Name of Race: Cobourg Triathlon
Website for the Race: http://www.hsbctriathlon.com/ms/index.cfmDate of Race: Aug 29, 2009
Location of Race: Cobourg, ONType of Race: Olympic Distance Triathlon (as a duathlon)
Distance or duration of Race: 5 km R/40 km B/ 10 km RDescription of Race:
I was curious to see what my form would be like after two months of training since the
Welland tri in June. I rested for a week for this race, and was feeling quite fresh leading up to the date.
I have to be honest that the day before the race I was not very enthusiastic; the weather forecast called for thunder shower. It rained the whole way on the way to the venue, and did not look like it would let up anytime soon. When we got there, there was shoulder height wave breaking at the beach. After delaying the start by 15 minutes, the organizer finally decided to cancel the swim, as the swell was about 5 feet high.
It was decided then the swim would be replaced by a 5 km run, the bike and second run would be same as the original plan. Knowing that my cycling fitness is lacking, I decided to stay in control on the first run, running a 20:39 and placing 62nd place. The bike was tough as it was hilly, windy and wet. We were riding into the head wind for the first half of the bike leg; on top of that it was raining quite hard between the 10 and 20 km mark when I was riding. The second half of the bike course was much faster and easier with the tail wind and more downhill. I rode within my fitness level and ability and ranked 51st.
The second run took place on the same loop as the first run, this time we did that twice. It stopped pouring by that time, I was feeling good, got into a good rhythm and ended up negative splitting the 10 km. It was a solid effort and I was encouraged by the improvement over the last tri – I ran a faster pace for a longer run and after a tougher bike course! The 41:31 split ranked 36th place for the day. Overall, I was 44th place and 5th in my age group; not great but not too bad considering there was no swim.
I would like to give a shout out to the organizers for dealing calmly and reasonably with the crappy conditions. They were very empathetic as they made the announcement concerning the swim cancellation, explaining the reasons in a considerate and humorous manner. This probably made the athletes felt better as the race served as the Provincial Championship and there were also World Championship spots on the line. The organizers were also very good at constantly updating the conditions and making sure that everyone knew what the plan was, and what the changes were. I felt that the organizers went above and beyond expectations when they offered “free” entries at the Wasaga and Lakeside 2 races to athletes who decided to not race in the stormy weather.
All of this was a stark contrast to my experience in 2004 when I went to BC for the National Championships, conditions were worse, there was lightning and some parts of the bike course were flooded. The race was delayed, during which no one really knew what was going on, and when it was decided that the race was to be cancelled, there was no mention of any sort of accommodation/compensation (e.g. a discount for the race next year would have been a nice gesture). I understand the circumstances were different; my point is that I appreciate it when organizers care about the experiences of the athletes and try to do the best in poor situations. So, thank you Multisport Canada team and the volunteers for putting on a safe and fun race in Cobourg.
Thanks for reading!