Wednesday 10 July 2013

Great White North Triathlon 2013: Race Report

Yesterday was the day of the GWN triathlon and it was a great day! A lot of records were broken, the weather was nice (most of the time), and it was also the first race in which Sanja and I were able to race together since she gave birth to our little boy Sean. THANKS to Glenn and Ingo for taking care of the little guy! Sanja finished her third triathlon and first half iron distance race yesterday. She did her first triathlon in 2009 (sprint), another race in 2010 (Olympic), and yesterday her first half iron distance race! I am very proud the way she finished this race as I know how long and painful it can be! You can read all about it here.

My race went pretty much the same as the Edmonton ITU race two weeks ago, except that my swim was better. The bike felt great again and I was going as hard as I could. Since I knew I had no run fitness due to my messed up hip flexor, I went all in for the bike. I made it all the way into 2nd place, which felt pretty good, especially given the small amount of training I put in. Thanks to Kevin for his Hed tri spoke and Josh for his disc wheel. This aerodynamic advantage certainly helped getting that bike split! Too bad though that the bike course was different this year, as I would have loved to see how this result would have compared to the previous bike splits.

But let’s start with the swim first!

Just in time for GWN, I got my new Nineteen Rogue wetsuit. This wetsuit is a significant upgrade to what I had before. The flexibility is enormous and I was able to get my arms moving almost as good as in the pool. Since we were a bit late on race morning, I didn’t get a warm up swim in. Instead I did some arm swings while I was waiting for the gun to go off. And then without countdown, the gun went off and the race was on. During the entire swim I felt good and my arms were working well. This was pretty much the first wetsuit swim I really enjoyed! I also liked the fact that this we only had to swim one big loop. I exited the water at 25:38 min and was pretty happy with my performance. Transition was quick but was not timed separately.

The bike went very well and I had again a good time out there. As I mentioned earlier already, this year I had a disc wheel and tri spoke. In fact, I was riding a disc for the first time in my life, and it felt great! I am definitely considering getting my own disc wheel pretty soon! Shortly after the first turn around, I moved up into 3rd place and shortly after the start of the 2nd lap I moved up into 2nd position overall. I knew that this ranking will only hold for as long as we are on wheels, so I enjoyed every single kilometer. In the end I finished the bike in 2:12:54. T2 felt pretty quick, but again no splits were available.

I started running the 2 lap run course and the first person I saw was Grant Burwash zipping by and I thought I was standing still. Then Ben also passed me within the first couple of metres into my run. We had a quick chat and he looked really strong, then he was gone. At that point there were no signs of quad cramps and I was still happy. Then after the first aid station both quads cramped up so badly that I had to squat to stretch them out. I was sitting there for about a minute trying to relax them. I kept on looking back but I didn’t see anyone coming yet. Then it slowly got better and I was able to move again. The rest was just hanging in there and not losing any time. The greatest thing on the run however was when I came by Sanja to spank her bum and tell her to keep it going. She looked amazing and I was extremely proud of her. I asked her if she wants to run together for a while but she just said GO and RUN! So I kept on moving. The rest was just grinding it out and get to the finish. At last I finished the race in 10th place overall with a 1:36:03 run and a total time of 4:14:34.Not a personal record for me but definitely a good performance.

Congratulations to everyone out there on the course breaking records or not, to all the volunteers and race organizers, the spectators, my friends from the Edmonton Triathlon Academy and the UofA Triathlon Club.

The overall results can be found here.