After getting my lock cut off and my wallet and keys stolen at the Birchmount pool on Wednesday I spent the rest of the week replacing all of my identification, financial cards, and locks on the house. As a result my grand total mileage for the week ended up being 1500m swimming, 35km cycling, and 3.5km running. If nothing else at least I knew I’d be fresh on race day although I did worry about being rusty.
When I got to the race I recognized that my toughest competition would be Mike Caughlin. He has had an amazing season and has beaten me in every head to head meeting this year.
I got off to a good start in the swim and actually led my wave for the first couple of hundred metres. Mike, who was in my draft for the first half of the swim eventually pulled through and I got behind him and caught his draft on the way back. Near the end of the swim I relaxed a bit too much and lost nine seconds on him heading into transition which quickly ballooned up to twenty eight seconds heading out onto the bike. Dang, how does that guy get his wetsuit off so quickly?
The bike course was pretty fast with a lot of false flats and only a couple of small hills which usually suits me fine. Determined to keep Mike in sight I tried to push the bike hard right away but for the first five k I just lost ground. During the second five k I seemed to get closer again but then he started pulling away again. By the thirty k mark I could no longer see him and just tried to keep the speed steady during the last ten kilometres.
I got off the bike in second overall a minute and a half behind Mike and took off hard after him. He has outran me in every race this year but I had to at least try to run him down. Once it became obvious that he was still pulling away I tried to keep my pace steady and consolidate second place, but with a kilometre and a half to go another racer caught me. I was expecting him to pass me right away since he had obviously been running a better pace than I was up to that point but he was content to run behind me waiting. I put in a surge to see if I could get away but I could still see his shadow behind me so I relaxed and waited for the sprint for second place. This is where the fresh legs came in handy as I was able to drop the hammer and pull away from my pursuer in the last hundred metres.
To conclude, even though I got soundly beaten by Mike I’m quite happy with the results. Wasaga is a pretty competitive race and second place is the best I could have expected given my current fitness and Mike’s dominance this year. Here are some stats:
1500m Swim – 23:21 (8th overall)
40km Bike – 1:00:56 – 39.4kph (4th overall)
10km run (actually 10.8 as measured by a Garmin wearing friend) – 44:01 (4th overall)
Final time – 2:10:17 (2nd overall, and unfortunately 2nd in my age group as Mike is also 35)
P.S. Brooke did the Give-it-a-Try after my race on nothing but bike training. She has swam four times all summer and has literally not run in a year (this is because of severe knee problems that cause her knees to start hurting after a kilometre of running). She gutted out the swim despite the windy conditions and big waves in Georgian Bay, and then had an awesome bike. Her bike split was 4th fastest out 113 women in the race and was bested by only 20 of the 81 men. Brooke then managed to run the entire run course which was a half a km too long despite experiencing serious knee pain most of the way. She ended up 41st out of 113 women overall and 6th out of 19 in her age group. Awesome work and an amazing bike ride!
We'll see you guys soon.