Monday, 28 August 2017

Multisport Canada Wasaga Beach Olympic Triathlon Post-race Report

Leading up to the race

Wasaga Beach was the host of the Triathlon Ontario Provincial Club Championships, and I was excited to join a large group of LPCers participating at the event. This year was a little different than previous years in that Multisport Canada decided to host both the Sprint and Olympic race distances on the same day. I don’t typically like this format because the races tend to overlap, meaning you have finishers from both races finishing at the same time, which makes it confusing for both the racer and those watching to decipher what position you are in relative to others in your race. Wasaga Beach was not like that however, because the sprint went off at 8:30am and the Olympic at 10:30am. They were far enough apart that there was no overlap but close enough together that racers and support crews stayed for both races to watch and cheer, making for a very fun atmosphere.

My first time doing this race 2 years ago I did not have a good race, and last year I had to drop out during the run due to a nagging injury I acquired from a bike crash a few weeks before the race. The goal this year was to finally put together a strong race at this venue and really just enjoy the atmosphere and the competition, knowing that I had some teammates that were similar in ability to me racing and many others watching.

The swim

My goggles fogging during the swim has been a consistent problem of mine my entire triathlon career. Based on a suggestion from a teammate I ordered anti-fog spray, which came in right before the race. I tried it out once at the pool and again during this race and it worked fantastically. My goggles were clear the entire swim, making that leg of the race much more enjoyable. As planned I drafted most of the swim, but exited the water in about 24 minutes (1:39/km by my Garmin), which was a little slower than I was hoping.

My hairs are standing up, that means I'm
about to attack
The bike

The bike course headed out of the ‘party central’ beach area and into the rural roads of northern Ontario. The flat, exposed and non-technical course played to my strengths because I could get into the aero position and just focus on pushing big consistent watts. I knew teammate Dylan Pust would be out in front after a strong swim, so the goal was to just do my thing: grind and slowly reel him in. After making a bunch of passes early in the bike I was in 3rd at the turn around, still well behind Dylan and 2nd place Len Gushe. This was concerning knowing Dylan was a strong runner, but I stuck with my plan knowing there was still plenty of race to go. I finished the bike in 1:00:00 (40kph), still in 3rd.

The run

Leaving coach Mark in the dust
The run is a flat two lap course that starts and finishes along the sidewalk of the main stretch of beach. I have regretted in previous years feeling like crap on the run and not being able to enjoy the fun atmosphere of the run leg at this race. I started the run in 3rd, 4-5mins behind Dylan and Len, but far enough ahead of the rest of the field that, pending some sort of disaster, I was pretty sure my 3rd place was safe. My goal therefore was to push it hard, but feel strong and stay in control the whole run, so I could really just enjoy it. This strategy actually worked very well. I ended up having my strongest run of the season, capturing the fastest run of the race (and a new pair of Sketchers Performance shoes for my troubles), finishing just 10 seconds behind 2nd place, and being able to really enjoy a hard earned 3rd place. I was greeted by high fives as I ran down the final stretch into the finish line.

Post-race

I spent the afternoon chatting with teammates and other racers about their races, and spent
the evening camping with friends near the beach, sitting back and enjoying a well-executed, hard fought race. Thank you Multisport Canada for putting on such a great event, Triathlon Ontario for hosting the club championships, LPC for the comradery and making this past-time so much fun, and Zizu Optics for providing me with only bit of triathlon gear that doesn’t look dorky.

Race site by morning, beach by afternoon

That caps off my Multisport Canada series races for 2017. Based on my performances at Welland, Gravenhurst, Kingston and Wasaga Beach, I think I have secured 3rd place in the elite series standings. Now all that’s left is the Multisport Canada Rev3 Barrelman Triathlon, the focus of my training all year.