Saturday was quite uneventful. I was up early in the morning to put in a final brick (bike/run) and then drove three hours to Edm. I spent a couple hours helping Cam at Element and then headed over to Hawrelak Park for package pick-up, bike drop off, lunch, and of course the athlete mtg. Right away you could tell this would not be an ordinary “local” race. The organizing committee had clearly put a lot of work in and Hawrelak Park looked like a real race venue. I spent the remainder of the afternoon at Element with Cam, probably more getting in the way than actually helping out.
I then headed to Ian and Joanne’s in St Albert where we would be spending the night. Claudia and the kids arrived shortly after I did. They had stayed in Cold Lake for the day as Ruthie had a friend’s B-Day Party to attend. We had the privilege of meeting Greg Rouault (the winner of the Elite Men’s World Cup Race the following day) as he was billeted at Ian and Joanne’s. He was happy to answer my billion questions (ranging from current trg regime, life as a Pro, training camps, race schedule, etc) and even discussed his race strategy for the next day. I distinctly remember him saying something along the lines that he just needed to come out with the main swim pack, hang with the main bike pack, and he’d have a good chance of winning (after all his strength is running). And of course as my luck would have it, EP (we nicknamed our youngest – “Eye Poker” after she put me out of commission for a week earlier this year as a result of scratching my cornea) struck again. My eye was sore for the rest of the evening.
|James opening his B-Day presents race morning...and in the background the speedy Greg Roualt|
I was happy to line-up on the swim behind Lisa Ulrich and beside James Dean. I knew I wouldn’t be catching either of their drafts. Start was very clean and it didn’t take long for the swimmers to spread out. The course was two 750m loops in Hawrelak Pond. The water was dirty but not worse than I had seen earlier this year in The Woodlands. I was happy to catch a draft for the last half of the last loop and was even happier to see 22:50 on my watch as I exited the water. I was expecting to swim slightly faster than 25:00 or 1:40/100m so that was a good bit faster (I actually think the swim was about 100m short) or perhaps the drafting helped.
Out of the swim and into the long run (ok so maybe only 200m) into transition to get my helmet, shoes and bike. And of course right away my power meter didn’t want to work. I tried to repair it as I biked but it didn’t work. I knew from the times last year that I should be able to bike about 15-16minutes per lap so figured I would just forget the PM and focus on my perceived effort for my pacing. I was through the first lap in about 15:30 and I felt like I was moving through the field well. I pushed my effort a little on the second lap and then held that effort for the remaining two laps. I didn’t see James Dean on the bike, but did see Lisa Ulrich (she would go on to win the W30-34 - fast as always!) just before the Groat Road climb on lap 3. Matt Dean - M25-29 (James Dean’s youngest brother) passed me on my last lap and he was the only one to do so. My bike split was 1:01:17…just about right. A sub 1:00 would have been nice but I was happy with the result and ready to rock the run. I was a bit concerned with a 4 loop bike course as I thought it would be quite congested but it was honestly pretty good. Lap 4 was definitely the most congested but there was still lots of room to pass.
The run is 4 loops of an out and back course of ~2.5kms. I once again knew I should be running about a 35-36min 10km and well I’m pretty good at pacing the run without my 910xt. I was happy to be putting on my fluorescent yellow Brooks Pure Drifts in transition and finally doing the portion of the race that I love best…the run. I glanced at my watch a few times throughout the run and was generally holding a 3:30-3:35/km pace. I wasn’t too concerned about my pace just trying to go as hard as I could muster for 10kms. On the last lap just past the turn-around I finally caught Stephen Schreiber who is probably one of the best triathletes in Edm. At that point I figured I was near the front and pushed as hard as I could for the last kilometer and change. I was happy to be finished and definitely spent. I was happy with my run at 35:55 but pretty confident I should be able to go a tad faster. As the results weren’t posted at the race venue, it took me almost two hours before I finally found out that I was first in the M30-34 in a time of 2:03:40. I actually had to call my mom and get her to check the online results. The run course was a little congested but the 4 loops make it very family friendly.
I was very happy to be first in the M30-34 and I guess that means I’m the provincial AG Olympic Champion! Ok, but honestly there are definitely a few guys in the M30-34 division in Alberta that could beat me…Stephen Hastings name comes to mind.
|Stephen Schreiber (2nd M30-34) and myself on the Podium|