Wasaga Beach was the latest stop for the Recharge With Milk Triathlon Series hosting the 14th Annual Wasaga Beach Triathlon weekend, great weather paired with warm water made for a fantastic venue. Saturdays included the Give-It-A-Tri, Olympic Swim Bike and Olympic Triathlon and on Sunday was the Sprint Triathlon, Sprint Swim Bike and of course the Sprint Duathlon.
Sunday the water was dead flat for the triathlon compared to Saturdays swells and waves, with minimal winds and overcast skies you couldn’t ask for better racing conditions.
As many of you know I had a less than fantastic race a few weeks ago in Bracebridge Ontario and went back to the drawing board in preparation for Wasaga. Take a read of that race report here and for an inside look at what a Sprint Duathlon is all about click here.
With three weeks leading up to Wasaga coach and I decided to make the most of my training schedule with an emphasis on endurance in hopes of rebooting my body and muscles. Here is a glimpse of what that training block looked like leading up to this past weekend.
- 2 x Rest Days
- 2x Computrainer Bikes (2:00:00 / 1:20:00 +1.5k run)
- 3x Endurance runs (7k, 10k, 10k @ Zone 2)
- 2 x Rest Days
- 2x Computrainer Bikes (1:00:00 / 1:00:00 +2k run)
- 2x Endurance runs (8k, 12k @ Zone 2)
- 10k Club Time Trial + 3K run @ Zone 2
Aug 24-30 (taper week)
- 8k run
- Easy CX bike ride focusing on cadence 1:00:00
- Brick Computrainer / Treadmill (30:00 interval bike + 2k run @ Zone 3)
- WASAGA RACE
You can see from the training block that I didn’t focus on any speed work and all my rides were on my computrainer. All of the workouts were picked by my coach (Gabbi Whitlock) and focused on muscular endurance. “EMBRACE THE BURN” #nopainnogain
This training was exactly what I needed, my body responded phenomenally to the “reboot” and I found muscle memory returned and so did that familiar leg burn that i rarely get outdoors on the bike. I was a to go on trail runs and really focus on endurance not pushing the pace and just enjoying running again. I felt like I was rewarding myself for all the hard work this season and every run was like a stress reliever.
This year has been incorporated the highest intensity of training and racing I have experienced to date and this little “reboot” is something that I will plan into my schedule for years to come. Talking with friend and triathlete Prakash Pandya at Wasage he could empathize about how it feels to have a mini burn out mid season also having done such high intensity training and racing.
For anyone who finds themselves in that mid to end of season slump, try a “reboot” and focus back on some endurance your body will thank you I know mine did.
I have said it here and will say it again racing a Sprint Duathlon is like nothing else, a super high intensity all out running cycling mayhem of exhilaration that leaves you exhausted and wanting to puke.
Enough about that let’s get into the action!
Race Lead Up
I had not raced this venue before so leading up to the race I studied my usual sources like google maps, strava and fellow athlete’s brains to get an excellent idea of what Wasaga Beach was like. The run course was had changes from previous years incorporating a “P” shape with some running through quiet residential streets. Arriving earlier than usual to the race site was great because there was a ton of parking and thanks to MultiSport Canada every athlete had a free parking pass for a municipal lot. These were included in your Pre Race emails, make sure you read those!
