Well, since I already gave away the ending I’ll have to explain. I’ve had my eye on the Toronto Island Triathlon since it was revived by Multisport Canada a few years ago. Last year I finished fifth here and definitely didn’t expect a win this time (though you can always hope) given the level of competition and my sub par results so far this season. However, the fact that I took the last five weeks off racing and concentrated on training has definitely paid off as I seemed to be able to find my old form today. For the last three seasons I have won one race per year and I honestly thought that that streak would come to an end this year, but instead I managed to nab my best win yet. Toronto is my home town and the Island Tri is the most competitive race I have ever won so I’ll be floating on a cloud for a while. Here’s what happened:
I got to the race site early and got a good spot in transition thanks to Brooke (my race crew) carrying all my gear on her hybrid bike. I had tons of time to warm up and get nervous checking out the competition.
For the swim I lined up to the right of everybody and got an excellent jump dolphining through the initial shallow section. I led my wave (men 35-39) through the first 150 metres before some other guys came through and I got behind them and finished the swim in the front group for my wave.
Onto the bike and my legs were feeling a little tired. It was a bit windier than last year and I doubted I could repeat last year’s 41.3 kph bike split but I put my head down and pushed hard. The bike is always a bit hairy on the island due to lots of traffic and some narrow sections but I managed to stay out of trouble during the first lap. By the second lap the legs recovered a bit and I could push a bit harder but the traffic was increasing and I kept getting caught behind slower riders at turnaround points and loosing a bit of time. I backed off on the third lap to save my legs for the run and ended up with an average speed of 40.8 kph which was the fastest bike of the day.
Last year I melted down on the run and I didn’t feel too good during the first two km this year either. I had the overall lead of the race at this point though I didn’t know it at the time because everyone was spread out in their separate age waves. What finally got me going was seeing the second place finisher from last year (who is also in my age group) running hard after me at one of the turnaround points. This is an athlete who easily passed me last year and he looked pretty intent on doing it again. Right about this time I got my running legs under me and started to run better. I really sped up on the second half of the run but my rival kept gaining and had me running scared right up to the finish line. In the end I only held him off by 9 seconds making for a real nail-biter of a race. The third place guy finished another 16 seconds back and fourth and fifth were within a minute of me as well. Wow. Good thing I didn’t let up at all. My age group rival took second overall thus proving that men 35-39 is a really competitive age group.
Well, that was pretty exciting. I have to thank Brooke for all the support and excellent camera work. She is the best cheering section in the world and I couldn’t have done it without her.
Also, special shout-out to Jessica Campbell from the BCC for crushing her age group and finishing a spectacular 4th overall in the women’s race. Way to go Jessica! The BCC really nailed this one. Enjoy the pics and videos courtesy of Brooke and thanks for reading.
Here is a link to the results: