I was checking out my blog posts page today and discovered some incomplete drafts. Sure it’s 6 months late, but getting to the finish line eventually is part of this journey. Since I started this recap, I’ve signed up for my first triathlon; re-reading this is a good motivator for the upcoming running season.
At last I’ve carved out some time to finish writing the National Capital Sprint Duathlon recap that I participated in August 1. Like my running, my desire to write has fallen off a bit; thankfully in the last few days I’ve made both running and writing a priority.
Competing in a multi-sport event is new to me. While both my sister-in-law and brother-in-law had each completed a few, I had yet to take u the challenge, until this year when my brother-in-law signed me up. I needed the nudge, and I’m glad he did it.
Race day was near perfect. Sunny but not too hot. The race site layout was well organized. Thanks to the orientation session the night before lead by Ottawa Triathlon Club coach Geordie McConnell, I knew what to expect and where to go on race day. As recommended, I arrived an hour early. Typically parking at the Terry Fox complex isn’t great, but parking karma was with me and I found a spot right away. I took it as a good sign for the upcoming race. I also found a spot to rack my bike in the centre aisle so it was a straight line through the T zone from the run to the bike and back to the run. Also, there was a spot for my brother-in-law’s gear right beside me. Our stuff was pretty easy to identify as I had a bright yellow MEC backpack and he had a vibrant orange towel. After getting marked up — yes the Sprint Duathlon also needed marking — we had a quick warm up run and headed to the start line.
One of the great things about Somersault Events is the relatively small number of people competing in each discipline. Even though they run multiple disciplines at each event, you’re really only racing against a small group which means the start line isn’t too crazy. My event only had 36 competitors who were sorted by gender and age category. In my age group, there were only 5 people. There were also some people who opted for Athena or Clydesdale designations (something for which I’m no longer eligible).
The first 2k run leg went fairly well, and I finished it under 11 minutes. Just before the 1k turn around I spotted my mother with a sign and cheering me on. What a great motivator! As I was approaching the T zone another competitor in my age group passed me. I knew I wasn’t first but I also knew I wasn’t last in my AG. If I could keep my sights on that guy I knew I would be okay. My transition to the bike was pretty good, although I missed my clip which slowed me down a bit. Rookie mistake to be sure.
I was still looking pretty happy during the bike ride, even though I had a mechanical problem at 4km.
My gears/cables decided that what I really needed was an extra challenge and stuck in just two gears — either the highest or the middle. Not much of of a choice. I could get other gears to work, but it meant holding the shifter in place which is not the easiest or most natural position given that they are located on the down tube. That said, I actually moved up 2 places overall on the bike. But the effort took its toll on the final run.
My 5k run was pretty solid, but the gear issues, training gaps, and a lack of nutrients certainly made the second half challenging. With a bout 1.5k to go to the finish I just had to walk. I couldn’t imagine running another step. Amazingly, I was motivated by another runner, many years younger than me who shouted an encouraging word to keep going. And so I sucked it up and started running again. My only focus was to get to the finish line having long given up the hope of an AG success.
It turned out that while I had lost a little time, I was still ahead of the guy I had seen at the end of the first leg. Sure enough, when I finish line I was 2nd in my AG. Even though I was sucking wind just a few minutes before, I was completely reenergized when I crossed that line. Getting 2nd in AG was fantastic (the guy who won came 1st in EVERY Somersault Sprint Du 2015 event), and I’ve happily added it to my collection of Somersault podium victories. I found my brother-in-law Krishna and his friend Doug and we all celebrated our successes. As it turned out, Krishna came in first for his AG, forth overall. This was his first podium finish. Doug was the big winner of the group getting 3nd overall, 2nd male, and 1st AG.
Will I do another one? Yep! I’m already for planning for events next year.