Sunday, July 17, 2016

Post-Race Report - Gravenhurst Olympic tri

DNF. Worst three letters ever, in a race scenario. At least I can say I've been lucky up until now and that this was the first race I've been forced to pull out of due to a bike mechanical, and hopefully it won't happen again anytime soon!


But let me back-track a bit. It had been a decent race up until then...

Billy and I drove up north the night before the race - a friend of his has a cottage about 15 mins from the race site and he was kind enough to let us stay over. So we arrived in Gravenhurst race morning well-rested and not overly stressed out. As I'd said in my last post, this was a "well, why not do it?" race I'd signed up late for - more to see where my fitness is at in the longer races in anticipation of K-Town in 2 weeks' time. That I'm sure helped the pre-race nerves (or lack thereof).

Gravenhurst is a really unique and neat race start - instead of a beach start we were taken out in boats to the in-water start, 1.5k out, and had to swim in to shore. It was a fairly big first wave but I had my swim plan already set out - get on Billy's feet right off the start and see how long I could hang on. For once my swim plan was executed perfectly - I didn't even have to sight! And with the draft my effort was just about exactly where it needed to be to get me out of the water having worked hard but not overdone it. I thanked Billy running up to T1, and was happy to hear that the swim had gone well for him too.

It was a really pretty bike course - winding roads through mostly wooded areas. If not for the distance markers I would have been convinced I'd gone off course - the only cyclist I saw was just someone out for a leisurely ride. The first 10k and a bit I took at a comfortably uncomfortable pace, which I wasn't sure I'd be able to hold but I wanted to see what I could do. Just about 11 or 12k in I hit a pretty hard bump in the road, knocking my water bottle off. Frustrated but not about to get DQ'd for littering (or bike 30k without sport drink), I turned around to go get it and tried to shake off the disruption. Not even a minute later my back wheel started making a weird noise. What now?!? Thinking maybe something had shifted and was bumping into the wheel, I got off, only to find the wheel totally flat. I ride with tubulars (which means that the tire is glued directly onto the wheel) and so this meant my race was over. I pulled my bike off the road and thought, okay, now what? I'm 12k out with nobody else in sight! Luckily the casual cyclist I'd passed earlier came by, and when I told him what happened he biked ahead to let someone know to come get me. I sadly helped pack my bike up in the race vehicle but was extremely thankful I didn't have to walk my bike 12k back!

Back at the race site everyone was incredibly supportive. I found out quickly that at least 4 athletes (including 2 LPC teammates) had crashed on the bike course, so I realized I'd been lucky my problem was just a flat (and they're all okay - Jack Laundry even came back from his bike incident to win the race). These things happen I guess. Overall I'm disappointed of course, but it was better for something like this to happen here in a race I'd just jumped into last minute, rather than one of the bigger ones of the season. Plus I then got to do the cottage thing the rest of the weekend - so it wasn't a wasted trip in the slightest!

Hopefully I've used up my bad bike luck for the year, knock on wood! Next up is MSC K-Town during the August long weekend. I'll use yesterday's race as motivation to put in some good training between now and then, and get my poor bike fixed up and ready for action!

Thank you so much to my family, friends and supporters, including:
- teamLPC and Coach Mark
- the Multisport Canada and Recharge with Milk team
- my fellow MSC Ambassadors

And thank you very much for reading! :)

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