Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lisa Graham's Race Report- Owen Sound Triathlon

After struggling through a summer filled with family tragedies, on Sept. 9 I achieved my biggest goal of the year and qualified for the Age Group World Champs in Vancouver 2008. I was unable to attend the Kelowna qualifying race due to my mother's passing, so I decided to make the trip to Owen Sound, ON, where they had 4 spots per age group for Worlds. The race site was beautiful, and very well organized.

Race morning, I was organized and didn't have to rush, and I was not really too nervous. The swim took place in Georgian Bay. The elite wave started first, 4 minutes later wave 2, then 4 mins later, wave 3 (my wave), which consisted of men 35-44 and women 25-29. I got in and did a bit of a swim warm up and the water was probably the coldest I'd ever swum in, at 15C. My feet, hands and face were numb, and I felt like I had a headache due to the cold. The start was about 100 or 200m from shore, as the water was so shallow, and the water was about thigh deep. My start was good, didn't get involved in any pushing or contact, and I got out with one guy and we swam together for about 1/2 the swim. I then pulled away from him and swam on my own. The water was pretty cold but it didn't really interfere with my race. I got caught up in a bit of traffic, catching many of the people from wave 2 and having to pass them. At the end, you had to stand up about 100-150m from the beach, as it was too shallow to swim. This was extremely hard to run through, as it was about knee deep. I was first out of my wave, and had a good run to transition and a speedy and flawless transition. Swim time was 21:08 (which included the run up to the edge of transition, so not too bad).

The bike was great, I really enjoyed myself on the bike, as it was really scenic and I kept thinking positive thoughts. It was an out and back, with several turns, and I decided to make my goal during the bike to not get passed by any women. The bike was quite windy, and there were quite a few hills, but none were huge. I started to feel a bit dead and tired around 30km, so I took a gel and hoped I'd be okay for the run. I actually passed a couple of women from Wave 2 (women 20-24), and got off the bike without being passed by any women, so that goal was accomplished! Bike split was 1:13 something.

My transition from bike to run was again very quick and problem-free. I started the run feeling not too bad, and the course was actually quite beautiful. It was an out and back, which was done twice as each one was 5km. I started suffering pretty quickly, with a few cramps in my neck and labored breathing. The run was very tough and some parts I felt pretty good but for the most part I was pretty hurting. I definitely did not feel as good as I did at Summerside. I actually only got passed by one woman on the run (who was 30-34 age group, I looked at her leg), and I kept pushing myself to the very end. I saw one girl in front of me for the last 500m, and I made another goal to pass her before the finish line (even though she was in the 20-24 age group). I pulled ahead with about 100m to go and accomplished that goal, too! Run split was 48:43, over 2 mins slower than I ran at Summerside but I pushed it to the end and never gave up!

I was so happy to finish and end the pain and suffering, and even happier when I realized that no one from my age group had passed me during the race so I had won my age group! Which meant that I automatically clinched a spot for World's! My overall time was 2:25, and I ended up placing 3rd overall female. I am very happy with my result, it is a great end to the season.

I would like to thank Sandra for her help and guidance with my running this year, thanks to her I have been able to improve my running and not get passed by everyone on the run!

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