Multisport Canada Georgina Sprint Triathlon

I was quite excited that this was the race that offered points for the pro/EAG series for this particular race weekend. After racing Georgina last year I was excited to return to the venue- I had liked it last year even with the terrible weather conditions, so I knew I would enjoy it this year with much improved weather expected. I was also excited that I finally would be doing a sprint distance race, as my other races this year had all been Olympic distance or longer.

The night before the race I re-checked the weather (for the 50th time) and saw that very high winds were still expected for the morning. Knowing that Lake Simcoe often gets quite choppy when it is windy, I mentally prepared myself for the likely event that the triathlon would be switched to a duathlon.

After a beautiful, sunny drive to Georgina I arrived at the race site (excessively early as usual). I stepped out of my car and looked towards the lake and knew immediately we would not be swimming. I was so confident in this that I didn’t even bother getting my wetsuit out of the car. When I arrived at transition announcements were being made that the decision about the swim would be made closer to the race start. When it finally was confirmed I was very unfazed. What did concern me was that I had Zipp 808 race wheels on my bike and I was worried about my ability to control them in the very high winds with a bike course that primarily runs right alongside the shore of the lake. After some helpful hints from a teammate I went out on a bike warm-up. This calmed my nerves a little as it wasn’t AS bad as I thought, but I still knew I would need to ride more cautiously than usual.

Run #1 (5km) – 20:16

At 8:59 I set out onto the course alongside the rest of the pro/EAG mini-wave. The three guys took off ahead of Nina and I. I think I managed to run with Nina for all of 1 minute before her pace was too much for me. I am much more of a longer distance runner, I think I even find 5km races harder than half marathons. Also, I often run a 5km section of a 10km race faster than my 5km PB, which really makes no sense but has happened multiple times- must be a mental thing. Anyways, I used Nina as motivation and ran what is a pretty good 5km time for me. I knew Nina’s super run had put her a good distance ahead of me coming out of T1 so I headed onto the bike course ready to work hard to see if I could catch her.

2016-09-11 | 2016 MultiSport Georgina Triathlon

Mini was not an exaggeration – only 5 of us!

 

2016-09-11 | 2016 MultiSport Georgina Triathlon

On our way!

Bike (20km) – 34:16

Funny enough despite all the time I spent stressing about my deep wheels in the wind pre-race, it actually wasn’t that bad. I was so distracted with the task at hand that I barely noticed the wind and managed to stay aero almost the whole race. I picked off about 5 men who had beat me on the first run by the 10km turn around and could see Nina up in the distance. I made it my goal to catch her by 15km as I knew I would need to gap her before T2 if I had any hope of winning. I ended up catching her just after 15km but despite my best efforts to drop her she managed to stay with me, I believe we dismounted side by side. I had a good T2 and managed to exit transition just in front.

Run #2 (2.5km) – 10:21

Nina quickly took the lead and I knew I didn’t have a chance at the win, but was still motivated to have a quick run to try and secure 2nd. Because of the wave style of the race any woman behind me could potentially be ahead of me without me even knowing it. I pace was 4:03 min/km for the first run and 4:08 min/km for the 2nd run, so I was pleased to have only slowed down by 5 seconds per km after a hard effort on the bike.

2016-09-11 | 2016 MultiSport Georgina Triathlon

2nd Run with a weird face (featuring whitecaps in background)

Turns out my result was good enough for me to hang onto 2nd place overall, which I was very happy with. I was particularly happy with my bike split and with how I had managed to handle my bike and not freak out in challenging conditions.

2016-09-11 | 2016 MultiSport Georgina Triathlon

Overall podium

Although it has been a rough couple years for Georgina in terms of conditions, I would still encourage everybody to come out and give this race a try. Biking and running right alongside the lake is awesome and the park in which the event is held is lovely. Parking is also almost right next to transition (always a bonus!) and there is an indoor pavilion for registration and awards which is  a good thing to have at a September race where the temperatures are often a bit on the cooler side.

This race signalled the end of my season. I had been considering racing Barrelman, but have decided against it just because once school starts I really like to focus on that and find it takes away from my ability to put everything I have into racing. But best of luck to everyone participating in this event this upcoming weekend!

