Swim 200m, bike 13.7km (10.4 km timed), run 5 km
1/2 AG, 4/19 OA women, 4/24 men and women
"Really?" I thought, as I sat in the car clutching my Starbucks. Overnight, the 25% chance of rain had turned into 100% chance of cold and wet. Of course, I didn't bother to check for updates before I left the house, at which point it was just mild and overcast... so I found myself without any rain gear whatsoever. Lesson learned. I had arrived at the race and parked, but was having trouble working up the will to actually leave the car. Because transitions aren't timed at this race, I didn't feel the usual urgency to beeline it for the T zone to secure a good rack spot. Ah well -- as a wise person once said, suck it up buttercup.
Swim + run to the transition entrance: 5:03
This was the most pleasant part of the race. The water was flat and a very comfortable wetsuit temperature. Our small group spread out quickly, and I lost track of where I was in the pack. But I swam a straight course, and felt fine about my effort.
Bike: 20:27 (30.4 km/h)
By the time I hit the bike course, it was really pouring. I held back a bit for the first few km, wary of water-covered potholes and potentially slick road surface. My bike was solid as ever, and I managed to keep the rubber side down. Bonus points for not unclipping like a weenie around the u-turns. Unfortunately, by the time I got back to the transition area my back brake was rubbing badly and something in my freewheel clutch was making an odd noise.
Run: 23:52 (PB!)
Because the transition wasn't timed, I was able to confirm the first couple of twists and turns on the run course with volunteer and fellow OTCer Andrew before crossing the timing mat. Within the first 700m of running on wet grass and through a huge puddle, I realized my wet shoes were going to do a number on my sockless feet. Oh well. This was my first time at the Ottawa River Tri, and I definitely needed all the direction given by the great volunteers along a course that twisted on and off the paths, around trees, and onto the road. This is the first time I've broken 24 minutes for 5k -- at least officially, as my 24:07 at the Early Bird a few weeks ago included T2.
The best part of the whole race was being surprised at the finish line by my Mum, who brought me dry clothes and hot tea. Since it was 9 degrees out and I was soaked to the skin, this was like winning the lottery.
Since there are a couple of untimed zones on the course, it's tricky to tell exactly where you finished until everyone's in. I was initially surprised to see that 3 girls came in ahead of me, as Andrew had told me I was the first woman as I exited transition for the run. These young ladies were seriously fast. I left before awards were given out, but I was able to congratulate them on Monday -- as I discovered they're part of the Bytown Storm junior development program that swims at Richcraft when I'm there with my OTC group. I introduced myself as the first runner-up old lady. ;)