Saturday was the second MultiSport Canada Triathlon Series race of the year and it was located in the beautiful Rose City (Welland, Ontario). There were a lot of great sponsor tents set up and I could see the Recharge with Milk zone was all ready for all the athletes after their races. This is a venue that I had only raced as part of a triathlon relay team (ORANGE POWER) in 2013 where I powered through the bike portion with a time similar to Saturday’s Du bike split for a win.
Going into Saturdays race I was confident in a podium finish, like Jesse Bauer predicted here in his race preview I knew that Andrew McLeod would most certainly be keeping me in check and we would battle it out on the bike. Larry Bradley was the favorite to win this event his incredible 5K run times are something that everyone who races him are familiar with. I knew my work was cut out for me but my goal was to keep Larry in sight on the run and try like hell to stick with him on the bike. If all went according to plan I knew that the last run was going to be the determining factor between 1st and 2nd place.
Unfortunately due to mechanical problems just a few kilometers from T2 Larry was not able to finish the race and this opened up the door to me and the opportunity to win my second overall win of the season. As a fellow athlete and competitor I am disappointed that Larry was not able to finish but when I went past him on the side of the road I knew that if anyone could recover from a mechanical and come back to win it would be Larry so I had to keep my head in the game and keep powering on.
This ended up not being the case and Larry was not able to fix his bike on the side of the road and this left Andrew and I battling for 1st and 2nd.
Kudos to him on being a positive person about the whole thing a quality athlete and person.
Race Lead Up
Laura and I stayed in Niagara Falls the night before the race and drove the short 30 minutes to the race site early that morning. Arriving shortly after 7:00 a.m. we found a great parking sport along the road outside of the busy parking lots and walked a couple of minutes to the race site.
I racked my bike in transition and met up with the usual group Larry, Aaron, Howie, Jeremy and Garvin. Everyone was pumped up and ready to race after reading Jesse’s race preview. Larry was focused and we exchanged hellos as we both went to warm up. Larry has a relaxed personality and mental focus like no other you could tell he was eager to race, planning on going after the course record that has stood since 2010 – Tommy Ferris 1:23:33.
I did a solo bike warm up out along the first 3k of the course and took mental notes of the bumps under the train
bridge and planned my lines for race time. After a series of pickups and so forth I headed back into transition and re-racked my bike putting on my elastics and picking my gearing I wanted. With the bike warmup done I again met up with friends in transition and Aaron and I went out on a run warm up to scout the run course. Having not done the run before I wanted to see all the crossings and turns to make sure again I had my lines picked out. The only surprise I had on the run was the merge point where upon returning to T1 Duathletes merge with the swimmers exiting the water and we all ran into T1 together. This was a little different than I had thought but the great volunteers were there to direct everyone along the right path. When you left T2 the route took you out and behind the finish line before going back on the course, so a different route that T1. This is to make up the distance differences form the first run and the second run evening it all out and keeping things fair.
With a few minutes to start time everyone was lined at the start, standing like a group of caged animals we exchanged “good luck” hand shakes and fist bumps. The count down started with “30 seconds……” and as usual if felt like minutes “10 seconds” and we all crouched like a track race about to begin “HORN” and we were off!
Run 1 – 4.8K
With the sound of the horn the race was on and Larry took his position with a very strong surgeout front and the rest of us followed. The first 1k mark as usual came up very quick and Larry and I were out front about 20 meters apart. Quickly behind me was Andrew and Aaron keeping me in check. With the first turn around done I got a better picture of where people were and I must say the top 6 at this point were all running hard and fast, harder than I had anticipated.
By 2.5K Larry had pulled another 50 meters on me and was clearly focused on that course record, I kept him in my sights until the last kilometre to T1 where he disappeared due to the course configuration. Merging with the swimmers and headed into T1 I was a minute behind Larry and hot on my heals Andrew and Aaron just a few seconds behind me. Keeping Larry in sight had been a true test of my fitness after coming off of an injury just weeks before and not being able to do any hard training runs for a few weeks. Fully healed I put it to the test with a 4.8K run split of 18:07 to Larry’s blistering 17:10 under the “Run In” banner.
Most of the run I was maxed HR wise with an average of 172 ppm but a welcome improvement form last weekends 149 bpm avg.
