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Wet Races Without Swims… Cobourg Olympic Tri Turned Du

Despite not getting the chance to swim, the Cobourg Olympic Tri at the end of August was my wettest racing experience so far…

Perhaps the exception to this was the Bracebridge Half Iron this season…. but I was not really ‘racing’ there so much as I was going through the motions of triathlon in a very burnt out state.  I digress.

Despite an early swim cancellation, and plenty of wind, rain, and sour faces, Cobourg was a fun race.

After realizing that my strongest leg of the race would not happen, and would be replaced with a run, I decided to have a bit of fun with this, and use the newly renamed Cobourg Duathlon as my first chi running race.

I expected to be slower, but I didn’t know by how much.  I surprised myself.

We started with a 5k blast through the rain.  I spent a majority of the run focusing on my posture and forward pose and closed it in 19 flat.  Splitting dead even at 9:30 at the turn-around.  And feeling good enough to jump on my bike.

But what about T1?  Oh man… I’ve never practiced this before!  Do I keep the socks on?  Where to stash my running shoes?  It’s raining, they’ll be soaked when I’m back from the ride!  Smooth planning ahead Derek.  Very smooth.

So I’m out of T1 rocking socks and my cycle shoes, mounting the bike alongside plenty of others who probably came in from their 5k a full 30-45 seconds after I did….  Bummer.  But a lesson learned.

The ride was wet.  I was messing around with some maps earlier in the week and knew that it would be a negative splitter… but I had no idea by how much.  The ride out was okay… Quite slow though and I was seeing 40 minutes at the turnaround.  At this point, I wasn’t expecting much from myself but the ride back was pretty quick.  33 minutes in fact.  Definitely one heck of a negative split indeed!

The nice coast back to T2 gave me a feeling that I was pretty fresh to run again.

My socks are soaked… and low and behold, so are my shoes waiting for me in transition.

“Whatever Derek… your own fault.  Throw them on and see what a 4 minute kilometre feels like.”

The first kilometre was bang on 4 minutes… still running chi style and feeling good… but I was quick to realize that the pace would need to drop a bit… and I settled for 4:10 / km feeling like each foot weighed an extra puond at least with a water-logged shoe and sock on each one.

The 10k split was 41:30 and I wasn’t going to complain.

It was awesome to see so many Running Free jerseys out on the course in Cobourg despite the horrible weather and the tempting option to duck out!  Congrats everyone!


I’m 26 years old. I have a beautiful girlfriend who doesn’t mind coming out to long races in the extreme heat or pouring rain, and splitting the grocery bill with me and my 4000 calorie / day vegan diet. I’m a triathlete from the ankles up. I started out as a very biomechanically inefficient runner… the worst you’ve ever seen, I guarantee. I’ve somehow managed to drag my pancake-flat feet through marathons, triathlons, and even a 400 kilometre 10-day charity fundraiser run. Shifting the focus away from running though, and training as a triathlete has helped to keep me injury free for the last 3 years. It’s even made me a little faster on my feet. Aside from swimming, cycling and running, I like travel, yoga, and surfing. In 2006, my girlfriend and I lived in Japan and went surfing every week… unfortunately, there is no surfing in Markham.

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