Well, Toronto was host to a rather big time triathlon today as 1200 racers participated in the Olympic and Sprint tris and the duathlon. The BCC was well represented as Jason Charette, Jodie F, Charles, David Shedd, Jessica Campbell and I took on the Olympic distance while, Bob Lesser, Melanie Sakowski, and Brooke rocked the sprint.
The swim was held in the calm waters of the Ontario Place marina which made for fast swim times. After some drafting (it's legal in the water) I came out with a time of 22:05 for the 1500 meters which was a personal best. The bike was a treat as it went along the Gardiner and then up the DVP to Eglington before a return to Ontario Place. The DVP pavement was particularly smooth and fast. For a year and a half I have wondered what happened to my usually competitive bike split after one disappointing performance after another. The answer came yesterday on the Saturday ride when I dropped my Tri bike saddle about an inch and suddenly felt like a turbo had kicked in (and it only took me a year and a half to figure out - duh). Armed with my new seat height I felt awesome on the bike and ended up with a 39.5km/h average speed. Darn that long run up to the mount line or it might have been 40. Apparently the seat adjustment worked well at conserving my legs because my run, a 40:20 10k, was my best in a couple of seasons. To make a long story short I finished with a 2:04:47, a four minute (!) pb. I was first out of seventy in my age group and seventh overall in a stacked field. Most importantly, I finally felt like I'm making progress in my Ironman training. One month to go.
Speaking of Ironman training, Brooke had an awesome sprint race. After a pb swim she hit a solid bike (on her road bike - she's elected to ride that in her Ironman due to comfort issues) and then put in a nearly pb run despite no run training. If not for getting stuck behind some slow pokes on the bike in the no passing zone (Brooke started in the last wave in her race which forced her to work her way through the field) she might have been faster yet. Awesome work Brooke!
It seems that everyone hammered out a personal best on the day. After only just taking up triathlon last year, Jason Charette and Bob Lesser were already competitive in their age groups and in their overall races. The scary thing is, both of these guys are still improving! and fast. Jessica Campbell was spectacular in the Olympic triathlon taking eighth overall with her usual balanced attack. The biggest surprise of the day was Melanie Sakowski who hasn't raced a triathlon in three years due to injury and was super nervous before the start. She turned in an elite level performance and took sixth overall woman in the sprint on a rather squeaky and ancient road bike. No disrespect to your ride Melanie but perhaps you need to ask Santa for a new Tri bike for Christmas. I think we're talking seriously top of the podium performance on a properly fitting, triathlon specific bike.
So what can we take away from the day? The BCC has some seriously competitive triathletes. Congrats everyone and please post your race experience and your photos, if you have any, below.