This is going to be a short and sweet race report judging Toronto Triathlon Festival (TTF) race course and as a destination race.
“You drove how far for an Olympic?”
Around two years ago approaching the tail end of COVID, one of my co-workers confessed they were interested in doing a triathlon. I said “if you ever do one, I’ll be there.” Time to honor that promise. For me Toronto was around a 10-11hr drive from Virginia depending on traffic and crossing the boarder, so I took an extended weekend from work and drove up on Friday, Check-in / Practice Swim on Sat, race Sunday, drive back home on Monday. I rented an Airbnb of a tiny condo, but it was within walking distance of the race start/finish which was my biggest priority as I didn’t want to deal with trying to drive in downtown traffic with my truck.
Note, since I’m racing in Canada all measurements will be metric vs. imperial.
So yes, this is Toronto Canada for an Olympic distance race of 1500m swim, 40km bike, and 10km run. The beginning of this year my run was terrible as I was doing a terrible job of listening to my body and trying to do to much resulting in injury, recovery, running for two weeks, injury, then repeat several times. It wasn’t until about April that I could actually start running constantly without injury. My biggest concern was 100% the run.
The swim was in a channel which protected us from the rough waters of Lake Ontario. The water temp was perfect, but more importantly wetsuit legal. The water was really nice, I could see anywhere 2-3 meters depending if the sun was able to shiny through. There was a lot of seaweed at the beginning so I occasionally had to claw my way through a patch or wait for a strand which was clinging to my face finally decide to wash away, but overall one of the best swims I had in a long time as I was calm, didn’t have to stop and hang on a kayak, and finished at my expected pace.
The bike was fast as they closed off Gardiner Expressway to have the entire highway to ourselves! Once exiting transition we made our way to the highway where it was an out and back route. The first half was mostly an incline, then had to turn around and then we could enjoy the ride back. To make the full 40km bike there was another turn around towards the end of the highway so we can then find the correct “off ramp” back to transition (unlike the course image on TTF’s website). I really enjoyed the bike as I pushed myself on the downhills.
Transition was quick and off to the run, which I knew I was going to like. I’ve lost a lot of speed over the past years and really can’t run fast anymore. I had a goal for a specific pace and while I was close there were too many aid station walks and gastral discomfort. The route had us run over a bridge, travel through the Marilyn Bell Park and then back on Lake Shore Blvd taking an entire lane of traffic twice, then return back over the bridge to the finish line. There were plenty of spectators cheering for their families and friends.
Post Race Thoughts
This is a great first time race event as it was well planned and relatively easy course with a protected swim, the bike is on an Expressway that is well maintained, and the run is about 50% shade and has plenty of spots for people to cheer for you (especially on the back half of the route). If you are looking for a destination race to visit Toronto, even better. I’ll most likely not return as the drive was a little long when you think of the race total time is less than three hours.
I’m happiest about the bike as I did fairly well against other males in my age range (top 25%) and happy with the swim as I was only 90s way from the top 25%. My biggest downfall is the run as the top men could do the 10k run in 45m or less, I’m struggling to keep my run under 60m. Somehow I need to get faster on the run.
- Overall: Placed 213th out of 757 (top third)
- Gender: Placed 173rd out of 575 (top third)
- Male 45-49: Placed 21st out of 48 (top half)
|EVENT Sprint||1.5km swim||T1||40km Bike||T2||10km Run||Total|
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