The Subaru West Triathlon series is a group of events that were recently acquired by WTC. This year the Victoria event was an IM 70.3 event and the Saskatoon Olympic distance race I took part in this weekend was categorized a 5150. The difference for this race was that a time handicap was established between the pro men and women and an additional prize purse was allotted to the first PERSON across the line. I was planning/hoping this to be a girl’s year.
Interview props for the TSN coverage
The time gap proved to be generous (16 minutes) but only because the course conditions could not have suited me better (and because I had an astonishingly good race). Although I got semi-smoked in the swim by both Alison Hooper and Alex Coates, in incredibly choppy conditions (windy lake swims are my swimming Achilles heel) the deficit was erased within 10 kilometers thanks to the gusting wind blowing us all over the road. These conditions are right in my wheelhouse. Riding fast on a flat and windy course is a breeze on a Trek Speed Concept (the most aero triathlon bike) with fast Bontrager Aeolus wheels and Shimano Di2, my rocketship, along with the proven fastest aero helmet from Rudy Project, the Wing57. I even put the handy magnetic tail on the back of it to maximize my hole-in-the-wind-punching ability and honestly, it was fantastic. I felt like a marvel of aerodynamic invention and my aero position established by Nes at Studeo DNA is becoming more and more comfortable for me which is reflected in my splits.
Racing ITU speedsters is always challenging as their superior high end can often trump the strength of a long course athlete. However, I have been working very, very hard on high end in recent weeks to try to make my 70.3 pace more impressive so I was ready to do battle. I blasted through the bike course had a solid gap off the bike despite following the lead car off course instead of following the well-marked and very well marshalled course to T2 (DOH!!). What’s another precious few seconds, right? I am a rookie of being the very first PERSON…..
Another Trek fastest trip back to transition… this time first person overall!
This photo was taken by a volunteer named Heather Smith who was volunteering since her friend raced the sprint event. Thanks for the awesome photo Heather!
I was quite panicked for the first 5km of the run and felt concerned that the course was so going by very slowly for me. I had expected flat and fast but when I got on it there was not much flat and many obstacles/switchbacks in my way of going fast. However, even the superfast ITU boys ran 34 minutes so again, running by GPS splits is not better than running by feel. Speedy Taylor Reid’s 34 minute run couldn’t make up enough time although it did earn him the top step in the men’s race. Barry Shepley’s group in Caledon is definitely making headway in the battle for producing Canadian triathlon talent. In the last kilometer I was being cheeky and stopped to wait for the boys to see if I could just tease them within sight of the line but after a bit I decided it was better to just go ahead and win before I pull a hamstring and DNF or something dumb like that. I am the oldest pro after all, s$&*t can happen!
So I say yay! for another win, for another very strong bike and for another strong run. Yay! for the girls that we won the chase and yay! for long course dominating the ITU speedsters on this round. Congrats to Alex for turning around a very stressful morning where she had no bike and earning second place and to Alison Hooper who ran very fast to take third spot. Taylor beat Jeff Symonds out in the men’s event and Brent McMahon took third.
Thank you very much to Paul Regensburg at for the invitation, thank you to Subaru Saskatoon for setting up Brent and I in a pimpin’ new Tribeca to go spin donuts in the fields in (not really) and thank you to the town of Saskatoon for the warm welcome, great volunteers, and beautiful course. My first visit to Saskatoon was amazing. Thank you!!
Thanks to Blueseventy for super fast wetsuits, goggles and speedsuits. Thank you to Trek, Shimano, Powerbar, Rudy Project helmets and glasses, Powerbar and Bontrager for being my dream team and helping me rock out on the bike to win this race. Thanks to Champion System for sweet looking custom kits. Thanks to Sci Con Travel Cases for getting me to Saskatoon. Thanks Synergy Wellness Management for keeping me healthy and Mindful Strides for bringing my run back in competition. Thanks to Frontrunners Westshore, Saltstick, USANA, Procity Racing and Wiink2 for the continued support 🙂
Goody bags for pros
My favorite vendor in the public market 🙂