The 7th stop on this summers MultiSport Canada Triathlon Duathlon race circuit was Wasaga Beach. This is perhaps my favourite venue of all the stops in the series. This year John Salt decided to combine the typical two days of events into one. This meant that both sprint and olympic events would be on the same day. Logistically and financially there are pros and cons but I for one quite enjoyed the format. Start the sprint events early on followed by the olympic. The duthalon was a great size at 100 participants and the triathlon had tons as well. The weather cooperated all day and like 2016 this night before race morning the wind was up and the water was crashing in. But just like the previous year race morning was dead still, barely any wind and clear cloudless skies. When I arrived on site it was only around 12 degrees but the sun was out and the atmosphere was electric. With so many people racing all on one day the transition area is absolutely huge and remembering where you were racked was going to be important.
Racking my bike “in the back 40” with the rest of the duathletes I got situated and organized putting my shoes on my bike, filling my race day fuel bottle and chatting with fellow competitors. Fuel for the day for me was Green apple #F2C Glyco-Durance in a 300CAL mixture (500ml bottle). For a sprint duathlon I typically only go through 3/4 of a bottle on the bike depending on the temperature out. Saturday being a cooler day and a such a short distance there was no need for more than my bottle and something at an AID station if needed. Recovery bottle mixed I was looking forward to the finish when I could drink some delicious #F2C 3:1 Rehab for recovery. (chocolate of course)
After racking my bike it was off to race kit pickup and body marking. Once that was done back to transition I went and walked around making sure to wear my ambassador shirt and help people out in transition however I could. Lots of race day questions about run / bike in and out and a few bike questions I am always eager to help everyone there have a great racing experience. Thanks to those of you who came up and introduced yourselves and asked questions or just said “hi”.
Run 1 – 5k
With 20 minutes to race time I was our on a run warmup. It was short and mostly I spent time stretching and opening up my hips because they as of late have been tighter than usual. The call came over the loudspeakers that it was time to start making our way down to the start line. Getting last-minute hugs and kisses from Harper and Laura it was off to the start line where I would be going after the win and if successful it would be 3 years in a row. Lining up with the likes of Sean and Dany I knew that if i was going to have any chance at the podium and a win it was going to take everything I had.
Coming off of a few weeks of very inconsistent training, low mileage due to health issues I have been determined to bounce back, sooner rather than later.
The count down was on 5…4…3…2….1 GO! Off we went Dany took off early followed by Sean and myself. If you have not been to Wasaga Beach we start along the water front running parallel to the beach for 300m before turning and heading out the road where its is an out and back essentially. Looking down at my watch just before the turn and seeing 3:00/km with both Dany and Sean already starting to pull it just confirmed my suspicions that it was going to be a “barn burner” of a race. By the half way mark (2.5k) we were running back towards the pack of 100 duathletes and there was a pitter patter of steps behind me but i refused to look back and kept pressing on just trying to keep Sean in view. Dany was so far ahead by now I was hanging onto Sean but just barely. He is known for his tremendous run splits at any distance. At this point I was on pace for a 5k PB and was feeling good, heart rate was steady but not too high and my legs were feeling better than expected. Back along the beach you can see the crowd and hear the cheering as you run towards T1. Steve Fleck on the mic announcing for the race day of course, it’s always a motivator to hear him call your name out over the loud speakers! I kept on my steady pace and crossed the 5k mark heading into transition and sure enough set a new 5k PB of 17:58. That is not just a PB in a duathlon but for that distance ever. I have been trying to reach over a year now . (Sub 18 5k) I didn’t know how fast the run was at the time because I was focused on catching Sean but I knew that if he was still in sight then I had the run of my life. Into transition I headed all the way to the back and grabbed my helmet and bike and it was out on the bike course to put the hammer down.
