Milton is where it all began for me in 2010! It’s where I did my first triathlon, so the venue has special meaning for me. It has been a few years since I did the Subaru Triathlon Series Milton sprint distance at Kelso Conservation Area (other than as part of a relay), but with Multisport Canada’s elimination of some early season races (Woodstock, Belwood), I needed a race before Ironman Syracuse 70.3 in two weeks.
Alasdair would be cheering me on from the sidelines, with his thumb not quite ready for a return to racing.
It was clearly the first race of the season, as I forgot to pick up my timing chip and get body marking done after getting my race kit (swim cap, food band, t-shirt, product samples). Thankfully, I remembered while setting my stuff up in the transition zone.
We had to be in the park by 8:30 AM, despite my race not starting until 9:45, because the try-a-tri took place first and race organizers wanted to avoid cyclists and drivers on the same park road.
I was in the 4th of 5 waves, and was thankful for the in-water start (as opposed to running into the water when the race started). There were lots of rocks, making for some very ungraceful entries into the lake!
I lined up for the swim behind a couple of rows of people, and promptly got kicked in the head by a guy as the race began. It was pretty congested for a bit, but then things got better; however, there was still more contact than I would have liked. One swimmer in front of me was wearing shoes! I’m pretty sure that’s not allowed. In any case, my swim went okay – it was predictably slow, since I haven’t been swimming nearly as much as I should be. However, I did fairly well on the navigation side of things (clearly this orienteering business is paying off – ha!).
I struggled to get my wetsuit off, and then realized that I should have had a towel to stand on. The gravel parking lot meant for very messy feet, so I also struggled to get my socks on. As an added bonus, I was a bit lightheaded. I put on my helmet, race bib, and cycling shoes, grabbed my bike and headed for the mount line.
I set out on the bike course feeling pretty confident, knowing that after the one massive hill on 6th line the rest was pretty flat and fast. And then I encountered a whole bunch of rollers, and realized that the course was hillier than I remembered it to be! In any case my ride went pretty well. The roads were drying and the rain held off. I didn’t really have a time goal for the bike, but hoped I could maintain a pace in the high 20s. I knew early on that I wasn’t going to be able to reach a 30km/h average, but in the last 10k, which is more downhill than up, I decided to see how close to it I could get. Turns out I averaged 28.85 km/h in the end. Not bad.
I racked my bike, removed my helmet, changed my shoes, put on my hat, and headed out for the 7k run.
The last time I did this race, the run course was quite different. It left the park, crossed Campbelville Road and went through Hilton Falls Conservation Area. Now, the course stays entirely within Kelso, going first through (hilly!) campground areas, then along a path and finally along the main park road. We had heard from try-a-tri athletes who raced before us that the path was very muddy, but when I reached it, I realized that the people saying this hadn’t run the Sulphur Springs 10k last weekend like I did – now that was muddy. I was pleasantly surprised with my pace on the run. I kind of liked the course, with 3 out and back sections meaning that you got to see other athletes multiple times. I got to cheer for my friends Emma and Kristin who were both ahead of me.
The last 1+ km were pretty much downhill, so I tried to pick up the pace at the end. My average pace was 5:52 min/km, which for me is an awesome pace considering I didn’t feel that I was working that hard for it. Yay for progress.
I crossed the finish line in 2:06:40.2. I’m pretty happy with how it went, considering it was the first race of the season. Lots of room for improvement!
- Swim (750m): 18:59.4 (2:31/100m)
- T1: 2:24
- Bike (30k): 1:02:23.3 (28.85 km/h)
- T2: 1:49
- Run (7k): 41:05.7 (5:52 min/km)
- Time: 2:06:40.2
- Women 40-44: 14/17
- All women: 69/118
- All athletes: 303/425
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