When I heard that Zone3sports out of Ottawa was running a new triathlon in the little and picturesque town of Westport, just 10 minutes from my cottage, I knew I had to participate. My race calender was already full (well, to my standards) and we would be entertaining friends at the cottage that weekend. So I went into it strictly for fun. I knew the lack of sleep and the three (four) glasses of wine the night before sure weren’t going to enhance my performance!
The race wasn’t until 2pm, so I had pancakes for breakfast with the kids and our guests, tried to have a nap with the baby and got ready for the race. My husband and 3 year old daughter dropped me off an hour before the race start. Coincidentally, my cottage neighbour, an avid runner, was working kit pickup. We had a nice chat and I found out there were only 77 people registered in the race including the relay. The transition zone and the swim were at the Lion’s Club beach on Sand Lake. It was a really nice spot but the high winds were causing rough waters and white caps. I set my bike up on one of the two racks and notice three tandem bikes. Turns out there were three visually impaired athletes competing as well.
I knew it was going to be a hot and windy afternoon, so after I set up, I rested in the shade, ate my banana and sipped water. Got my wetsuit on 10 minutes before the start and chatted with some other racers. Since it was such a small race, everyone left in one wave. It was an in waist-deep water start, just off the beach. The race director sounds the horn and we’re off. Given the water conditions, it is a bit of a thrash fest at first and within the first 30 seconds a woman whacks me hard in the mouth. Yowch. I can taste the blood and feel it start to swell. Oh well, just some war wounds! The swim is an M-shape including a run up onto the beach at the mid-point. The combination of the bright sunshine and the rough water make sighting difficult for me and I am certainly not swimming a direct line. Not stellar but I try my best.
750 m Swim + T1: 16:34 (2:13/100 m) 21/58 OA
Through transition and onto the bike. The mount line is at the base of a short but very steep hill. I had pre-set my gears accordingly and was very careful clipping in and getting up enough momentum for the rise. However, I was almost taken out by a guy on a Cervelo swerving in front of me. He apologized and luckily this near miss was not a sign of things to come. The ride was pretty uneventful with the exception of my chain falling off yet again (uh, yeah, I think I may need to fix that!). Lost a minute or so there but really didn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things. It was windy, it was hilly and I could feel the lack of sleep catching up with me but I enjoyed racing on a route I frequently train on.
21 km Bike: 48:55 (25.8 km/hr) 43/58 OA
Once again, my only goal for the run was to run. With just one water station at the half way point I was hoping the only walk would be for 30 seconds or so through it. I’ve never done a race this small before. Just as I left transition, I was passed by two women. They were the only racers I saw on the entire run. There were some lonely stretches where it didn’t even feel like I was racing, but simply out for a miserable run. However, I managed to make it to the water station without walking, including a pretty big hill at the 2.5 k mark. When you can’t see any other racers, I have to say, it is difficult to stay motivated without any rabbits to chase and no one chasing me. Nonetheless, I plodded on. At the 5k mark I was feeling the heat and took another short walk break. Same thing at the 6k mark. Even with the walking, I still didn’t see anyone gaining on me. I ran the rest of the way to the finish line where there was a small but extraordinarily boisterous crowd, including my parents. I cross the finish line with a huge smile on my face.
7.2 km Run + T2: 47:45 (6:38/km) 44/58 OA
My family and our friends are a bit late but they eventually arrive. We have a little picnic and the kids enjoy the beach. I cool off in the lake and then check out my super slow results where I am surprised to learn that yes, I am slow, but also 2nd in my age group! What an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday afternoon and definitely a race I will be at again next year.
Overall: 1:53:13 38/58 OA 2/6 F30-39