It was an early (4am) wake-up on Saturday for our first tri (!!!) – even though the race wasn’t starting until 8, we wanted to catch the first ferry to Toronto Island (6am) and had to pick up our race kits before that. It’s a bit more challenging logistically with the ferry ride, mostly because I was super paranoid of forgetting anything in the car and because we needed to haul everything with us on the boat and across the island to the race site.
It was an extremely foggy morning and it was pretty spooky on the ferry ride across the lake. We could not see anything!
The buoys were not even visible from shore with the fog, so the start was going to be delayed by 15 minutes. Ahhh, more time to get
Thankfully the fog started to clear and we weren’t going to be delayed any longer. Pretty soon our friends/cheerleaders/photographers arrived and it was time to suit up and head to the beach.
We went for a short warm-up swim in the chilly water (17C/62F) including the obligatory wetsuit pee. The water was crystal clear with a nice sandy bottom and very calm – definitely not what we expected in Lake Ontario after our practice swim from the mainland last week.
Hubs’ wave with the 30-34 men started seven minutes before mine so I was able to see him off before waiting for my turn. Then it was time to wade in (we started about knee-deep) and wait for the horn.
I made the decision to be aggressive and place myself front and centre. Looking at previous results and my own open water swim times, I knew I could probably swim near the front of the pack.
At 8:29AM, we were off!
It was mad chaos at the start. People were all over me and it was impossible to find a groove. I was glad to have had practice last week swimming in a tight pack and getting clobbered, because I was able to stay calm and hold my own pretty well.
Once we made the first turn, it cleared out considerably. I had plenty of room to actually swim and found a pretty good rhythm. It was still super foggy and difficult to sight now that I wasn’t in a pack and had to find my own line. I caught myself veering off slightly a few times, but nothing major.
I made the second turn and was headed back to shore. I passed a couple of people on this home stretch and before I knew it, my hands were grazing the bottom.
My friends were cheering like crazy and called out my actual swim time for me (8:20). I was excited that it had gone well and ready to tackle part 2!
And then I face-planted in the sand.
I completely lost my footing in all the excitement (I blame for cow-bellers for being so distracting) and the next thing I knew, I went down. Naturally, it was caught on camera…
|That’s what friends are for|
My friends were laughing like crazy, and let’s be honest – so was I. How can you not? It was hilarious. Anyway, I pulled myself up and continued on my merry way. I was soaking wet so I was now covered in sand from head to toe, especially my hands. Luckily I was having so much fun that it didn’t even phase me.
It was a bit of a trek (about 300m) on sand, board walk and grass to transition. I passed at least a few people along here who were walking or jogging slowly.
400m – 8:20
+ 1:38 run up from beach
official time – 9:58
Found my rack, yanked off my wetsuit, strapped on my helmet, slipped on shoes, buckled my race belt, strapped on my Garmin, grabbed my bike and I was outta there.
I wheeled my bike out of transition and hopped on after the mount line.
The entire 10K out-and-back route would be along the paved (flat!) park trails, which were relatively narrow and open to the public. There was a strict no-passing zone for about 400m near the beginning so I used the time to secure my feet in the cages and suck back a gel that I had taped to my tube.
I was stuck behind a few people moving very slowly (average speed at this point was 23kph/14 mph) and I was itching to get moving, but had to be patient.
Once passing was allowed, I turned it on to make up time for the slow start. It was going to be a short ride, so I really cranked it and passed people like crazy. The paths turned out to be relatively clear and I never found that it was crowded.
10K goes by fast on a bike. Before I knew it, I was hitting the turn-around and on my way back. Not one person passed me the entire time!
We followed a path parallel to the bike finish to complete a short out-and-back before bringing it in. It was great to hear everyone cheering and get a quick boost to wrap up the ride.
I hopped off just before the dismount line and ran into transition on wobbly legs.
10.0KM – 18:22 – 32.7 kph (20.3 mph)
Rack bike, remove helmet, grab head band, GO!
Time to run! We headed out on grass for the first few hundred metres and I struggled to find my legs. I felt “normal” by the time we hit the paved trail for two short out-and-backs; lots of turning in this 2.5K run! There was more traffic than on the bike since we were on such a short course, and I liked having people around to chase. I passed quite a few people and offered encouragement along the way.
Next thing I knew, I hit the final turn-around and made my way back across the grass to finish.
2.5KM – 11:18 – 4:31/KM (7:16/mi)