Race Report: Wasaga Beach Olympic Triathlon

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.

FullSizeRender(36)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…

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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

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

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.

The Run

2016-08-27 | 2016 MultiSport Wasaga Beach Triathlon (Saturday)

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.

2016-08-27 | 2016 MultiSport Wasaga Beach Triathlon (Saturday)

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.

 

Race Report: Holly Jolly Fun Run 5km

This past weekend I had the pleasure of joining the Tribe run crew in taking part in the Santa Claus Parade Holly Jolly Fun Run 5km. I continually heard about how much fun this race was, and it by far exceeded those expectations.

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For over 100 years the Santa Claus Parade has brought joy to Toronto and in order to keep this tradition alive, for the past three years, they have hosted a 5km race along the parade route prior to the start.

Here are 5 of my favourite moments for this past weekends race.

  1. The Costumes. While we dressed to race (and for the unusually warm weather), many of the runners were dressed in festive costumes. Elves, Gingerbread characters, and Reindeer – oh my!

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2. The Bus of Clowns. So actually this was kind of scary, possibly what nightmares are made of, but these folks help to support the cost of the parade and then wear clown make-up to hide their identities as they walk to course.

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3. The start line. While the space at the start of the race was narrow, and I would highly suggest that if your plan is to race to get close to the front, it was a blast counting down to the start of the race and having the confetti canons launch us down Bloor.

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4. The Route. Thousands of spectators lined the Parade route offering cheers and high fives as we raced along Bloor and down University to the ACC. The energy was electric – I guess Santa will do that to you. The route was wide and empty and just asking for a personal best for those looking to race, and was supportive and welcoming for those looking to have a fun time.

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5. Running with my Husband. Typically Mark is behind the camera capturing the race day fun and rocking the cheer station, so we don’t often race together. I love that after 7 years he’s finally started running  (some races) and to be together at a start line makes my giant smile even bigger.

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Nike Women’s 15km Race Recap

June 14th was a day many female runners in Toronto had been waiting for, the exciting return of Nike to the Toronto race scene with the Nike Women’s 15km. photo(43)Starting and finishing on Toronto’s Centre Island, the race led the 10,000 women and 300 men over asphalt, gravel, grass, sand and the boardwalk, as we ran along all three islands. Here are my top five favourite moments:

1. The pre race festivities.

photo(44)Nike really raised the bar offering over 40 free workouts at various city locations including a special floating barge on the Toronto water front titled the Crystal Coliseum which hosted most of these classes. Docked outside of the Harbourfront Center, the Crystal Coliseum was a floating gym, with a reception desk, change rooms, and garage doors which opened onto Lake Ontario. Registration opened at midnight and was limited to three classes per person. I attend two Vinyasa Rush yoga classes.

2. The Social Experience

photo 3(13)The Nike Women’s 15k did an awesome job at providing runners with many opportunities to capture and share the experience. Self opportunities were created all over the expo site, race start line, and even on course. Motivational quotes, flags, and inspiring phrases were everywhere, motivating runners every step of the way.

3. Pre Race Entertainment.

photo 4(11)The pre race experience was a breeze. The ferry line to the island moved quickly and the bag check was organized and moved fast. Nike provided entertainment prior to the start which included a marching band (with race branded drums) as well as medical taping and as previously mentioned many photo opps staffed with volunteers to capture the perfect pre race shot. While we were waiting 2.5 hours before the start of the race, there was lots to fill in the time.

4. Running on the Island Airport Runway.

photo 1(14)Now this was one of the coolest parts of the race. While I have previously raced on the island (Island Girl, and the Island Triathlon), this was the first race to actually head over to the Island airport, and we ran on the runway, while planes were landing. A Porter pilot runs with Tribe and said that the view was even cooler from the air. The airport provided a great view of the downtown core and was an awesome running experience.

5. The Post Race Party.

photo 2(15)While the potential for an epic end to the day was there, the pouring rain kept most of the fun away. Nike had many exciting events planed to celebrate the finish line, and months of training. These included a massage tent, a stretching tent with trainers and tools to support, and post race shopping thanks to BlackToe Running and the post race expo, however a torrential downpour motivated most runners to get off the island as fast as possible (which was typically a 2.5 hour wait with the ferry’s).

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The city was a buzz for this race and many awesome experiences and photos were shared. I was fortunate to have two of my photos shared in a photo recap compiled by Canada Running Magazine, check them out along with race specific attire and the coveted Tiffany finisher necklace here.