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Northern "Orillia" Triathlon - Aquabike

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Orillia, Ontario
Subaru Triathlon Series
18C / 64F
Total Time = 1h 21m 1s
Overall Rank = 5/21
Age Group = M40-49
Age Group Rank = 2/4
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 3:30 to use the facilities, then lay in bed for a couple hours trying to get back to sleep. Eventually drift off and get another hour or so sleep. Up at 6 to have a LOVELY breakfast served up by our hosts at the B & B (fresh fruit, yogurt, granola, homemade oatmeal buns with preserves, and an omelette with mushrooms, peppers, baked ham and cheese... delicious).

After breakfast, I headed down to the race site on my bike (about 2 km... all down hill). I had picked up my packet and pre-registered yesterday afternoon, so I had very little to do and wasn't rushed).
Event warmup:

Went for a 5 min swim, nothing too strenuous. Water was CRYSTAL clear and rather warm... I probably could have done this sans wetsuit, but I feel more comfortable in the open water with it... and since they were allowed, I didn't hesitate to wear it.
  • 18m 26s
  • 750 meters
  • 02m 28s / 100 meters

Started out on the outside of the pack, but I was at the front of the line. So, I ran out hard, did a couple dolphin dives and then swam strong for about 100m until I was free of the washing machine.... of course, that meant I was WAY off course to the outside, but I had clear swimming for most of the way. It is hard to draft tho' when there is no one around.

After the first 5 min, I backed off the power and tryed to ease my way thru the chop and swells. After making the turn, I jacked up the power again and was really moving with the wind. Turning back to the beach, I tried to maintain the intensity, but ended up going off course a lot. I think the wind was playing havoc with my sighting, pushing me to the left (which is the way I would tend to veer off... so made it worse).

Swam right to the point where my hands were scooping sand... then walked out of the water and walked to transition. I was very conscious of NOT running so as to not aggravate the achilles. Was disappointed with my time, but still had an ok swim.
What would you do differently?:

Sight more effectively, find some feet to draft, more swim training to get faster/efficient.
Transition 1
  • 03m 32s

I purposely took my sweet time out of T1. I also walked casually up to the bike-on line (about 300-400m).
What would you do differently?:

Not have achilles tendonitis so I can run.
  • 59m 4s
  • 33 kms
  • 33.52 km/hr

Ok... this is where I was going to shine. I wanted to push this course HARD, but realized after driving a little of the course last night that it was going to be difficult to maintain the speed I would have liked. There were just too many hills and turns in town. I didn't get a chance to ride outside of town at all, so didn't know what to expect. I just decided to give it my all, for as long as I could.

For the town section, I passed many people climbing the hills... on the turns, on the flats and generally kept a comfortable, controlled pace. I executed the tough/sharp corners VERY well (much better then one lady who went down on the corner of Sundial and West and broke her collarbone). Once we got out of town and on the country roads, I gave it the gas and started flying by people. I had two or three gentleman pass me on expensive tri bikes with race wheels on the downhills... but they would never get too far from me. On the subsequent uphills, I would be passing them again... spinning easy and blowing by them on the slight rises at 40 km/h and the steeper pitches at close to 30 km/h. However, they were always able to catch me on the downhills.

I saw the lead cyclist zooming into town before I reached the 10km mark (he was probably out of the water in 9-10 min)... and a couple others of the front runners before I reached the turn in the "P". After that it was a matter of racing my race. Just after the 15km mark, we had a narrow left hand turn... I was approaching the corner at about 30 km/h, but the woman in front of me was going significantly slower and was not staying on a consistent line. I had to hit the brakes and locked up the rear wheel on a patch of water... I was able to stay upright tho... just barely... getting my left foot out and down before I did (jarring my leg), then my right foot came out and touched down as well... just to keep me upright. I ended up going between the police cars blocking the road... getting back on the bike, turning around and getting back on course with out going down... I was scared I was going to ram the cruisers... I got VERY lucky. AFter gathering my wits about me for about 2 km, then I picked up the pace again.

