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.
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.
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.
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!