The Peach Classic & the Kelowna Apple Sprint Triathlon

Continuing the theme of racing short and fast this year I’ve travelled to the Okanagan twice in the past month for the Peach Classic & the Kelowna Apple Triathlon.

Peach Classic Triathlon

First up was the Peach Classic which doubled as a qualifier for the 2016 Sprint World Championships in Mexico. The summer heat wave hadn’t let up; water temps were above 24 degrees, and so the race was declared a non-wetsuit swim.
Not having a swimming background I rely on my wetsuit for a good body position in the water and some ‘free speed.’ I reasoned however, the majority of other people would be in the same boat.
It was mass start, both male & female. I found a spot found near the front and the gun went off. The usual washing machine of a swim starts began, I found some feet to swim on, but shortly after was shoved off by a much larger guy. Figuring my chances of moving him were slim, I settled in behind, luckily 750m goes by pretty quickly!

Peach Classic Swim Start

Peach Classic Swim Start

I was out of the water in 6th, passed another 2 girls in transition and was onto the bike in 4th. The hilly bike course suited me and I’d passed another 2 girls by the top of the first hill putting me into second. Entering the first out and back section I saw the girl in the lead already leaving, I put her out of my mind and focused on enjoying the ride, the scenery there is amazing.
was surprised to catch the lead girl just 10 minutes later, I worked hard to put as much distance between her and myself as possible over the rest of the bike.

Peach Classic Bike

Peach Classic Bike

Coming into T2 I wasn’t paying attention, I went sailing over the dismount line, by quite a bit… Shouting, by officials, at me, a short time penalty and I was off again.
Shoes on and I was heading out of T2 when I heard Steve King announce the second woman in on the bike, time to get moving! The 5km run had a brutal hill, meaning at least 2km was UP UP UP, I tried to focus on keeping my head up and picking off a few guys ahead of me. The run was an out and back, meaning I could count how much of a cushion I had over second place at the turn, 90 seconds, not a lot, but hopefully enough!
The last 500m stretch seemed to take forever, my legs went to jello! I was so happy to see the finish line, with 1:11 on the clock. This was good enough to take the win and grab a spot to sprint worlds in Mexico. For 2016 this will be draft legal, so that should be interesting!

Peach Classic Finish Line

Peach Classic Finish Line


Kelowna Apple Triathlon

Next up was the Apple; I headed to Kelowna with my good friends Sara & Amy, looking forward to a girls weekend away.
We were hoping for some beach time after the race but a fire in Washington and changing winds brought in a lot of smoke overnight. We awoke to thick, heavy air, the smell of bonfires and an extreme air quality warning, our bikes covered in a fine layer of ash.
The race went ahead, but several people chose to withdraw. I took my inhaler twice, crossed my fingers and hoped that the race was short enough that the smoke wouldn’t get to me.

I have yet to make it to a race without forgetting something, this time was no different. As we walked over for body marking I realized everything seemed very blurry, I’d forgotten my contact lenses!
Luckily Amy’s race was a few hours later and she was able to dash back and grab them for me, then we used her phone camera as a mirror so I could quickly shove them in.

Women 20-34 started in a single swim wave with women 35-39 starting 5 minutes behind. For me having moved into 35-39 category this year that was a disadvantage. I was not getting a swim start with the younger faster girls, in the one portion of the race where drafting is legal. I got my wetsuit on, warmed up and the gun went off for our small wave. I swam 50 strong strokes, looked around, but no one was with me…
I swam hard, but solo, encountering a lot of the slower women from the wave ahead, the second half of the course became very congested. For me it wasn’t a great swim, I came out of the water a minute behind where I’d like to have been, expending a lot of energy.

A quick T1 and onto the bike where I headed up Knox mountain on what felt like some very dead legs, too much kicking in the swim!
However, the Apple is a fast bike course and my legs came around for the second lap. Down the last stretch of the bike I was aware of a strange wheezing noise that I realized was in fact my breathing, damn that smoke...
I came into T2 holding just over a 36km/hr for the bike, good enough to also snag a few Strava QOM's. I saw some of the faster girls from the wave ahead already heading out onto the run. Panic set in, I had to then remind myself i’d set off in a wave 5 minutes behind them, not with them, I had time…

I set off running at a decent pace, my lungs holding up. However, 3km into the run I was struggling, I had to slow down, and focus on breathing evenly. I ran a steady last 2km coming into the finish with a 20:19 run for a 1:09 overall time.
A short wait for the results and then confirmation I had been just fast enough to take the overall win! Happy!

First 5 women across the line

First 5 women across the line

Top Overall Male and Female

Top Overall Male and Female

Today I sound like a 60 year old 2 pack a day smoker, but my lungs will bounce back!  So ends a fast and fun triathlon race season for 2015; I’m looking forward to some off-season cyclocross and running races though fall and winter!

Team Ossenbrink representing with a 1st & 4th Overall

Team Ossenbrink representing with a 1st & 4th Overall