Bike – 20K
After my usual flying mount it was head down and push hard for the first couple of km to clear some of the congestion that had built up on the race course. After the first 2.8k or so everyone is through the residential areas and we head out onto the open roads with a small tail wind to boot. I kept a steady cadence the entire ride of about 90 rpm and after looking at the data speed out and back were nearly identical but I did manage to negative split my bike leg riding slightly faster on the way back. With a short race and little wind I chose to not ride my disc wheel and instead ran my Fat 88’s from #3SIXTY5 Cycling in both the front and rear. This proved to be a good choice for the day not once lifting from the pedals or swaying from what wind was out there and combine those fat wheels with a 25c tire and it is one super fast combo. Now you may be asking was there any cat and mouse out on the bike course between Sean, Dany and myself …. well no. Dany’s first run was a full minute faster than me going sub 17:00/for 5k……. and sean well he was only 20 seconds behind him. Taking into consideration the transition times all three of us almost identical around 01:00 we all headed out on the course and never changed positions. Dany road fast enough to keep me in third but Sean road the 20km almost a minute faster than him. This meant that by the time they cam in from the bike I was still 1:00 down despite averaging the same speed as Sean on the bike. (39km/hr avg).
So despite my best efforts Sean and Dany entered T2 within seconds of one another and I was still a minute down on them both. This was frustrating in the sense that I didn’t make up any ground on the bike because of their crazy opening run slips. With just a 2.5k run to finish up the day it is impossible to run down 01:00 on two strong competitors. That didn’t mean i was going to sit back and let them run away with the race though. I headed out of T2 and sure enough Steve’s familiar voice came over the loud speakers and I got a sense of where the top two were and I pushed hard hoping that maybe just maybe I would catch 2nd place (whoever it was).
Run 2 – 2.5k
As I approached the 1km sign there was Sean already headed back towards me hot on his heals it was Dany and the two of them had a nail biter of a race going. Turns out Dany out ran Sean according to his times but still Sean was just that little bit stronger on the bike and held off Dany. I was so determined to have the best race of the year that I was not paying attention to my pacing but it was quick. I was running 3:45/km avg for the last run but both Sean and Dany were running 3:00/km flat… and that was just WAY TO FAST for my legs.. lol
As I reached the beach it was 300m to the finish and I was pumped I was able to make the podium and indeed had the race I had been looking for. Too often this year I have had good parts here and there but Saturday it was every leg of the race. Run 1 a new PB, expected speed and power on the bike and a great second run. Finishing third behind these two guys was fabulous and I could not be more pumped about how the day went. Congratulations Sean and Dany well deserved 1, 2 heck of race day.
So it wasn’t three years in a row but it didn’t matter not in the slightest. I had such a fun day racing for the first time in a long while I felt great the whole race and it showed in my times and results. Something I didn’t mention earlier was that almost one year to the day I learned of my mothers cancer diagnosis and had a tough race last year obviously. It has been no secret that after she lost her battle to cancer only months after diagnosis that my emotional sadness and grief has been my emotional kryptonite. When you lose someone you love so much in this world the pain of loss never goes away. You do learn to live with the grief and move forward but you never know when it will pop up and like a karate chop just take your breath away. Saturday was anything but a sad day and finally the memories of her pushed me harder than ever and I was able to use this during my race. I am not a religious person but sometimes I do feel as though she is watching down over me and that is a comforting thought.
Rest in peace mom, you are missed every day.
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
― Dr. Seuss
Congratulations to my fellow athlete Erin from Balance Point Triathlon Club I am glad we got to share the podium Saturday. Congratulations to everyone who races there are far to many names to put them all down here.
Next up is Lakeside another favourite and local race for me, I hope t see you all out again for the next one. See you all in September and for more info click on the link below to check out the Lakeside race info. REGISTER TODAY!!!
For full details and data click on the icons below to check out the STRAVA data.
Huge thanks to all the support volunteers, Police, EMS, F2C Nutrition and the entire MultiSport Canada Team for yet another safe.
- Laura and Harper – Love you both.
- Coach Gabbi Whitlock – Balance Point Triathlon
- John Salt – MultiSport Canada
- Chris Day – 3SIXTY5 Cycling
- Greg Cohen – F2C Nutrition
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