This season ended up being 6 races for me (2 duathlons and 4 triathlons) and overall I am fairly happy with how it went. This was the 5th year that I had the opportunity to be an ambassador for Multisport Canada and I continue to be so grateful for their support which allows me to race all summer long.

The season may be over but I will try to keep the blog active over the off-season. I am also looking to write a training/racing related article for the Multisport Canada blog but am having a bit of trouble deciding on a topic- if anyone has any suggestions or has a topic they would like to know more about feel free to shoot me a message.

That’s it for now, congratulations to everyone on a great season!

Lauren

 

 

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Wasaga Beach Olympic Triathlon

It is a little hard to believe that September is here. It has been a busy week, getting some last minute summer hours in at work and getting organized to head back to Hamilton to start my second year of the Occupational Therapy program. Last weekend I competed in the second last race weekend in the Multisport Canada Recharge with Milk Triathlon Series. Wasaga Beach and I have a good history; in 2014 I was 1st female in the sprint triathlon, in 2015 I had a great race in the Olympic triathlon which ended in a sprint finish with Emma. Trying to chase Emma down during the run portion of the race last year led to one of my best run splits ever, so I was hoping history may repeat itself this time around.

The race was on Saturday, and not until 10:30 AM, so it was one of my later race morning starts of the season. I still got up fairly early, as I was concerned I might hit cottage country traffic, so I left Mississauga by 6:30. Turns out people either don’t leave that early for the cottage or it wasn’t a big cottaging weekend at all as I travelled north quickly without hitting any traffic at all. Even with an extra coffee stop and stretch break, I still rolled into the race site with more than 2 hours before the start of the race, but as a person who hates being late, I was just happy to not have to rush through my race preparations.

After grabbing my race kit and choosing my spot on the racks in transition (this was hard since I had my choice of literally ANYWHERE on the race since I was so early). I headed out for a bike warm up to make sure my bike was good to go. When I returned to transition I caught up with some fellow ambassador team members and continued to make sure everything was organized in transition. A quick run and swim warm up later, I was at the start buoys ready to go off with the pro/elite age group wave.

Swim 

I wasn’t expecting too much from the swim as typically to swim well you need to do some swim training, which I had not really done at all in the weeks leading up to this race. I had swam with Billy at the Welland Long Course Triathlon back in June, so I was trying to stay on his feet. Emma seemed to have the same plan and as far as I could tell the 3 of us seemed to swim together for almost the entire swim. I decided to just trust Billy and Emma and follow their feet most of the way as I was focusing on trying to hang on with the fast pace they were setting, Emma told me after the race we went way off course, but I didn’t even notice and exited the water thinking the swim had gone excellent. If anyone has swam at Wasaga Beach they know it is shallow until really far out into the water, this makes for one of my favourite swims as I can utilize my secret weapon, dolphin dives! However, during the swim exit I did a dolphin dive when it was a bit TOO shallow which resulted in me kind of flopping down on my stomach. This deterred me slightly and I walked for a few seconds after that, but quickly regrouped and began running out of the water as I realized Emma was in front of me heading into transition.

From casual walk to urgent run as I realize Emma is getting away in front of me

2016-08-27 | 2016 MultiSport Wasaga Beach Triathlon (Saturday)

Finally out of the water and heading to transition

Heading out onto the bike, the plan was to ride hard, but not too hard. My back was a lot better but not perfect so I wanted to make sure I didn’t irritate it too much on the bike so that I would still be able to have a good run. I moved into 1st female about 5km into the bike and kept the lead throughout the rest of the ride. I really liked the Wasaga bike course, mainly flat, and an out and back which I always like so that I know where I stand. It was motivating to see many fast ladies not too far behind me at the turn around, as this motivated me for the 2nd leg of the ride. I ended up averaging 34km/h which I was happy with.

I kept my lead through transition and started out at a good pace on the two lap run course. The run at Wasaga is great with running along the beach strip which is lined with so many spectators, many of whom have just come to the beach for the day and stumbled upon the triathlon. I much prefer chasing then feeling chased so I found the run a little stressful with not really knowing if another woman was going to blow past me at any minute. Also, the females aged 34 & under who didn’t go in the pro/elite had left in a wave 9 minutes back, so although I was technically leading the women’s race at that time, there was still potential that someone from that wave could finish with a faster time than me. That being said, I felt strong throughout the run and was grateful for it being a little overcast and not too hot. I ended up doing the 10km run in 43:57, which was another good time for me this year.

