Thursday, September 12, 2019

2019 Lakeside Triathlon Weekend

Posted by CheapRunnerMike

Last weekend was the final triathlon weekend on our schedule this year and there was plenty of racing to take place at Lakeside Resort, just outside of London. We kicked off the weekend by racing the Sprint Relay as a “family” team…Michelle would do the 5K run, I was handling the 20K bike and Kennedy was going to take the 750m swim. Kennedy ended up having to work that day though so we called in her friend Mimi as backup.

The weather had cooled down the last few days which made for some really good racing conditions. Mimi was doing her first ever triathlon but she was ready to go…she gave herself the goal of being the first white cap out of the water (we were in the white cap wave, the last group to go off). She was one of the very few brave souls taking on the swim without a wetsuit. I gave her a few pointers and she waded into the water to get ready. The horn sounded and off she went…the swim must have been good because she ended up being the second white cap out of the water, just behind a guy that is a college swimmer so certainly in good company!

Then it was my turn to hit the bike. I had hoped to give a sub-30 minute bike split a shot, but now seeing that we were the final wave I knew it was very unlikely given the congestion out on the course. I took off like a shot though and was passing everyone in felt like I was a record stuck on the “On your left!” track. I hit the 10K turnaround and was actually on pace for sub-30, but the return leg was going to be uphill and into the wind. I tailed of a little bit but still managed a 31:05 split, pretty happy with that. Then it was Michelle’s turn to get out on the run course and Mimi, Jackson and I went to cheer her on. She ran strong and when she came back to the finish we jumped in with her to run across the finish line as a team. We had a great race and took home the bronze medal!


Later that afternoon it was Jackson’s time to shine. He was looking to cap off a terrific triathlon season with another podium in the 10-11 year old age group. He went into the year as one of the younger competitors but it didn’t hold him back as he strung together a first, two seconds and a third in his five races…great results and indicative of his hard work! This race was going to suit him very well as the swim was 200m in deep open water, ensuring that he swimmers in the group would actually get to put their weapon to use. One of Jackson’s friends from his swim team has been working out with the Balance Point kids this summer and she was doing this race as well, so I told him to stick with her as long as he could on the swim. He did a great job and came out of the water in third place, only 15 seconds or so behind his first place friend.


He closed the gap in T1 and was actually the first one out on the bike, really quick transition. The bike was a 5K out and back and Jackson was really looking forward to a good ride as he was racing on his new bike for the first time. He hopped on the bike and was off in a flash…he looked fast right away. One of his Balance Point teammates was racing as well and Jackson knew that he had to bike hard to keep ahead of him, so he made sure he was pushing with all he had. The bike went really well and he came off with the lead still intact, although his BPT teammate had closed the gap significantly and came second off the bike only 10 seconds behind.


Another quick transition and Jackson was the first onto the 1.5K run course. I gave him a cheer and a high five but could see second place already charging hard. Jackson told me later that he held him until the 400m mark, but he just didn’t have that last gear to stay with him. The kid that came out in third was really flying though and he looked very fast. By the time the boys were coming back into sight towards the finish, the third place runner had taken the lead. Jackson’s BPT teammate was hot on his heels but couldn’t quite pull him back, and then Jackson came storming along to take third place. I could see on his face that he was spent, giving it all he had, but he kept pushing through the line…what a great race! An awesome end to an amazing season for Jackson, taking podium spots in all six of his races.


The next day it was my turn again. This time I would be taking on the Olympic distance and I wouldn’t be able to get by with a little help from my friends…it was all on me. The morning was cool but I was plenty warm enough with my wetsuit. The 1500m swim was two loops and I was in wave 2. I was actually caught a bit off guard at the start as I was chatting with a friend when the horn sounded. I wished him luck and began the swim, settling into a nice rhythm. I came up on the back of the first wave very quickly, before I even made it to the first turn buoy, and the rest of my swim was spent navigating traffic, zipping in and out and around other athletes. My goggles were fogged up a bit and sighting was difficult, so I was happy to have people around to guide me along. I finished the swim in 21:49 (swim was a bit short), 4th in my age group.


I had a good T1 and was out onto the 40K bike to chase down the guys ahead of me. I was going to bike hard as long as I could, not knowing when the previous day’s race effort would take it’s toll. I moved through the field well and only had a couple of guys go by me. I caught my buddy Eric from the swim start shortly before the halfway turnaround and once we hit the turnaround I was able to put in a bit off a push and drop him. I was cruising along pretty well but with about 7K to go I made the last turn to head back to Lakeside and was greeted with a headwind and a gradual but steady climb. My bike legs said “enough” and my pace dropped quite a bit. Shortly afterwards I was passed by Barry Dalton, a guy in my age group that I had raced a few times already this season. I knew that he was running well based on the last race I did in Tecumseh so I didn’t want to let him get too far away. I got to T2 and jumped off the bike not too far back and took off onto the 10K run.


My transition was good and I actually made it out ahead of Barry in first place for our age group. My lead wasn’t meant to last though as Barry went by me in the first couple hundred metres…my pace was around where I wanted to be and I knew I would blow up if I chased him so I just stuck to my plan. The run went really well and I always enjoy the dirt roads out at Lakeside (as long as they are dirt and not mud!) and I took the time to thank the volunteers and cheer the other athletes out on the two loop course. I held my pace steady around 4:10/km and probably could have gone a little bit quicker but I felt good out there and didn’t kill myself…dare I say I actually enjoyed myself and had fun?? I crossed the line in 2:10:12, which was almost bang on the 2:10 I told Michelle I would probably do and it was good for second in my age group and 10th overall…very solid result and a good end to the season. Thanks for reading everyone and congrats to all who raced!


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