Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Post Sideline Race Report: Womans Triathlon Milton 2010

This was a last minute unplanned event. Mrs. Lord of the Chainrings had properly trained for the Peterborough sprint triathlon way back in July however the weeks leading up to this weekend contained little more than a few workouts. The gameplan was to show up and suffer.
Upon arrival you could tell this was a woman's event for sure. As Fran was racking her bike in the transition area the announcer came on the loudspeaker and was asking people to remove the buckets of water from the transition area as only race-necessities were allowed. I'm guessing the buckets of water were for cleaning off the feet or something? I was surprised they said something as you could clearly see athletes setting up hair dryers, powder stations with mirrors and nail polishing. Coming out of the water means all the makeup would fall off, so I guess they wanted to look good for the cameras. We needed to use same day registration and I can tell you this was poorly organized. One volunteer told you to do one thing, while the other contradicted. Communication and signage was poor. We took it in strides and had some fun with it. The whole 'expect the unexpected' attitude only works for me when I'm just a spectator. If I was Fran, I wouldn't have been so calm as race day usually gets me all wound up and I get short fused. Body marking was interesting. They didn't put your age on the calf, they put a letter for your category. Even though this is because some ladies are sensitive about their age, I couldn't help but roll my eyes at this one. At least the race organizers were making an effort I guess. Not enough of an effort though, as I'm pretty sure they broke a rule by assigning WHITE swim caps. I mean seriously, if that doesn't scream condom-head I don't know what will. White should be outlawed as it is fugly. They had both pink AND salmon colour which looked the same to me, so I'm guessing a few noobs were lost at swim start for sure.
We got to meet Adena , also known as "Anita", for the first time. She looks nothing like the little profile picture on her blog so I wouldn't have recognized her at all! She asked me not to haggle her too much during the event so I took that as an open invitation to lay it on thick. Maybe we could even make her cry? :)
So at swim start I noticed Fran was only 'half wet'. She didn't bother to do a swim warm up. Her theory was to get into the water for a few minutes, get out and then when you re-enter, the water should feel warmer. Well, I'm pretty sure that's not what they mean when they talk about a swim warm-up but whatever. It's her race, so I'm not going to say anything lol. About 30 seconds to start there was a woman freaking out because her 'guy' wasn't there with her. I didn't understand until they were pointing and waving at a lifeguard kayaker in the distance who was shadowing a weak swimmer. Apparenlty she struck a deal to have a lifeguard follow her in the kayak but he was obviously pre-occupied with someone else that was getting the same service. He shook his head as to say no and pointed at the weak swimmer which clearly needed the assistance at the end of her split alot more than the lady who was about to start her race. Regardless, the lady was panicing over not having a kayak guide her. While we all get apprehenisve about the swim, it should be written somewhere that if you feel you NEED a dedicated kayak, then you're NOT ready and should try a shorter race. Again, kudos to race organizers for the extra touches for noob athletes. This event was catered specifically to just that which is awesome.
Waiting for Fran to finish her swim was fun. I made an effort to make sure our 'cheer squad' was the loudest there. We had our plastic hand-clappers, Go-Mommy signage, inflatable clap-sticks, inflatable big blue hand high-five gloves. What I didn't anticipate was that we were the only people cheering. T1 was dead quiet, and the announcer kept trying to get people to clap or anything but everyone was just too much of a prude to have fun. Fran's swim was a little slower than expected, but was plenty respectable. She looked fresh coming out of the water and didn't have the red-panic-face that many others had. T1 exit was interesting as you seen everything from mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, oldschool steel bikes and the sort heading out. Fran was worried about not looking the part with her classic steel road bike, but she felt much better once she seen what the competition had. Going into T2 was funny. Among the leaders were ladies on hybrids and mountain bikes and they were leading the women on expensive tri-bikes. That is pure awesome, I love seeing that.
We decided to walk up the run course to setup our cheering section and wait for mom. We were on a hill so we got to cheer athletes on that were struggling with the climb. It was great! We got a fair bit of high-fives in and people seem to really appreciate the extra support on the tough run. People would run past us but then start walking. I would get out of my chair, run up the hill past them and then put out the high-five hand and clapper. This would get them running again. I had alot of fun motivating people, the best part was the vast majority all had smiles. There was next to no serious tri-dork snobbery going on. Fun!
It was at this time that a coach looking woman was repeatedly pacing athletes up the hill. That's when I learned that she was part of the mommys-in-motion group and secondwind conditioning that Adena was part of. They had something like 30 athletes there and the coach was helping people along. That was great that she was there doing this, it looks like a really awesome group that Fran would enjoy. I keep saying Fran should get a yummy-mummy race team going one day. The coach would tell me the names of the ladies approaching us and we would cheer them on by name. Then she said Adena's name and that's when I realized I've been calling her Anita all this time! Oh no! I had to pull out my phone to check my emails and sure enough it said Adena. Oops lol. I made sure to pull out the loudspeaker for her on the first lap and tell her to suck it up. :)
Fran's second loop of the run split was quick. We were not ready for her. Dylan had to sprint to the finish line to get the photo.
Overall the race was a huge success. Fran got her tri-fix satisfied and I thoroughly enjoyed myself on the sidelines. This has been a great weekend as I've managed to keep my mind occupied enough to not be nervous about next weekend's Ironman Muskoka 70.3. What I am concerned about is the lack of training I've been doing over the past week. At this point I'm just waiting to get this thing over with. I'm looking forward to putting together a gameplan for Ironman Lake Placid, however I've been putting this off as I want to keep my mind focused on Muskoka sufferfest first. I also got the 'science of triathlon' training videos, but I will also wait to watch these.
For Muskoka we were going to go up on Saturday, but we just booked a room for friday night as well. I don't think it's wise to do a long drive the day before as my back gets sore when sitting in the car for too long. I didn't order an athlete banquet dinner ticket for Fran for friday night so we'll just have to try to get one on the day. There is 2 different seatings, so I'm hoping I can get in with Rodney and Brian at the same time.

Now the nervousness and anxiety is back. Uggghhh.


  1. Fran was awesome! Fantastic finish time, great job!! I was almost last but hell I finished right. It was awesome having you guys as the sole cheering party for every participant in the race, well done! I admit, I ran partway up the hill and then had to walk, I need MORE training.

    Fran should check out Nancy's blog for training clinics and times, I am trying to get into the Sunday tri group at the Burlington Y and her running clinic and her half iron training program for July next year. (what's happening to me?)


  2. Thanks so much for your encouragement! My first tri was also a women's only event - hybrid and city bikes galore! Good luck on Sunday - I'm sure you'll do great!!

  3. You are a superfan! Can I rent you and the boys to come out to my next race? That is awesome that you guys were cheering the way you were. I get a HUGE boost when random people cheer me on or high five me. Screw the tri-snobs, you and the boys have it right!
    Jenn Lopes



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