2016-08-27 | 2016 MultiSport Wasaga Beach Triathlon (Saturday)

Being chased along the beach strip

I crossed the line in 2:23:47 and was very happy with my effort. I then began the long 9 minute wait to see if any ladies from the later wave would have beaten my time. As it turns out one lady did, but only one! I ended up 2nd female overall, which was a huge success for me!

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Above are my stats from the race. It is interesting that in gender placing my times for my bike and run were 3rd fastest, but my swim was 7th fastest. With originally coming from a swim background, it is interesting how my greatest strength has become my weakness as my bike and run have improved.

2016-08-27 | 2016 MultiSport Wasaga Beach Triathlon (Saturday)

Overall podium

This race was a great motivator for me! I left very excited for my last race of the season which will be the Georgina Sprint Triathlon on September 11th. This will actually be my very first sprint distance this year. Last year the weather wasn’t the best for Georgina but I still enjoyed the great new venue. I am so excited to experience it in better weather this year (fingers crossed!)

Thanks goes to John Salt, the Multisport Canada Team, and Recharge with Milk for making all this racing possible for me and for putting on another great event. Can’t wait to see everyone again in a weeks time for the final event of the series!

Thanks for reading.

Lauren

MSC Bracebridge Olympic Triathlon

It’s been a while since my last post! After the MSC Rose City long course race I decided to take a break from racing to get some solid training in. About a month afterwards I competed at Age Group standard distance Nationals in Ottawa in order to secure a spot for 2017 Worlds in Rotterdam. A bit of a curveball was thrown at us with the race being changed to a duathlon last minute as a result of some “inconclusive” water quality results. I’m never too happy to lose the swim portion of the race, but I tried to just go with the flow. I ended up coming 2nd in the 20-24 age group and secured my Worlds spot. I was actually very happy with my splits from this race, especially both my run times, so I felt that my training time had paid off and I would be in a good position to have a strong 2nd half of the season.

The plan following this race was to have a fairly easy recovery/taper week heading into the MSC K-Town Long Course tri which was to be held 8 days later. Things didn’t quite go as planned as I did something to my back 4 days out of the race. I thought for sure it was just a little strain that would pass quickly, so I almost entirely backed off of training for the rest of the week hoping to be good to go for Sunday. Unfortunately, this did not happen and after much deliberation on Saturday I decided that evening to pull out of the race. This was disappointing as I was unable to finish this race last year and was hoping to make a strong come back this time around, but I guess that will have to wait until 2017 (3rd time is the charm right???)

After the disappointment of not racing K-Town I was determined to make it to the start line of my next race which was MSC Bracebridge Olympic! So I took another easy week with minimal training. By the end of the week my back was feeling a bit better, but still not great. With beautiful weather forecasted at one of my favourite stops on the MSC series I decided to proceed with Bracebridge and have some fun while putting in my best effort, while not worrying to much about my results.

There is nothing like sleeping in your own bed the night before a race, so I opted for a 4:20am alarm and an early morning drive up to Bracebridge. I got to the race site very early which allowed me to have a nice relaxed lead up to the race with a swim, bike, and run warm-up.

This race typically features a time trial start but this year it was decided that to pro/elite age group competitors would go off in their own “mini-wave”. This was fine with me (as was the luxuriously warm river water), and at 8:30am, Jason Vurma sent the group of 12 of us off!

2016-08-07 | 2016 MultiSport Bracebridge Triathlon (Sunday)

Maybe the water was a bit too warm…forgot to unzip my wetsuit prior to ripping off my cap

The swim course is basically a big rectangle in a river. Calm water and the river setting make it a very comfortable swim course with very little sighting involved because chances are if you’re following the shoreline you are going the right way. This is a good thing as on the way back the beautiful sunshine made it a little hard to see anything. Off the start I wanted to try to stay with fellow Ambassador Team member Nina, but she quickly took off and I was unable to stay with her for very long. I swam solo for most of the swim while catching the occasional draft from a couple swimmers who passed me. I exited the water with a time that I am particularly proud of, but I suppose it could have been worse.

