Guelph Lake 2 Sprint Tri (750m-30-7)
Saturday August 30th
This event is part of the Subaru Triathlon Series and is their final season of the race calendar (except the Ironman events). It is held inside the Guelph Lake Grand River Conservation Area in Guelph, Ontario.
The race consists of a 750m swim, 30km bike and a 7km run. The Guelph Lake 2 event as the name suggests is the second triathlon event held at this location during the summer. Guelph Lake 1 is hel;d the weekend of June 21/22 and consists of a try-a-tri, sprint and Olympic event. As the Guelph @ event does not offer an Olympic event, they extend the sprint to a 30km bike and 7km run, an extended sprint of sorts.
As a resident of Fergus, Ontario (about 15 minutes away from Guelph Lake) I decided to go camping that weekend at Guelph Lake with the family, as such I was able to walk the transition area the day before and get my bearings. It was a good thing as well since the race organizers had to move the entire race site from the usual beach to the day-use area inside the park. This changed all of the layouts for the bike and run course as well. I read this occurred the day before, and given such short notice they did a fantastic job. The transition in/out were a little confusing but they did the best they could with what they had.
The first wave began at 9am with each subsequent wave going out in 3 minute intervals. I began in the fourth wave of the day. The weather was beautiful at race start, clear skies, cool morning, you couldn’t have asked for better. Given the new geometry of the beach and accompanying coastlines the swim buoys created a very long and narrow rectangle, as such looking like you were swimming much further out than usual. My mind was already playing tricks with me!
The swim was relatively uneventful (except for a solid kick in the face and flooding of goggles, but what else is new?!) and was essentially my first competitive swim of the season (injuries, more on that later). Out and into transition I was surprised to see so many bikes still on the rack in my section, swimming is by far my worst discipline and I’m typically greeted by a mostly empty rack upon my first transition. Off onto the 30km bike course which now had to wind it’s way through much of the campsite roads to find the exit. No matter how many times I compete in Guelph Lake events I don’t think I will ever get used to the disaster of a road that presents itself upon exiting the park and turning north (Watson Road). It really is a bone rattler… never mind, a solid bike leg covering some nice rolling hills and into transition again. A nice quick transition and off onto the 7km run course. The run was as usual completely contained within the park perimeter. Running primarily past campsites in past there were many kids with water guns shooting the racers, unfortunately no such luck today as the heat was beginning to tell… One final nasty but steady hill and up to the finish line area to complete the race.
Given the injury troubles I’ve had this season (torn groin muscle in May) and the long road back to a semblance of fitness I didn’t have any particular time goals for completing this race, I just basically wanted to get one triathlon in before the end of the season and NOT re-injure myself. On that note, mission accomplished! I enjoyed myself both during and after the race. I sat with my kids at our campsite cheering on the try-a-tri athletes who’s race began at 1pm (the sun was high in the sky that day!).
As always the organisation, course marshaling, transition area, and volunteers were great! It was great to see so many Running Free athletes at the event all pulling for one another, it really gave me a psychological lift!