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Cultus Lake Triathlon - Olympic Course - TriathlonOlympic

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Cultus Lake, British Columbia
Outback Events
Total Time = 3h 36m 15s
Overall Rank = 139/145
Age Group = M6064
Age Group Rank = 4/4
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 6:00am and had porridge and coffee for breakfast. We headed over to the transition area arriving at 7:00am. The weather seemed perfect. Slightly cool, clear and calm winds.
Event warmup:

I set up my gear under my bike. Struggled for some space on the rack. Body marking consisted of our bib numbers on our arms and nothing else. I had a bit of time before we had to head down to the beach so I chatted with my wife and friend.
I put my wetsuit on to my waist at 7:45 then walked down to the lake. As soon as I saw the turnaround buoys I told my friend they were way off. The one out further in the Lake was quite a bit further than last year and the opposite turn buoy was also further into the bay.
While waiting for the start we calmed down a couple Sprint distance newbies who were feeling nervous.
The Sprint racers went off first and we had 10 minutes to watch. One Sprinter was really struggling with their swim and were on his/her back and just kicking - no arms. I don't know if they finished or not.
  • 40m 9s
  • 1500 meters
  • 02m 41s / 100 meters

I was determined to complete the swim in 30 minutes or less. As we waded into the lake I moved to the front of the group because it is a crowded narrow start and I wanted all the advantage I could get.
The start was pretty typical. A bit of a mad rush with some knocking about but nothing too frenzied. I usually find myself alone after a while but not today. I seemed to be in the midst of the crowd for the whole swim.
I made it easily around the first buoy (swimming right against it without anyone else blocking me and headed out on the straight run to the second buoy. Sighting was easy out to the first buoy but as I turned around the sun was in my eyes and I couldn't sight at all.
As we approached the turnaround buoy I was shocked to see everyone swimming past it and around two further intermediate buoys a fair distance past what I thought was the turnaround buoy. I hadn't finished half of the first loop and the swim was already feeling a bit long.
As I rounded the last part of the first loop I passed one of the Sprint swimmers. He must have been the fellow who was struggling earlier so I figure he did finish his swim.
The second loop was pretty much the same as the first loop and I soon came to the finish which is difficult due to the rocks along the shore but I managed to get my feet underneath me and stand up and move out of the water onto the carpet and headed up to transition. As I moved quickly I was stripping my wetsuit down to my waist.
As I passed my friend and wife I told them it was a tough swim. A lot harder than last year.
What would you do differently?:

I swam as fast as I could. My time was typical for a 2K swim not a 1500m swim. I should have trained for longer distances.
Transition 1
  • 03m 35s

I was a bit slow to put on socks and shoes but I didn't bother with gloves and that saved me some time. I had my helmet and sunglasses ready and they went on quickly and I ran to the mount line.
What would you do differently?:

Some people transitioned in under 60 seconds so there is a lot I can do to get faster but I don't yet see how.
  • 1h 26m 6s
  • 40 kms
  • 27.87 km/hr

I got to the mount line and got going smoothly. Headed out onto the road glad to be out of the water. I was pushing myself to go fast and felt really good but once I got over the hill and down to the main road I was hit by a strong headwind.
The lake had been calm so the wind was a surprise. At times it was a strong headwind or crosswind and only for one long straight stretch was it a tailwind.
As I turned for the return leg of the run back to the lake I was feeling "last". I never looked back but there weren't many people around.
I managed to use my aerobars as much as possible but I sat up when the wind was from the side.
The overall ride was good and I was happy with it.
As I ran up to the transition enclosure I see my friend and wife volunteering in transition. Not surprising they would move in when help was needed.

What would you do differently?:

It was a good ride and I felt strong and as fast as I could be. I attribute my slower time to the winds.
Transition 2
  • 03m 6s

This transition seemed even faster than T1 so I was disappointed to see it was over 3:00. It was quick and felt good.
What would you do differently?:

I made the mistake of grabbing a honey stinger waffle to eat. I usually enjoy them but it was too dry and I had trouble swallowing it. Other than that I just need to be faster.
  • 1h 23m 20s
  • 10 kms
  • 08m 20s  min/km