I had an uneventful T1 but then proceeded to have much difficulty mounting my bike. Not quite sure what kept going wrong but lets just say it took me 4 attempts. At least I put on a good show for the officials and spectators at the mount line!

Once I finally mounted my bike I took off onto the bike course. The Bracebridge course is very scenic, but I forgot how hilly it also is. The first and last 7km or so is nice and flat, but the rest of the time it seemed we were mainly going up or down. Between being on my more aggressive tri bike (as opposed to my road bike) and the constant hill climbing, my back was not happy and made me very aware of that from about 10km onwards in the cycle. I can’t honestly say I enjoyed the cycle very much, but I tried to keep up my cadence as best I could and not get discouraged, despite being quite worried about how the run would go.

Luckily, dismounting my bike proved much less difficult than mounting. I had a quick T2 and was happy to tackle the only hill on the run course right out of transition (nice to have that out of the way!). Don’t have too much to say about the run, it was nothing special and I can’t say I was feeling great, but I got through it and was very relieved when I came down the grassy hill into the finish line.

 

2016-08-07 | 2016 MultiSport Bracebridge Triathlon (Sunday)

After the race I had some fun catching up with friends and visiting the Recharge with Milk tent for some chocolate milk. The race had great turn out in general and several members of the Ambassador team were in attendance throughout the weekend, we got a shot of the group on Sunday just before awards.

2016-08-07 | 2016 MultiSport Bracebridge Triathlon (Sunday)

Lucky to be part of this great group

I wound up in 2nd place in the EAG category. Even though I was hoping for more performance wise during this race I think I did the best I could given the circumstances and still had a really fun day.

2016-08-07 | 2016 MultiSport Bracebridge Triathlon (Sunday)

2nd Place in the EAG category

Thank you to John Salt and the entire Multisport Canada team for another great event. I am taking some time now to hopefully sort out the back issue for good and my next race will either be Toronto Island Sprint or Wasaga Beach Olympic (hoping for both) depending on how things go.

Lauren

Rose City Long Course Tri

Well…I’m back. It’s crazy to think I hadn’t raced in 9 whole months (aside from a 10km running race) until last weekend when I jumped into the Olympic distance triathlon at Guelph Lake at the last minute to help my team, the Fighting Koalas, get some points to try and defend the division II team champs title. I did the race very tired and had my fair share of morning mishaps including forgetting my water bottle and locking my keys in the car. I also hadn’t been on my tri bike since Worlds in September so at the last second I decided I didn’t want to risk riding it for the first time on the bumpy Guelph roads and went with my road bike with one race wheel instead (yes, I am sure I looked a little funny). Also, upon finishing the race I realized that there had somehow been a mixup with my race day registration and I was listed under ‘James’ Heinken in the results. Not quite sure how Lauren gets misinterpreted as James…but it gave me a good laugh to see ‘James’ as the winner of the female 20-24 age group! Anyways, its the challenging races that we learn the most from and it was excellent to shake off some rust after not racing for so long.

club-fighting-koalas

I was excited to make my real season debut at Multisport Canada’s Rose City Triathlon. New distance (long course instead of half). New Venue. Pretty exciting. I had heard good things about the new Welland Flatwater Centre from friends who had competed in the Barrelman half last year, so I was excited to see it for myself. It certainly did not disappoint.

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I arrived at the venue with plenty of time to get organized, socialize and fit in a swim, bike and run warmup pre-race. By the time it was 8:30 I was ready to go, very excited, and not even too nervous.

2 km Swim (34:15)

A major perk of this venue was the guide lines under the water that made it possible to swim almost the entire race without sighting. I went off with the pro wave 1 minute ahead of the rest of the field. Although I am not the fastest swimmer I do enjoy the clean start that comes with starting in the smaller wave. I was able to draft almost the entire race, finding feet had been a difficulty for me last season, so this alone made the swim a success for me! Overall, I was happy with the swim given my lack of swimming over the fall/winter/spring and exited the water excited to get onto the flat and fast bike course!

