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ITU Multisport World Championships - Long Course - Triathlon

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Penticton, British Columbia
Total Time = 11h 29m 3s
Overall Rank = 720/821
Age Group = 65 - 69
Age Group Rank = 24/26
Pre-race routine:

Up a few minutes before the alarm at 4:15am dressed and breakfast (my usual organic cereal and banana plus electrolyte drink. Left home at 5:00 and wife dropped me off at transition then parked the car.
I got my gear sorted and found time passing quickly so I got into my wetsuit, found wife and passed off my dry clothes bag and got into the corral for my age group.
Event warmup:

Once I moved into the corral I saw my wife and my coach came up and encouraged me. Very soon after the wave ahead of us was moved out and we were moved up to the next corrall and shortly after we were on our way out to the beach and almost immediately we were sent off.
  • 1h 10m
  • 3000 meters
  • 02m 20s / 100 meters

At the horn we were off and I ran into the water and as soon as it was deep enough I did 3 dolphin dives and while still in a couple feet of water I started swimming. I started out fairly comfortably and tried to draft as much as I could. I seemed to find feet fairly easily.
On the outward leg I swam pretty straight but when I came to the first turn buoy I was blinded by the sun. I followed the splashes from other swimmers and made it around the next turn but then I was so blinded I asked a paddleboarder which way do we go and he pointed with his paddle but at 6 feet away from me I couldn't even see where he was pointing but just then I caught a very brief sight of the next buoy and I headed out pushing a bit to try and make up the time I just wasted.

There were a couple more turn buoys and I couldn't see them either but I stayed fairly well on track and finally could see the finish and no more visibility issues. I picked up the pace and felt I was moving the way I wanted and came out of the water at 1:09 on my Garmin.
What would you do differently?:

The sun cost me some time. I'm sure I should be able to practice swimming and sighting into the sun.
Transition 1
  • 09m 28s

To make the transition fair to everyone we had to run a route around transition, grab my T1 bag then run into the tent, change and apply sunscreen in anticipation of heat on the rest of the race. Then we ran around transition again grab our bike and run out to the mount line.
What would you do differently?:

I should have taken more time studying the transition layout and even a bit of time practicing running around the layout to fix it in my mind.
  • 5h 35m 31s
  • 120 kms
  • 21.46 km/hr

I was racing the cutoff times and knew I was going to be tight. I was determined to push as hard as I could for the whole ride. I also rode on my aero bars as much as I could only sitting up to drink and ride up or down some of the hills. I wasn't perfect on them but I did better than ever before.
My ride was fairly uneventful and the time passed quickly, at least in my mind. I even thought I was ahead of schedule compared to my ride on the same route last year but my time was still pretty tight.
I had a camera crew following me around the ride but I forgot about them and just rode the route. I'm painfully slow on the hills and today was no different but I just kept going and focusing on the finish.

The heat was building up and there was a moderate headwind on the ride north. I was soon finished the last major climb and enjoyed the long downhill from Kaleden to Penticton. I entered town and figured I was close to the exact same time as last year's ride. I was still pushing to get to transition but riding through town it just seemed to take forever but I finally turned a corner onto Main St. and followed the volunteer's directions and many people were calling my name - camera crew, friends and training buddies but I had to ignore them and push right up to the dismount line.

I beat the cutoff time but not by a lot.

I had to pause a moment standing with my bike before I could step away from it knowing I wasn't going to fall down. I hobbled to the transition where a volunteer was able to take my bike and rack it for me.
What would you do differently?:

I'm going to have to give this some serious thought. I should be faster than I am.
Transition 2
  • 07m 11s

Entering transition I was glad to hand off my bike to a volunteer and continue on to where my gear bag was and get into the tent to change for the run. I was adamant to add sunscreen before going out on the run. I was lucky to have a volunteer help me by bagging my gear as I changed and I headed out for the run.
What would you do differently?:

Transition was slow - I should have run into transition and practiced more.
  • 4h 26m 53s
  • 30 kms
  • 08m 54s  min/km

I planned to run the way I had been running in my training but I was immediately struggling to keep running. The first loop was hard and I walked most of the 10K.
The camera crew faded into my view and disappeared at times. Friends called but I did keep moving. I tried to push myself harder but I couldn't keep running. The heat was building but somehow I was able to ignore it and breezes off the lake helped a lot as well.
It took a long time but I finally finished the first loop and headed out for my second loop. I found I was able to run faster but I still struggled trying to keep my heart rate down. I'd walk for a bit until my heart rate settled then I'd run but my heart rate quickly sped up again. About 5km into the second loop an official rode up on his bike and asked me how I was doing. I said I was fine and kept going and he told me I was in last place. In terms of my determination to finish the race this had no effect on me. I was moving as fast as I could and I was feeling better, moving slow but somewhat faster and I was hopeful I could keep getting faster.

I did push harder. Everyone around me was on their last loop and I was going to be mostly alone for my last loop. I pushed on still run/ walking. The camera crew came out of nowhere and were increasingly staying with me. I just pressed on.

