triathlon

RACE REPORT: Georgina Sprint

Last triathlon race of the season! I had a great season overall this summer! I thought last year was a great year, but this summer was even better. LOTS of people to thank for it!

There was quite a lot riding on this race if I was to place in the overall Elite/Pro Multiport Series Points. I had to not only win the race, but get 2 of the 3 fastest splits...so I was pretty nervous going into the race.

The race turned into a duathlon due to the very strong winds! Whitecaps were seen on the waters--enough to surf on! I was both a little relieved and disappointed. I usually don’t do so well with waves in open water swimming, but at the same time, my swim was improving in the pool during practices, and was hoping to see if it translates into open water swimming in a race situation. Plus, I feel I possibly could have had a larger lead for the rest of the race. On the other hand, I was pretty confident in my running for the duathlon option.

RUN (5km)
was definitely happy with my time and efforts for the first run. As it turns out, I went out too fast at the start, but I got competitive and knew I had to get some sort of lead. I think I ran like 3:15 for the first km or somewhere around there! Flat course and beautiful course. I felt strong during the run, and I could tell I was going harder than I did at the previous race. I wasn’t sure what strategy I was going for, but I did know that I needed to get the fastest run split, so that was motivation to push a bit. I was still conscious not to go out too too hard so that I enough to get through the bike and second run.

BIKE (20km)
Extremely windy conditions, which made biking interesting for sure! The winds were favouring pushing me around, so was swerving around a bit to battle it out. Otherwise, it was a flat and beautiful bike course, so great to get in some good speed! Overall, since biking isn’t my strongest, I think I held my end and did a good job at keeping the effort consistent and high, holding the speed I wanted. Around the 15km mark, Lauren caught up to me and I definitely panicked a bit! :p I definitely pushed a bit harder to keep up with her and not let her get too much ahead. We entered into transition basically at the same time, and there was no time for second thoughts as there was just a 2.5km run left that would determine the winner!

RUN (2.5km)
Neck to neck with Lauren! Great competition and great push. I worked HARD this last 2.5km to get ahead and I think it paid off. You can never be sure how far ahead you are. I kept hearing footsteps, probably could have shoulder checked, but I was too focused on getting in a good second run. Definitely almost one of the hardest I’ve pushed myself at a race.

I held both run under 4 min/k pace so super happy with that!

Overall, happy with my efforts for this race for sure! Came in as the overall women's winner...! with the fastest run for both the 5k and 2.5k. Definitely ended my triathlon season on a HIGH note. (Check out Triathlon Canada's coverage & my post-race interview!) 
Honestly all the feels post race. Got to chat with lots of people and fellow racers post race, which confirms why I absolutely love this community!

BIG THANKS to John Salt and Mulitsport Canada for putting on such an amazing race and season!  

overall winners! 

overall winners! 

What’s next for me?... CROSS COUNTRY with the York Lions. Stay tuned! :) 

 

RACE REPORT: Toronto Island

Definitely WAY overdue with this post, but things have been a little….quite hectic with school and other responsibilities. Bear with me as I try to update!

TORONTO ISLAND…… we get to take a ferry over! :D So let’s talk ‘boat that race! ;)
 

credit:  @daniirey

credit: @daniirey

I like the races that are close to home. It makes it so much more accessible and easier for my friends and family to watch what I love to do.
So BIG THANKS to all the support from friends and family who came out really early on a Sunday & in the rain!

This was my first time doing the Toronto Island Triathlon. I volunteered for it last year, but was stationed at the water station, so I never really got a sense of how the race site and race course looked like. So I had to be sure I got an early ferry that gave me enough time to set up, warm up, and get a feel for the course. Caught the 6:30AM ferry over. So I wasn’t super stressed about setting up and getting in a warm up.

When I went out for a bike warm up, I took a look at the waters, and saw how choppy they were with the wind, trying to brace myself for a challenging swim only to find out when I got back that it was changed into a duathlon. So this turned into my 2nd duathlon of the season!

A little relieved that it was changed into a duathlon because I tend not to do so well with big waves in the water. Mind over matter kind of thing. On the other hand, the first triathlon turned duathlon that happened this season at Nationals didn’t go super well. Didn’t really have a strategy for it, except not to kill my legs during the first run.

 

RUN 1 (5.2km)

Wet and slippery, I started the run with two other strong runners in the elite/pro wave (Miranda and Leah). I really enjoyed the run! And super glad we all ran together--definitely felt like we all pushed each other (or they pushed me at least!) and held good pace for the first 5k leg of the race. I don’t think I would have kept a sub 4 min pace without them around, so it was great to have a good racing field present. In the end, I was just happy I felt good during the run because I haven’t felt great running in a while. Maybe could have gone a little faster, but after my first duathlon debut, I wanted to keep it conservative so I had still had legs for the bike and second run.