I knew I had been able to hold off Andrew until this point and if I wanted to keep it that way the bike was going to be a tough grind
Bike – 20K
Out of T1 I was running hard with my bike and quickly mounting I slipped my feet into my shoes and was off with one thing in mind “Must get Larry”. With my head down I powered along the bike course and after a few sharp turns was now free of congestion and put the pedal down keeping even and constant power to the pedals. I had set my Garmin to display HR and Speed and knew that if I kept my speed average = + 40km/hour I would have a good ride. The wind was helping everyone on the course with a light tail wind and the most important thing is to remember not to cook it going out too hard before that turn around. Around the 10k mark Andrew went by me on his bike pushing hard down to the turn around and I was determined to keep him in sight. The only time I saw the Larry who was still leading was at the turn around when he was riding hard back towards the pack and he was flying! After the turn around the wind was now in your face and keeping my head down I held my power consistent and kept Andrew rained in. My speed for the first 15K averaged 40.5K/hour and since I saved some for the way back I was able to keep and the second half into the wind at 37.2K/hour.
Around 3K to T2 I came upon Larry who was on the side of the road fiddling with his bike. At first I wasn’t sure who it was and as I passed him I knew that there was still a chance Larry would be back hot on my heels soon enough. Andrew was just a few hundred meters in front of me and I put my head down and pedaled hard to catch him before T2. By the time the last turn came I was seconds behind him and we entered transition nearly side by side. With Larry still no where in sight I knew the last run was now the going to make it or break it for the win.
As usual time for the DATA!
Average power for both legs was 230W – 39K/hour consistently which was right on plan. Thanks to my Fat 88’s from #3SIXTY5Cycling I am able to get higher speeds at a reduced wattage which is wonderful and fast!
My HR average was up to 165 bpm where I would like to see it racing and this really helped compared to last weekends 137 bpm which made it a lot harder to race.
Run2 – 5.2K
Entering T2 I dismounted with fast feet and carried my bike over the bumps running hard for my rack. Just over to my left was Andrew and we both looked at one another and knew it was on for the last run. The format of this race is different form a standard “sprint” distance with the extra 10K on the bike and the longer 5K for the second run. Andrew was hot on my heals and right behind him was Jeremy and Aaron. By the first turn around 1.25K Andrew had dropped off but since this was no time to relax I kept running and trying to keep my pace below 3:55K/min. By the 2K mark I had settled into my pace and knew I just had to keep it there to fend off anyone who might make an attempt in the last few kilometers. My legs were feeling pretty tired by the 3.75K mark which was the last turn around before heading to the finish line, as I passed but my fellow athletes everyone had encouraging words and cheers for me. Garvin Moses most of all telling me to “go get it” really fuelled me on as I tried to say thanks back but could only muster mumbles and groans. The bridge marked 500m to go and I was ecstatic know knowing the win was mine. Crossing the line with a big smile I got to shake hands with John Salt and a cheering group of spectators in a time of 01:26:41 about a minute and a half off my goal time I am still very pleased.
As I guzzled cups and cups of delicious Hammer Nutrition HEED I congratulated Andrew who finished a minute behind me. We had both ridden 39K/hour averages and luckily for me my last run was stronger and that sealed the deal for Saturday. I can only imagine what the last run might have been like if Larry had managed to hang in there or get his bike fixed and caught back up.
To round off the top 5 all under 01:30:00 was myself, Andrew McLeod, Jeremy Carter, Aaron Putman, Harold Walker and Garvin Moses.
After congratulating my fellow athletes I headed over the Recharge with Milk tent for some delicious recovery chocolate milk a photo and time in the compression pants! If you haven’t tried them out I suggest you do after your next race, got the blood flow back to my legs and I was able to walk much better after about 10 minutes in the pants.
As predicted by Jesse it was a fast and competitive day at the #RoseCityTri and Du unfortunately for Larry it was just not his day and that opened up the door for me to clinch yet another win for the MultiSport Triathlon Series.
Following Saturday’s racing that it was back to back race weekends for me I will be talking lots of recovery time and getting back to my running that I haven’t been able to do for a few weeks. My next race is Bellwood July 11th, where last year Larry schooled me in his fast run times and I hung on for
3rd. Hoping to better my time I will be looking forward to the third race of the MultiSport Triathlon Race Series in a month.
- My wife Laura for cheering me on and photography!
- My Coach – Gabbi Whitlock of Balance Point Triathlon#OrangePower
- 3SIXTY5 Cycling – Yet another fast race on my Fat88’s Check out their site and extensiveproduct collection!
- John Smallwood – Synergy Centre Physio – Thanks for the ongoing support, truly appreciated.
- Pursuit Health Management– See you this week for my massage to keep these legs moving!
- Oxford Dodge Chrysler Jeep – James and Elizabeth Bennett
- Photos are courtesy or MultiSport Canada and came from their Facebook page here.
- Recharge with Milk – Thanks for the refreshing and delicious recovery milk at the finish line!
- Parichit Bagga – Photos and cheering support to all!