The only thing better than racing on a beautiful spring morning, is pulling off a win at that same race. That’s exactly what I was able to do out there in Shawnigan Lake at the Olympic distance triathlon, and what a day it was!
Lifesport was able to hook me up with a homestay, the two most fantastic hosts I could imagine, Al and Anne Brunet. They lived directly across the lake from the transition area (no, seriously, he had binoculars so we could check from his porch who was over at transition,) in a gorgeous house with a huge basement suite, where I was staying (the whole thing ALL to myself!) They were so inviting and generous, the best place to stay in Shawnigan Lake;) I arrived two days before the race, and got myself all nice and comfortable.
So race morning went smoothly, as we had a late race start (8:30am) I was in NO rush to get up at any ridiculous time (which is the usual, around 3:30-4am in some cases,) so I arrived well rested with lots of time to spare. After drinking down a bottle full of Eload and Fly (carbohydrate drink,) and my warm-up run, it was time to get in the water. My new Nineteen Frequency SL wetsuit is outstanding! I’ve been using a Frequency from 2008, and when I got the 2011 model, I thought it was the same thing.
|Exiting the water in the Nineteen Frequency|
As soon as I put it on, I realized there were some MAJOR advances in the technology. The neoprene was is far more flexible, and much thinner through the shoulders and arms. I have much better feel for the water, and almost no restriction through the shoulders. Although my swimming hasn’t been too great lately, it helped me out of the water in third place, just back from the leader. After a quick T1 (something I always work to improve on,) I got out on the bike in first place.
|Hammering away at on the bike|
Then I never looked back. Cruising on my Jamis Xenith T2 time trial bike, I hammered away at the two loops for the olympic course. Posting the fastest bike split by almost three and a half minutes, (helped, in part, by the advanced aerodynamics of the T2,) it was into transition and out on the run course.
|On my way to a strong finish!|
With a huge lead on the rest of the race, it felt like I was racing the clock, to see how fast I could run. The run course is a beautiful trail through the woods, but the downside is you can only see a short distance ahead and behind you, making for a bit of a lonely run (if nobody is within about 30 seconds of you.) It felt like a bit of a time trial, just me and my thoughts.
|Solid start to the race season|
After finishing the race with a good hard kick, and some finish-line socializing (which I must admit, I’m quite a fan of!! Blah blah blah, that’s me, haha!) I thought it might be fun to go run the back half of the Half-Ironman course and cheer on the other athletes. I ran almost to the turn-around before I came across Rachel McBride, who had a fairly substantial lead on the rest of the field (who also just recently came third overall in the PRO race at 70.3 Boise, only her SECOND HALF EVER!!!)
It was a great day for me, a win is always a great way to start a season, and I was really excited that the rest of the Lifesport Crew had some great races as well (Elliot Holtham slammed a second place overall, his first half-ironman ever!) Great work to everyone who was out there racing, and thanks to Coach Bjoern for all his support in the lead-up to the race, and during the race.
Next triathlon on the list? The first big ITU race of the year, ITU Pan American Cup Monroe, in Washington State on June 25th. Should be a good day, as long as I can keep it together in the swim ;P
‘Till next time, happy training!!