My coach found me and told me to hurry up because of the cutoff time. At this time there was a Team USA athlete running close by and she said she'd set a pace and I could run with her. I managed to keep up with her for 1.5 km before I fell behind. By now the camera crew was with me the whole time just far enough away not to interfere. I ignored them and kept going, I was gradually bending forward and unable to straighten up. I wasn't hurting but I was falling forward and somehow keeping up with my feet. I was walking but I'd suddenly start walking faster and then running again but I just couldn't keep running. I was passing other athletes though.
The asphalt was so hot my feet felt like hot spikes were burning my feet. It was so intense I stopped twice to check for stones in my shoes but found nothing.
On the 3rd loop I was still moving walking as fast as I could running as much as I could. The camera crew were with me at a distance and people all around were cheering me on, encouraging me to keep going. I had no intention to quit.
I finally rounded the last turn and I was heading back to the finish 1.6km (1 mile) to go.
I was bent forward, moving but I was beginning to wonder if I was going to be able to stop when I crossed the finish line. I was sore and I just wanted to find a place to take a brief rest but I never saw anywhere I could stop. I was getting closer to the finish and now I was almost there. I was approaching the final chute to the finish.

One hundred feet out the world suddenly turned to jello - in colour - and I grabbed a sandwich board just an instant before I was about to blackout. In the next few seconds I thought, "I don't want to quit now 100 feet from the finish." I don't want to go to the medical tent and if I do fall now I'll have failed. At this time with all the camera crew around me I heard Steve King saying he thought I was going to go around for another lap (NOT!!) so in this few seconds I had collected myself and let go of the sandwich board and ran to the finish. I was now steady on my feet (or at least I thought I was) and crossed the finish line with the crew behind me. A volunteer struggled to get my timing chip off my ankle while I held on to his shoulder to steady myself. Then there were hugs. My wife and coach were there. Others were there. It was all happening fast.
What would you do differently?:

I had very little left at the finish line. I'm sure I could have done a lot of things differently but I did the best I could.
Post race
Warm down:

They rushed me to a wheelchair. I didn't fight it. I really just wanted to sit down anyway but I knew I didn't need the medical tent.
A nurse pushed me around to where we got our swag and said after that we'd see how I was and decide then if I needed treatment.
My wife was with me and got my swag then after less than 5 minutes in the wheelchair I stood up straight and walked to a shady spot where I sat in a camp chair. My wife brought me ginger ale, my coach brought me a recovery drink and a friend/ volunteer brought me a sandwich and veggies then as I ate he went and bought me a cold beer.
The camera crew were as excited as my supporters and gathered around still filming. I really wanted my most humbling moments filmed.
I was quickly recovering and was coherent - I think. They asked me some questions and then we were done and they left.
I was feeling better and even had a couple more beers (I rarely drink but a cold beer on a hot day after a 30 k run with a group of friends was definitely in order).

What limited your ability to perform faster:

I wanted to really run this 30K and I did run some better just not enough. In the end I passed 6 people in the last 10km and I was able to run each loop faster than the last.
It will take a while to assess the positives and negatives of my race. I am also pleased at how well I coped with the heat.

Event comments:

I raced this same distance last year and I found this year to be harder. Both were hot and my time was virtually identical but I worked harder and miraculously I enjoyed it more. It was a long day.

Last updated: 2017-08-29 12:00 AM
01:10:00 | 3000 meters | 02m 20s / 100meters
Age Group: 0/26
Overall: 0/821
Performance: Average
Course: One out and back loop.
Start type: Run Plus:
Water temp: 22C / 71F Current: Low
200M Perf. Good Remainder: Average
Breathing: Average Drafting: Average
Waves: Below average Navigation: Average
Rounding: Good
Time: 09:28
Performance: Below average
Cap removal: Below average Helmet on/
Suit off:
Wetsuit stuck? No Run with bike: Yes
Jump on bike: No
Getting up to speed: Average
05:35:31 | 120 kms | 21.46 km/hr
Age Group: 0/26
Overall: 0/821
Performance: Below average
Wind: Some
Course: A double loop around Skaha Lake.
Road:  Dry Cadence: 77
Turns: Average Cornering: Average
Gear changes: Below average Hills: Below average
Race pace: Hard Drinks: Just right
Time: 07:11
Overall: Below average
Riding w/ feet on shoes
Jumping off bike Average
Running with bike Below average
Racking bike
Shoe and helmet removal
04:26:53 | 30 kms | 08m 54s  min/km
Age Group: 0/26
Overall: 0/821
Performance: Below average
Course: 3# 10Km loops.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
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? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2017-08-30 12:27 AM

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Extreme Veteran
Penticton, BC
Subject: ITU Multisport World Championships - Long Course

2017-08-30 3:51 PM
in reply to: #5227264

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Extreme Veteran
Langley, BC, 'Wet Coast' Canada
Subject: RE: ITU Multisport World Championships - Long Course
Awesome job, George!
Congratulations on persevering throughout a tough day on a very challenging course in the heat. I bet that cold beer tasted like Victory

Looking forward to the video...

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