Well, I managed to piece together something that resembled a triathlon. Woke up no problem and ate a breakfast of yogurt and toast, and left with tons of time to spare (which proved to be useful). With about 2 hours until the start of the race I realized that I had forgot my water bottle. Gawd damn it. Luckily the hotel was about only 2 blocks away. I got the bottle and my transition set up was complete. I headed over to bag drop and was about to suit up and realized that I had forgot my goggles. Well, shit. So with an hour to spare I ran back to the hotel and got my goggles. Normally, I wouldn’t have worried, but this was my first ocean race. I considered that second mad sprint to the hotel a ‘warm-up’. I got suited up and staged for the start.
The race was to be an in water start on a ‘T’ shaped course in the harbor between Queen’s Wharf and Cook’s Wharf. The start went well, people were bumping into each for a long time but not in a bad way. At about 300m it hit me how far out of my league I was because I was way off the back. Swimming in the ocean is also something different. The waves are larger in comparison to those in the Okanagan, which are kinda short and choppy and, it was so damn salty. Anywho, I felt pretty good… up until I found myself off course. Like, really off course. A technical official told me to back track around a buoy I had already swum around. Well shit. I think at the end of the day I swam close to 2km, instead of the 1.5 we were supposed to. Finally, I got out of the water and hopped onto my bike.
On the bike I put my head down and went to work. I was angry with myself not sighting properly. I was angry at the technical official. I put that angry energy into my ride. The course was a fun mix of a rolling section on the way out and a flat section on the way in. Did I ride enough hills this year? No. But I went as hard as I could and made my legs and lungs burn. I hit the descends as fast as I could. On the way back was a very, very strong headwind. I stayed low and pushed. All ages and both sexes passed me a lot on that section. I want to say it was because they had aero wheels or aero helmets, yadda yadda, but when a woman in the 30 to 35 whipped past me pushing big gears I thought maybe I should have ridden more. Emasculation aside it was a really fun bike course. I was quick about hopping off my bike and got my running shoes on.
The run course was super flat. I found my legs pretty quick and really turned up the pace for first 5 to 6 km. This was the best run I’ve had all year. My legs felt springy and fast. However after about the 6 or 6.5 km, the struggle bus was making its way into the station. I felt like vomiting everywhere but didn’t know where it would be appropriate. There were some shrubs at one point but I couldn’t manage it. My pace dropped as I wondered what the hell I was going to do. I started to pick it up again and was coming down the finishing straight with an Aussie girl. Just as I was going to ask her if she wanted to sprint for fun, a South African dude came ripping up the inside. Boosh! I pulled up beside him and drove it faster, all while laughing. I looked to the crowd and made a funny face and fist pumped as I beat him at the line. That was fun. It was like the end of a lot of runs with the Tri Club, turning at the parkade towards the Van Vilet and just given’r. Usually laughing. I didn’t know this South African guy, but it was the same idea. So despite a shitty start to the day it did get better and it was a lot of fun.Despite how much fun I had I don’t think I will be going to ITU Worlds for a while. This is a level of competition I’m not ready for. I really don’t prioritize swimming enough because I don’t like it. Nevertheless, it was an eye opener for me as to where I want to go with triathlon. For a long time this summer I didn’t think I would be doing any more triathlons after Auckland. But I’ve got some unfinished business. I want to crack that 2:10 barrier for the Olympic distance. I want to run a sub 40-minute 10k off the bike. I can make the plan to do it, just a matter of following said plan. Will I prioritize swimming more? I’m on vacation and don’t want to think about have to go to swim workouts. I want to thank everyone again for their love and support. It really meant a lot to have Tayelor, Troy and everyone back home cheering me on.