I passed all the people who had passed during my little lull (and the woman who caused my little incident) with out any further problems. I did however, end up being EXTRA careful on the following corners, slowing down more then I normally would and making sure there was NO ONE near me. The last corner was going back into the park...after coming down that 1/2 km hill... I was braking hard and staying well behind anyone in front of me.

Coming back into town is a long (over 1km) hill... starting out steep... then plateauing a couple times. On this hill, I was able to finally lose those pesky guys on their fancy schmancy tri-bikes, with a steady buy concerted effort up that hill. I used my gears wisely and was able to spin comfortably, yet hard up that hill. AFter that it was a matter of cutting thru the wind and maintaining my speed on the flats.

Coming to the dismount line, I was able to get out of my right clip easily, but the left clip was stuck and ended up having to stop on the line (beside the official) and had to forcibly remove my foot from the clip. (I think I need new cleats). Then I sauntered slowly to the transition area and finished my day.
What would you do differently?:

Stay WELL clear of any cyclists on corners. Either pass early or ease off before the corner so I can have a clean line thru the corner. I could have had a little extra nutrition, I felt the energy waning about the 25 km mark. I drank some extra gatorade and was able to make it thru to the end strongly after that.
Post race
Warm down:

Walk from the dismount line to the transition area. Walk about trying to find the First Aid. I had a little scratch on my knee, where it rammed against the handlbar, as I was trying to regain control of my bike on the corner. Get my food, and wait for them to re-open the transition area so I could leave.
Bike ALL uphill to the B & B.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Testosterone on the bike, trying to take all corners faster then I maybe should have. Avoid slower, inexperienced riders on the corners.

Event comments:

This is a VERY popular race. They announced that they had over 1200 participants (I think that was including the try-a-tri people as well). There were a LOT of people... I probably passed well over 400 on the bike.

The water is gorgeous, the bike course is very technical and demanding, and the run would have been lovely along the waterfront trail. Lots of community support and a good race. The road surfaces could have been a LOT better, but that will come in time, I'm sure.

Last updated: 2009-08-15 12:00 AM
00:18:26 | 750 meters | 02m 28s / 100meters
Age Group: 2/4
Overall: 15/21
Performance: Below average
Once around, didn't push hard enough.
Suit: Nineteen Frequency Full sleeve
Course: Rectangular swim in Lake Couchiching, out of Couchiching Beach Park in Orillia. NE wind wasn't felt on the beach, but caused quite a bit of chop and small swells once you passed the dock. Approximately 350m out, 50m across and 350m back. Out into a crossing headwind, downwind, then back with a crossing tailwind.
Start type: Run Plus: Waves
Water temp: 72F / 22C Current: Medium
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Bad
Waves: Below average Navigation: Bad
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:32
Performance: Average
Cap removal: Average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: No
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Good
00:59:04 | 33 kms | 33.52 km/hr
Age Group: 1/4
Overall: 2/21
Performance: Below average
One lap out along the city streets for 2 km, then a 30 km loop. The city sections were very tight corners, rutted roads and generally uphill.
Wind: Some
Course: West out of park, then north along the lakeshore, up a pretty good grade for .5 km, then at the top of the hill a right then quick left. Followed by another north road, ending with a quick chicane on to Laclie St. Rolling up towards Hwy 11, making a left on Sundial uphill, then left along a service road beside Hwy 11. Up another rise to West... before turning on West, you go down a little grade, then a HARD right turn onto West St.... with a VERY poor road surface on the corner. Now it's just a "P" shape course on the country roads north of Orillia. Then back the way we came out of town... with all the technical turns and rough roads.
Road: Rough Wet Cadence: 90
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Good
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2009-08-23 3:40 PM

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Subject: Northern "Orillia" Triathlon

All times are approximate. I will post the accurate times once they are posted on the web.

