I signed up for this race mid spring, after initially thinking it was such a short distance, maybe more for beginners, maybe I did not belong there, etc etc. As the months went on, I became really excited to race it. I liked the fact that after a half Ironman, I was looking forwards to a short distance!! Less pressure in training, fun to be with an all women crowd, no male intimidation, no male cyclists whizzing by me without the “on your left” call out as they passed. Not to be mistaken, I do like male competition especially when I get to “chick” some on the run, but it was also nice to have the relaxed estrogen environment for a change!
Arriving at the venue, it was well organized, colourful (race $ went to Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, so there was a lot of pink!), and fun to have less bike racks to contend with. I racked my bike in a good spot (it also helps when you arrive way too early cuz you think it will take longer to get there), got body marked, did my prerace rituals and met up with my friend Cathy.
The walk down to the swim was PAINFUL! There was a reason there were shuttle buses or shoe drop. We decided to walk in our bare feet. Rocks the whole way. My feet were vibrating by the time I got down to the start 500 m away. Ouch, next time we take the shuttle!
The start of the race was calm. I went in the first wave as an elite age grouper and had clear sailing with a swim close to the shore. The race was designed so anyone who was nervous or panicked could stand up at any time. I had a good swim, exiting in just over 10 mins. Love short swims!!! When I got back to T1, I saw two girls leaving on their bikes in my rack and one beside which I thought was also my age group (more on this later).
Onto the bike, it was a flat and fast course. The only problem with being in the first wave is sometimes you are alone and have no clue if you are going the right way. Oh I guess if I had looked at the map I would have known there were no turns:). I did not catch the two girls I was hunting, but did the ride I wanted to with the pace I wanted to. Bike time was 35:03 for 20km. When I racked my bike, I saw one of the women who left before me getting her run stuff on. And one was gone (the one at my rack). As we left transition, I passed the woman on the rack beside me, looked at her calf and saw a 50. Phew, she was not in my age group in the end!! So one more to catch. I just told myself it was not over till it was over and who knew where the other woman was. I know that the run off the bike is my strength, so I just charged along.
2km into the run I passed the other girl! As I got up to her she said “Okay you got me”……:). I knew that all I had to do was keep pace and I would win my age group. However not going off with the rest of the wave, there could have been others who went faster.
I had a good run, making one wrong turn but recovering quickly enough to just have lost about 10-20 seconds . 21:26 for the 5km. There was a bit of trail to run on which was nice and shady, but always slows me down a bit as I want to be careful not to sprain an ankle.
I finished first in my age group and 6th overall. I was really happy and had a great day.
The prizes were amazing too. They threw out all kinds of swag. For my win, I got this:
The shoes will be okay for walking around, but I can’t run in them. I am a Mizuno fan!
Up next: Toronto Women’s 10km this Saturday.