Lake Chestermere Sprint Tri – Awesome Race Report

One could easily of named today’s post – “Found my Mojo”. It was there all along at the bottom of my transition bag. Found it as I unpacked things to set up for today’s awesome triathlon. I’m gonna appologize right now cause I will likely over use the word awesome. Can’t help myself, it was an awesome awesome awesome day. Heck it’s not over, just awesome!

Anyhow let me start at the beginning. I was a tad nervous about today. I mean after that last tri and having to DNF it kind of took the wind out of my sails. At one point I was even wishing I had not signed up for the event. Then well they relocated the triathlon from Coral Springs to Chestermere. Yikes, now what. To hopefully make me feel more comfortable hubby and I went for a drive on Friday to check things out. The lake looked pretty weedy, no shoulders on part of the bike course….hmmmm this was not helping me feel good about things. Thankfully my coach (Yeah Richelle) talked me down and never let me even suggest switching to the “Tri it” distance or bailing. Her advice “Stay in the moment” and “No matter what, you must finish”.

I helpd Paddy with Package Pickup on Friday. Heck I was in no hurry to rush home in traffic. He looked like he could use a little help so I stuffed swag bags and handed them to athletes as they arrived. It was fun and cool beans it earned me one of the pink tech shirts that the volunteers got. Woohoo you know me and pink.

Anyhow back to today. I was up at 6am. That was tough as I slept very little. I had gone to bed early but tossed and turned all night. It didn’t help that hubby snored all night long…grrrr. Have to forgive him as he got up at 6am with me and was there to support me all day long. Let’s face it standing around taking the odd photo can’t be nearly as fun as actually doing a triathlon.

I made a protien shake to drink on the way. No sense in drinking it too early as I wasn’t racing until nearly 9am but had to be there to setup in transition and for a 7:45 prerace meeting. Despite being a few minutes later getting away then planned we made it in plenty of time to find a great parking spot by the Safeway. Tons of athletes had already arrived and more were showing up by the minute. I always love the hubbub of race morning – Athletes nervous and excited, a mix of vetrans and newbies. It’s a cool feeling being there and part of it all. This is why I do this stuff. I chatted with friends and wished them all luck as I set up in transition. I was settling in next to Kim Wedgerfield. She’s an amazing athlete and competes running with two canes and still kicks my a$$.

After getting things all setup I picked up my race chip and got my tatoo, aka body marking…lol. Time to relax, listen to announcements, rules and finally check out the water. Hmmm lots of athletes wearing wetsuits. I only spotted maybe a handful that were not donning wetsuits. Had I made a bad decision? Only one way to find out….get wet. I waded into the water. It felt awesome. Whew, I would be just fine although I did get a few looks and comments “brave woman”. I watched from the shore as first the “Tri it” distance swimmers headed out at 8am, then in the water I watched as the Olympic swimmers headed out. I did a few strokes in the water to make sure I was ready.

Finally just before 9am we (Sprint swimmers) headed out. The water felt awesome. There’s that word again. Yeah there were weeds. I heard later they had been cutting them all week but well I think they missed a few. Okay they missed a lot. In many spots I had to swim through them. But heh, the swim was still awesome. I really didn’t mind the weeds. Heck I run through them, why should it bother me to swim through them. I wasn’t fast but I was strong and steady with my stroke. It felt good, no it felt awesome! I rounded the first buoy, woohooo. This is awesome. I headed for the next one. I could see one or two swimmers around me but for the most part the rest were way ahead. Oh well, swim my own swim. I was feeling much stronger then at Chinook. The swim felt easy and awesome. I even managed to stay on course even though there wasn’t much one could use for sighting like at the Chinook Tri. At the end of the swim there were two strong looking volunteers to help one up the slippery ramp. They too were awesome! Heck all the volunteers were awesome. Not sure of my exact time but I was out of the water in under 30 minutes which was all I wanted to do. Ya know, it was such an awesome swim I was almost wishing I had signed up for the Olympic. Maybe next year.

Onto the bike. Wait first I had to make it through transition. That seemed to go fairly smoothly. I think I was about 5 or 6 minutes, perhaps a tad slow, but I am slow, get over it…lol. I’m not sure if I was the last one to head out on the bike or not. There were other bikes still on the Sprint racks but then I had seen a few swimmers pulled out of the swim. There was one swimmer that exited on the bike just seconds ahead of me but he was an awesome cyclist and was soon long gone out of site. No biggy, I had my own goals and would do my own awesome ride.

The bike was a awesome flat 2 loop course which was a tad over 20k at 23k. There was one little knoll on the course, not really a hill. I would likely have been fine if I had done the Oly distance as they shortened that course and you only had to do 3 loops of the bike for 34k. The first leg of the loop was on a major route but had a awesome wide shoulder, then it was down a side road with a very small shoulder but little or no traffic. I counted 3 cars and one truck. Then it was back onto another major road with another awesome wide shoulder which again led to another side road. Again maybe 2 cars passed me on the side road. I of course lost track of how many bikes passed me or how many gophers I saw…lol. It was an awesome strong ride. I was hoping for under 1:25 and according to Garmin I had a minute or so to spare…lol.

The run was flat except for one hill near the turn around. It was also 2 loops for the sprint and 4 for the Oly. The route was pathway along the lake for most of it until you hit the hill which looped you through some pretty awesome houses. One had about 10 giraffes of various sizes displayed in all their windows. I wonder if I was the only one that noticed that…lol. One guy was nice enough to have his sprinkler on and out by the edge so we could run through it. I did. It was hot and the sprinkler was awesome. There was an aid station just before you went back onto the pathway. I drank one cup and wore the other. The guy even helped by throwing a cup of water at me as I left…lol. The people manning the aid station lived in the house where it was, that was cool. I was hoping for 50 minutes for my run and I missed it by 1 minute. Must of been the minute I stopped for a rock in my shoe…darn it all.

None of these times are official so they may slide a few minutes either way once published. All in all it was an awesome race. I do hope they have it at this location again. I told the race director this and he hugged me when I said I had no complaints…lol. Awesome medals made of bike chains, love it. Also I won a pair of mens bike shorts which I happily gave to Darren my #1 awesome fan and awesome photographer.

That’s it for this awesome triatlon report and the awesomeness will continue as my awesome hubby is taking me for an awesome dinner.

One happy & awesome triathlete in Calgary
Awesome photos on Flickr
Lake Chestermere Tri Website