Thursday, June 20, 2013

Spectating at Guelph Lake I Triathlon Weekend

Guess where I've been since my last post? In the office!! I started a new job on June 10 and all of a sudden my blogging time dissolved into thin air. I don't even have an excuse and say "but I was working out like crazy", because I totally took the week off. I needed to heal and stop the cough that was keeping me up all night. I only went swimming at Professor's Lake with the tri club on Thursday and commuted to work by bike on Friday for a total of 1.5h of exercise. I never took taper so seriously, you bet! My first triathlon of the year was on Sunday, but you will have to wait one more blog post for the race recap.

This one is dedicated to my friends from FMCT who raced on Saturday in the Try-a-Tri and Sprint races: Lauren, Rebecca and Anya. I was there with my camera and my pair of red pom-poms. My vocal chords were on duty as well, but I tried to keep the screaming to a minimum and not tempt the asthma devil. Don't worry, I managed to put in stupid by other means... more on that later.

The Try-a-Tri was going to start at 10am and the Sprint at 1pm. After one hour drive to Guelph, I made it there around 9:30am and right away I started looking for Lauren who was going to do the Try-a-Tri, her first triathlon ever. I quickly looked inside the transition area, but I couldn't see her, so I headed to the beach where most of the athletes were preparing for the race either swimming, chatting with family and friends, battling with their wetsuit or looking in the distance, lost in their meditative thoughts.
Getting ready
The second part of the swim: the HILL
Beach party
I found Lauren in the water (64F that morning) and she didn't look scared. Look at that smile!! She is really a great swimmer, so I had no doubts that she was going to kill it. I took a picture, then went to talk to her family and Lorene (sorry if this gets confusing), one of our FMCT coaches who also came to spectate. You're lucky that Lorraine, another friend from the club wasn't there as well, or you would have needed brain CPR from all the confusion around their names.
Lauren looking confident
Lauren was going to be in the first wave after the elites, so it all went pretty fast once the time arrived to jump in the water. Waves were separated by 2 minutes, so I got to watch the show more than once. It was really awesome, my first time witnessing the beach mass start - very Ironman like, just like on TV!
And they're off!
This was going to be a very short swim and 5 minutes later the first elite man was already coming out of the water. The guy in the picture below was for sure in the top 5 and he looked just like Simon Whitfield.
Simon's brother from another mother
Alas I was messing up with the settings on my camera and all of a sudden there was Lauren, and she zoomed passed me and up the hill towards transition. I didn't manage to take a pic, but I went to the exit of the transition where she was going to start the bike course and I caught her there.
Lauren leaving on a bike ride
There was no point going anywhere for 20min, so I positioned myself a bit higher up the road where there was a speed bump that was going to make the athletes slow down, perfect for pictures. Most seasoned athletes were coming in fast anyway and showcasing their perfect dismount techniques. It was rather impressive to watch.
Dismount like a winner
Here was Ian MacKinnon, the 16yr old who went on winning the race after the short run that followed. 
There were also funny moments, it is a try-a-tri after all. The race marshall was doing a great job telling everyone to slow down and dismount before the line. However I witnessed quite a few misses and people had to come back on foot and cross the lane again. 

This dog was not amused. 
But this one was definitely impressed.

Thankfully all went well for Lauren. There she is finishing the bike leg.
I then ran to the transition exit where I got to see her leaving onto the run.
Tadaaaa! Isn't she looking strong? Next photo op in 2.5k!
Last photo is from the run towards the chute, powering those legs like a champ! Lauren finished shortly after and I am so so proud of her!! I really hope that she enjoyed the experience, weather wise, it was definitely the best day she could have asked for. The venue was nice and the cheering squad was loud, if only we remembered to put sunscreen on. The sun was hitting hard as we were approaching noon time and I had to buy  a cap for fear of getting a heat stroke just before the race. I know how to mess my chances up, believe me.
The Finish Line
Medals for those who placed on the podium
For lunch I had a homemade energy bar and water. I even refused to buy a hotdog because that didn't sound like a good idea. Spent some time at the race expo and bought myself a Subaru Triathlon Series bike jersey ($50), a 2XU pink tri top ($20) which I decided to wear the next day in the race, a pair of Sugoi rainbow compression socks ($20) and a tri kit for hubbs ($40). As I was wandering with no particular aim, I noticed that athletes for the Sprint triathlon were now lining up at the registration tents. And just I was walking back, I saw Anya, getting her sharpie on.
Body marking for Anya
We chatted for a few minutes, told her that Lauren and I were going to hang around until the end of the Sprint and she'd better smile for the camera :-) So far so good!
I returned to my car to empty my bag and refill my water bottle, then once again, went to the beach to watch the athletes jump in like fish. I found Rebecca who was all cheery too.
Soon thereafter waves of red, baby blue, purple, pink and dark blue caps took over the lake.The wait was a bit longer, but worthwhile. Look at this brave man. No leg, no problem! 
Willing is winning
As soon as Rebecca made it back, I followed her to transition and pretty much relived the morning excitement, with twice as many people. It was quite the mayhem at times, the bike exit didn't seem to be large enough for all the people in the middle of the pack. My head was spinning, my finger kept clicking. Took a bunch of pictures, my first time spectating and I was on fire! I blame the sun too, by then it was at its highest and meanest. I did not feel its teeth. I should have thought of it...
Bike out for Rebecca
Bike out for Anya
Rebecca's back!
So many bikes!
Hello again, Mister! Respect!
Rebecca sees the finish!
A VERY excited Anya!
Everyone finished with a smile! After more hugs and congrats, I packed my camera and my tired legs and headed back home. I was spent. Who knew that spectating two triathlons in a day was a workout in itself? I am really glad to have been able to attend and see my friends having fun out there. It was also a perfect way for me to get acquainted with the venue and conquer some of the anxiety that was slowly creeping in.

As to my sunburn, the picture below should sum it well. 
Roasted marshmallow
To see all pictures that I took that day, you can go to my Flickr stream by clicking HERE. Enjoy and don't forget to come back later for my race report!


  1. You are such an awesome trooper for coming out to snap pics and cheer us on. Woohoo for you!

    1. You guys were so inspiring, I took it all in! It was a lot of fun. Thank YOU!