Wednesday 10 July 2013

MSC Huronia Olympic Race Report-2'nd Overall

The ontario triathlon season is already well underway for most local triathletes, but for me, it is just beginning.  Due to a severe stress fracture obtained last fall (that took me out of running for 6 months!!), I wanted to build my running back carefully and wait until mid season to start racing.  Run training has been going strong, and my coach Derek and I have been working very well together to get my running where it needs to be.  I had no real expectations heading into this race, and was mainly interested in getting some race experience and seeing how I was feeling.  Turns out I was feeling pretty good as I was able to pull off a second place finish.

Not bad for the first race of the season

I'm sure a few eyebrows were raised when people looked over the results and saw that the second place guy had run a 41 minute 10km (oh, this guys is SLOW...I guess he isn't really a runner).  Well, good thing we're not about those pessimistic attitudes here on this blog, so I'll go through my race and tell you how I though it went (glass half full approach).


Since I wasn't running much over the winter, I decided to invest my time into swim training.  Coach Brent and I have spent a lot of time at the pool, slowly but steadily improving my swimming.  After a few open water sessions in the weeks prior to the race, I was feeling pretty good with my swimming fitness.
The start of Saturdays race was one of the smoothest I have had, mainly because I decided to start to the far left of the start line.  Sighting the far buoy proved to be a bit of a challenge, but thanks to Devin Wittig (who unfortunately flatted 5km into the bike), I was able to find a nice landmark to key off of for the start.  Things quickly spread out, and I found myself mixing it up with two other Recharge with milk Development Team members Cody Beals and Angela Quick.  Things continued pretty normally in the swim until the last buoy, where Angela started to go a bit off course, which broke up our pack.  With some open water in front of me, I swam right to the beach and climbed out first!!....oh wait...Ben Sayles is a minute up?...never mind...second (so close to a swim bonus)!!  This was a great swim time for me compared to last year, and I was feeling pretty optimistic heading out on the bike.

Mixing it up on the swim (that is either Cody or I on the left- we have the same wetsuit)

After exiting from a decent T1 (1 minute down on Ben Sayles), there was a small but steep hill that needed to be conquered right off the bat.  I had practiced mounting my bike on this section prior to the race, so I got up the hill quickly and soon found my way into the aero position.  I quickly increased my pace on the bike, and was able to catch Ben before the 5km mark.  Now in the lead, I decided to put in a pretty solid effort on the hilly and windy course (I kind of wanted the bike points).  My biking is feeling even stronger than last year, so I was knew I must be putting time on my chasers.  Not much else was a pretty solitary ride...oh except when I almost hit a car as I was coming in to the finish...but that was about it.

I was the first into T2, and quickly set off running.  I set what I thought to be a decent pace, but when I saw a 3:48 for the first km, I knew it was going to be a long run.  I had seen 1:06 half marathoner Lionel Sanders coming into T2 maybe 2.5 minutes back of me, but everyone else was quite a ways back.  I continued to run steady, and was eventually passed by Lionel at about the 5km mark (and by passed I mean I was buffeted by his wake...not really, but he was going FAST).  The course was out and back, so at the turn around, I expected to see Cody or even Keith Marchant closing in on me, but to my surprise, there was still a large gap between us.  It finally dawned on me how fast I must have been going on the bike to get such a gap, and opposed to last years race (where I was passed by 2 people in the final km) I saw my possibility of a second place finish.  I just continued the pace I was running, and after a few head checks ("they must have caught up by now..."), I found myself crossing the line second overall.

Andy was HOT

Overall, I felt the race went pretty well.  Second place is certainly nothing to get upset about.  Although  I was aiming for around a 37-38 minute 10km, I can't get too upset with myself for running 41 minutes.  My run training has been really good, and in reality, even if I did achieve my ideal time, I would have just got caught closer to the finish line...   

Top 5 Men and Women Overall (Like my shirt?)

Now its time to re-group and get ready for the National Championships at the Toronto Triathlon Festival.  Looks like it is shaping up to be a really good race (for that price I would hope so), and after my showing in Huronia, I am feeling good and ready to put down a solid time (ideally a better run split).  

Thanks to my great coaches for all their help in getting me to this point, I wouldn't be where I am without them.  A thanks also goes out to Nineteen Wetsuits, who helped me out with the purchase of my super fancy Frequency.  Finally a big thanks to John Salt and the whole Multi Sport team, who, like usual, put on a fantastic event.  
I should probably also note that although I was wearing an NRG jersey, I do not get any coaching from them whatsoever.  It is the only one I currently have, which should hopefully change in the near future.   

1 comment:

  1. Great report Andrew! Glad the recovery on the injury has gone well!

    Will see you at the TTF! I am doing the sprint.