Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sadly Summer's Coming to an End

I haven't posted in a bit. It was on purpose as my race recap for Mark and Diane Trafford was the most viewed posting I've ever had. Aren't you popular my Trafford friends!! It's now August 30th and summer is coming to an end. I love summer!! I can tell now it's heading towards Fall because the sun sets earlier, evenings are cooler and people are prepping for the return of school. In the meantime we been busy - we try to pack in as much as possible in the summertime. Here's Sara and I at Two Sisters Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake. If you haven't been, check it out - amazing.

 We were at Two Sisters to celebrate Coreen Neal's birthday (she brought her husband Ted which was nice - just kidding). We had a great meal with the vineyard as a backdrop.

 Sara and Logan mini-golfing. Hard to believe he'll be 13 in a couple of months. My twins Emily and Jesse just turned 23 - crazy how time flies!

 We ventured up to Bracebridge to get some racing in. Bracebridge works because we don't need someone to stay with Logan. I race the sprint on Saturday and Sara does the Olympic on Sunday. No trip up to Muskoka is complete without a stop at Webers.

 In Bracebridge we camped at Whispering Pines which is across from Santa's Village and only 4k from the race site. Here's our camp setup.

 Our favourite part of camping.

 Swim and transition in Bracebridge.

 Lethal weapon! All set up for the sprint. I got up early and did not wake anyone up - a first! I rode from camp to transition and got set up. Bracebridge is unique in that it's a time trial swim. Whatever your race number is, that's your starting position in the race. An athlete is sent off every 5 seconds. My number was 213 so I had some time to wait. It's a great setup especially for new triathletes but it is difficult to know where you are compared to your age group.

Swim - I felt a little sluggish at the start. Maybe it was setting up camp yesterday afternoon but it took a bit to get into a rhythm. Despite that my time was 15 minutes which is close to my usual time. I headed to transition and got out of my wetsuit as quickly as possible. As I was getting my bike I noticed another TCoB athlete who was racked close to the bike exit. I did not know who it was but we started the bike together and we were in the same 50-54 AG - awesome!

Bike - My clubmate was Kevin Brady. We exchanged pleasantries and literally traded position throughout the ride. Kevin would gain time on me on the uphills and I would pass on the downhill and flats. It was great because we were having fun and pushed each other. Again, Kevin and I had no idea of our positioning within the race so it was great to compete against each other. We finished the bike together with an average speed of 33kmh.

Run - Kevin started the run before me and had about 100m lead. I knew I had to push the run as Kevin is a fabulous swimmer. He gained 1:40 on me in the swim and he wasn't even wearing a wetsuit! I caught Kevin around the 2k point and worked on chipping away at his lead. We continued to encourage each other as we crossed paths at the turnaround. My Achilles held up which was nice and I was able to maintain 4:43 per km throughout the run. I crossed the line and then waited for Kevin. Kevin came in about a minute later - he bettered me by 40 seconds. Great race Kevin!!

 Kevin and I managed to get on the podium as it turns out. He came 2nd and I managed 3rd. Great result for TCoB!! Kevin also qualified and is going to the Triathlon World Champs this September in Cozumel which is hugely exciting. He's a stand up guy - I hope he does well.

 Post race Logan rented some "Crazy Bikes". Lots of fun and Logan's first experience "driving". He loved it. My legs felt a little heavy though.


 My race done, we chillaxed around the campfire. Next up was Sara's race.

 The nice thing about our campground was that the bike course went right by. I was able to capture some Sara action shots.

 Sara returning on the 40k bike with about 4k to go. Sara had a good race but, after a busy work week, she was a 4 minutes slower on this course compared to last year. She still managed 6th but was a little disappointed. Once she reflected on the crazy week she had leading in, the result was not as bad as initially thought.

 Post race fun. Canoeing and SUP. What a blast!

 Has potatoes so it must be good for you?!

 Now we're talking!!

 Next stop on our camping/professional spectating schedule? Ironman Mont Tremblant! We set up camp at Camping Domaine du Lausanne. This is the spring-fed lake in the middle of the campground. It was so clean and clear.

 Camp set up and the Le Petit Nord recreational trail. This trail runs over 200k from Montreal past Mont Tremblant - incredible. Great to ride and run on.

 We went to Tremblant to support our fellow TCoB clubmates and scout out the Ironman course. The course is legit. Great swim venue, challenging hilly bike, some hilly and some flat on the run, all contained in an amazing village that offers everything. I wish I had the pictures of the race day but I was unable to. Race day brought race that I've never seen at a race of this magnitude before. It poured and poured!! Sometimes quite hard. Sara and I were worried about our friends when it came to the bike as it was treacherous in parts. Fortunately everyone got through fine, despite some devastating crashes on course. All of our clubmates finished. The rain finally stopped in the early evening and we could get rid of our raincoats. The elements definitely played a role in the race - times were slower but, at least, the rain was not as cold as it could have been. So proud of our friends for their determination!

 Even the spectators must celebrate post race.

 Dinner in the village at Le Diable.

 Back home and everything is coming back to normal. We've have 5 camping trips this year and may be 1-2 more weekends in before Fall. Right now we are enjoying training with no plans to race the rest of the year. If we do it will be last minute. We're just enjoying being active. I wanted to get 4 races in this year and I accomplished that. My results: 7th, 4th, 4th, 3rd. I'm happy with that.


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