This is part I of my triathlon double-header. Read part II here.
If you’re intrigued by the idea of doing a triathlon, but you’re too scared to jump right in, consider doing a relay with friends! Last year, Alasdair and I introduced our friend John to the world of triathlon when we invited him to do the Guelph Lake II relay with us as our runner. He was a new runner then, but was quick to say yes! He had a great time and agreed to do it again this year. So, Saturday morning we met at the Guelph Lake Conservation Area for our race, a 750m swim, 30k bike, and 7.5k run. Last year, I swam and Alasdair biked, but this year, he would swim while I biked and John ran. I knew I’d be slower than he was on the bike last year, but I wanted to see what I could do.We registered, which included signing waivers and picking up our race bib, the timing chip, t-shirts and product samples, and got our stuff organized in transition. There is a specific bike rack assigned to relay racers. Despite doing the majority of our races this summer in the Multisport Canada Triathlon Series, there were lots of friendly faces at this race!
Our friend Jordan was doing the sprint as his very first triathlon – I will be forever grateful to him for practically begging me in spring 2000 (the day I met him at a co-ed soccer tournament in Dundas) to join the co-ed team he was playing on (they desperately needed more women) – it’s how I got to know Alasdair!
All relay teams would start in the 5th and final swim wave. I watched the swim start, then headed to the bathroom one last time, and back to the transition zone where John and I would wait for Alasdair. We spotted Jordan first, then eventually heard the announcer say that team JAK’d (John Alasdair Kyra) was on its way in to the transition zone. The timing chip on Alasdair’s ankle was read by a computer as he crossed a timing mat, popping up our team name on a screen that the announcer was reading.
The transition zone was set up on a gravel lot this year, so the race organizers had put mats down for us to run on. Otherwise, Alasdair would have been treading gingerly to meet me at the bike rack! John took the timing chip off of Alasdair’s ankle and put it onto mine (which I adjusted quickly when I realized it was too high and might fall down and flop around). And then I was off!
A great ride for me would be 30k in 60 minutes, or 30 km/h. I passed a ton of people on the bike, saying “on your left” over and over again. There was quite a bit of congestion on the bike, given that we started in the last swim wave. The pavement for the first 5k was quite rough. I had forgotten my watch, so I was wearing Alasdair’s, which he gave me after the swim. It was fun checking it to see my speed – my regular watch doesn’t have that ability.
At around the 10k mark I caught up to Jordan and passed him (woohoo!). The ride was pretty uneventful, other than the non-stop passing. I was really happy to see that I was maintaining a speed of 30 km/h! There are a couple of pretty significant hills on the course. When I reached the dismount line, I was at exactly 60 minutes, but by the time I ran over the timing mat, I lost my 30 km/h average! Ah well, I’m super happy with my ride. I entered the transition zone and started running to the bike rack. I was confused, because Alasdair and John weren’t there! What the heck? Where were they? I was looking all around the rack, and at all the other relay athletes watching for their riders coming back. I spotted them, and yelled “Alasdair! John!” — because Jordan headed out on the bike before me, they expected to see him return before me, and totally missed me ride past! Alasdair grabbed the timing chip off my leg, and was about to put it on John’s leg when another athlete told us not to do it before I had racked my bike. So I put my bike on the rack, then the chip went onto John’s leg, and off he went! Alasdair and I were able to catch up on our swim and bike legs (he was happy with his swim), and watch for other athletes coming in from the bike. We got to cheer for Jordan and see him go onto the run course. I went to use the bathroom, where I happened to run into Ailish! I hadn’t seen her since the race began, since she was reading in the shade under a tree down by the lake. She joined me and we watched the runners returning from the run course and down the last hill to the finish line. We spotted a couple of people I knew – Jordan’s brother Geoff, Kristin my new swim buddy – and then John! Alasdair ran the last little bit with him, peeling away just before the finish. Alasdair later ran Jordan to the finish too (he did great and is hooked!).
John’s run was faster than last year – he too was pleased with his leg of the relay! In the end, we finished 11/25 relay teams (including 1 that was DQ’d and 1 that didn’t finish)! We placed better than we did last year, though our overall time was a bit slower (because of Alasdair’s super fast bike last year). It was a very fun morning, and I hope to race with team JAK’d again!
Time: 1:59:26.3 – 11/25 relay teams
750m swim (Alasdair): 17:37.2 (2:20 min/100m – includes long run up to transition) – 10/25 relay teams
30k bike (Kyra): 1:00:31.2 (29.74 km/h) – 10/25 relay teams
7.5k run (John): 38:57.9 (5:33 min/km) – 12/25 relay teams
Athletes were given subs, fruit, pita chips, granola bars, and gatorade after the race. We stayed for most of the awards, but then we left. Normally we stay, but because I’m crazy, I decided a week ago to do my first ever triathlon double-header at Guelph Lake II – I was going to race in the try-a-tri in the afternoon, so I had to get ready! Stay tuned to see how that went after pushing my legs on the bike…