The day started out nice and early with a 4:40am wake up call. It's so nice to race in your home town because you have all your normal conveniences of home. I quickly grabbed my coffee, ate a bowl of leaping leamers cereal, threw on my tri kit and we were out the door at 5:30am. As we were nearing the top of our street Barry starts asking me if I've got everything ... cycling shoes, helmet, runners ... I was a little exasperated with him and then I slammed on the breaks, threw the truck in reverse - crap - I don't remember packing my goggles last night. A bit of panic sets in as I'm not sure where my goggles were ... but luckily I found a pair quickly and we were back on the road to transition.
We arrived with plenty of time and I was happy to run into my buddy Erin as I was walking to transition.
|Nice TTC Kits! Me, Tara, Clare and Erin|
|Amazing that Barry captured this shot of me!|
|Always happy to be out of the water|
|darn sticky velcro!|
|Do you see my race belt and bib on my aerobars?|
As I'm approaching the ramp to get to the mount line I hear "hey, number 840, number 840 you dropped your race belt". Crap - that's me! New this year, you are no longer required to wear your bib on the bike. However, I still, out of habit, put the race belt on my handle bars so I can snap it on. I obviously completely forgot to do that. I had to lean my bike up against the fence and run back to get my belt.
I didn't have any trouble running up the ramp this year in my shoes. I found if I ran on my tippy toes I was fine. I finally made it to the mount line and got on my bike. It's a slow exit as you ride through the twists and turns of Exhibition Place and I was able to take some water and try to collect myself. Then we take the on ramp to the Gardner Expressway and the real bike race starts. We headed directly into a very strong easterly wind and there is a nice climb right out of the gate so I decided to downshift to my small ring and CRAP - my chain dropped! I tried to shift back up and get it to catch but I was floundering so I stopped and manually put the chain back on. At this point I was pretty deflated! I had a terrible T1, I dropped my race belt and then I dropped my chain! And to make things just a bit more miserable, my feet were numb from the swim!
It took me a couple of minutes to regain my composure and put the mistakes behind and focus on the bike. Heading into the strong headwind was tough and seeing my speed hover between 25 and 28 kph was depressing. I had hoped to average 33 kph and at this rate, with the dropped race belt and the drop chain, I wan't going to make it. The course turns North onto the DVP and is generally up hill. When we made the turn around at Eglington, I think my Garmin said my average speed was 27.9 kph but now it was game time with a mostly downhill with a tail wind return. I tucked down into my most aero of aero positions and focused. And I made up a lot of ground and ended up with a bike split of 1:16:31 averaging 31.4kph. Not what I wanted but given I gave up at least a minute each with the fumbles, I'll take it. I had expected to beat my time from last year by a nice margin, but in the end I was less than a minute faster.
I dismounted and took my shoes off before I ran down the ramp into transition. When we entered transition they made us go to the left and around to the middle which threw me off and for some reason I forgot my number and my transition location! I ended up at the 540 spot, confused and then frantically looking for my transition spot. You would think this was my first triathlon for goodness sakes! I finally made my way to my spot, racked my bike, helmet off, socks and shoes on, sunglasses and visor and I was off. I ended up with a disgraceful T2 time of 1:45!
|"it's just not my day"|
|about 500 meters to go, focusing on breathing, no time to smile|
|getting ready for the finish - money shot Barry!|
|I managed my jump across the finish line|
|and for the very first time, collapsed after crossing|
My results barely made my goals! I finished in 2:38:08, a mere 29 seconds faster than last years 2:38:37! And while my 2:38:37 finish last year gave me 6/18 in my age group. My 2:38:08 finish gave me 10/30 in my age group! I made a PR by the skin of my teeth and I snatched a spot to go race Worlds in 2014 representing team Canada!
I have to say, the race organizers did a good job of listening to feedback from last years race (here's last years race report). The run course was much improved with the inbound run in the curb lane of Lakeshore, well manned aid stations and less confusion with the signage. However, they could give us more markers on the run course - they marked 2.5km, 5km and 1km to go only. The finish line amenities were much better this year with a free Hero Burger to athletes and other food truck options near by. There was still a lack of adequate port-o-potties at both the transition and the finish line - hopefully they will get that right next year!
I will most likely race this race again next year - only because it is our Club's home race!
|post race celebrations!|
|Barry in his bright shirt so I can always find him!|
And finally, thanks to the Toronto Triathlon Club for having a post race tent with water and fruit and cookies! It's a wonderful feeling being a part of such a wonderful organization! Thank you to all the board members and other members who gave their time to support the efforts at the finish!