My heart rate was high off the bike so as I left transition I was having trouble getting going. I had to walk/run for a while but I managed to keep moving. I took advantage of any downhill bits to get my pace up a bit.
I was very disappointed when I got to the first Aid station and found they were out of water. I didn't want to wait for it so I carried on and mentioned I needed some water to a fellow beside me. A young girl running near us heard me and offered me some water from her bottle. I appreciated the offer and my immediate reaction was to not take any from her but I really needed it so I drank very carefully so I didn't touch her bottle (being all sweaty etc) and thanked her profusely.
Later runs through the Aid station were fine but they were only putting an inch of water in the cups so I had to take three to get a drink. The water noticeably invigorated me.
As I turned up the leg through a residential street I passed two young girls who cheered me on and I mentioned to two other runners that we only had 2K to go. Once we got to the top of this incline we would turn around and have a mostly downhill run to the finish.
At this point a fellow started running with me. Yet again a tall younger fellow was keeping me going. Maybe I just look so old and thrashed by this point that these younger people decide to help me finish.
It is always fun having someone to run with and make the running easier. This fellow had finished IMCanada 7 weeks before but was having a bad day at Cultus lake.
I actually was feeling better and I was running more like my usual self. We rounded a last corner and had a last 600m to the finish. My friend was waiting for me and the three of us ran together to the finish then the fellow I had been running with told me to go ahead so I sprinted ahead to the finish line and felt pretty good as they got my timing chip.

What would you do differently?:

I thought I was better prepared for the run but I think I peaked too soon and well before this race. I need to focus a lot more on the running - especially off the bike.
Post race
Warm down:

I had a brief chat with Brad before finding my wife and friend. They hustled me to a chair but I really felt fine and wanted some food so I went and got some pizza (it was really good pizza) and a coke. Both went down really well. I had brought along some chocolate milk in a cooler and that was really good as well.

Best finish ever. Everyone stood and cheered in the last athlete. I loved it.
Chatted with other athletes and waited for the awards.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I'm not sure why I was so slow today. I was determined to beat 3hrs but instead I was considerably slower than last year. When I looked at the stats from SportstatsBC the average time this year was 2:53:41 and for last year was 2:14:52 about 29% slower. The 29% slower held for the Sprint race as well.

A Sprint fellow said his Garmin measured a 950m swim rather than 750m which suggests a 1900m swim for our 2 loops. Beside that and the winds on the bike I'm at a loss to explain the slower results this year.

Event comments:

Its a good race except for a shortage of volunteers. Hopefully they'll get a handle on it and the race will remain popular.

Last updated: 2014-09-20 12:00 AM
00:40:09 | 1500 meters | 02m 41s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/4
Overall: 0/145
Performance: Good
Course: A two loop 750m circle.
Start type: Wade Plus: Shot
Water temp: 19C / 66F Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Good
Breathing: Good Drafting: Average
Waves: Average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 03:35
Performance: Good
Cap removal: Good Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: Yes
Getting up to speed:
01:26:06 | 40 kms | 27.87 km/hr
Age Group: 0/4
Overall: 0/145
Performance: Good
Wind: Strong
Course: A single loop, very flat except for one decent climb away from Cultus Lake and then again on the return.
Road: Smooth Dry Cadence:
Turns: Good Cornering: Good
Gear changes: Good Hills: Average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Not enough
Time: 03:06
Overall: Average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike
Running with bike Good
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal Good
01:23:20 | 10 kms | 08m 20s  min/km
Age Group: 0/4
Overall: 0/145
Performance: Average
Course: A mostly level trail run along the lake. Quite beautiful.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? No
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 3

2014-09-21 12:01 AM

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Extreme Veteran
Penticton, BC
Subject: Cultus Lake Triathlon - Olympic Course

2014-09-21 8:10 PM
in reply to: #5052458

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St. Louis
Subject: RE: Cultus Lake Triathlon - Olympic Course
Nice race George! Running out of water at an aid station is unacceptable at a race you paid for in my opinion.

Hope you enjoyed your race-cation.

2014-09-28 12:14 AM
in reply to: #5052458

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Subject: RE: Cultus Lake Triathlon - Olympic Course
Its Great you finished ok, you'll figure it out soon you finished the season without any injuries and good health You'll be stronger next year
2014-09-29 11:36 PM
in reply to: strykergt

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Gold Coast, Australia
Subject: RE: Cultus Lake Triathlon - Olympic Course

Great report as usual George, I'm glad you finished strong despite the difficulties. Hopefully they'll get the water and the distances sorted out for next year.

2014-10-03 8:43 AM
in reply to: ransick

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Chicago, Illinois
Subject: RE: Cultus Lake Triathlon - Olympic Course

Nice race, George!  I agree with Mike, running out of water at any aid station is unacceptable.  Also, that's disappointing that the swim distance was that far off, that's a huge margin.  But I'm glad to hear you finished strong.

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