This is a post that was supposed to go up several months ago - but laziness about putting the video together left it in limbo. So without further ado - here we go:
This race was at Hawrelek park in downtown Edmonchuk. Since we were in Alberta already, driving up from Cowtown for the race made for a fun weekend for us.
The venue was in Hawrelek park and weather was hot and sunny, so things looked very promising. One issue that quickly became .. an issue, was that only the official buses could come and go from the park, forcing all athletes and their families were required to wait in lines and then cram into buses to come and go from the venue. At many times of the day, the buses couldn't run due to the races, making those people unable to walk the long uphill trek out of the park, captive.
For Sato with Ame-chan, and my elderly parents - for better or for worse, they were trapped at the park almost all day.
The race itself was exciting, started with a nice bagpiper leading us down to the docks. A sudden abrupt gunshot and we were off. My usual poor way finding in the lake was probably not helped by the extremely muddy water. They had at least chlorinated it the day before so as to reduce the chance of any nasty bacteria ruining our day. One good swimmer had established a strong lead so I believe I exited the water in second in our heat.
The crazy long run to transition (maybe about 800m or so?) and then off on the bike. A perfectly timed leap onto the bike at the line - penalty! ARRG! I time my jump such that I'm in the air as I pass the mount line, not contacting the bike till I'm past it. The marshal wasn't happy with that trick and called me back. A repeated walking slow mount satisfied her, then I was off!
Bumpy, hilly, under construction - it was a helter skelter ride around the city on the bike course. With a nasty hill right near the start, I made up the gap on my quick swimming friend quite promptly and then hit it hard the rest of the 2 loops. Hard to tell exactly who is who on course, but I passed lots and didn't get passed, so assumed I was doing well.
Rolled into transition again - was quite conservative this time and got no flak at the dismount line. Felt kind of crappy for the first k or so, I suppose everybody does. Bumpy trail and the heat quickly made me feel a bit queasy, but knew I was getting there. Passing on the narrow trail got a bit dicey. I was occasionally going at twice the speed of some slower runners but was too breathless to warn them properly when passing. Towards the end I saw my friend Chris running (he had started before me but was doing the Olympic distance) and the heat had hit him up in a bad way. Kind staggering and blankly staring ahead when I shouted encouragement, I knew he was having a tough day.
Thankfully I was doing the sprint distance and after 5km or so I suddenly felt like a million bucks for the last 100 meters. Cool with with blue carpets and grandstands, feels like a big race.
No idea how I did, but figured it was a pretty good effort. I usually shoot for an overall win, but have found at the age group nationals, the ONLY priority is how you fared vs your age group. Happily, I found I had taken the AG win by a solid margin. It took a bit of research to figure out if I had indeed taken the overall win (like in 2011) - but alas - I missed the overall by 0.9 seconds! Poo!
IN retrospect, there seemed like lots of places I could have gained 1 second... but that callback at the bike mount line sure jumped out. Well, 1st AG and 2nd overall is nothing to sneeze at and I managed to qualify for the world AG championship race in 2013 in London. Hooray - goal achieved!
One more bonus - Mom, Dad, Sato, Sara, Kaitlyn and Ame could come out and watch!