C3 at the races:
Gravenhurst – Olympic Distance Triathlon – Saturday, July 12, 2014
Race report by Lisa Petters
& Peggy Reid (thanks for the photos!)
What a great day to race! Some of the C3 crew stayed up north to be closer to race site Saturday morning, while others drove up from home. A couple of us had raced Gravenhurst before, but for the others, it was a new experience. One of the highlights of this race (and why it sells out) is that all athletes board the Muskoka Steamships – “jump off” – swim to start buoys – and with the blast of the horn from the steamship – you swim to shore! It’s a unique experience to any other triathlon – I love it!
After the race briefing, we make our way over to the docks and start loading the boats ... the elite (Kristen) and the young (Eric) are on the Segwun (earlier waves), while the rest of us (Andrea, Sara, Peggy, Jim, Craig, Anya and myself) were on the Wenonah II (which Craig tells us is a higher jump to the water – yikes!) We chuckle to ourselves as nerves get the better of us – and we ask ourselves “why do we do this” – the anticipation of the start of a race ... but we all know once we’re off – we love it! We wish each other good luck & separate into our waves for the start.
The swim is L-shaped – 500m and then a left turn and 1000m swim straight to shore. I like the swim start in the middle of the lake – seems to be less crowding. I’m in the last wave, yellow caps, horn goes & off we go. After a couple hundred meters, I notice I’m a bit off to the right – need to correct (don’t like swimming any longer than I have to!) – I get to the first turn buoy – think to myself (500 down, 1000 to go ... 1 lap of the quarry) – I think “turnover” (& I can’t help but laugh to myself wimming in the quarry – swimmer comes up, passes by me ... I finish the loop ... frustrated at my slow swim - Bob Knuckey is at the dock and casually says “the only difference is he moves his arms faster than you Lisa”! So, when I think fast turnover during race swim, I smile (and sometimes laugh underwater) at Bob’s comment! Thanks Bob! Anyway – back to the race ... again, a swimmer goes by me – this time I “catch her feet” – how great is that – was on & off her feet for about 700m of the last leg of the swim – kept me going. As long as you’re confident that who you’re following is staying on course, it’s a good swim! I was feeling good in the water & thought I had an OK swim (until I saw my time!) – but there’s a swim run up that’s included: you exit the water and run up and along a dock (which is pretty cool, as it’s lined with cheering spectators) – across the street – run around the transition to “SWIM IN” – that takes a few minutes ... so if I minus that off my swim time ... I’m OK with that!
The good news to a long run-up is that you have lots of time (and no excuses) to not having your wetsuit totally ready to rip ‘n hammer! (rip off the wetsuit, hammer on the bike). I’m now out of T1 and out on the bike.
I love riding in Muskoka – and this course is one of my favs for that reason as well - stunning views – sometimes too nice – can easily get distracted and have to say to myself “race legs Lisa”. I get a quick reminder as a rider passes me (in my AG) & I self-talk (“race Lisa”) - so off I go for the pass, with the intent to keep her behind me ... never saw her again The course is country rollers, some twists and turns, nothing too challenging – except of course the turnaround (have to practise that more!), & a couple sections of pavement that took a beating from our winter – just reminds me I’m glad it’s summer! My neighbour is an OAT official – motorcycle marshall out on the bike course – so a few hellos to him out on the course as well – I play by the rules on race day (& would be in big trouble if I didn’t!)
In & out of T2 as fast as I can ... runners, visor & I’m off. Oh, and salt tablet – glad I put that in my jersey as I headed out. Run was on rolling country roads – mixed with hot sun & little shade. After the mid-way point, I could start to feel the heat of the day – at least I was on my way back! Around the 7km, salt tablet came in handy – and after that I just tried to keep cadence up – didn’t want to get caught in the last few kms of the run (had noticed someone close to me at turnaround, not knowing her AG &/or who else was behind or ahead of me ... as I’d come to the next hill, I would just try and stay focused on my race & a negative split ... the Barrie Shepley rule for a good race!) Not sure I got that (since I wasn’t wearing a watch) – but no passes in my AG – so that’s good! Finally I get back to the path, which meant 400m to go – yeah! One by one C3 crosses the finish line.
Race director, John Salt is at the finish line to shake hands & congratulate all athletes (a nice touch!) – followed by his crew of “soakers” – water spray station and volunteers with handfuls of sponges for an after-race cool down! I’m not sure who that enjoys that more – the athletes cooling off or the kids doing the soaking! We all have race stories – highs / lows from this & other races – but I think the one consistent is the fun wehave being out there together. Congrats to all C3 racers! Special call-out to Kirsten Marchant – who took the victory (1stfemale & 3rdoverall) – pretty awesome to watch her race. Kudos as well to Peggy Reid’s 1stplace podium AG 55-59.