56km Bike (1:42.52)

I loved the Welland bike course when it was a half distance race, and the shortened course for this event had all the best elements of the old course. We had a headwind on the way out, which is certainly the way I would prefer it. The bike was fairly uneventful as I focused on keeping my speed up and not letting any ladies pass me. Throughout the ride I was able to hold off all of them except for one (the speedy Paolina Allan). And my body held it together for my first ride over 6km on my tri bike. Another success.

15km Run (1:14.04)

I knew the run was going to be hot, but I was excited for this portion because of the lap format that had us run along the Welland canal. Breaking the race into three 5km loops somehow makes 15km seem so much more manageable. My enthusiasm showed in my sprint out of transition (unfortunately I think this moment was my fastest of the whole run)

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Shortly after this photo was taken I realized just how hot it was and that it was in fact going to be a long run. Thankfully, as per usual Multisport Canada did an AMAZING job taking care of their racers by having more aid stations than I would have ever expected. They all had plenty of volunteers with everything under the sun to make the run better: water, coke, gels, ice, sponges. I took advantage of the opportunity to grab lots of water and ice and sponges at every aid station and this kept me feeling not too overheated. My run was still slower than usual, but that was expected and everyone was dealing with the same heat as me.

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Overall, I wrapped up in the race in a time of 3:32.20 and finished 5th female.

Overall podium

Very happy with how this race went given my current training, and I hope that I can continue to build on my fitness throughout the season. The benefit of coming into the season a bit undertrained and building throughout is that I can hopefully finish strong rather than feeling pretty tired of racing come the beginning of August. Hoping this will leave me feeling fresh enough to add the Barrelman half into my schedule this year so that I can experience this amazing venue again and do the run by the falls that I hear is spectacular.

Thank you to John Salt and the Multisport Canada team for another great event and for the continued support through the MSC Recharge with Milk Ambassador Team. My next MSC event will be the K-Town long course triathlon on the Civic Holiday weekend. I’m always around pre and post race and happy to chat and answer any questions anyone may have, so come find me in the Recharge with Milk tent!

Happy training.

Lauren

 

 

 

 

MSC Georgina Race Report

First off a confession that I typically don’t go around advertising, never mind announcing on social media, but this is relevant. I have a very irrational fear of riding my bike in the rain. A lot of people find this shocking given how long I have been training and racing for triathlon. Just to give a rough estimate I have probably ridden in the rain 4 times (one of which was at the race in Georgina this weekend). I have somehow managed to avoid it almost all together over the last several years. This has cost me many training opportunities, but a wake up call for me came this year when I opted out of racing the Welland half iron because rain was in the forecast (turns out it barely rained during the bike portion of the race). It was after this race when people were looking at me in bewilderment as I explained that I abandoned a race, which had been the focus of my training all winter, because of a little bit of rain. Anyways, as the weather forecast for last Sunday slowly deteriorated through the latter part of last week, I saw an opportunity to conquer a fear and prevent a situation like what happened with Welland from happening again in the future.

Despite the desire to conquer my fears I remained optimistic the rain would stop by the time I completed my drive from Mississauga up to Georgina. It didn’t stop. Upon arriving at the race site it was quickly determined that the race would in fact be a duathlon, a good call for safety’s sake as the water in Lake Simcoe was very choppy! Despite being a strongish swimmer I was happy about this because I could wear a few more layers and keep warm on a chilly morning. Luckily, my boyfriend Cameron had signed up to race Georgina as well, it made me a lot calmer to have him around on a race morning with such challenging conditions. We got set up in transition and then spent the remaining time pre-race in the nice warm building that was part of the venue in Georgina (a lifesaver and serious perk to this venue!).

Our start! Cam and I got a spot right at the line!

Our start! Cam and I got a spot right at the line!


I didn’t bother with warm up because I didn’t want to start the race any more wet than necessary. The first run was 5km and it went pretty well, because I didn’t warm up and because I was racing Worlds in 6 days I took the run pretty conservatively. I came into T1 as 2nd female and grabbed my helmet and bike and ran out to the mount line. Did you notice I missed a step? I sure didn’t…. got to the mount line and realized I still had running shoes on. I guess everyone around knew who WASN’T a duathlete. A friendly official held my bike well I ran back into transition to put my shoes back. Finally made it back to the mount line with very wet socks (didn’t think that through either) and was on my way.


