Aquathlon de la Montagne

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Aquathlon de la Montagne

Postby SickBoy » 10 May 2015 16:27

Distance: 750m swim, 4.8km run
Where: University of Montreal
When: Sunday May 3rd
Cost: $40 plus taxes
Other: Chip timing, Triathlon Québec sanctioned. Organised by Montreal Uni Tri Club


Winter is over! Montreal weather seems to switch straight from snow and freezing temps of -10 or less to hot and humind high 20s with maybe 1 week of spring. I can't believe how quickly it's changed.

I saw this event advertised on Facebook, sounded like a good start to the season, short dist and I've been doing more swim and run than bike recently. Also Sunday evening slot avoided clash with swim lessons in the morning.

The week of the race was my first run outside of the year and I clocked a sub 20 5km which was nice as I'm never sure where I'm at running on treadmills during winter. I've kept to at least a 2% incline to make sure it's not just flicking my legs around. Swimming is on the same plateau as ever with efforts to change things going more harm than good!

Day of the race after two trips to the local pool I set off to the venue, a short bus/metro ride away. Not much to pack for an aquathlon. I arrive at 15:00 when registration opens. There are junior and induction races first. I will not be racing until 16:30 earliest.

The race is at the uni sports centre. Swim in a 50m pool, doing loops with a buoy at each corner. Run around the adjacent sports pitch with transition in between. My biggest worry for this race is lap counting. 7.5 of the pool and 15 laps of the field for the run! I have decided to wear a stop watch to help me track laps.

After I collect my chip and no. and get marked up I sit down to sort out my race belt. A chap sits next to me and asks about the no. of laps etc. I show him the info I printed out and we get chatting. He has no pins or race belt, all his kit is in Brazil. He's doing a sport related PhD at another uni. I give him some spares and we get chatting. He's been out of triathlon for a while. Eventually it transpires he raced at Kona, twice! I'd looked at last year's results and apart from the super swimmers I don't compare too badly so had high hopes for myslef. Until now. I've estimated 13 mins for the swim, swam 13:30 steady in the pool that week. What I've not accounted for is how much slower I will be with no push offs and 30 turns around the buoys.

Atrned the briefing. My French is improving and I understand most of it. There's not much to an aquathlon. Transition is just a coned area where I leave my trainers a d race belt. A faire few triathletes from the local clubs and Unis not a huge event maybe 100 people total. Also I have my friend Kona Luis on hand to help with translation. We are in the same wave, not until Bout 17:30 so a lot of waiting around! Weirdly slower swimmers are going first which I would have thought makes less sense as the course will fill up, still.

Wait for ages, and ages. I am mega tired as despite opting for an early night neighbours kid was making a lot if noise. I know I am making excuses but there you go.

There is a junior race which has 2 participants, including a little girl who must be around 10 or so. She looks a but overwhelmed at the briefing especially when everyone claps the two of them. Same during the swim, she gets applause all the way around her lap which is nice bit also maybe more attention than she wants

Finally it is time for my wave to go, its a little later than planned. We line up along the wall in one corner of the pool, about 15 in my wave maybe. Not far to the first buoy, less than 10m. As we're lined up on number order I find myself almost in line with it which I suppose is good. 20 secs to go I start my stop watch, so I can sanity check my lap count when I get out. Volunteers are counting some laps to verify things apparently but the final responsibility is ours.

Race starts I push off too slow and am instantly squeezed from both sides. It feels like I pop out of the back of the line, we're on the first buoy straight away, I make an awkward turn and on to the straight. Try to settle into things, feel like I have zero energy. Have a little water that leaked into one goggle at the start, think about stopping to empty it but it's not that bad. I have a lonely swim, fairly early on two guys fly past me, making me feel even slower and then Luis passes me too. I make a hash of passing the buoys, since were in a pool I can flow the lines and you can see clearly. I make the mistake of cutting too close to the wire anchoring the buoy, forgetting it is bigger above the water so a few times I thump the buoys with my arm, feel slow around the turns. Pass a couple of people, they may have been stragglers from an earlier wave. About lap 4 someone passes me and I make an effort to pickup the pace and stay on his toes, which I do. Counting the laps as I go seem to be able to do that ok without loosing count as s I am prone to do in the pool. I'm sticking with this guy ok, I close the gap again one time and then as I'm catching his toes decide to pass. I get along side on the outside of a turn where I decide that it's not worth the extra effort. We get to the final half lap and they guy I'm following moves to exit, my lap count is probably good then. As I follow I realise I'm not really sure where we have to get outof the pool, should have checked that. Wonder how much time the fast swimmers have made up

I exit the pool at the ladder in the far corner, have to climb out right behind the guy I was following. I jog past him into transition, remember we're not supposed to be running next to the pool as I pass a bunch of marshalls, don't get into trouble though!

