Race Report: Edmonton ITU Triathlon

By Keegan Brooks
There was a big Fiera/U of A Tri Club contingent at Edmonton ITU World Cup race on July 10th, including Lesley, Laura, Travis, Pat, Becky, Michelle B., Michèle V., and myself.  I think that was everyone.  The race was set to start in the pond at Hawrelak Park.  This is how my race went down.
This was the first Olympic distance triathlon of the season for me.  A wet and rainy day made me a little worried.  Haven’t liked racing in the wet and cold in the past.  Swam in the pond at Hawrelak Park which was not as bad as I thought it was going to be.  Need to sight more often, too much zig zagging.

Had a swim time of 22:02 for a pace of 1:29 / 100m.  Long run to transition.  I had set up socks and gloves and a vest in transition just in case.  I told Travis and Pat this beforehand they basically told me to man up.  Didn’t put on any of them and it wasn’t anywhere as bad in wet and cold as I thought it would be.  Bike had 8 hills and was loads of fun.  I think there were spots that I could have gone faster though, for the example the flatter sections.  Got a 1:09 with a 34kph average.

Keegan and the looong run to Transition 1.

Let me describe the bike course for you.  After the long run from the “beach” you ride out of Hawrelak park and over Groat Road heading towards Emily Murphy (the hill not the women’s right activist).  With lactic acid already building up in the first little bit of the ride you take a sharp right down Saskatchewan Drive.  Sask Dr. is flat and where you can come up to speed before the first descent down Groat under the overpass, over the bridge and up to 107th on the North side of the river.  This is where the real fun starts.  Coming down the twisting Groat Road back to Hawrelak is truly epic.  It is not a road that a cyclist could just bomb down on any day of the week.  The fast line is easy is to see but riding it as fast as you possibly can in the rain made it even more exciting.  Coming back over the bridge into Hawrelak, there was the turn around.  Just after the turn around a chicane was surprisingly fun.  I positioned myself wider out of the 180 degree turn around.  There was a straight line through the chicane by getting as close as you could to the edges of the road.  I would stand up to pedal through the chicane as the volunteers were yelling to slow down.

Anywho, off the bike the legs felt good, a little heavy but the feeling went away.  This was an out and back so I was able to see the leaders on the other way in.  I found myself with “Dreads Guy,” about two kilometers in.  I passed him and he stayed right on my heels until about a kilometer left when he kicked.  I hammered to try to catch him and for about 20 seconds I was right there.  Couldn’t hold on to him and let off a bit.  He had awesome finish.  Nearly lost another spot when this guy surged near the finishing straight but he made the mistake of turning too early into the turn-around lane.  He came back fierce and I ran as fast as I could.

Finished with a 40:09 10k with a 4:01 average. I knew I could do close to 40:00 min 10k but I’m still really surprised.  Total time, 2:11:08. Tremendous ego booster! Second in my age group.  This time would have put me top ten in my age group at Nationals in Kelowna.  As a cherry on top, Triathlon Canada had offered 2 spots for each age group for the 2012 ITU Worlds in Auckland.  I’ve made my application and waiting on their response.  I’m pumped and I’m going to start another Build phase and attempt to break 2:11 in Kelowna.  Boosh.   Thanks to everyone that came out and cheered us on, Jan, Lenka, Josh, Mike, and my Uncle Joe.

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