The first 5km of the bike were horrible, I found the wind the worst in this section and was having trouble controlling my bike with my 808 Zipp wheels on. The 2nd 5km got less horrible. After the turn around I was really motivated to get off my bike and started to pick up the pace. Bottom line I white knuckled it the whole way, barely ever got aero, and did not go very fast. BUT I DID IT! And that was enough for me on the day.

The guy in front of me was doing a little better with the whole getting aero thing

The guy in front of me was doing a little better with the whole getting aero thing


It was pretty nice to have only a short 2.5km run on tired legs. It went by super fast and before I knew it I was dodging the giant puddle that separated me from the finish line.

Just cause this picture makes me laugh? Distress or relief…I am not sure :)

Just cause this picture makes me laugh? Distress or relief…I am not sure 🙂


I managed to hold onto my spot as 2nd female. But I think my biggest gain from this race was confidence. I survived a rainy race paced ride on my tri bike. It wasn’t fast but I can work on that next time. I know I can do it now, and I know in the future weather conditions will play less of a role in my race schedule.

On a side note this was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL course. Both the cycle and run courses are flat and fast and very scenic.  The water also looked really nice despite the waves, hopefully next year we will have the opportunity to get in it. I will be back to this venue for sure.

Kudos to Multisport Canada for getting a race going (and even exactly on time) despite the weather and for keeping it safe for all. As challenging as it was for me as an athlete, I know the weather probably imposes much greater challenges for the race director and race and timing staff.


That’s it for my Ontario season. I will be racing the standard distance in Chicago on Saturday and am looking forward to some downtime after that to focus on the Masters program I just started.

Thanks for reading!

Lauren

Wasaga Beach Recap

Well my alarm went off at 6:30…. so the day started on a good note. Rolled down my street to head to Wasaga Beach at 7am (a time when I often have a swim done and have already begun the journey to work)- so I was feeling rested and excited to race!

Grateful for the late morning!

Grateful for the late morning!

During warm up I realized the lake was getting a bit choppy and I had a great time during warm-up getting bounced around in the waves. I walked to the start buoys and commented on how much fun the big waves were going to be to Kristen, apparently she does not share my enthusiasm for large waves and dolphin dives but it was a nice pre-race chat regardless.

Selfies are the best pre-race medicine!

Selfies are the best pre-race medicine!


Swim (26:47- 1:47/100m)

I started the race beside my teammates Lauren and Francois. I wanted to see how long I could stay with speedy swimmer Lauren. Turns out she had just got a new super distinctive wetsuit, so I was able to keep a good eye on her. The waves kind of reduced people’s ability to draft effectively so I think this played in my favour (I don’t like contact so I’m not the best drafter). I stayed with Lauren until half way through the swim. I had fun in the waves until the very end when I started to get a little seasick from the bobbing, but the excitement and novelty of the conditions helped eliminate swim boredom. I came out of the swim with a super slow time but right around all the people I wanted to be with to start the bike! I was positioned well!


Cycle (1:10:24- 34km/h)

I left transition as 6th female (I think) and fairly quickly moved up two spots to be sitting in 4th right behind MSC ambassador teammate Emma. As it turns out this is where I would stay for the remainder of the bike. Emma pushed me SO hard throughout the ride. I knew I had to stay with or be ahead of her at the end of the cycle to have any sort of chance of coming out ahead, she is a strong runner and had outrun me by over a minute at Toronto Island last weekend. After her being almost out of sight for parts of the ride I managed to catch up and ended up rolling into T2 about 10 seconds behind. I started the run a little more than 10 seconds behind though as I took the time to put on socks so that my feet wouldn’t be all blistered for cross-country tryouts this week. Overall it was a fun bike course, there was a few rolling hills and a bit of wind, but a fast bike split was still very attainable.


