Canadian National Triathlon Championships – 2/7/2006

In the film ‘The Fog Of War’, Robert McNamera (former US Secretary of Defence and World Bank President) shares some key lessons that he has learned over his long life.

One of them is ‘Know Your Enemy’. For triathletes we could say ‘Know Your Race’ as that can save you from choosing the wrong race.

I was flying back from China via Toronto to visit my parents when I saw that there was a triathlon on. What better way to pass a Sunday than with a relaxing tri? After all, since Eagleman I hadn’t been on a bike and with a busy travel schedule training was sporatic at best. So I’d just go out and have some fun.

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My long suffering wife gathered my gear and brought it up to Toronto. The packing list inside my Zoot Triathlong bag was invaluable and everything arrived. I decide do ride the course a bit which was a good thing as my bike wouldn’t shift to the largest cog so I adjusted the front derailleur.

I was a bit suspicious when I went to the transition zone. I’ve never seen so many Cervelo P3 Carbon bikes in one place (Cervelo is a Toronto Company) and there was a noticable absence of ‘duffers’ like me just coming along for some fun. Almost everyone looked mighty fit. People had come from as far away as Vancouver and Nova Scotia (the west and east coast for geographically challenged).

Everyone was talking about securing a slot for Lusanne. Ahhh. So that is why this place was full of serious people. They were trying for one of the 12 slots available in each age group for the World Championships. Not exactly confidence building for someone who hasn’t see a bike in 3 weeks!

The swim was held in a lake and, as usual, I was pathetic. Hey, at least this time it took 20 minutes before the next wave swam over me. At least the water was clean and fresh so when I took my manditory few swallows (I must figure out how to look for the buoys with my mouth closed) it wasn’t as bad as during Eagleman. One advantage to my being so proficient at the swimming is that I never
have trouble finding my bike.

The ride was 3 loops through an industrial zone. There were 30 left and right turns and 15 U turns to do the course. It was so confusing and you didn’t know if you were catching up with someone on your lap, let alone your AG.

The wind was worse than at Eagleman – I know that’s hard to believe – so the wind, the turns, the boring course, and the 3 laps did not make for a fun ride. Still, at least I was able to wave to my wife more than once.

At least the run was nice. It was around the lake (3 times) so it was not hilly and there was shade for part of the course. That was appreciated since it was 90 degrees and sunny. I don’t like these multiple loop courses since I like to be able to monitor my progress by running after people ahead of me. As a sign of my lack of
fitness, I did the run on this almost flat course only 10 s faster than Columbia! Ho hum.

One sad note. There were three disabled athletes diong the race (missing legs) and I passed one at the back of the course passed out on the ground being tendered to by a policeman and race volunteers. These guys are incredible.

Still, I was pleased with my results at 2:29:46 and I was 119/193 overall. That got me 13th in my AG. Sounds good … except there were only 14 of us! I guess at least I can say that I missed my slot to Lusanne by only one place -).

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