Out into transition, straightforward. Goggles and hat off, race belt and trainers on. Look at my watch as I reset it ready for the run. Over 16 mins for the swim FFS! I know it didn't feel 'fast' but that's way off what I would swim normally on a slow day. I'm sure I didn't miscount the laps? Oh well, not much that can be done about it now, best try to make up as much on the run as I can. It's a hot sunny day. The run is loops of the artificial sports pitch. 15 of them! Again the volunteers are counting laps on whiteboards to help but the final responsibility ends with us (and the timing chip). I overtake a couple of people in transition.

As I run out onto the pitch and join the loop I merge in next to Luis of all people. While we were talking before the race he was working out the distance of each lap for pacing at 3:45, just a bit faster than I'm planning to go. I remark that he's looking strong. I am obviously not working hard enough because I can talk without too much of a problem while he's working a bit harder. I am alongside him for a short distance and then tuck in behind. Decide to try to keep up with him, or at least minimise the lost distance. No idea how many laps he's ahead.

There are quite a few runners spread across the course, I am faster than most of them so it gives me plenty of people to keep overtaking. Although it's not a massive course it's not too crowded. I am gradually losing ground to Luis. Got to do 15 laps of this course so I hit the lap button on my watch each time I go past the finish arch to do the counting for me. The surface is quite nice to run on but the constant corners are a little annoying. At one point one guy comes past me, again I make the effort to go with him, tucking behind where there is a slight headwind on the last straight where the aid station is. I don't bother collecting anything. I keep going, loop, loop, loop feeling a bit tired, not as strong as earlier in the week. Like I could go faster but am not really able to summon it. Perhaps I overdid it or I just don't like this racing late in the day, or maybe it's lack of racing experience recently or feeling miffed about the slow swim. My lap times are very consistent but I leave it too late to increase the pace, only on the last lap, I should have pushed before that really. Having said that I'm pretty knackered when I cross the line.


At the finish there is water, bananas, toasters and spreads like peanut butter, nutella etc. I drink lots and lots of water.


They are also going to put up pics for free at some point.


Results:

Swim & T1: 16:48 (15th)
Run: 19:55 (6th)
Total: 36:43

8/58 Overall
7/27 Men
3/5 AG - 30-39


Winner did:

29:50 (10:19 / 19:30) (Fastest swim split)

Luis did:

34:15 (15:33 / 18:42) (2nd fastest run split - 2nd in my AG)


Given that in April I did a grand total of 7.5 hours of training in April I am OK with the result. I would have liked to have been faster on the swim. Going in to the event I was expecting to finish sub 35 mins All the turns slowed me, (and everyone else), down. I was expecting to be a little slower given the format but not by that much, still I'm sure I didn't miss a lap. The winner put in a pretty incredible swim time I had no hope of getting close to.


I have the potential to be faster on the run too, especially on a short distance. Mentally I don't think I was 100% there on the day but I will put that down to lack of racing recently. I was pretty nervous before the start, at this distance you need to just go full speed all the way and I wasn't in that racing frame of mind.


I also need to improve my swim speed. My 800 PB in a 25m pool is 12:59. I would like to get my pace down closer to or below 1:30/100m but I don't think I can do that without coaching to fix my technique.


Still I had a good time, it was good to do a race again. I still have the desire to go faster and do better! It was a nice, small sized event to kick off the season with.

Globally dominating Canada
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Re: Aquathlon de la Montagne

Postby Sir Jibbenstein » 11 May 2015 12:41

Great stuff, interesting format with laps of the pool. Are we going to get to read the rest of it soon? ;)
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Re: Aquathlon de la Montagne

Postby SickBoy » 11 May 2015 22:30

Soon! I was tapping it out on my phone during my daughter's swim lesson, whilst also trying to watch her and it seems I waffled quite a bit!

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Re: Aquathlon de la Montagne

Postby SickBoy » 12 May 2015 15:40

Bump! Finished, apologies for taking so long.

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Re: Aquathlon de la Montagne

Postby Sir Jibbenstein » 12 May 2015 17:54

That many laps on the run? Wow. Must have been torture, a mile on the track is bad enough and that is only 4. Well done!
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Re: Aquathlon de la Montagne

Postby kfjatek » 12 May 2015 23:05

Sir Jibbenstein wrote:That many laps on the run? Wow.


Hey, Canada is a small country, no place to do long runs.

Sounds like a solid start to the season, Sickboy, congrats!

:ugeek:
2015:
26/04 Southampton 10k
30/05 Sieraków Triathlon
21/06 Dambuster Triathlon
29/08 Club Relays
27/09 Hever Triathlon
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Re: Aquathlon de la Montagne

Postby King Sad » 13 May 2015 08:25

Nice one :D and podium in AG as well :D

Interesting that of the 58 competitors you mentioned 27 were men so presume 32 women competitors ... well done girls :D
It seemed like a good idea at the time :? .



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Re: Aquathlon de la Montagne

Postby Big_Show » 13 May 2015 10:55

Good work mate. All those laps on the swim & run would have confused the hell out of me!
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Re: Aquathlon de la Montagne

Postby Bopomofo » 13 May 2015 20:45

Good work, eh?

Great speed too despite your misgivings. I'd have failed to count those laps. I can only count to four when I'm trying hard... and I mean trying hard in both exercising AND counting.
I had fun once. It was awful.
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