This was a quiet year for me, with only the Niagara Tri on my schedule. Needless to say my training efforts were not up to par, but I went into the race for a bit of fun nonetheless.
SwimI was quite surprised, yet pleased to see that the part of Lake Ontario that Grimsby beach occupies is in an area that can be very shielded from the wind, thus the fierce waves that I saw over in Toronto were replaced with a sheet of smooth glass. This makes the swim so much more enjoyable. The bottom of the lake was very visible (keep in mind I have a pair of Sable 922 ST Goggles – refer to my article posted for a review of these ).Another pleasantry was the lack of a battle in the water. People weren’t being too aggressive.
The only thing to contend with was the water temperature, at a cool 71 degrees. I would strongly suggest a wetsuit for this triathlon, as you are swimming in lake Ontario. It never really warms up.
BikeI came into transition feeling a bit disoriented. I guess the cold got to me a bit. But I quickly found my bike and gear, and was off on the bike course. Now I had heard about this hill we were to tackle near the start of the bike, and didn’t know what to expect. It was pretty big actually. I had just finished my first week of cycling to work, a round trip of 70KM, so this may have affected how I was feeling on race day. It still seemed like a large hill. I was in my 39-25 combo wishing I had brought a wider spaced cassette!! I decided to ease my way up the hill. We still had 22km left to go, and I didn’t want to kill myself.After this 1km ascent, I started to turn it on, and passed quite a few people that had winded themselves on the hill. The remainder of the course wasn’t particularly challenging, however there was a lot of wind to contend with. I kept waiting for a tail wind that never seemed to arrive. With each turn it felt like yet again more wind in my face. On the home approach we went back down the “Beast from the East” hill. There were a number of “SLOW” signs, but I ignored them and easily hit 83KM/H without pedaling. Largest thrill of the day!
RunI didn’t feel particularly good going out onto the final leg of the race, but knew the longer it lasted the more I would hurt, so I decided to bear down and tough it out! The route was quite pleasant with about ¾ through some residential streets, and the last ¼ through some wooded trails – my favorite. Quite flat apart from a hill near the end in the trail, and a few steps up and down over a very questionable bridge that shook when you ran over it!!
No PB’s here for me this year, but all in all an enjoyable race that I would certainly do again.