We went through the motions of getting ready in a sleepy stupor, then stumbled downstairs for the breakfast buffet in Erin's room.
Then it was time to head to the race site - about a 15 minute drive. It was cold (about 4C/39F) and pitch black at 5am, but the place was buzzing with Ironman energy.
We unloaded and headed to transition so everyone could set up. My wrist band allowed me into the transition area, so I was able to
The time flew by quickly and the sun finally came up, but it wasn't getting any warmer yet. We were bundled.
|3 layers on top and 3 layers on the bottom - all fashion.|
We made our way down to the water and everyone got ready to swim. The girls got in for a warm-up - literally, since the water was much warmer than the air!
We were able to watch the pros start and some of the leaders finish before everyone lined up in their waves. I had nervous and excited butterflies as we sent them off to officially start their day.
|Relay [final] wave - go Erin!|
We headed right over to the swim exit to snag a spot. It was awesome seeing everyone coming out of the water and cheering them on as they ran up to transition. There were wet-suit strippers too, which was fun to watch.
Here comes Erin right on schedule, in the first half of the all-female relay pack!
Swim - 40:30
Erin's son and I ran along the path with her towards transition, then headed over to the bike exit. They had a loooong way to run, but she was quick in transition.
T1 - 3:49
Then it was time for the spectators [and runner] to wait. It was a one loop course with no opportunity to see everyone out on the ride. We knew we had a good few hours so we hoofed back to the cars for a bit to have a bite to eat and rest. It had warmed up by now and we shed some layers before wandering around the race site some more. I was antsy as the time ticked by, constantly checking my watch and hoping that Erin was having a good ride.
Eventually we settled in near transition and got comfortable watching for the pros. I tried to have a catnap on the grass, but it felt pretty good just to sit. We cheered everyone on as they came in, watching them finish the ride, tear through transition and head out on the run.
I was consciously hydrating knowing that I had a half marathon to run in the middle of the day, and ate a Clif Bar about 90 minutes before I expected to start. With about half an hour to go, I made one last quick to the washrooms and made my way to the
I looked over at Erin's son who was watching for her, and got super excited when he waved that she was coming!
Erin had an awesome ride out there and made it look easy based on her race pics.
Bike - 3:18:07
I saw her run into transition and let the volunteer know that she was on her way. We cheered her on as she ran all the way through transition to the pen. She even managed to pass another relay team member who was making her way to the exchange.
T2 - 1:07
I gave Erin a quick congrats, grabbed the chip off her ankle, strapped it onto mine and crossed the mats.
It started with the grassy uphill run out of transition - the same as bike exit pictured above. Erin's son was waiting at the top with his awesome sign, which was pretty much the cutest thing ever.
Erin's daughter and friend T were waiting at the next corner; it was great to see them and get a boost as I headed off on the course.
The route was two loops and I didn't know much about it (except that Ironman courses are generally challenging). The sun was pounding down hard and it had heated up a lot by this point, so I had no idea what to expect. 12 noon is definitely not the ideal time to be racing long distance, but I was out to see what I could do for the team. I expected something in the 1:50 range, but (secretly) hoped for 1:45.
|large rectangular part completed twice|
1 to 5: 4:42 - 4:48 - 5:14 - 4:56 - 4:58
I also quickly learned that it was a tough course when the first climb came early. There were a few good ones (most people walking) and we would be running all of them twice. You can easily spot them in my splits. I was usually able to make up the time on the downhills, which my quads have been punishing me for all week!
|Notice the hill behind me!|
6 to 10: 4:37 - 4:55 - 4:51 - 4:53 - 4:58
This race had some of the best support, volunteers and spectators I have ever seen. I was excited to take advantage of the fully loaded aid stations every mile, stocked with water, sports drink, coke, fruit, gels, bars, etc. but as it turned out, all I wanted was my water (small handheld, which I partially refilled twice) and gels (7K and 14K).
11 to 15: 5:10 - 4:59 - 5:12 - 5:17 - 4:46
I was hot and had been dumping cups of water on my head (making sure it wasn't coke!) every couple miles. I was running quite a bit faster than expected/planned and kept wondering if I was going to bonk, but with 5K to go I knew I could hold on to it.
16 to 20: 5:01 - 4:46 - 4:51 - 5:05 - 5:00
Nearing the finish we had to make a quick turn with a short out and back and I got to see the team here for a quick boost before the home stretch. I kicked it up a notch. I wish Erin could have jumped in with me here so we could finish together since she did most of the work but we had been warned that we could be disqualified for doing so. Bummer. :(
With less than 100m to go there was a guy just ahead of me and I was itching to pass him, but held back so I wouldn't ruin his
21: 4:30 (+ 0.1 at 4:10 pace)
Run - 1:43:49
|(we started 50 minutes after the clock)|
"Girls on Your Left"
5/14 all-female relay division
not bad for being the only 2-person team!
It was a great day out there and I loved being part of all the excitement. Most importantly, a big congrats to my partner for rocking out her "A" race of the season. It's mostly her fault that I got all caught up in this tri stuff to begin with.... but it's not so bad afterall.