Lakeside was my last race of the #MultiSport Canada Recharge With Milk Triathlon Series for the 2015 race season, it was a great day of racing thanks to the volunteers for their efforts all day long #BPT. I am more than pleased with the strong season full of fantastic results and like everyone my body is overdue for some much needed r&r. This year my goal was to compete in the MultiSport Canada series earning age group points. Being that this was my last year in the 25-29 age group I wanted to give it my all and see what would happen. After my last win at Wasaga Beach I secured my place at the top of the series and lakeside was just going to be icing on the cake. Finishing the year with 5 overall podiums out of 6 races I couldn’t be happier. 3 of those were my overall wins and a 2nd and 3rd overall respectively. Every year the competition advances leaps and bounds with lots of up and comers emerging at every race, the duathlon race scene in ontario is alive and well. I faced off against so many worthy competitors all year it is impossible to name you all so congratulations to everyone that I battled with out on the course, outstanding racing form everyone this year. Most people will be taking some time off before fall/winter training and I can’t wait for cooler temperatures and fall road races. Fall is my favourite time of year for cycling and road running so follow along for those adventures here on my blog all season long. Who knows you might see a race report from a cyclocross event in hear in the future as I continue to post training articles, videos, thoughts, gadget reviews etc.
Times for the day proved to be very fast (as usual) and everyone had wicked opening run splits, bike times were also quick despite the winds but the last run was the deciding factor for top 3 spots. We all entered T2 within seconds of one another but my legs just didn’t have anything left at that point.
Race Lead Up
Cool temperatures and partially cloudy skies were reminiscent of last years race conditions, minus the wet and rain everyone fought through. I arrived to the race very early and got a great spot in the racks but unlike last year the duathletes were corralled into the tri a tri area separated form the rest of the athletes by a divider fence in transition. Racking my bike I then picked up my race kit and timing chip before I headed back into transition where I mingled and talked with fellow athletes as they arrived. A lot of the volunteers were from the club I belong to Balance Point Triathlon so chatting with fellow athletes as they helped get setup for the day ate up some time.
With still over an hour to go to race time I went out for a bike, it was a true warm up just trying to stay warm. Riding my usual sets of high cadence drills with some surges I put my bike through its paces and made sure everything was in working order. No sooner did I finish my warmup and the battery in my power meter died so I knew it was cold also 😛 . This really didn’t bother me because knowing that I was going to ride harder than ever with NE winds gusting 25-30k/hr. I wish I had the power file to see just how hard I was riding because there were stretches of the ride where I indeed peddled well above my usual threshold trying to catch the leader and drop drafting riders.
Returning to transition I met up with fellow athlete and winner of the day Aaron Putman, we went out on a run warmup, Aaron in his best form was the overall winner and informed me he was using Lakeside as a “fitness test” as he prepped for worlds just a short time away.
A quick visit with my family and a good luck kiss form Laura and it was off the the start line. Everyone exchanged pleasantries and the usual “good luck” hand shakes and fist bumps as the count down started…..5….4….3…2….1 GO!
At the sound of the horn everyone was off and the top 6 runners of the day were all around 3:06/k some a little faster at the 1k mark. Pulling into the lead was Marcel and Joseph quickly followed up by a few others including myself, Aaron and Jeremy. At the 2.5k turn I had slipped into 5th or 6th place and everyone was running incredibly fast despite the gravel roads. To be honest I knew that the younger fellows like Joseph would be just over a minute ahead of myself but I didn’t realize how many people were going to make up the top run splits of the day incredible paces!!! With the last 800m section of the run back on pavement I was able to pick it up a bit coming into transition determined to catch everyone on the bike, little did I know that Aaron was steamrolling ahead of me with the same mindset!
Thanks to Scott Finch who was out on his CX bike cheering us on for the course, its always nice to have someone along the race course to give you that boost, he even informed me I was only about 1:00 down form the leader and that helped to know. With the twists and turns on the run it is hard to keep track of people if they leave your sights. The run was long as it usually is at lakeside by 200+ meters so my opening 5k split time was actually 17:43, which is the fastest I have ever run for that distance even on a flat course. This also gives you an idea that even with such a fast run split I was still off the leaders time by a full minute. I have to give kudos to these younger athletes, they are truly making a sprint race a “sprint” and just trying to keep up feels impossible at times. It’s a good thing I have more years on the bike because that is where I truly excel and know I can make up 1-2 minutes if need be.
