My first (full) Olympic distance triathlon
Gravenhurst 2015 was both my first full Olympic distance triathlon (technically the Garrison Triathlon two weekends ago was but the swim there was shortened due to the weather) and was my first race as a Multisport Canada Ambassador Team member.
It poured rain in Gravenhurst the night before but luckily the day of the race was nice. The Gravenhurst triathlon is unique in that they drive you out into the middle of the lake in a big boat, push you out and tell you to swim to shore. That's how I remember it anyway. My swim felt strong and steady the whole way through. I had some trouble sighting, I think I did some zigzagging and may have added a bit of extra mileage. That stems from a lack of swimming experience I think and I will continue to work on it. I find it can be tough to know where you are in the water and swimming straight just comes with practice.
The bike went well. The course was different from previous years due to road construction but Multisport Canada did a great job mapping out a new course for this year and making sure it was well marked and safe with traffic. It consisted of mostly small rolling hills, there wasn't much wind (not compared to the constant never-ending monsoon that is Kingston Ontario anyway) and the temperature was ideal which made for a fast course. I was delighted to average almost 40kph. My bike has come very far since last year and I am learning to translate what I can do in practice and on the trainer to race situations. I believe there is quite a large learning curve with longer distance racing and being able to translate your fitness into race performance is a skill in itself.
The run was on a challenging hilly course. I wasn't happy with my run while I was doing it because it was much slower than I was anticipating, but learning after the race that everyone felt the same way helped and considering that, I was happy with it. During the Garrison Triathlon I got a stomach cramp about midway through the run. So for Gravenhurst I made sure to drink my full bottle of Gatorade throughout the bike, sacrificed a couple seconds in T2 to take a couple swigs from a separate Gatorade bottle I placed in transition, and used most of the aid stations on the run for water or sport drink. This worked well as I did not cramp at all on the hilly 10k run. I finished 2nd overall behind fellow Multisport Canada Recharge with Milk Ambassador team member Andrew Bolton who blew me out of the water (pun intended) in the swim and pulled away further on the bike. I look forward to trying to close the gap on him in the upcoming Recharge with Milk Triathlon Series races.
Overall it was a very successful day. The Olympic distance was very manageable, I was finally able to make my mark in the Multisport Canada series points standings, and most importantly I completed the entire race with no knee pain whatsoever. The event was very well organized, there was a tonne of support from spectators, and the area is beautiful. I really like the Canadian cottage-country atmosphere.
As always I am grateful to be on the Multisport Canada Recharge with Milk Ambassador Team and the LPC Hurdle Project Team, both of which are key to my development. I have a bunch of Multisport Canada Recharge with Milk races coming up this summer culminating in the Niagara Falls Barrelman Triathlon. Next up is the K-town Long Course Triathlon in my backyard, Kingston.