When Iron Girl came to Ontario a few years ago, I rolled my eyes three times inside my head when I saw the pink glitter on the medal. Only Swarowski crystals were missing from it, or was there a big, fat one in the middle?... I don't remember. Maybe I am just jealous that I didn't get one... A couple of years forward, and Multisport announced that they were going to have their own women's tri and I was very reluctant to participate. However, once I heard that Paolina Allan was going to be race director, and knowing her badassery, I started wondering if it was worth giving it a try. Only idiots don't change their minds, the saying goes. Phaedra said she was going to go, a few women from our tri club were interested as well... I said, what the hell, let's make it a party! (with a good dose of estrogen thrown in it, yikes).
Honestly, the lack of medals in triathlon has started to get to me. I race for bling, ok?? And it does not have to be pink, or to be covered in glitter, to be worth fighting for. While I have gotten into the top 10 often enough, I only made it on a triathlon podium once, and it was at Barrelman swim/bike last year thanks to a field of 20. So anyway... this race had medals, yay!! And they were going to be ... pink. *sigh* Beggars can be choosers, right? Yet another reason to toe the line.
The morning of the race started like any other weekend for a triathlete... alarm clock at 6am to head out for a workout. Given that I was going to drive for over an hour, I was very thankful for the 10am late start. I took my sweet time to eat breakfast, pack my transition bag, fill my water bottles etc... Zin helped me with my bike, then off I went. I was still undecided what to wear, so I took both my FMCT tri kit and my TRS Racing team bike jersey and tri shorts. The weather gods promised to dump copious amounts of water on our heads, but I was still unsure about the temperature. I decided to wait to arrive on site to make a choice.
Once there, I racked my bike, then proceeded to pick up my race kit, chip and get body marked. Once again, the 42 on my calf smiled at me. The "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything" according to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. In a few days from now, I may even start glowing in the dark, you'll see. I made a portapotty stop, hugged my friends, listened to John Salt and Paolina doing the race briefing (I didn't even bother look at the race maps, oops), then squeezed into my wetsuit as the first raindrops were starting to fall on us.
|FMCT models. I want to be Barb when I grow up.|
With all the excitement around, I had little to no time to warm up. I was still trying to figure out the course buoys and how many dolphin dives I was supposed to do, thanks to the shallow water that went on forever. I did manage to get in the water for a minute or two, just enough to get water inside my wetsuit and on my face. I watched with amusement the first wave start and how many women ran all the way up to the first buoy. But I could hear Paolina in the back telling us that's better to swim as soon as we can and I took a mental note. Not even 3 minutes later the gun went off and it was our time to run through the waves, even though there were none that morning.
|Went to Hell and back|
It seemed like it took forever to get back, as we almost ran a full circle around the transition area. That's ok, more time to appreciate how I did not die. Yay me.
Back in transition, I found my spot without too much effort and quickly put on my helmet and bike shoes. By then the rain was in full force, but having thought to cover my mat with a large garbage bag before the race start, I was glad to see that both pairs of shoes were not yet soaked. I trotted my way out of transition and right away got in aero and dropped the hammer. The ride was an out and back along Lake Simcoe and I was joyfully reminded of the ride I did with Zin, Paul and Mellen last year that brought us to Jackson Point on a cold fall day. This time it was quite warm, despite the buckets of water being dumped on us. I love riding in the rain, especially when the course is flat and I am not freezing my ass. I kept passing girls and lost my voice shouting "Left!". During the entire ride I was only passed twice, once by Clare and once by Felicia. I took a note of their names and wondered if I was going to see them again that day, but given the difference in speed, it was more like... buh bye!! Enjoy the podium!
|My bike Trinity and I having fun in the rain|
And so I was back in transition in just over 29 minutes. Question was, how much was I going to hurt on the run? I quickly changed into my running shoes and put on my bib, then ran out. I waited a few minutes to settle into a groove before looking at my watch. I saw some numbers in the 5:30/km and decided to try and stay on that pace until the end. I knew that I had run faster earlier in the season, but not after a bike. This was going to be a challenge, but doable I thought. I passed a few women and gave myself a virtual pat on the back. 4km... that is less than a Taekwondo run around the block. I can do this!!
Once I got to the turnaround, I passed a woman in my AG. Honestly I wasn't sure whether she was in the du or the tri, but it made me run scared. From that moment on, my goal became to keep ahead of her. I did not look back, but I kept pushing forward.
You can clearly see how I kicked it into the second gear by my heart rate trace, for a beautiful negative split.
|That was a hard fight, it deserved a fist pump!|
After the race I made sure to change clothes since I was soaked to the bone, then went to grab some food and a glass of bubbly. I watched the awards ceremony and I was super happy to see Barb, Phaedra and Amanda on the podium. So much fun!!
|I won the crazy hair competition this time, yay! Phaedra must be impressed.|