Since I first began racing Triathlon 3 years ago i’ve always focused on long course and endurance; it’s been a good fit.
However, with increased work commitments and less time to train I decided to switch gears this summer and race short, temporarily trading in my endurance in the hope of discovering some fast twitch muscles and short course speed.
First up was the Vancouver Sprint Triathlon, my ‘test run’ before the Peach Sprint a few weeks later that was a qualifier for 2016 worlds in Mexico.
Anyone living in BC knows just how dry it’s been this year and with that came many forest fires. I awoke on the morning of the Vancouver Triathlon to find the skies thick with heavy smoke, stunning to look at but Vancouver smelled very much like a bonfire and our poor air quality rivalled that of Beijing.
My friend Sara was also racing, this was her first Triathlon! Canada’s National Duathlon Champion comes over to the dark side, haha!
Race prep done, inhaler located and fast forward to the gun going off; I got a good start, pushed hard and kept up to some of the front girls.
However, within 300m we’d begun to catch the back of the men's field and it became a game of weaving around them. While passing one guy he grabbed onto the back of my wetsuit, I tried to keep swimming but he wouldn’t let go and I had to kick him fairly hard, I was not impressed.
Choppy water and current aside the rest of the swim was thankfully less eventful; I came out of the water in 4th, 11:39 for the 750m with a pace of 1:33/100m, faster than i’ve swum before, which was great.
Moving quickly through T1 I went to then hop onto my bike, but another man set off near me, swerved, weaved around, and fell into me...!
I was kind of grumpy by that point and it was a pretty congested bike course, so I found myself repeatedly shouting ‘on your left’ as I tried to pass by the guys, I think they even caught this in my race photo. As I learned the following Monday one guy i’d been shouting ‘on your left’ at particularly loudly turned out to be a co-worker at my new company Hootsuite, whoops!
I’d been battling some stomach issues in the lead up to this race so that kept things interesting as I found out pretty quickly that anything I tried to take in came straight back up again, so I realized best just not to try and drink anything at all.
Coming through into T2 I made the mistake of undoing my helmet strap before racking my bike and had to serve a short time penalty.
Penalty served and out of T2 I ran, forgetting to do my shoes up, so I had to stop again, and finally off... I had passed the remaining 3 girls on the bike, but hadn't realized so at the time.
The run was a straight out and back, with a long finishing stretch in the sand; this certainly made it more amusing for the spectators, albeit more painful for the racers. Kudos to one girl who we saw really attack the sand pit, sprinting through and bursting over the finish line before of course vomiting!
I finished the 5k run in 19:53 for a total time of 1:09 which was good enough for the overall win. Sara had an amazing first Tri finishing 8th overall. It’s certainly a very different feeling to racing long course and a very different race!