Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Race Recap, Graham Beasley Triathlon

The Technical Stuff
The GB Triathlon is set in Carleton Place, about 40 minutes away from Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. It’s an easy, drive, and parking is easy to find. It is part of the Somersault sporting events, which is a series of marathon, triathlon, and other athletic events, mostly in Ontario. The somersault events are usually very relaxed and casual, which was reflected in this event. One nice thing about the GB Tri is that it actually offers a range of events, including super-sprint distance, swim/cycle, duathlon, relay, try-a-tri, Sprint, and Olympic distance races.

Transition zone was in a first-come basis, so the earlier the you got there, the better position you could choose for yourself. Once set up, there were a few boutique boothsarranged where you could browse sunglasses, and various tri-wear. It wasn't an expo by any stretch, but still nice to see what's out on the market.

The swim starts are done as a mass start for each event. Because the event is really pretty intimate, having gender/age-group specific waves wouldn’t make sense. The swim was in a calm section of the Mississippi  river. There were 3 buoys set up in the water, and the various distances used them as markers.   For the Olympic tri distance, the swim had to do 3 full loops of 500M each.

The bike route followed a mostly straight out-and-back in Carleton Place with fairly rolling hills. Traffic was not entirely blocked off, but was very light anyway so was not of any concern. The road was at time bumpy, and a small stretch near the beginning seemed to be made of packed gravel, which was less than ideal to bike in. However, thanks to the simplicity of the route, few  volunteers were needed and let you keep your speed. Unfortunately. There was also no bottle exchange available,  so athletes had to know to fill their bottles before the race and pace their drinking.

The run was also an out and back, with the Olympic distance running two 5k loops. A lot of the course was loose gravel, which is never the best to run on. There was one water station set up about halfway along the course. My personal observation was that there was a lack of sufficient volunteers at street corners, and at one point I actually ran off course for a few hundred meters before realising.

My Race
Some citizens had thankfully set up sprinklers!
Being my second ever Olympic distance race, I still found it difficult but enjoyable. My swim pace was about even with my first at about 40 minutes. I was pretty winded when I got out so I just walked over to transition and got going on my bike. Not sure if it’s a pacing or nutrition issue, but I just couldn’t get into my groove on the bike, and though my HR wasn’t very high, I found it difficult to catch my breath.  The uphills were challenging for me, since I primarily train on flats, and I could have sworn that I was riding uphill both out and back. I know I know, impossible, but I m gonna have to go over my Timex results before I’m convinced I’m wrong. I cant really say much about the run. Out of the three sports, I have the most experience with running, so I was looking forward to having the chance to maybe catch up some ground. Unfortunately I was way too far behind at this point, but I ran a decent pace.  As I mentioned earlier though, there weren’t enough volunteers, and I did run off course briefly. 

Overall, I do recommend this race, particularly to new triathletes since there are various distance races, and the smaller community feel isn’t as intimidating as some of the bigger event series like the 5i50.


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