I got the race venue at 6.30am. It sets to be perfect racing weather - clear blue skies with light winds. Much better than last year when it rained throughout! There weren't many people there yet, so I managed to get a strategic spot on the bike rack, as it wasn't numbered within age groups. Went through the usual steps - sign waiver form, pick up race pack and timing chip and number marking. The vendor stalls weren't quite set up yet so I left the window shopping until after the race.
The swim is in Guelph Lake itself and it is a one lap, rectangular course moving in a clock-wise direction. The water is pretty clear. I was lucky to be in the first wave, which meant I had less traffic to swim through. I swam pretty well, mostly on my own but every now and then, I managed to find some feet to draft off. An area to further improve on, is to avoid swimming too closely to the buoys. I almost swam into a few! I reached shore in 23-something minutes. There were about 100-200m of grass we had to run up before we crossed the first timing mat. My swim time recorded was 24:30 - almost a minute quicker than last year, great!
Here's where my race rustiness showed itself. I struggled with removing my wetsuit over my ankles, especially on the left one where the timing strap was. As I put on my Giro Selector helmet, the fairing on one side detached itself. So I had to remove the helmet, attach the fairing again and put the helmet back on. I later found out that I lost my goggles in transition too! Mounting the bike wasn't too bad. A bit of congestion but I was relatively quicker getting the bike going compared to others. Total T1 time was 1:59.
The bike portion is non drafting. The route is relatively straightforward - just 1 lap, out and back, with a few 90 degree turns, which I don't particularly enjoy. I'm your typical triathlete who doesn't handle well on the turns! The first km or so, in and out of the conservation area has pretty rough surfaces with some speed bumps. The course does have some rollers with some short, steep climbs. The sun was directly above us, which was expected as it was the first day of summer. I was drinking more frequently than my training rides at every 5km (usually 10km). I downed a Powergel at the 20km turnaround mark but there weren't any stations for me to discard the wrapper. In fact, I didn't notice any drinks station at all, not that I was planning to use them. Luckily, I was able to shove it into my trisuit back pocket as that can be quite tricky sometimes.
My legs didn't feel that great, must have been the big training weeks prior. I was aiming for the minimum 35kph average. Still, it was way better than last year when I was shivering in the cold and wet throughout. Got back to transition with a fly dismount way too early before the dismount line. So I was just letting the bike roll until it reached the line. Bike split of 1:08:42, about just under 2 minutes quicker than last year.
Shoes and sunglasses on. Race belt and visor to be worn as I ran out of transition. Went okay, not as smooth as clockwork as I liked. Time was 1:01.
Here's usually where I make up time on those in front of me. But my legs didn't feel the same bounce as they normally do. My leg turnover weren't as quick and my breathing felt laboured. It didn't help that my Garmin went blank right after the swim even though I charged it full the night before (anyone else experienced this?). So, similar deal as last year when I was specifically instructed by Coach Sheri not to wear a watch and raced by feel.
The course is T-shaped and had a mix of tarmac and dirt/gravel surface. Again, there were some short, steep climbs. I had a few guys ahead of me whom I was slowly making ground on and eventually overtook them. At the 3km mark, the leading guys were making their way back from the opposite direction. So assuming they would finish with an overall time of 2 hours so, I predicted I had roughly 18 minutes for the 4km gap. I took water from almost every station and splashed them over my head to cool myself down. Had a sip from a couple of them too.
Port Dickson 2010. 4th in my age group but prizes only went up to 3rd place. The 3rd place person was 3 minutes ahead anyway, so it would have been rather difficult to catch. Full results here.