Heading into T1 knowing my bike was right infront of the “bike out” I breezed through transition with the cheering fans yelling out. Running my bike well past the mount line like I normally do now to get clear of everyone I did my signature “flying squirrel mount” so is been dubbed by my family and put the pedal to the metal.
As you can see from the run data HR was nice and high but what I found fascinating was my time for 5k distance. 17:43 the fastest time I have ever clocked in at in any race let alone the opening run of a duathlon and it was on a hilly gravel course.
Bike – 20k
The first 1k if the bike takes you out beside the lake and gives you an opportunity to catch your breath before the first corner. After turning the corner you pedal up the first small hill that is usually quite congested and the pavement on this stretch is awful! Thanks to my 25mm tires @85psi and my #3SIXTY5 Cycling race wheels it didn’t feel too bad compared to previous years. Following that there are a series of downward rollers all leading up to the second small hill again congested I peddled past everyone yelling “on your left!” With 5k down you turn right and head south all the way to the half way turn around. This section was the by far the worst I have ever experienced at a race for blocking and drafting, I was glad when the OFFICIALS motor bike showed up and broke up a whole bunch of riders. This section I road with a 45k/hr average despite being blocked multiple times forcing me to pass 3 wide but still remaining on the proper side of the road. At the 6k mark I finally caught up to and blew past all those speedy youngsters who had run so fast for the first split, this was no time for celebration though because I still couldn’t see Aaron. I witnessed numerous people crossing the centre line and one fellow drafting so close to another rider you would have thought the bikes were attached……..I alerted the rider in front who thanked me and gave the guy behind him a little brake check ;).
Please remember the rules and don’t try and cheat the system, drafting is not only illegal, it’s dangerous…. My blood boils when I see this during a race and while I know me saying something doesn’t do any good as a honest racer I feel obligated to make other rides aware of their misconduct while out on the bike.
To Howie and fellow BPT athlete Ray, my apologies for being that guy on the bike who was yelling “BREAK IT UP… STOP DRAFTING!!! GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!” it was just my passion and a little heat of the moment as I forced my way by through the groups of blocked riders that you guys got stuck in also (not their faults). I was on a mission and at this point just before the 10k turn around mark I finally saw Aaron which got me all fired up. We exchanged glances and that was it heads down we both peddled as hard as possible. It was at this point I wished I had my power meter because it felt like I was surging to pass people and keep up with bursts of 350 watts. I knew that if I keep hard on the pedals I could have a chance to catch Aaron before the 15K mark (this was the new goal). Sometimes you have to adjust your plans on the fly even if it means riding harder than planned. Averaging 37k/hr into that wind was no small feat and I passed everyone I could infant of me one by one but it seemed that with every person I passed Aaron passed two. The rollers heading back to Lakeside are far more difficult with a nasty wind and with my legs fading I started to feel my left calf tightening as I passed the 15k mark with Aaron still out of reach. The second last turn to go and I saw fellow BPT athlete Bernie Linseman (newly crowned IRONMAN!!) cheering at the corner as he directed bike traffic, this got me more pumped up to catch the leader. With only 5k to go and some small rollers ahead of us the wind disappeared and started to help from behind, this sounds great but with this welcomed relief was only momentary as again Aaron puled away from me. My goal to catch him by 15 failed and now with only 3k to go I just kept him my sights. With every incline my fatigued legs took a beating as my mind kept them going round and round, it was truly mind over matter at this point. The problem with that was I stopped thinking about proper pedal stroke so with every little hill I was pulling with my calf and not my hips which aggravated it more and more but adrenaline is a powerful thing and you can be doing damage with out realizing it. This may seem like a rookie mistake and I normally never think about my pedal stroke because it is so trained in my brain but when your legs are tired your form can suffer and that was certainly what happened to me in those last few kilometres. With 1k to go Aaron was finally in reach and as he bent down to loosen his shoes I flew past him hoping it would rattle him or shake things up a bit, I thought to myself that perhaps he was more tired than I was from his outstanding bike. As we came to the dismount line I ran my bike into T2 and this is immediately where there was an issue. Like I mentioned earlier I was racked on the other side of a sectioned off area in transition and with my usual dismount at 20k/hr I always enter transition “hot”. For the second time this year I almost collided with someone standing in transition (volunteer) because they were too close to the entrance. The turn to get to the “duathlon area” was 90 degrees making it almost impossible to come into properly and Aaron actually collided into me gladly we both were fine and just made it into the proper section. The transition racks were setup so close to the “bike out” that I am surprised no one got hurt. For next year I will make sure to remind someone that more space is needed because it was dangerous even at low speed for someone who is not as agile or comfortable with maneuvering their bike in and out of transition. Aaron and myself ran out of T2 with Jeremy hot on our heals after his also fantastic ride.