 

T1
I was caught up and focused on staying with Miranda and Leah during the run that when we turned to go back into transition, I completely blanked and was lost in what sequence/where to start in the transition. It took a couple seconds to register where my bike rack was and that I was heading out to the bike, almost forgetting that I had running shoes on to take off!
Then the grass was slippery from the rain that I lost control of my bike as I was running it to the mount line. Bike fell over, and just my luck, my chain came off! So I had to stop and fix that before starting the bike. So very very slow transition and by that time, the gap between me and the 2 other pro females widen.

BIKE (19.5km)
It was a flat course for sure! But I had to be a little more cautious with the rain, making the roads a bit more slippery, some 180 degree turnarounds and tight roads, no-pass zones, and the crowds especially on the second loop. Not too much to report, but that yes, my biking isn’t my strongest, but it has improved since last season.

RUN 2 (2.9km)
The last stretch! Again, I felt good during the run! Super happy about that for sure!  Although there was lots of weaving through people as by that point, all waves were on the course and the run course is loops of approximately 1.25km or so.

Came out 3rd overall female and full of smiles! 

What kept me pushing and going was ALL the cheers from friends, family, spectators, and especially from the Blacktoe family. BIG thanks to you! For waking up early, standing outside in the rain all morning, and setting up camp so that I would be able to hear you guys shout during both the bike and run!
& especially to my gal pals chasing me around so I could hear you scream. Means the WORLD!! <3


Honestly, what’s so great about this race is that I got see lots of friends both racing and cheering. Lots even doing their very first triathlon!! Hoping they’ll get hooked! :)

 

RACE REPORT: Bracebridge Olympic Triathlon

I had a bad race last year on this course so that haunted me when I went into the race. BUT it’s also nice to have done the course before so you kind of know what to expect or parts of the course that may be challenging.

Last year.&nbsp;

Last year. 

I was staying over at my friend’s cottage the night before in Tiny, ON, which is still about 90mins away from the race course. Unfortunately, I didn’t get much sleep and I knew I would get much sleep...probably like 4.5hours, which contributed to my stress race morning. I started the drive to the race site a little bit before 6AM, hoping to get there for 7:20AM, but I was not doing well during the drive and had to pull over a bit. That costed me prep time and I got to the race site at 7:40AM!

So anxiety was already super high as I was trying to get a warm up in and get everything set up.

 

SWIM: (1500m)
hey started the elite/pro group as a mass start rather than originally a time trial start. That was really nice so figuring out placing during the race amongst the other females who started in this wave was easier.

I was basically swimming alone for most of it. I could tell someone was drafting off me for the first half, then I drafted off that person after the turnaround for a bit, but couldn't hold on.

It was extremely hard to sight on the way back wit the sun glare so I just followed the shore line and splashes of swimmers in front. The way back did seem slower and make the swim seem longer I think it was because we were swimming against the current. The goal was to come in around 25 mins for this course, which I came close with 25:07. Much better than last year already!

BIKE: (42km)
I struggled big time on the bike mount..! So it’s definitely something I need to work on making smoother. I made 2 attempts to mount before heading out. Rough start!

This bike course is challenging for sure! Lots of rolling hills, some significant hill climbs, I definitely struggled with it last year, but again surprised myself again with how I performed on the bike considering it’s usually my weakest point. There was one section of the course where there was a quick left turn, then an immediate sharp uphill that I was not prepared for at all! I didn’t change gears in time and struggled big time to get up...almost had to clip out and walk the bike up! Other than that struggle, I was definitely fun to hit speeds up to 60+kph for some parts of the race!

RUN: (10km)
I really wanted a good run. Lately, I’ve been feeling really awful/not strong during the runs...mostly in pain and feet full of blisters. Luckily got new racers and REAL comfy socks!! :D. I think the socks helped tons to prevent the blisters from coming. (THANKS Blacktoe Running!) & I felt like I had a really good run! Well, I definitely felt good and strong during the run. I was aiming to come in around 42mins, but I think the run was longer than 10 km. I got 10.4km on my watch.

I was sub 4min to start, then kept a good 4 min pace for the first 3km. Then I tried to keep it steady and in rhythm. At the turnaround, I noticed a lady wasn’t far behind me and she was looking strong too! So that was great motivation to pick it back up after the turnaround. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to win the fastest run...although I came super close!!

downhill to the finish!&nbsp;

downhill to the finish! 

