The week before Barrelman, I was in Chicago cheering on my girlfriend Catalina Maass (yes she has a blog now...click her name to check it out!!), as she competed in the AG world sprint championships. She did exceptionally well, and her, and her family, were also very encouraging for me heading into my race. Focusing on her race and also touring around the city was perfect for keeping me relaxed heading into the half iron.
After a long drive back from Chicago on Friday, I headed to Niagara on Saturday afternoon. We stayed over, and I got to the race feeling fresh.
I found out in the race briefing that I would not be able to start with the pro wave. Instead, I would be leaving one minute behind them in my AG wave.
|Barrelman race start at the Welland Flatwater Centre (Anthony Gallaccio)|
SwimSince all of the pro swimmers would be one minute ahead of me at the start, I was hoping for a fast AG swimmer to help me bridge the gap. The gun went off, and after only a few strokes, I could see I was the fastest one in the wave. I just focused on good stroke and steady breathing, and I came out of the water with a decent time. I was the first AG athlete out of the water, and I had even passed a large group of pros during the swim (swim exit video below)
BikeThe ride began with us riding away from Niagara and there was a decent tailwind. There were still a few pros ahead of me who I was able to see and chase down on the bike. At around 30km into the course, we headed back towards Niagara, and were met by a pretty strong headwind. Unlike my last half (where I overcooked it on the bike), I wanted to ride steady and get off the bike feeling good. I was passed by a few cyclists (one of which was the eventual winner), but I let them go and stuck to my pace.
|Starting off the bike|
One, was that the race leader Alex Vanderlinden had a bad crash into a police car when he missed a turn. His bike was totally wrecked and he went flying. Fortunately, he is ok.
|Alex's bike post crash (from his blog post)|
The other was that I noticed some really bad drafting among some of the pros. There was some very clear drafting violations going on with a group of four pro riders, but there were no officials present on the second half of the course to give penalties. I was pretty upset as I watched this group pull ahead out of sight and put time on me. I beat them all in the end, but still...
RunI got off the bike feeling a lot better than I did in Welland. I had a nice bounce in my stride and ran the first 10km loop of the run in 40min and was gaining time on those ahead.
|Crossing the line with nothing left|
OverallI'm happy and satisfied with my race at the Barrelman. I finished the race with a decent time, I didn't go off course (like Kingston) or have a fall (like Wasaga). I came off the bike feeling much better than I did in Welland, and ran pretty well. My legs just don't seem to have energy to stand after the race though.
|I literally couldn't stand|
The half iron distance is still new for me and I definitely have a lot to learn. I know I made a few nutritional mistakes during this race, but I'm looking forward to improving in the future!
|I won a bottle of Niagara wine and a Timex watch!|
A big thanks goes to the whole team at Multisport Canada for putting on such an amazing race and for their fantastic support all year long!
Big thanks also to my sponsors eload (for keeping me fueled for this long race) and Nineteen (for their help with keeping me swimming fast).
And of course, HUGE thanks to my family, friends, and coaches, (and all my amazing blog readers) for your support, guidance, and encouragement. Couldn't do it without you guys!!
Thanks for a GREAT year!!!
|Nice shot running by the falls|