest time of the day at 36 seconds.

So the run began. I had seriously hoped to do a sub 20 minute 5K to end this race. It was really hot now and even though the run was flat, I was running low on steam.  I managed to start passing a few people. Some were in my race, others not, but I didn't care. the run around couldn't have come soon enough and as I started back I picked up my pace a little bit. I did grab a cup of water from the water stop on the way back, though I could barely get any down without choking.

I think I managed to catch one more person in the final kilometer of the race and then sprinted to the end on a downhill gravel path. Sadly I only managed a 20:17 for the 5k but it was the 4th fastest run of the day and I ended up 13th overall and 2nd in my Age Group. Sometime being the slow swimmer makes for a more interesting day I guess, though I would dearly love to get out of the water a little higher up than 43rd. I guess one day I will get a coach and figure out this swimming thing.

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