It was with some trepidation I emailed the Point Grey Triathlon organizer that I wanted to change from the tri over to the duathlon.
What I had noticed was that the duathlon was a BC championship race and while I disliked the idea of 2 runs and no swim, the possibility of going for a championship was enough incentive to switch over.
Race morning Sato needed the car for Ame's sports day. So it was a lonely ride up to the race under darkening clouds.
Did package pickup and got the bike into transition. Chatted with some fellow competitors, Nic from VFac and Mike who said hello and was friendly. Also had brief chat with Jen Moroz whom I seem to cross paths with frequently.
Nic, I assumed, would be difficult to beat as he is such a good runner and this was a running intensive race. One saving grace was that he is a younger age group and these provincial races seem to focus more on the age group than the overall win.
Headed up to the start line to warm up and then the inevitable rain started to come down hard. Since it had rained and was cold at all the Tris I've done this year (North Shore Triathlon and Cultus Lake Triathlon), it might as rain now...
Call to the line... push to front... then 3,2,1 ... Go!!!!
Right off the bat - Nic shoots like a bullet down the road. Tried to keep up for about 3 seconds, then decided noway. Mike, who I had spoken to also, took off down the road, and I heard tons of footsteps right behind me (I think it was Aaron W., who I met a bit later), I was quickly realizing a win was going to be very difficult and even and age group win might not be in the cards! Checked my Garmin a few times to double check I wasn't just going super slow: nope - 3:30km pace is as fast as I was prepared to go at this point of things.
Hmmm, bye bye du champ...
By the end of the first 5k I was about 10 seconds behind Mike, unknown minutes behind Nic who was completely out of sight. Also unknown: is there is any uber cyclists nearby behind me. Garmin says run distance was 5.4km...a little too long....
Ran into transition... and down the wrong isle. Ug! loose 5 seconds. Dance around, find bike, take off. Pouring rain nasty TT. Hard to find the right gear with that first run in the legs.
Gradually started to make time on everyone and thankfully moved into first by about 10 km into the bike. Kept head down and pushed the rest of the ride. Finished up the ride and found my way back into transition. This time it was that old problem of being too cold, too numb with hands and feet. Fighting into my shoes the insoles jammed up into the front of my shoes like baseballs where my toes are supposed to go. Painful! Volunteers were a little confused and I got some random misdirection while trying to find my way out for the second 5k run. Lost a few more seconds...
Running the second time around was awful, much slower. I assumed Nic would fly past me within a Km or so.
As the run slogged on, nobody was passing me...?? By the time I reached 4km to go without seeing anyone I started thinking... holy cow! I think I got this!!! Yes! Yes!!
... NO!!! Nic's footsteps and then his whole person cruised on past. Blerg! He was moving fast and it was still about 800m to go, I couldn't follow. Alas... well - don't loose second place, just keep running!
Turned out to be 5.5km on this run, another slightly too long run...
Finished about 9 seconds behind Nic and about 35 or so in front of Mike. Had to push the whole way as things felt very competitive the whole way.
Was getting cold about 8 seconds after finishing. Rain seemed to still be getting harder and harder.
Quick aquatic centre shower and nursing of foot wounds (running in soaking shoes without socks) and then grabbing a BC age group champ medal at the soggy awards! Huzzah!
Point Grey Tri and Du: great day, great volunteers, well organized... Recommended!
Epilogue - later with a bit of a more detailed review of the day - it hung over me that between:
- messy transitions, I lost about 10 seconds of free time
- nearly an extra 1km of running
- a slightly short 20k bike...
....I had a missed an overall win due to any of several small annoying factors...
I know it's always the routine to run over things in your head and second guess yourself, but I am doing that slightly more than usual after this race.
In any event - super happy with outcome, first ever Duathlon and pulled of an AG champ and second overall!
One extra bonus - turned out we all were different age groups, so all won in that respect!