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Woodstock triathlon race report

I love the Multisport Woodstock triathlon because it is the first of the season and after a winter of indoor riding and swimming I’m ramped and ready to get outside and race!
However, the first race of the season means getting the cobwebs out. Two years ago I ran right past my bike like a newbie. That experience prompted me to buy a flashy towel for my transition area.
This year was special because my son was going to compete in the same race. Having turned 16 he could now do the sprint distance, 750 swim, 20k bike and 5k run.
Woodstock has a tight and cozy transition area on grass very near to the water. The lake is small so it warms up fast. This year it was 20 Celsius so it was wetsuit optional. I love my wetsuit, so that’s not an option for me. This year the water was choppy making the swim more difficult and slower. We figure the waves cost us a minute on 750 metres. Friends who were less comfortable in the waves, lost even more time. However, the experience of swimming in waves is a good one.
The exit and run to transition is on grass and is short taking 20-25 seconds. The run out with the bike is slightly uphill on grass and then onto a narrow paved road that exits from the park. The start of the bike course was into the wind and slightly up hill. I looked at my bike computer early on and was shocked to see how slow my average pace was…yikes I was going to have to a massive negative split to have a decent bike pace. Others complained of “cramping” but I think that was just lactic acid from the effort into the wind. I noted the pain and reminded myself it would dissipate because we had trained doing intervals and our legs would recover on the ride back in. The rest of the bike was uneventful, with lots of yelling on your left, given that I have to start at the back of the pack as an older (more experienced?) athlete. I did note some groups drafting each other…tsk tsk, one day they will get caught. Negative split was a success and I finished the bike with an average of 30 km/hr. Not bad for a windy day. I was ok with that.
Return to transition…down the grassy hill and back to the bike rack, all good. Trying to get my running shoes on was a bit of a fight, as they were new…next time more Vaseline on the lip and heal of the shoe. The start of the run is about 1 km of gravel, uneven, big chunks, awkward. I was asking myself why I loved this race, as I hate running on uneven surfaces. My son was smart, as a cross country runner he got off the gravel and ran along the side in the grass. Mental note: remember that for next year. After the gravel, you run across a concrete dam which feels awesome after having run on the gravel. Then it’s onto a concrete path for an out and pack with a couple of steep but very short hills. My run was sweet. I ran sub 5 min/km and felt good. Overall, I was ok with the swim (but I’m anxious to get out on smooth water and test the pace) good with the bike and happy with the run. Total time? 2 minutes faster than two years ago and two years older. Mission accomplished. Creeping up my age group I was a bit worried about my standing. I placed 2nd and was grateful. Best part of the day? My 16 year old placing first in his new age group! Second best part of the day? hanging out with friends post-race, and soaking up the sunshine. Multisport triathlon has great post-race atmosphere by having tons of draw prizes, pizza, chocolate milk, photos and even shopping! The race directors John and Jason are super friendly and the volunteers are always awesome. Can’t wait for the next race!

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