Better late than never I guess… So here goes! My race report for the Kelowna Cherry Blossom Triathlon:
The day on a whole went according to plan in a lot of ways, although, just like any race there are things to improve and do better on next time.
My goal for the swim was to hold technique, speed, and stroke count consistent for the entire swim, while being the fastest lady in the water. I also wanted to improve on my swim time of 11 minutes from last year.
While I did hold my technique quite consistent, my stroke count and speed slipped a little bit as the swim wore on. I started the swim second, and ended up being 4th out of the water, with one of those who passed me being a lady. I didn’t hit all my goals, but my end swim time definitely showed improvement from last year, as I swam about 10:15 to improve by 45 seconds from 2015.
I had a really good transition. I passed back the other lady in T1, and made up time on the other two in front of me as well. I ran out, hopped on my bike, and as I’d had some really good bike sessions lately, felt confident that I could have a really good ride.
My goal for the bike was to keep control of my breathing, but to push it, HARD. I wanted to try to improve on my previous time of 40:30 from last year. One other goal I had set for the bike was to try for the QOM on one of the laps, as I had just missed it the year before.
I immediately passed one of the guys who had been ahead of me, moving me into 2nd on the course. I realized that a bunch of the top men who started behind me would soon catch and pass me, but my goal was to stay ahead of all other ladies. Once I was done the first lap, I started chasing other people down who were just starting their first lap. It was fun to set those little goals. For the QOM, I had decided that I was going to pace it up the first climb, go hard on the second, and then steady on the third. I did manage to have the fastest lady’s time up on my second lap, so I won a coffee basket from Cherry Hill Coffee shop… (Even though I don’t drink coffee, my mom enjoyed itJ.) My final time on the ride was 39:26, so about a minute faster than last year. My splits were quite consistent, getting a little bit faster on the second than the first, and then holding it close on the last lap. I really enjoyed my first race on my speedy new Cannondale!:)
My bike to run transition was also super quick. I didn’t have any trouble, and headed out quite quickly on the run.
Last year I held back at the beginning, and then built slowly, based on breathing, to where I gave it everything I had the last 750-1000m. This year, the plan was to go out faster, but still controlled, for the first 3km. The turnaround was right at the 2km-to-go mark, so the goal was to accelerate out of the turn, and hammer the last 2km. I also wanted to chase down as many people as I could see on the run.
I felt good out of transition. I knew I had a little bit of a gap on the only other lady who I knew how much ahead I had to cross the finish line in. I needed a 30 second gap. I held consistent on the first 3km still, controlling my breathing, and trying to keep my cadence up with a good lean in my form. As soon as I hit the turnaround, two things happened. The first was that I accelerated as planned, and felt good, as it was downhill or flat for most of the rest of the race. The second was that I saw the other lady closer than the 30second gap I needed to win. That was all the motivation I needed.:) I sped up my cadence and opened up my stride a bit more. It was a painful last 2kms, but after coming 3rd a year ago, I really wanted to win it this year. I ran the last 2km much faster than the first 3, and felt really strong doing it. It was a good realization of what I was capable of. I ran a 22min flat, almost a minute faster than the year before. I was happy with the run, and actually a little surprised that the time wasn’t faster because of the way the last 2k felt. I didn’t catch anybody on the run, but only Ian (Crosthwaite) and two other men went by me during the run, so that wasn’t too bad. J
I ended up winning the race for the ladies, but just barely! (17sec) It was a lot of fun, and I’m actually really glad it was close because it made me push the last 2km even harder. All in all it was a solid overall race. I took off about 3min from my overall time on the same course last year, but was extremely happy because it was an even split of about a 1min improvement on each discipline! It was really great to get my legs under me, as I was quite nervous for the race, but now know I have a baseline to build off of in the summer. It was also super exciting to win it, as that was my first win since I was 12 in a Kids of Steel raceJ.
The three major things that stand out to me as the biggest areas I can improve on in my next races and throughout the summer are:
The biggest positive thing for me was to see the huge improvements in all aspects of my triathlon, which has to be attributed to my coaches, John, Luke, and Andrew. Thanks for all the work you’ve put into helping me improve this winter, so I can do this!
17 year-old Junior Elite Triathlete
Long Term Goals