triathlon and family can mix

Race Report – Lake Chaparral Olympic Distance

This was my second time in Lake Chaparral for a triathlon, and I enjoyed it this time more than the first.

Freshly off Ironman 70.3 Calgary, what better way to end the season than an Olympic distance race.

I arrived in transition around 0615 and found a spot to rack my bike.  There was plenty to chose from , which sometimes can be a bad thing as you can overthink which is best, and I grabbed a spot close to the end with no rack behind me.  Good, plenty of room to manuver.

After setting up my gear, I hung around in transition chatting with the guys who set up around me.  This is the best part of the pre-race for me, getting to know fellow competitors and look at the gear guys are bringing in.

At the pre-race meeting, we were informed that as the water temperature was warmer than 22 degrees, so no wetsuits were allowed for the olympic distance.  WARMER than 22 degrees, this race was in Canada right?  Great, T1 should be a breeze.

Swim – 1.5km – Lake Chaparral
Since the weather was overcast, and no wetsuits allowed, I didn’t want to get into the water too early for a warm up and end up cooling off.  So with about 5 minutes to race start, I hit the water for a quick 200m warm up with mixed intensities and sighting drills, got out of the water, and kissed my family for good luck.

The course is a two-lap swim around Lake Chaparral, starting from the beach.  I lined up close to the front of the pack, towatd the middle.  We were to swim straight out, then left toward the first buoy.

The starting siren went off, and we hit the water.  Instead of swimming straight out, eveyone swam left.  This resulted in me getting kicked a couple of times in the side of the head, but nothing too bad.  About 300m out, just after the first buoy, the pack spread out and I found a quick pair of legs to draft off.  I followed him around the turn, and the full length on the backside.  He seemed to slow once we turned for lap two, so I dropped him and went in search of another drafting partner.

I was able to find another pair of legs, but couldn’t stay in the draft for more than 5-10 strokes, so I decided it was best to swim my own pace and left him behind as well.

I was lifted out of the water by the voluenteers, thanks guys, and headed toward my bike.  I was a little disoriented as I forgot ear plugs and I find the water does that to me if I don’t wear them.  I also tweeked my left ankle coming over the timing mats, hope either of those don’t come back to bite me later on.

Highlights: Sighted very well, focused on making sure I made the turns a smooth as possible.

Lessons: I felt like the swim was fast, but at 2:04/km it wasn’t my best time.  I think focusing on the draft partner gave me a false sense of pace.  Need to remember ear plugs for every race.

Result: 30:47 2:04/100m 6/17 Age Group 38/146 Overall

Bike – 40km – Lake Chaparral Community
Transition was a breeze, and I hit the road within 1:30 of exiting the water.

The course is a four-lap bike around the community of Lake Chaparral.  It is realtively flat with one large hill to decend at 3km and climb at 6km; a total of 110m elevation change, so no big deal.

I started a little flustered on the bike, probably due to forgetting my ear plugs.  I tried to settle in and contiued on the bike.  I took it pretty safe on the first downhill at 3km and right turn toward the turn around.  The road in the valley was pretty rough, it took concentration to say out of the large bumps.  Once I hit the turn around, I grabbed my water bottle and grabbed a sip, went to put it back and dropped it, crap.  I stopped, went back, and grabbed it off the ground.

Dropping things on the bike is becoming a habit.

My nutrition plan was to have a gel on the first hill climb, then a second on the final hill climb.  I hit the first gel on lap 2 and the last gel on lap 4 just before the decents washing it down with an electrolyte drink on my bike frame.

For the next three laps, I traded position back and forth with racer 679, and joked about it with him a couple of times.  Other than the shadow I had and was at times, the rest of the bike was uneventful.  It did get a little congested on the last lap as the sprint distance was now out of the water and on their bikes.

As I have done before, I took my feet out of my shoes just before transition and threw my right leg over the bike and coasted on my left pedal, albeit a little early, and dismounted.  Coming to the rack, I noticed another racer had racked his bike in my spot.  It wouldn’t have been a big deal, except his front wheel was right in the middle of my run gear.  I decided to not worry about it, as there was nothing I could do about it now.

Highlights: I didn’t get passed by anyone in my age group.

Lessons: Need to find a better hydration system as the bottle and cage were not very efficient on the bumpy roads.  Determine where I dismount on the previous lap for future races.

Result: 1:11:43 33.5km/hr 6/17 Age Group 25/146 Overall

Run – 10km – Lake Chaparral Community
After digging through the front wheel of another racers bike for my gear, I headed out on the run.

The course is a two-lap run around the community, lapping through the park a total of three times.  It can be confusing, but after having done this last year, I knew where I was going.

My nutrtion plan was to carry a single gel in my jersey, and use it if I needed it.  It fell out of my pocket about 50m out of transition.  Maybe dropping things period is becoming a habit.  I decided to leave it as the aid stations had gels available.

I grabbed a glass of water and a gel at the first aid station, and ran out of the park to the street for lap one.  My pace was great for the first lap and I felt strong and fast.  Coming toward transition, I was cheered on, actually given a hard time by, a fellow Tri-Club Swimmer who had set up an unofficial aid station on his driveway.  That was awesome, I would use the aid station on the next lap.

Coming through the park for the second time, I saw the gel I had dropped and grabbed it on my way through.  I would rather grab it than use something that I haven’t tried in training, so I ditched the aid station gel and went for lap two.

I wanted to negative split my run, so I increased my pace once out of the park.  Almost instantly I began passing other racers, some from the sprint distance and some olympic distance racers just one the first lap.  It felt great to be passing people on the run; my last race I was the one getting passed.

Coming into the park for the last time, I was passed by guess who, racer 679.  He thanked me for pacing him, and blasted infront of me toward the finish line.  I didn’t have much left in my legs, so I conceeded that he would finish before me, and came into the finish line strong.

Highlights: I ran pretty much even for both laps.

Lessons: Continue to work on fitness to increase my speed on the run.

Result: 49:00 4:54/km 7/17 Age Group 38/146 Overall

I had a blast.  The Lake Chaparral Triathlon is probably one of the best events in the City of Calgary, and is always well organized.  The support is great, with various pockets of supporters around the bike and run course.  I actually was told by two children that I was awesome, so when I passed them on the next lap, I told them they were awesome.

I set a goal for myself for this race; I wanted to be strong on the run.  I felt mentally that I was strong, pushing the pace when my legs told me to slow it down.  I am happy with my result, next year I should be able to take it below 2:15:00.

Here is a link to some of the pictures from the day, check them out here.

Result: 2:31:29 5/17 Age Group 27/146 Overall


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