Smiths Falls Classic Triathlon 2008

Monday, June 30, 2008
Smiths Falls Classic Triathlon 2008

I was practically begging my coach to let me race. Begging. When he said “it is a recovery week, so go for it. Go all out, don’t monitor your heart rate, just go for it” I was ecstatic.

The Smiths Falls Classic is an event put on by Somersault (they organize/own most of the triathlons and running races around Ottawa and surrounding area). We had heard good things about it, but wanted to confirm for ourselves. The sprint distance was a bit shorter than what we’ve done before:

  • 500m swim
  • 26km bike
  • 5km run

Kathryn and I quite literally had no idea what to expect. We hopped in the car early on Sunday morning, drove in the rain for an hour to the race site and arrived to find… nothing. We were told to go to the Comfort Inn hotel in town and expected to see lots of other triathletes and volunteers there. We drove through the back parking lot and saw a grand total of about 5 other people.

I managed to grab some free wi-fi from the hotel and found the map to the transition area and the registration desk. We drove there and walked to the race site – this was more like it. We registered, got our race kits, and got ourselves ready for the race.

The Swim

The water was filled with “stuff.” I don’t know what it was. Foamy. Bubbly. White. Stuff.

I’m glad I had my wetsuit on, but that didn’t protect me when I came up for a breath right in the middle of a big pile of white foamy crap. I felt the bubbles on my head, was immediately disgusted and immersed my head as quickly as possible.

I felt slow. Really slow. I couldn’t swim straight, I couldn’t see where I was going, and I couldn’t wait to get out of the water. I headed to transition thinking that this was a horrible swim. On the way there I found myself running past my sister-in-law (Michelle Collett). We ran to transition together and started getting ready to head out on the bike. Then I saw Kathryn come into transition. I was still getting my gear on. Then I saw my brother Gavin leave transition, followed by Michelle, followed by Kathryn. Yes, I basically arrived into transition first, and left last out of our group of four. That sucks and I need to get faster at transition. Maybe if I wasn’t so obsessed with capturing all my data with my Garmin for this site, I’d be quicker :)

The Bike

I’ve always been a slow ass cyclist. Everyone in my family beats me regularly – for training rides, I’m used to being last.

I’d ridden on my own a few times just to try out my new bike, but this was the first time we’d all ridden “together” this year. I really wanted to test it out and see how my biking had improved since last year (which wouldn’t be too hard, to be honest. Last year, I sucked.)

I whizzed by Michelle as she stopped when her chain was giving her trouble. I raced by Kathryn, feeling really good, and hoping that was doing “okay” as her hips and legs had been bothering her a lot lately.

All that remained was catching my brother Gavin. I passed a few others that I knew along the way, but no sign of my brother anywhere. Damnit.

I hit my second transition after riding the best ride of my life, really experiencing how fast I could go. Instead of averaging 26km/h, I ended up averaging more like 33 or 34km/h. Euphoria.

The Run

Calves. Cramping. Must run through them. Don’t stop.

I finally see my brother at about the 2.5km mark of the run. It looks like I’m chasing a lot of people, but really, it was just him. The last sprint distance tri we did together, he finished the entire race as I was just starting my 5km run, so I was a litle motivated to catch him.

If only I had a bit more in me. I got closer and closer, but in the end, I didn’t catch him.

I finished in 1:27:26 and I experienced what it was like to go fast. It felt good. Hiring both a personal trainer and tri coach has at least partially succeeded.

Remember how I came into Transition 1 first? and my brother left first? yeah – that’s the part. The part of the race where he beat me. Overall he beat me by 24 seconds. He beat me in T1 by almost 2 minutes.

Derek Featherstone
Derek Featherstone
Web Designer/Developer, Speaker, Trainer, Author, IronMan Lake Placid 2007
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