Because of the mass start with the other female EAG/PRO, I was confident I was 2nd overall female behind Pro Miranda Tomenson and it was nice lots of volunteers, racers, and spectators were cheering and saying I was looking good for second place. BUT, there’s always an amazing lady who puts out an amazing performance, and started in a wave behind you. I never saw Fiona Whitby on the race course, but wow that lady can bike! Congrats to her for winning 2nd.
I finished 3rd overall female and 1st in the Elite female age group.

woohoo! super fun to break the tape at the finish!&nbsp;

woohoo! super fun to break the tape at the finish! 

Female Elite Age Group&nbsp;

Female Elite Age Group 

Post race, it was super nice for Multisport Canada to announce and introduce the Ambassador team. I got to talk to lots of racers post race & had one particularly lovely  conversation with a lovely lady. We were talking about how one of the most intimidating things about doing one’s first triathlon is getting the equipment and gears for it. She got lots of friends and family into racing their first and more after that because she was basically lending them wetsuits, bikes, etc. What a lady! Not only inspired others to do a triathlon, but got them to take the plunge and ‘tri’ it by eliminating the barrier of all the gear needed to do one. I feel like I would have started racing much sooner if I had that support.

MSC Ambassador Team

MSC Ambassador Team

Overall, this was a much much better race experience than last year! Thanks to the Multisport Canada Team for putting such a great race, Blacktoe Running for keeping my feet happy, & Loaring Personal Coaching for the big mental support and coaching.

Ok….I’m now SUPER excited for a recovery week after racing 3 weekends in a row! Going to get recharging with some milk! :D

 

 

 

RACE REPORT: K-TOWN Long Course

Tons of thoughts running through my head as I tackled on my first long course distance (2k swim, 56k bike, 15k run) at Multisport Canadas historical K-Town race. (Super intimidated by the distance!) I wasn’t originally planning to do this race or this distance, but had to change some things around with my racing season to fit into my schedule.

So….! I did it!

With only weeks bit to prepare for the longer distance and still balancing preparing for other races, I didn't go into the race feeling completely ready. I also had some achilles pain nagging me the days leading up to the race. So the goal was to just finish the race the best I could!

 

As usual, had tons of nerves, but feeling very lucky that two of my teammates Billy and Emma were racing and gave lots of tips having done the race course before. (check our their race reports!) 
& great support from Coach Mark about nutrition, race strategy and pacing for the distance.
BIG thanks to all the support & giving me lots of reassurance I would make it out alive..! Thank you!!! :)

 

 

SWIM (2km)
The water were warm, & being able to start in the pro/elite age group wave was really nice and less intimidating than I originally thought. I luckily drafted off Billy and Emma the entire swim. (thanks!) I had trouble sighting the buoys and relied a lot on just following their draft. I could definitely feel the distance during the swim though! Felt like it was never ending….! even though it’s just 500m more than the standard distance.

 

 

BIKE (56 km)
My calf and foot seized up with a cramp immediately when I was doing my mount on the bike..which wasn’t fun at all! So slow mount/ start to the bike, but after that, I quite enjoyed the ride! I’m pretty surprised at how my biking has improved over the last year. (Thanks Mark! :D) I’m finding that I’m enjoying instead of the dreading the bike now!
There was a headwind going out on the bike, but after the turnaround...it was super fun going fast!! Definitely feeling strong throughout the ride. Got the hang of how to gage effort on the uphills, maintain speed and effort on the downhills and flats.

 

RUN (15km)
Oh boy! This run was painful! With the heat and the distance, I had to really mentally brace myself for it. I knew I had to be smart about pacing and not go out too hard at the start (like usual)...so I kept it real conservative, but I could feel the distance start to get harder and harder.

 

Then… the blisters starting coming & all the rolling hills were an added challenge. I could feel and tell by my watch that I was going s-l-o-w!

Water never tasted so good too!! I went for it almost every aid station to for a sip and to dump water on myself. (Thanks Multisport Canada & volunteers!) Definitely a big mental game on the run!
Fortunately, it was a super super pretty route to be running on! So I enjoyed that part of the run!

hurting. but a finish!&nbsp;

hurting. but a finish! 

 

 

It was a flight to finish, but I made it! Finished 4th place overall female and 2nd in the Elite female age group. I think I’m happy with my efforts on my first long course! Really makes me appreciate those who do the longer distances.
It’s something I want to revisit in the future for sure, but I can tell I’m definitely not ready for the longer stuff at the moment.

