I hadn’t been back to my home town in some time, so I thought if I could find a local race up that way it would give me that much more of an incentive to make my way back north. Researching, I found a few races including one that would take the bike course past our last home, however I settled on the Shoreline Triathlon which is one of the oldest triathlons held in the nation. This was also a great camping location that I camped at several times and would be a great adventure for the family.
Race morning, waking up and getting everything ready was no big deal at the camp site, it was the unexpected humidity that settled in that proved to be the most difficult obstacle. Getting the tri suit and wet suit on was very challenging compared to the normal, it was like I had just gotten out of the water and now had to put everything on. Race set up and warm up was complete and time to start the swim.
The swim was set up as a clockwise triangle. We started and I could see at least one other athlete as we approached the first turn. After that point I seemed to be on my own. I knew swimming in Lake Ontario was more than likely going to be choppy, however I hadn’t had many open water swims this year so it took me a few hundred yards to adjust. Following the last turn which was a hard right that would take you back to the finish where you could exit the water anywhere along the beach which was quite a long distance. I had already decided to take the shortest route by water and then run along the beach. That strategy seemed to work fine, but believe I was the only one who took that route and took many by surprise that someone took the line. The thought was I would be much faster on my feet compared swimming.
Now through T1 smooth and on the bike. I wasn’t too sure how this ride was going to go, unfamiliar roads, potentially rough pavement, head winds and humidity. I had a lead vehicle which I always like and appreciate. I just put my head down and road hard from the start, trying to chase the lead vehicle. The approach worked well and riding one of my fastest races.
T2 was smooth and off on the run. The fast bike and humidity was now hitting me. This was a two loop course which ended up having a head wind out and tail wind back. Starting the first loop, with the head wind, I couldn’t tell if the humidity was bad or not, but know something was off, I was running 30 seconds (pace) slower than expected. Turning back on the loop is when it all hit me, no refreshing wind, complete sun, no end in sight and knew I had to run it twice. To say the least, the second loop wasn’t any better. My saving grace was the nice lead I had built on the swim and bike.
In the end, I was pleased with my overall race. I had a blast camping, racing near my home town, spending time with friends and racing alongside with a lifelong friend.