Car parked and unloaded I racked my bike in the back of transition where the duathletes were designated…. I mean WAY IN THE BACK! There was no straight route to the mount / dismount line that’s for sure and I knew that weaving through what felt like cattle corals was going to slow down transition times and it did. Body marked and race bib collected Laura and I went down to the water through the run chute to get and idea of where I would be running to and from. Down along the beach it was calm water and perfectly groomed sand as you would expect for Wasaga. Alex VanderLinden and Angela Quick were on site tweeting photos of the calm water and we chatted about racing conditions, predictions of how my race might go and the usual other athlete banter. Leaving the beach area, we all headed back to the transition area and I went back in to check on things. Meeting my fellow Balance Point athlete Chris Marentette we gathered at our bikes and chatted about the race day and what the outcomes might be. By now it was time to warmup on the bike so I grabbed the “red rocket” and headed out of transition stopping at our club tent to say hi to coach and go over the race plan one last time. Out for a 10k warmup on the bike I went through my usual set of easy riding, builds and surges making sure to keep my watts steady riding just enough to bring my legs up to a gentle burn. I stopped at the 5k mark and talked with the OPP filling them in on what was about to happen and thanked them for their time and for keeping us safe out on the roads. Returning to the race site and with 20 minutes to race time I went out for my run warmup with Chris and we scouted the first section of the race course noting the sandy patches and so on that could be slick. We returned to the race start and listened to Jason Vurma go over the pre race details and course instructions.
The count down started and at the sound of the horn it was on!
The run started like they all do fast and furiously leading along the beach with a fantastic cheering squad of bystanders. Myself and BPT teammate Chris Marentette quickly merged shoulder to shoulder and settled in behind Ben Snider-McGrath who lead the first run from start to finish.
Chris and I had discussed earlier and he said he was going to pace with me on the first run, Chris is a fantastic runner but has a tendency to go out hard and hold on for deal life so knowing that I am a decent “pace bunny” we stuck together. By the time we hit the 1k mark my watch said 3:24 which was right on target and pushing past the 2k we were still running 3:30/km. Ben ran the whole time in the lead and my goal was to keep him in reach for the bike. In the past I have tried to hang on to people in front of me but they kept slipping away, well I was not going to let that happen this time. Keeping within exactly 30 seconds or Ben he only vanished from sight on the corners for mere moments and I was back on his heals.
I should mention that at the first aid station was a guy with a trumpet taking requests for songs! I yelled “highway to hell” but I don’t think he heard me…..
We hit the 3k mark and since I had my land mark picked from pre race planning I knew I was going to run harder at that point. No matter what the pace was it was time to push that last 2k to T1. At this point Chris had settled in behind me but was right on my heals and as I picked up the pace I could feel him slipping and clawing back keeping up with my surges as I tried to drop him. The aggressive pacing was catching up to everyone and as we filed down to the beach that last 800m were spaced out even more. That section is a long straight run along the beach to the start/finish line, turning at this point you ran up 25 meters into transition (T1).
Entering T1 I knew that Ben was only 30 second ahead of me with Chris just 4 seconds behind me was quickly followed by Aniket and Jeremy Carter (excellent cyclist). Looking at the times afterwards the front pack and top 5 runners was all fairly close together on that flat fast first five k…. say that five times fast!!!!
Bike – 20k
Getting into T1 I quickly ran to the back where I was racked, it was so far in the back I could hear spectators saying “where is he going”, “your going the wrong way”…finally reaching my bike I clipped up my helmet and ran it out of T1. Again maneuvering around what felt like steel cattle fencing across the timing matts. Reaching the line, I found 3 athletes all standing still getting on their bikes and thought I was going to run into them but luckily I saw and opening took advantage, running my bike almost 8 meters past the mounts line to get clear I could finally jump on. Quickly slipping into my shoes I crossed the bridge turned left and rocketed towards the pack of cyclists. I was right in the middle of the congestion and even after the mount line I knew I was going to have to ride hard to get through it. I road the first full kilometer with and exuberant 310 watt avg but this allowed me to pass a large group of congested cyclists and settle into my groove. Finally able to pull to the right right and ride on my own for a little I got my first break and tok in some fluids . It was during that early surge that I was able to ride past Ben putting myself in the lead early on. I knew that I had to keep the pace up because Jeremy was back there and pushing hard to catch me on the bike. I put my head down and peddled hard for the next 4k when I reached the first of a few small climbs, nothing like bracebridge but still 7% is no laughing matter. Shifting into the small chain ring (42T) I kicked up the cadence and climbed while keeping it above 100 rpm. Shifting down just before cresting the hill I powered up and over the top at 340 watts. Feeling the burn in my legs growing with every passing kilometer I knew if I kept my cadence up and focused on my pedal stroke I could keep up this pace for the back half of the race. At the turn around I glanced down and my Garmin said I had a 240W avg @ 38km/hr, this was fantastic because I was able to use far less wattage than I had planned on in the first half of the bike and going off that I turned it up a notch on the way back. The second half was almost identical to the first powering up the hills and passing lost of people with that little fear that Jeremy was going to catch me!! He almost did too because he road faster over the 10k than I did, what an athlete, kudos Jeremy!
