Monday, August 1, 2016

Aylesford Lake Standard Distance Triathlon - July 24, 2016

(Update: Now with pictures!)

So a week late on this race report, but better late than never I guess? I had hoped to be able to snag some photos from the event but sadly I haven't seen any just yet (maybe an update to the post will come later on). So here we go.

It was a  super early morning, getting up at 4:45am to drive the 1.5 hours to race start. The weather was great though so the drive was as easy as it could be.  I did pass through some foggy patches and wondered if that might affect the race start but when i arrived I saw this sight.


It doesn't get calmer than that. The lake is wonderful and the race all takes place within a sheltered cove area but there was little to no wind to worry about anyway. The water temp was 21C so it was a wetsuit legal race, though it was going to be warm.

I got set up as quickly as possible and into my wetsuit to head to the lake. Transition was a mere 10m(?) give our take, from the exit of the swim. I floated around a bit and was able to listen to the race briefing from the water. Soon we were lined up and sent off.





I stayed to the outer edge, wanting to avoid getting beat up at swim start. I managed to get swimming right away and was keeping up with the main pack no problem. Unfortunately on the outside I kept getting pushed off course and found it hard to swim straight to the first buoy, but my pace felt great regardless. After 1 lap I wasn't too far behind the leaders and started lap 2 with a small group of my own. As I hot the final buoy I did start to get over taken by a few fast swimmers. That seemed confusing, but ultimately I found out it was the fast Sprint distance racers that started shortly after I started my second lap. I exited the water at 27:56 for my fastest 1500m swim yet in a race. 3rd in my AG and 8th overall. I actually swam 1660m due to being thrown off course occasionally, so I am even more happy with my pace. I just need to be able to fight for my line a little better.



Transition was fast, wetsuit off, helmet on and off I went. 46 seconds but only 2nd overall.

The bike starts with an uphill climb out of the park, it also goes over some speed bumps. These weren't a big issue at the start. Onto the road and I had already passed 2 people. Then off I went. The road is almost all new pavement. The first half is chipseal, then proper pavement once you get a few kilometers in. It was going to be a loop course, though this year we were not expected to go all the way back to the start. this would help avoid some road congestion into and out of the park as well as limiting how often we had to go over the speed bumps.

The chip seal was pretty slow going, but over all it is a fast course. The hills are generally low grades, though they can drag on. A couple were seemingly slower than one would expect, this could also be the new pavement which is sticky in the heat. Oh did I mention the heat? By the time the bike leg start the sun was full out and beating down quite handily.

I don't know exactly what place I was in by the second loop on the bike as a few fast Sprint swimmers were in the mix. I did pass a few riders but mostly concentrated on my race at this point. I road by feel for the most part, trying to stay at about 80-85% max effort.


The bike leg finished with a ride downhill and over speed bumps. I too this area cautious and made sure to take a few last sips of Gatorade. As I hit the bottom of the hill I was quickly out of my shoes and then off the bike right at the dismount line.

Like swim out, the distance to transition was not far. I got in, racked my bike and and was into my shoes. This time I managed the fastest transition time at 26 seconds. My bike time was 1:09:58 for 40 km (though this was touch short).

I was soon upon a competitor. He has gotten a penalty so had fallen back a bit. As I passed him he tried to hold on to my pace, and did so for about 2 kilometers before  I could here him drift off. By 3.5 km in I had worked my way to 2nd overall and could not see 1st at all. So my goal was to maintain my current pace, and again run by feel. It was hot, the road was hillier than expected and I was very happy to take a cup of water at the 5km point.

First place was probably 1 km ahead of me once we passed, so I knew even attempting to catch him was futile. I just needed to hold position. I finally glanced back as I approached the downhill to the park and was quite clear. I picked up the pace a bit in the last section as i finally glanced at my watch and saw that I could make a sub 40 min 10 km no problem.



I crossed the finish line at 2:18:46 with a 10  km run time of 39:42. 9 minutes faster than my first race this year. 2nd overall, 1st in AG and spent. It was a great race with some good battles.

At least 1 more Standard distance triathlon awaits me in Shubie later on in September. So for now, back to the lake to get faster. Take care.    
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