This past weekend I raced one of the Pacific North West best kept secret events. The illustrious Pemberton Triathlon in beautiful Pemberton, BC. I was lucky enough to get a free spot to the almost sold out race and headed out there Saturday morning with my sights set on the podium. For those not familiar with this bucket-list of a race, here’s a brief description from the race director:
First Annual Totally Unofficial, Completely Unsanctioned and Probably Illegal Pemberton Triathlon. Remember the good old days? Back when we didn’t have kids (or at least not as many kids), we were feisty competitors, nothing hurt and we’d think nothing of driving 10 hours to get to a race? Yeah, me neither. Anyway,… it’s time to bring those days back – or at least some semblance of those days. When: Saturday, June 28. 9am-ish. (If it turns out everyone is busy, we’ll find another day.) Where: One Mile Lake, Pemberton. Course: Swim – 1.5Kish There’s a bunch of buoys in One Mile and a couple of docks. Loosely, it’s a deep water start at the dock, swim to the other dock at the other end then head to the buoys and swim around those a few times. Or something. Bike – 45Kish Honour system! Bike to the end of the Meadows, turn around at the Hurley road. I might paint a turnaround arrow on the road. I might not. **XTerra Edition: Ride Lumpy’s Epic instead. Run – 10Kish From the lake/transition, run the Sea-to-Sky trail to Nairn Falls. Turn around at the Falls. Come back. Don’t cheat. Finish line will be on the beach somewhere. Crowds will be going wild. 5 second time bonus for anyone who swims without a wetsuit. 10 second time bonus for anyone who races Faris Al-Sultan style (look it up).
Pre-race: I stuck to my usual pre-race plan. Up a few minutes before I have to leave, have my mom pick me up, drive to the start about 2 mins into the pre-race briefing and playing of the national anthem. My nerves were under control however, as I knew my two weeks off battling a cold and not sitting my butt on a bike seat was excellent lead up to this race.
SWIM: Still battling a cold-onset ear infection and the lake is probably home to more than one creature of the bog; I opted for the Duathlon option. One loop of the lake (or something like that) watching the swimmers and then head out on my bike.
BIKE: I got out on my bike a little behind the leader and worked hard to catch him, but seeing as he was about 3cm away from a relay cyclist heading into the wind I wasn’t closing the gap. So I got into a steady rhythm and focused on watching the Ironman athletes out training on the Whistler course. Such pretty bikes they have. Oooh, look at his fancy helmet. I stayed well fueled out on the bike with a few salty balls I had chucked in my jersey so they’d get all mushy and go down easy and the two week old water left in the bottle I found in my car before the start. MMM, plasticy.
RUN: I hit T2 feeling pretty good about my position and head out on the run with another relay member that just happens to be an elite runner. I didn’t see much more of her. I run up the big hill and about then my ear started to pop. I couldn’t hear anything but myself breathing and looking down the hill that I’d just have to come back up I figured I’d run far enough. I turned back and took the win in the duathlon race!
Can’t wait to defend my title next year (or later this year as it might become a biannual event.)