Monday, 22 June 2015

Toronto Triathlon Festival: 1'st OA 1:54:30

Racing at Toronto Triathlon Festival this past weekend was a great way to cap off three solid weekends of racing.  I raced in Woodstock two weekends ago, in Welland last weekend, and then at TTF this past weekend.  I wasn't sure how I was going to recover coming off the half iron (Welland), but I was feeling good and ended up having a great race!

Race backdrop


The half iron in Welland last week took a lot out of me, and I spent the entire week trying to recover and gain back my lost weight (I was down to 142 lb from my pre race 146 lb).  Luckily by race morning, I had my weight back on (thanks to some delicious Mexican food).

Race morning was a bit weird.  I woke up to find my nose bleeding pretty good (which luckily didn't continue), and then I found out I was starting in the fourth wave (usually I'm right at the front).  Luckily, after having raced so much recently, I was pretty relaxed heading in, and I just rolled with the days events.


The water was pretty cold on Sunday, and for a pretty lean guy like me, I never tend to do well in the cold.  Luckily I took some DIY precautions, and was able to stay warm.

I was in the fourth wave...but got some fast feet!
I started back in the fourth wave with the rest of the 20-24 age group and also the 35-39 AG, and had a pretty clean start.  I really wanted to find a good pair of feet to sit on, and I was able to find one swimmer (not sure who) who was swimming at a perfect pace for me.  We swam perfectly straight, and I didn't leave his draft once (I never touched his feet so he probably didn't know I was even there).  The thought crossed my mind where I wondered if I was just being lazy or just becoming a bit of a smarter athlete...

Ready to go ride


We had passed a lot of people in the swim, so by the time I was on the bike, there were not huge amounts of people to go by.  My race day got a bit weirder when my water bottle decided to fall out of its holder at the beginning of the bike...I didn't even get one sip.

It was fun to have people to chase down on the bike, as it kept my interest and focus up though the ride.  I was near a few other strong cyclists, and I rode back and forth (with the required gap) with Kirk Hopkins.  I just told myself just to ride steady, and that the race was going to come down to the run.  Cam Black was out in the front of the race with the escort (since he had started in the first wave), and I was about 2:30 down on him going into the run.


I was feeling good coming off the bike, and after last weeks half iron, only having to run 10km seemed like nothing.  I was with about four other guys, and we started the run all together.  I got out into the front and got to work chasing down Cam in the front.  

Staying relaxed and getting into my stride
At the turnaround, I was only about 40 seconds back, so I knew I was making good progress.  I caught up to Cam with maybe 2.5km to go (aprox) and quickly moved into the lead position.  It was a cool experience to be leading the run (with the motorcycle and bike escorts) heading into the finish (in many past experiences, I have been the lead runner who has been caught/passed).  I kept running strong and crossed the line first for my first overall win of the season!!

Crossing the line first and winning the race!!

Post Race

It was a great feeling to win the race with a strong run.  I have been working incredibly hard to improve in that discipline, and today it payed off (and I even had the fastest run split)!  
It was also great to have my family at the finish and also have Catalina and her family there to cheer me on.  It was so nice to have their support!  Unfortunately my dad couldn't make it to the race, but I'd say a win was a pretty solid fathers day present.

Family shot (minus papa bear and Matt)!  Nice face Andy...

And to make my day even better, I won the prize pack from Toronto Triathlon Club (from the draw I entered the day before).  What a day!

I just kept winning today!
Receiving my trophy!

A big thanks goes to all those who helped put on the race, and also to Multisport Canada and eLoad nutrition for their the continued support.  Also a big shout out to all the Mettle athletes at the race!!

Also, if the words and pictures didn't quite do it for you, here is some exclusive video footage of my run into the finish and post race.  


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