This past weekend I raced my first Olympic Triathlon in Wasaga Beach. I was inspired to race thanks to team “Rumblestino” aka Nancy, Kim, and Ang, who I have raced with many times including my first Half IronMan.
As this race was up in Wasaga we headed up the day before and stayed at an Air bnb. That part of the experience was less than stellar, but it didn’t impact my race, beyond me not being able to sleep which is likely how I would’ve been no matter where I was.
Many of you who know me, know that I’ve prided myself on going from sprint distance to Half IronMan distance, but with my goal race looming, Kim suggested I do this to get a little more racing under my belt prior to my goal race. And since they were all racing, I decided to join them.
Friday night I had plenty of time for ll my pre race rituals, I was stretching and rolling, and very comfortable with how my night was progressing…until it occurred to me that I didn’t bring my running shoes from Toronto to Wasaga. Not good. Especially since it was 8:30pm. A quick Google search revealed a SportChek 30 minutes away, and so with hopefully thoughts I took off driving to Georgian Mall. At 8:54pm I arrived and raced through the mall, found some shoes and with a great sigh of relief ventured back to Wasaga.
Now back to the race…
So an interesting this about this race is that there is no pre-race kit pick-up. While this certainly makes it easier for folks traveling in, it was definitely a little stressful not having everything I needed prior. Another thing this race does is offers a discount instead of a race swag. The swag was either a shirt or hat. I really liked the choice (I got a shirt), but also the option to save money.
For the Olympic distance race we didn’t start until 10:30. This meant a relaxing morning preparing, but was a little weird for food. As we ate breakfast early and would be racing over lunch time.
The swim start was from a beach which was very cool. We swam perpendicular to shore which meant head on into the waves. Although there weren’t to many. The temperature of the water was perfect.
My swim felt great. I felt I held a great pace and stayed reasonably straight on course. Heading back to shore was a little challenging as it was so sunny (and far) that I couldn’t see where the “swim out” was. All I could see was the yellow awning from Bananas bar, so headed there. I came out of the 1.5km in 5th position for my age after 31 minutes.
My transition to the bike was fairly quick. I took a gel and drink of electrolytes I had with my bike and I was off. I did wish I had brought sun screen. I had previously used my sisters, and while we were side by side, having my own would’ve made application quicker and easier.
The bike was an out and back. It was much hillier than I thought. Nothing significant, but there seemed to be many long gradual hills that just fried out your legs…or at least mine. My fueling was ok. I went through 1.5 bottles of electrolytes – I could’ve had a little more. Plus a Vega bar and gel.
On my way to the run transition I had another gel and grabbed my banana for on course. My legs felt heavy and the photos clearly showed it. I ended up carrying the banana for almost 4km, then ended up eating part of it because I didn’t want to waste it and wanted to get rid of it. As I hadn’t raced this distance and it was now after 1pm I wasn’t sure how my body would respond and I wanted to play it safe.
I didn’t race with a hydration belt, but took advantage of the on course support. The route was a double 5km loop which meant we went through 2 aid stations twice. It also meant that I was able to see Nanc and Kim while on course and be inspired by their effort and motivated to move my butt so they wouldn’t catch me 😉
The finish is right along the main strip of Wasaga. It’s right along the beach and is a fantastic view. Only top three age group finishers receive medals. Racers receive a free finisher photo, I received 7 of my photos from the run. The post race area is a small parking lot. Many folks just sat on the ground and enjoyed post race eats of pizza, chocolate milk, fruit, water, and pop.
I would highly suggest people check out this race. It’s a great course with lots of fun. It’s easy to make a trip out of it, including beach days and summer fun.