A flat tire on our car 200 m from home, a slow motion goose crossing, and 2 baby raccoons who weren’t sure which way to run off the road made for a somewhat eventful drive to the Fergus area for our 2nd time doing the Multisport Canada Triathlon Series Belwood sprint triathlon! (On the bright side, the tire was only flat on the bottom!)
On our way to the race we passed a cyclist with a big backpack, who we figured must be racing, and wondered how far he was riding to and from the race. I spotted him arriving, and it turns out he rode 27 km to get there. Alasdair has always wanted to ride to a race, so we’re hoping to do it later this summer (because we’re crazy)!
Our 7:15 AM arrival still left lots of time for me to register (picking up my swim cap, race bib, t-shirt, timing chip and sample of Martin’s Apple Chips – yum!) and set up my stuff in transition. I discovered that I didn’t have any gels with me, and neither did Alasdair, so he went to buy a few from one of the on-site vendors.
I left Alasdair in transition to scramble to put his wetsuit on in time, and headed to the water to find someone to zip my wetsuit up and to do a short warm-up swim. I also joined in on a group picture for Trysport Niagara (one of the race sponsors) for anyone wearing a Nineteen brand wetsuit (there were more of us, but apparently we were the only ones willing to get in the picture). Turns out Alasdair was in there too!
750 m SWIM
The race was to start at 8:30 AM, with Alasdair and I starting in the same wave, the 3rd and final one. I told him that my plan was to draft off of him for the entire race. I was kidding, and once the race started, congestion meant he lost me pretty much immediately anyway! My swim was very uneventful. I seemed to be sighting well, and felt that I was swimming okay. I did have to stop twice to fix my left goggle lens, and a couple of times to get around someone, but otherwise, it was a pretty straightforward swim. I was disappointed – yet again – to see 17:58 when I stood up in the water.
It was quite a run to the transition zone, where I spotted Alasdair at his spot. A quick pee stop and a change into biking gear, and I was off. I headed out with my bike, knowing that Alasdair wasn’t too far ahead of me.
30 km BIKE
The first 15 km were great – I was averaging over 30 km/h, and felt strong. I spotted Alasdair just before the first turnaround, which was at the 10 km marker. He didn’t notice me. Just after 15 km, we turned into the hills and 30 km/h wind, and my speed dropped drastically! My ride was pretty uneventful. At one point, a man was drafting me for a few minutes, and I almost told him to stop when he pulled ahead. It was quite a pretty ride, with views of rolling farm fields. At one point, a man rode a horse with a cart around a track on a property just on the other side of the road. I forgot the nasty wind for at least a few seconds. When I finished the ride and arrived back at my spot in transition, I had nowhere to put my bike! Someone had left their bike where mine was supposed to be. Another athlete helped me to move bikes over to make room for mine (above my running shoes, hat, etc.).
7.5 km RUN
I headed out on the run feeling like I had to pee but not wanting to stop – I hoped that I wouldn’t regret my decision. The run route is along an old rail trail, and is slightly uphill on the way out. Right near the beginning another athlete asked me if I would undress him – or at least unzip the back of his tri top! He commented that we needed to find our running legs. I had a pretty good run here last year, and wasn’t sure I’d be able to do as well this time. However, my first few km’s were around a 5:33-5:38 pace, which was faster than last year’s 5:57 pace. I was able to hold off a couple of cramps, and did what I could to not drop my pace too much. I heard Alasdair cheering for me as I approached the finish line.
In the end, my time was 2:09:08.5, which was a little disappointing, given that last year I finished in 2:04:36.1. My swim was 2 minutes slower (not sure what’s going on with my swim this year!), my bike 4 minutes slower, but my run nearly 2 minutes faster, so that’s something to celebrate!
After the race, we visited the Recharge with Milk tent for a cold carton of chocolate milk, and then chatted with Cody Beals at the Martin’s Apple Chips tent. Cody is a pro triathlete from Fergus who now has 2 Ironman 70.3 wins to his name and also has numerous other podium finishes. His very first triathlon was the Belwood sprint triathlon 10 years ago.
We discovered that Alasdair and Cody share a love of physics and earth and space science. Such an approachable guy! Check out his blog at: codybeals.blogspot.ca
After grabbing the post-race food (pizza, pretzels, fruit, Martin’s Apple Chips – a local business and one of Cody’s sponsors), we headed for a picnic table near the swim exit where we could cheer on the last of the try-a-tri swimmers who were finishing their swims.
We spotted Romano, who used to own the Burlington restaurant Buonasera, where Alasdair and I got married nearly 15 years ago!
We stayed for the awards, and then headed home. Belwood, we’ll be back!
Time: 2:09:08.5 – 5/7 women 40-44, 46/81 women, 130/198 overall
750 m swim: 19:23.2 (2:35 min/100 m) – 5/7 women 40-44, 56/81 women, 145/198 overall
30 km bike: 1:03:40.9 (28.27 km/h) – 5/7 women 40-44, 43/81 women, 125/198 overall
7.5 km run: 42:51.6 (5:42 min/km) – 5/7 women 40-44, 46/81 women, 132/198 overall