Sunday, July 1, 2012

Turner Valley Triathlon - First race of 2012!

Turner Valley Triathlon - race review and report

500m, 20km, 5km
Organization:  Nicely organized, happy volunteers and on-time starts
Course: Clear, well marked, beautiful terrain, awesome bike course, rolling trail run course BUT that 25m pool sure feels small!
Extras: Pretty nice tech shirt included, BUT post race food minimal and no prizes and no awards given, boo!

Full Report:

Ominous weather reports had me a little nervous about this one.  As it turned out: sunny and 20 ish degrees - perfect tri weather!  We made it a family affair with my Dad, Sister, nieces Kaitlyn and Robyn and brother in law Keith all competing at this same race.  It started in a 25m outdoor pool, which was probably the lowlight of the course.  When you are used to a 50m pool at VAC, or 137m at Kits pool, or open water swims - 25m seems really short.  It was a continual start type scenario, with racers standing in a long line of decreasing estimated swim times.  Each was called in turn when a swimmer in one of the lanes finished their 500m.  Standing around waiting for my start I got lots of questions from several fast looking guys wondering my about my estimated swimtime (something like 7:30?) or my estimated overall time (shooting for under 1 hour).  Nice to meet some of the local racers.

It took a while, and I had the honor of starting dead last as I had figured about 7 min 30 seconds for the swim.  As usual, my lap counting got mixed up somewhere in the teens, so I depended on the volunteer counters to whack me with a kickboard when I was done.  

When 20 laps were done, it was off to transition: a pavement run to the nearby parking lot.  No issues except the strange demand that we WALK our bikes across the crosswalk before getting to the bike mount line (run from transition to crosswalk, walk across crosswalk, then run to mount line).  I kind of jog/walked to not arouse the ire of the volunteers staffing the crosswalk.  The 45 degree angle between the crosswalk and mount line meant the bike was on a funny angle, so when I tried a flying mount my bum missed the seat and I landed on the back wheel, OW!!  Not so cool looking when you almost wipe out at the mount line.

Bike course - 20km of gorgeous fast rollers, great scenery.  Caught a few riders on the bike, but racers were quite spaced out so mostly it felt like a solo ride in the foothills of the Rockies.  The highway deadends further along so essentially no vehicle traffic either!  One rider was just behind me near the start, but I dropped him fairly promptly and never saw again.

Run: rolling gravel train out and back.  HOT!  Water only on course, could've gone for something with a little sugar.  As usual felt awful and slow for the first couple of km.  Passed a couple more people and noted one guy running the opposite way (toward the finish) who looked freaking fast.  With the staggered start, you don't really know where you are relative to anyone else, so I thought I'd better pick it up a little.

I was passing a guy late in the run and said some brief word of encouragement to him on the way by.  He wanted to chat a bit and then asked me if "I'm the guy who thinks he's going to go under an hour" which was weird, since I hadn't actually spoken with him before.  He went on to tell me that it seemed unlikely, so on that somewhat pessimistic note I passed him and finished the run, passing my Dad (who started quite a bit earlier) along the way.

All in all, the Fieldwalkers and Lumbys (my sisters family) did awesome.  Dad took the 70+ AG, my niece Kaitlyn got the first female kids of steel, my niece Robyn had an awesome first race, and I got the overall win!

Under an hour as well, mission accomplished!

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