Given the unpredictable weather we have had this spring, I wasn’t sure what to expect race day. This year, we were pretty lucky and were greeted with above normal temperatures. In fact, this was the hottest Victoria’s Duathlon I’d ever done. It was well into the 20’s at the start of the race and by the end, was getting close to 30 Celsius.
This race has a slightly later start at 10am, which is nice. I decided to move up to the first wave with the elites, which would allow me to race with most of the faster athletes in the race. Right at 10am, the race got under way, and we were off on the first 4K run.
I wasn’t feeling quite as “fast” as last year, as I really haven’t been doing as much speed work. The first K of the race is pretty much downhill, followed by an uphill. It went by at a pretty quick 3:34/km avg. pace. At this point, there were likely 20 or so athletes still in front of me. The 2nd K is mostly downhill to the turn-around point at 2K, which went by in 3:37.
After making the turn, it felt much warmer, as the wind was out of the south, so running north without the wind made things warm, plus it was uphill. The 3rd and final K of the race were a bit slower in 3:49 and 3:50. I finished the first run in 14:43
I entered transition with another Waterloo racer, Scott Dickie, and made the quick change to bike gear and was out on the road in only 36 seconds. I quickly got into my shoes and up to speed on the bike as we made our way out of the Creekside Church parking lot.
By now, I figured I was in around 12th place or so, and I began passing a few athletes as we made the grind up the Erbsville hill. Still up the road though was at least one athlete that I knew was in my age group, Ming-Chang Tsai. I eventually caught up to him at around the 5 or 6K portion of the bike. We went back and forth a few times, before I decided to put in a bit of an effort and see if I could drop him. This worked, and he was not able to catch up after the last time I passed him.
By now, there weren’t too many riders up the road, but I believe I slowly picked off a few more before we got to the turnaround at the end of Hessen Strasse road. One of the guys I made my way past was Larry Bradley, shortly before the turn around. He is a solid duathlete, so I was happy to make my way around him on the bike.
As I made my way around the turn around point, my average speed was just over 38kph and my power was pretty much about 270 watts for the first half of the bike.
The wind felt a bit tough on the way back, as I believe it was out of the southeast slightly. I worked hard to try to keep the power consistent on the trip back. Unfortunately (or fortunately), there weren’t too many riders left up the road, and I believe I only passed one other racer, just before we hit the steep hills on Kressler Rd. This was the last person I passed on the bike, as I powered my way up and over the hills and back to transition.
As I approached the dismount line, I heard one of my kids yell out that I was in 7th place overall. I finished the bike portion in 47:19 with an avg. power of 269 (NP 276).
T2 went taking only 35 seconds and I was out starting the final 4K run. By now, it was noticeably hotter out there. As I made my way down the first hill and up the second, I heard someone coming up pretty quickly from behind. This was the same guy I passed near the end of the ride. He was flying on the run and I couldn’t keep up.
I made my way down to the turnaround point, where Dave Rutherford was there and snapped this picture.
As I made my way back up to the 3K mark, I finally passed one other racer, to put me back into 7th place from the first wave. I would have liked to push the last half of the race a bit harder, but the motivation wasn’t really there, as I was neither being chased, or really trying to catch anyone.
As I made the final run towards the finish line, my kids were there and they ran with me for a bit and I crossed the finish line in 1:19:09 with a final run split of 15:58, a fair bit slower than my first run.
Another local athlete Florian Ong, who started in a later wave actually had a faster overall time than I did, so he finished ahead of me, pushing me to 8th place overall. My time this year was about 40 seconds slower than last year, which isn’t too bad, given the hotter and tougher conditions, both on the run and the bike, so I was pretty happy with the result.