With a 32:01 bike split I managed to be a full minute faster than last years time. Thanks #3SIXTY5 Cycling these wheels turned into weapons as they usually do! It was also great to see lots of others on them as well but the coolest ones I saw were the para athletes who were also rocking some #3SIXTY5 wheels on their incredible dual person race bike!!!
I wish I had the power data to go with this ride because I know that I road harder than any race this year leaving everything out on the course! There is something to be said about riding on feel I would have like to see just how extreme the riding was though. Heart rate was at or above threshold with a average of 165bpm for the entire ride…. just like both runs.
Run 2 – 2.5k
Right out of the run chute Aaron and I ran shoulder to shoulder until we were 400m out and then he started to pull away. My calf was very tight and I hoped if I just kept the pace up I could shake it out but that was not the case. Now at the 1k with the turn around in sight I had fallen farther back and that hope of winning slipped out of my grasp. The kicker was with the fade and fatigue came Jeremy who saw a opportunity to capitalize on my broken spirit and with 800m to go he went sailing past me as if I was standing still. It was now I knew how much my legs were fatigued because I couldn’t command enough from them to hold him off, but knowing that I was still going to take 3rd of the day was satisfying.
Coming down the finish chute I raised my arms crossing the line and was glad that this race was finally over, as badly as I wanted the win at Lakeside having missed it now 3 years ins a row these two guys wanted it that much more than I did. Knowing I was going to share the podium with two great athletes Aaron and Jeremy was a perfect way to end my MultiSport Season.
Standing in the finishers chute we exchanged banter about the race day and were congratulatory to one another.
What a fantastic way to wrap up our duathlon MultiSport Canada season with such a close race, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Sorry Aaron but this pic is just too good… Jeremy and I are exhausted and you look fresh as can be with that smirk.
Run 2 data showed a similar story to the rest of the day HR was super high and made for some uncomfortable racing at times. As I type this report it has turned into Sunday and I slept for 10 hours or so last night as my exhausted body tries to recuperate from such all out exertion.
Pleased with yet another overall podium finish I accomplished my goal of the year by winning the series points for my age group and with yet another faster time than the pervious year by almost a full minute what could be better.
Rest and relaxation are coming and some local fall road races are in store but before that there is one more small event that I like to participate in annually and the proceeds go to support charity.
I will be posting up a year review or recap of my season but not until after my final duathlon of the season the 5th Annual Tillsonburg Charity Duathlon. George Papadakos, triathlete and local host puts on this fantastic event every year so if you are looking for a great way to end your du or tri season come out and show your support to the Alzheimer’s society of Oxford County.
Sunday, September 27 in Tillsonburg
3K Run – 15K Bike – 3K Run
Please also check out the MultiSport Canada Niagara Falls Barrelman “The Most Iconic Half in Canada!” even if you are not racing consider spectating because this event is fantastic and brings a ton of talent from all over Canada.
Check it out on September 20th! #barrelmantri
- Laura my beautiful as always for cheering me on and taking the videos!
- MultiSport Canada – It’s been a pleasure to be an ambassador this year, thank you.
- My Coach – Gabbi Whitlock and everyone from Balance Point Triathlon #OrangePower
- 3SIXTY5 Cycling – Fat88’s – Wicked fast wheels and another blazing bike split for the day!!!
- Recharge With Milk– Thanks for the swag and milk at the finish line!!!!!!!
- Thanks to the following for their ongoing support and decision to be a part of #TeamSummerfield