Throughout the drive to Orillia, I was wondering why I was driving to a race when the amount of time it would take to get to the race would be about the same amount of time racing. Too late, as I already signed up and wasn't willing to forfeit the entry fee (yes I'm a cheap bugger) all $67.
Getting there was no problem and in fact we got there in plenty of time, unlike the usual mad scrabble to get registered and set up. The unfortunate thing was that it looked like it was going to pour all day. By the time I entered the water, waiting for my wave to start, it started to piss and Tammy and the kids were going to get soaked. One thing about triathlons is that its a very small world. While standing in the water, Ed Wong came up to me as he recognized me from previous races. Ed is a friend of my brothers Glen and Paul and has been racing triathlons for many years. He did Lake Placid this year and someone knocked over his bike breaking his aero bar so he had to ride the entire 180 km without being in areo position. Ouch.
I also saw Paula Van Nostrand who is also friends with Glen and Paul. Her in laws own a farm with a pond and they meet every week to do open water swims. Unfortunately I haven't been able to make any of the swims as Rebecca as soccer on Monday nights. Maybe I can sneak a swim in before the end of the season.
As I lined up for the start of my wave group, I was standing beside Andrew Longsbourgh. He recognized me and we chatted before the start of the race. I used to play Aussie Rules against him and is a great guy. It was his first race this year and was toying with the idea of doing Ironman Cozmuel but hadn't been training very much. Clearly he's in excellent shape to even consider such a race with minimal training.
The race started as the rain poured down. I drafted off Andy as he's a much stronger swimmer (and better triathlete) but lost him at the first turn. The water was pretty choppy and ran into swimmers from the earlier wave including many girls swimming the breast stroke and one girl who was swimming back stroke WTF???
I chugged through T1 with my usual fumbling around and hit the bike course. At one point the rain was pouring down and it actually hurt as it was hitting my face. It was a fairly short ride with only a couple of hills so I actually had a half decent average speed (31.7 km\hr) my fastest ever bike time. Whoo hoo, now if I can just match that pace for Muskoka 70.3.
The run was pretty uneventful but I did see my buddy Derek Virgo come racing in as I headed out. Derek just finished Lake Placid in 11 hours. Not bad for his first IM. He also is an very fast swimmer. He once lapped me twice in 50 metres. Now I know I'm not a fast swimmer but.......
Overall, not a bad C race. I finished under my goal of two hours and was 30/71 for my age category. I checked Glen's time from 2003 and he beat me by one minute. Grrr
I'm still worried about Muskoka 70.3 as the bike does not look like fun.
Post race drink..... what else?
Finally now available in Ontario.
When I returned from 6 months in Australia in 1994, I brought back 40 cans of VB. Needless to say, my carry on was very heavy. Andrew picked up a slab (a two-four) before the race. No doubt he quaffed a few when he got home after destroying my time, again. He crushed me at Wasaga Olympic distance last year.