Run (42:48- 4:16/km)

The run was where things got really tough. Emma started out at an aggressive pace. I managed to pick off a few men early in the run but Emma was getting away from me. At this point I decided to not focus on my position but on having a run time I would be happy with. At the end of the first 5km loop people started telling me I was gaining on Emma, including my coach Mat who suggested I “hurry up” and try to catch her. This motivated me to really push the 2nd lap; even if I didn’t catch her maybe I could have a 10km PB off the bike. With 2km to go I caught Emma and was super tired so I tried to just run behind her and be stealth, hoping she wouldn’t know I was there (I found out after the race she knew the whole time- note to self: work on stealth breathing). I stayed behind resting for what I knew would come down to a sprint finish. The Wasaga Beach finish area is awesome with a long finishing chute which runs the length of the main beach- lots of spectators and just generally awesome. I tried to pull away with about 200m to go and was succeeding but all of a sudden Emma took off and the epic sprint battle had begun. It wasn’t pretty for either of us (there are pictures to prove this) but we made it to the line, with Emma slipping in right before me. I finished up the day completely exhausted but also completely happy with my race.

Mid-stride in my attempt to catch the elusive Emma Plater!

Mid-stride in my attempt to catch the elusive Emma Plater!


I have one more race to go in the MSC circuit (Georgina!), and then will be competing in Age Group Worlds in Chicago to finish up my season. Thanks to Multisport Canada for another great event. Already looking forward to being back to racing in 2 weeks time! Good luck to everyone still racing the sprint event tomorrow and also those ambitious folks taking on IM Muskoka!

Lauren

MSC Toronto Island Recap

Had an awesome time at yet another great MSC triathlon on Sunday! This time I got to race pretty close to home, yet it was one of my earliest race mornings of the year thanks to the added logistics of making sure I got myself onto the island on time. Everything went smoothly and I made it onto the 6:30 ferry with ease, leaving lots of time to make sure I was 100% ready to go by our 8:00am wave start time.


Swim (750m, 13:20 – OUCH!)

This did include a bit of a run up to transition, some of which was in deep sand, but this still does not justify this swim time. Started the swim in an optimal position with the shortest line to the first buoy, however this was the busiest part of the swim course so my start was a little rough. Eventually, I found clear water and still felt like I was swimming upstream. I have let my swimming go a little bit since my draft legal races have finished for the year, in order to focus more on my bike/run for non-drafting Worlds, but clearly I might need to swim a bit more than I have the last couple weeks in order to avoid losing too much on my swim. I’ll be swimming lots this week as I prepare for Wasaga next weekend, that’s for sure. Lesson learned.

Finishing up the swim all alone

Finishing up the swim all alone

T1 was also a bit sketchy; I was flustered both by my sub-par swim and the extremely large transition bag that had been left directly on all my stuff. But didn’t lose too much time and was off for my ride in 1:01!


Bike (20km, 33:19)

The bike course of this race is SO much fun. It is flat which suits me well and the two-lap course allows you to keep a close eye on other competitors. I started the bike right behind fellow MSC Ambassador team member Emma Plater; I was a little ambitious off the start and passed her right after the no passing zone ended, this however did not last and she re-passed me pretty quickly. She set a quick pace for the rest of the ride and keeping her in my sights definitely helped keep me motivated. Aside from one close call almost colliding with another racer, and a slight detour off the road into the grass the cycle went smoothly and I slightly improved my time from last year. I rolled into T2 2nd female, with Emma right on my heels and we both transitioned quickly. I knew that she is a speedy runner and that I would have to be with her at the start of the run if I had any chance of sticking with her for 5km.

The setting of this race makes for the coolest pictures

The setting of this race makes for the coolest pictures


Run (5km, 21:13)

Starting the run it quickly became apparent Emma was going to be the stronger runner of the day. Overall my run was pretty meh, definitely nothing to be too disappointed in but nothing to write home about either. Doing 4 laps was fun and I managed not to lose count, so everything turned worked out well. I was sitting in 3rd position for the females but made sure I kept intensity high, as I knew ladies from later heats could still beat my time and nudge me off the podium.

Still not sure how my race belt managed to fall off right before the finish line...

Still not sure how my race belt managed to fall off right before the finish line…


Overall I am happy with how my race went and most importantly had a lot of fun doing it.  I’m back at it at the MSC Wasaga Beach Olympic triathlon next weekend. As usual, I have Multisport Canada to thank for both their support and for the effort they put into making every race a great experience. Hope to see everyone out for CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS next weekend!

Lauren