All times are accurate... and placing are for the Aquabike only. I'm not interested in how poorly I did against everyone else.

The bike could have been a minimum of 2 minutes faster had I not had the "incident" on the road and I could have run between the timing mats from the mount/dismount line.

The swim time is also long due to the fact I could only walk from the water's edge to the timing mats.... I did press the lap button on my watch when I got out of the water and had a time of 17:43.

T1 time is also slow due to the long walk

Edited by Bopper 2009-08-23 4:05 PM

2009-08-23 10:37 PM
in reply to: #2365148

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Extreme Veteran
Land of living sighs
Subject: RE: Northern "Orillia" Triathlon
You did it despite that darn trojan heel! Many wouldn't have even bothered. You are a rockstar. It's too bad about the slower cyclists on the road, but that's part of the game.

Well done!
2009-08-23 10:39 PM
in reply to: #2365148

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Finally north of the Mason-Dixon Line
Subject: RE: Northern "Orillia" Triathlon

I'm that women in front of you going significantly slower then yourself!   On behave of all us slow women out there on the bike course SORRY!  Glad no perminent inhjury except to ego was done LOL.... Man, you just crush the bike.  Once again, I'm impressed!

2009-08-24 5:54 AM
in reply to: #2365148

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Northern "Orillia" Triathlon

I am glad you got to race and all and as I said before I think it was a smart move to skip the run!!

You did AWESOME and smoked the bike despite the hills and the incident. And nothing feels better than to overtake some people on fancy bikes

Great job!!


2009-08-24 6:43 AM
in reply to: #2365148

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Gold Coast Australia.
Subject: RE: Northern "Orillia" Triathlon
Congratulations on yet another awesome bike ride!
And it almost looked like another wipe out story.  Great you got those feet out of them pedals in time... uhm... Looks like your reflexes haven't failed you. 
And hopefully the heel heals quickly and you can run soon!
2009-08-24 7:46 AM
in reply to: #2365148

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Subject: RE: Northern "Orillia" Triathlon
Great race report!  Could feel the excitement while reading it.  Good for you!  You should be really happy with your performance given all the recent challenges!

2009-08-24 8:40 AM
in reply to: #2365148

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Reykjavik, Iceland
Subject: RE: Northern "Orillia" Triathlon

Even though things were once again not really in your favour you did great

I am always very careful in the rain especially in corners, better to lose a bit of time but be safe, then take chances and risk crashing. You where basically just unlucky with the woman but that is racing and you did great to recover from it


And I think it was a smart move to race the aquakbike, there is no reason to risk your Achilles when you don’t have to. Every time you race you learn something new, this time, watch out for women bikers ! LOL

2009-08-24 8:50 AM
in reply to: #2365148

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Extreme Veteran
Ottawa, Ontario
Subject: RE: Northern "Orillia" Triathlon

Good race !!!  Sorry to hear you are battling running issues again.  Hope it heals up soon.


2009-08-24 9:01 AM
in reply to: #2365148

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Ontario, Canada
Subject: RE: Northern "Orillia" Triathlon

Great bike pace, in spite of the incident.   Didn't realize you're battling running injuires, heal soon.

2009-08-24 10:59 AM
in reply to: #2365148

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Subject: RE: Northern "Orillia" Triathlon
Awesome race! Be careful on those corner!! Yikes!
2009-08-26 12:56 PM
in reply to: #2365148

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Subject: RE: Northern "Orillia" Triathlon

Thank you to all for your kind words. I do feel quite good about this race... except that I'm disappointed that I couldn't run. I do accept that tho'... I will learn how to run eventually.

I was curious and checked my cycling time against the rest of the field. If you combine all the people racing... approximately 760 people did the race.... my bike split was 119/760. However, you have to take out the time that I lost cruising after the incident and the approximately 2 min extra added for strolling slowly to the mount line from the timing mats. I think you could safely knock 2 min off my total time... which would have put me in the top 100 for the bike. That makes me feel pretty good.

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