It was very nice to get down to Florida for the start of my season at the Las Olas International Triathlon in Ft. Lauderdale. It has been a very cold winter in Ontario, so I have spent most of my time on the treadmill and trainer, staying out of the cold. I felt that I was ready to start off with an Olympic distance race, and in fact it was a bit shorter- 1000m swim, 34km bike and 10km run.
The day started early. I got up at 4:30am to get ready for the race. I like to get up about 3-4 hours before the start of the race to wake up. I drove down to the site and had a good warm up. As I stood in the starting area about 4min before the start, I remembered that I had forgotten to turn on the video camera on my bike. This was too bad, but with it being the first race of the season I was glad that the camera was only thing I had forgotten. It had been very windy and choppy in the water the day before, but on Race Day the Ocean was perfectly calm water and winds were only 5kph.
I lined up and waited for the gun to go off. BANG! And the race was under way. I hit the water and started to swim hard, with the first turn 100m away. I turned the corner and saw that the main group of 5 was 15m ahead. I knew I had to get in that group, so I pushed hard and turned my arms over. Once I got in the group I settled in and found some feet to follow. I could see Cameron Dye and Kaleb VanOrt ahead. As we turned the last buoy we headed into the beach exit, I saw the leaders get out about 50-75m head. Once I hit the beach I scrambled onto land and dashed towards T1. I was able to come out of T1 at the head of our group.
It was a 2-lap bike and I was close to 3 other athletes. I did not have my power meter so I was working with heart rate and cadence (my power2max had stopped working about 1 week before the race and I had to send it back to get it fixed). On the first lap, Santiago Ascenpo passed me and I stayed behind him, holding a gap of 15m. As I came to the end of the first lap Jacob Rhyner passed me and Ascenpo started to pull away. I had kept my heart rate at about 170bpm on the first lap. As we did the second lap I had to move around many age-groupers but they did not get in the way. As I prepared to dismount I was in a group of 3 people with Rhyner in the lead. My heart rate had come down on the second lap and I was prepared to run hard.
I knew that T2 was going to be very important - I had to get out fast and put on the pressure right away. I led the group of 3 on to the run. I also knew that I was sitting in 4th, racing for money and trying to get on the podium. I heard that Ascenpo was 40sec ahead and I could see him. I quickly unclipped my heart rate monitor while I was running so I could breath freely. Over the first 2km I gapped Rhyner, but he caught up to me at 4km. Now I had to keep focused on 3rd place and run my legs off on the second half of the run. As I started the second loop I was able to run away from Rhyner. I kept on the gas and could see people starting come back to me but I just did not have the speed to take 3rd place. I finished with a 4th place finish and a great run.
This was a great start to my season and I am now getting ready to race in Oceanside 70.3 on March 28.
Swim: 13:38 (5th fastest swim)
Bike: 47:21 (6th fastest bike)
Run: 30:06 (2nd fastest run)
Huge thanks to the Grumans how put me up in there home.
Thank you to Kinetico, Royal Containers, Nineteen Wetsuits, Caledon Hills Cycling, Cervelo, Saucony and Awake Chocolate for all the support leading into this race.