The second half of the bike like I mentioned was similar to the first but I turned up the speed and wattage and was able to finish the 10k section with and 246W avg @ 40.5km/hr.
As I crossed the bridge with 50 meters to the dismount line I was ecstatic with my bike performance and knew I was still in the lead at this point. I dismounted and ran into T2 but as I entered transition I almost crashed into an official. I don’t know is she didn’t see me coming or what but I was running my bike by its seat and moving a lot faster than she perhaps expected she jumped out of the way and I managed to dodge her and keep moving but in the process right shoe being still attached to the bike hit the ground causing my bike to “hop”. This popped off my shoe and chain simultaneously and my bike stopped rolling as the rear wheel locked up. I picked up the entire bike and like a cycle cross race carried it over my shoulder through T2 running along as onlookers clapped and cheered. Reaching my rack spot I put my bike down and racked it properly minus a shoe. My adrenaline was rushing at this point and I slipped on my shoes and ran out of T2 on the last run.
Shout out to fellow duathlete Paula Lockyer for the awesome cheering in T2 and helping to get me pumped up for the last run, she was doing the relay with her daughter.
Exiting T2 and running down to the beach area the fences were packed with crazy cheering bystanders it was fantastic, by far my favorite race for spectators yet this year!
Run2 – 2.5k
I was determined to keep a solid pace for the last run and finish as strong as possible and not knowing where Jeremy was a little unnerving with the fumble of T2. When I reached the 1.25k turn around again passing the awesome trumpet guy there he was I could see Jeremy, he must have been 250m back from the aid station and right behind him was Ben still hot in it and running hard. I gathered everything that was left in my legs and pushed hard for that last 1k marker. It was at that point I started to look back and check my shoulder making sure I was still in a good spot, I reached that long straight drag strip of a finish and you could hear the crowd cheering. At this point I was even ahead of the first place triathlete and as the lead cyclist realized I was in front of him he pulled off and road up beside me leading my thought to the finish. In the last 25 meters I tried to sprint but only managed to make a great race face for the photographer as I attempted to “suck air”. This was an all out effort from start to end and as I crossed the finish securing yet another overall victory this year I couldn’t be more pleased with a comeback race that was Wasaga Beach.
The whole day of racing was fantastic, the fans, the organization and weather came together to provide everyone a safe day of racing. My training block I used to reboot my system was a success and I am pleased with not only the overall time but each part of the race individually. Congratulations to everyone who raced this past weekend at Wasaga Beach, as usual great turn out and endless competition in every event. This was the second last MultiSport Canada race of my season, next up is Lakeside on September 12/13. A quick mention is that there is another race that weekend t’s new this year check it out “Georgina” click her for more details.
I look forward to seeing everyone at the next one and until then as my good friend Garvin once said to me “Knees up and rubber down”.
- Laura my beautiful as always for cheering me on!
- MultiSport Canada – John Salt, Jason Vurma, Steve Fleck and everyone else from this great organization
- My Coach – Gabbi Whitlock and everyone from Balance Point Triathlon#OrangePower
- 3SIXTY5 Cycling – Fat88’s – Fast day on the bike thanks to some fantastic and solid wheels!
- 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