Montreal speed demon

Bike corneing video
My Olympic distance triathlon at the Montreal triathlon festival went very well, I beat my personal best over the distance by 9-minutes, 13-seconds. As always could have done better, the following self flagellation isn’t meant to suggest I had a bad day or a bad race, just a reminder on things to improve on.

Did race registration Friday, which was pretty simple and uncomplicated, even though I am a 2006 British Triathlon member, and a current USA Triathlon member, I still had to pay the $11 Canadian  day license. I was number 366 and only had to get numbered and pick up my chip on Sunday. 

Arrived early on Sunday, the Esprit(IM) and has the demi-esprit(half) distance races had already started, and the last swimmers were just coming out of the water. After getting numbered and racked I could afford to sit around in the sun. It was going to be a great day. The swim was in a rowing lake that was 2km long, for the Olympic distance we went in a straight line 700m, turned right for 100m across the lake and then swam back in a straight line for another 700m.

The bike course was on the F1 car racing circuit which was literally next to the rowing lake. It was almost completely flat with a hairpin and a few turns. Of course what is a hairpin to an F1 racing car is almost a straight road(240mph vs 25mph), but still lots riders ended up breaking their line into the corner and making it difficult for the faster riders to pass. Its one of the reasons cyclists make fun of triathletes, as we tend to treat everything like a race, inexperienced triathletes tend to take all corners this way, fast in, fast out. I got around this by shouting on “yer-left” at every corner, even if I wasn’t ;-) – 9-complete laps made up the 41km Olympic distance bike course. 

The run was back around the rowing lake twice, 4.5km long, which meant we had a slight detour at the start to add-in the extra distance. The run included a small purpose built bridge that crossed over the swim exit and it was needed, the days races, culminating in the elite Olympic distance race, which used to be an ITU World Cup, were evenly spread throughout the day and there were still people in the water as we finished. Which meant that, although the bike course got busy, it was never packed and I didn’t see any real drafting.

My race, well I’ve learned this year not to try to mix it in the middle of the main pack, as I’m a slow starter and get faster as I go. Our wave was all the Men 40-49, I hung back in the last 1/3rd and then spent the first 100m wondering why, I was getting kicked and punched by the slow guys as much as the fast guys. Once we turned at halfway though there was clear water ahead and I pushed on as fast as I could. I exited the water, went under the bridge, stepped to one side and immediately stopped  and took off my wetsuit and finished the run into transition. 

It was as I’d speculated a long run to the mount line, everything went well and I was soon on, the Garmin 305 started, as I went to the left to join the race track I picked up the pace and put my first foot in my shoe, pedalled some and still on the right of the track put the 2nd in and was then racing for proper!

I tried to maintain an even pace on the bike, I was hoping for a 23MPH average as it should have been a fast course. As I found out over the next few laps, a flat course doesn’t make a fast one. I was able to get and maintain 26-27MPH for various durations over the first 3-laps. However, really I was doing this by ignoring what my HRM was telling me and going at 100%, this was  a mistake. My average pace for the first few laps was 2-mins 35 seconds per mile, which meant I was lapping just under 7-minutes. You can see the lap stats in the following. Note that the 1st lap is actually the first two laps of the bike. The 10th lap includes the run to transition and out, 10th/11th are the run course.

Despite some of my performances earlier in the year where my average had been 23MPH over similar or longer distances, maintaining a constant speed was actually much harder than slowing down going up hills and then being able to exploit my power to weight ratio going down. Oh well.

An interesting learning lesson was that I’dput 2x Ibruprofin in a sandwich bag in my tri top pocket, I sat up to take these out on the last lap of the bike only to find them all messy and squishy, no use. Must go back to taping them to the top tube, or stem with electrical tape. 

The highlight of the bike was my corning. I took most of the corners on my aero bars, and over took loads of people who were less confident and sitting up, or who took the corners much wider. It did feel a little unsafe at first, but with an excellent road surface and new’ish tyres it was pretty straight forward. You can see a video from one corner here.

In off the bike I had a reasonable T2, my legs were tired and my run into transition wasn’t as fast as normal. Once I’d racked my bike I also took 10-seconds to have a last drink from my aero bottle. Then it was out on the run.

I was pretty steady on the first 3km of the run, but then started to tire, I caught up with 174 who was on the last part of his first Half IM race, went chatted a little and then I encouraged him to sprint to the finish for the crowd. The final lap was a long slog, the bad thing about a very straight run is you can see how far you have to go; the good thing is the same. When it hurts the finish is a long way away, when you can see the finish you know how far it is to sprint. 

A great race, great location. Downtown Montreal is fun. Walked the 5-miles up and back to Mount Royal in afternoon. Great restaurants, interesting clothes shops, in fact an ideal University town, which is what it is.

Stats from the race:

Finish position: 210/376 Overall
My overall time: 2:38:04 Time(PB)
Overall winners time: 2:01:03
Age group place: 21/36 
Swim Time: 26:29 swim cat: 14th, 124th overall
Bike Time: 1:10:13, bike cat: 16th, 137th overall; Bike kmph: 34.2 Bike MPH:21.25
Run Time: 1:01:23, bike cat: 30th, 314th overall

Google Maps view of the race location via Garmin 305 GPS.

MotionBased race tracking, starts from just after the mount point on the bike.

Full race results

For the record, the Esprit(Full IM) distance race had 53-starters and the winner, Rick Hellard from Canada, finished in 8:41:14, more than an hour before the 2nd place guy. The faster female, Caroline Boisselle, won in 10:54:00 almost 2-hours ahead of the 2nd place woman. In the Half distance, demi esprit race, the male winner was Luc Morin, 4:04:14, and the female winner, 04:30:35  Annie Gervais in 04:30:35.

The event website

 Click on the picture above to see me cornering on my aerobars.

  • Current Location: Warsaw, Poland
  • Current Mood: Tired
  • Current Music: Insomnia - Faithless (I can't get no sleep)
omg you went to Canada from Poland to race?! And what a great race it sounds like. I like flat, but I can imagine how it's more difficult. Like spinning...
No, I went from NY to Canada to race, about a 7-hour drive at the speed limit speeds; then I drove back to NYC; then I flew to Poland, I'm here until Friday morning, about 1am EST I fly to the UK, then to NYC/JFK then down to Tampa to race on Sunday at Clearwater...
i can't see the video! is it posted anywhere else?
weird, it just won't play. i even tried downloading it to my computer but no go. sorry.
Great Job well done!! not sure how you handle all of the traveling, time differences & continents,and still have time to rain & race well !!!
Great Job!!
This was great
This was the best illistration of what you have to do over a race. I love the heart rates and speeds. I've always seen pro times and rates. I always thought i was horribly out of shape because i didn't match those. thanks for the great post