Overall Men &amp; Females!&nbsp;

Overall Men & Females! 

 

Despite not finishing feeling awesome, I am really proud of myself for completing this distance!

Post-race, I was completely broken wobbling around with blistered feet, tight calves, achilles, and hamstrings. The festivities Multisport Canada and Recharge with Milk put on helped immensely!

All the cheers from spectators calling out my name was super awesome!
Thanks to all who were cheering from near and far! Especially the support from friends at Blacktoe Running and Parkdale RoadRunners  <3

 

BIG thanks to Multisport Canada for putting on such a great race. Fun atmosphere, beautiful setting in downtown Kingston and by Lake Ontario. It was nice to be introduced as one of the Ambassadors for the series. If you have any questions or just want to chat, I'm here for ya!! 

NEXT UP: Multisport Canada's BRACEBRIDGE OLYMPIC THIS WEEKEND!!! 

 

 

The START of it all!

I think the most fitting for my very first blog post is a bit of background into how and why it all started for me!

It started with running. It was accessible, an easy one to pick up for me...just needed shoes and some encouragement! I have definitely found both a personal and physical growth through running.

I took up running in high-school, joining the cross-country and track team. I found that I loved both the challenge of running and competing, but also more the people, teachers, and friends I met through joining a team. I think that’s what motivated me to continue running throughout high-school and university. 

It was through my involvement in the XC and Track teams that I met a teacher who was passionate about triathlon and introduced the sport to me. He was actually the one who taught me how to ride a bike in high-school around the school track! I heard of Kids of Steel through him, but never did a race, mainly because I was too scared! (Scared of biking and swimming, everything that a triathlon involved!)

That continued into University in London, ON. I was really keen to make Western University’s XC Varsity Team, but got super intimidated and realized I was nowhere good enough. Discouraged, I was happy to find and join the Western Triathlon’s Run Club. BUT this was still just running! :) 

It wasn’t until I became an executive member for Western Triathlon that I had to supervise some swims/spins which ‘forced’ me to finally jump into it all! … and I loved it!
I met some of my closest friends through the Western Triathlon Club and really credit all the people (friends, mentors, instructors) to helping me face fears, challenges, and step out of my comfort zone.

To this point, I was swimming was in a pool, I still only rode on a stationary bike and didn’t own any bikes. The University Multisport Series that I competed in University were all mostly combinations of swim/run or indoor swim/bike/run races. It wasn’t until near the end of my undergrad that I was convinced by a friend to give it a try!  & That’s what I did at Multisport Canada’s Gravenhurst race in 2010! It was my first ‘real’ triathlon, on a borrowed hybrid bike...still new to biking, and my first open water swim as well! All of those elements really made me rethink exactly what I got myself into, but stuck through and in the end I loved the whole experience!

From then, I continued to ‘train’ for triathlons, mainly to hang out with friends! However, without owning a bike...and still not confident with my riding skills, it was always a struggle to find someone to lend one just for racing..so I barely raced.
I just remembered it took tons of support and encouragement from friends, hour long phone-calls, even convincing a friend & sister to physically come with me to the race, arranging to borrow a bike, and tons of contemplation the night before to do my next race at the Multisport Canada Cobourg race in 2012 & I was glad I did!

The next stage of my life after undergrad brought me to Victoria, BC. Decided that I love the sport, I found a triathlon coach, and finally invested in my first road bike! 

I dabbled in some more specific training, raced some races, met awesome people, and saw improvements in my fitness and performance. That kept me going and I have since learned a great deal about myself along the way.

My journey through this sport is slow, but I am progressing further along and I’m definitely doing things now that I never thought I could!

Now, I’m back in Toronto, ON. Realizing how much having a coach has helped me, I found the Loaring Personal Coaching team and Mark Linseman. They have been honestly over & beyond with support and training. I cannot express enough how much I appreciate it all! I have found that I made larger strides as an athlete, seeing improvements in both my performance in triathlons and confidence in myself.

I’m currently competing as an age group athlete in both the Sprint & Olympic/Standard distances, hoping to gain elite status this season.


I was recently invited onto the LPC Hurdle Project: a not-for-profit support program for elite, future elite, and professional athletes with high performance goals, which has greatly helped in lowering triathlon related costs and that I get to train to other amazing inspiring athletes.

I’m also very fortunate to be on the 2016 Multisport Canada’s Recharge with Milk Ambassador Team. They have been there from the start of my journey in triathlons and I can’t wait to explore more of the great races they put on in their series.


I got a FULL season this summer! & I’m excited for it all! :)