Sunday, August 20th was the Northern Triathlon, held in Orillia, ON. This was the eighth stop on the Subaru series, and not coincidentally, my eighth race of the year.

After racing on own own for a while, my good friend Blair (who happens to be the only person who I REALLY want to beat) was also doing this race. We discussed heading up on Saturday, but due to our lack of foresight and unavailability of hotel rooms, we were stuck driving up on Sunday morning. Now, for those of you who don’t know Ontario geography, it is approximately 200km from my home in Kitchener to Orillia. 200km makes for a two hour drive!!! With the nice early 8am race start time, this meant a 4:30am departure and a 4am wakeup!!!

So, with all of four hours sleep under my belt, I hauled myself and my gear down to the car and got on the road. My friend Derek, who really must not have a life anymore, decided he also wanted to get up at 4am so he could come cheer us on!!

Arriving in Orillia at 6:45am, the weather was overcast and cool. I was very happy to have my wetsuit this fine morning!! However, I was also looking forward to a race where we didn’t have to worry about getting baked by the heat!!

My main goal for this race was to push myself on the run. In my recent sprint distance races, I have gotten off the bike and kept a relatively slow pace over the first few kilometres of the run, not wanting to crash and burn. So I wanted to really try to hammer out a fast run in this one!

SWIM: 750m – 15:24 (2:04/100m)
8/27 M25-29, 124/652 Overall

The water was pretty choppy, and judging from my rankings, I think the swim times were slow for everyone. I managed to get through relatively well, and took off on the bike a minute and a half behind Blair.

BIKE: 33 km – 59:17 (33.4 km/h)
8/27 M25-29, 124/652 Overall

The bike course started with a long, slow incline, and I struggled to get my bike shoes on and strapped up. I may need to work on that a little more to smooth things out, since I think I lost some time there. The bike course had a lot of turns, and it was pretty technical. However, I hammered it out as best I could, and to my surprise, I caught up with Blair around the 30km mark. I quickly learned why – his hand was bloody and knee scraped up from the wipeout he took, riding up a hill of all things!! We rode the last 3km together, and I knew I had a good shot at taking him on the run. Check us out coming into T2 – I’m laughing because Blair was trash-talking about me running like a “baby” with my bare feet!

Dan & Blair - Orillia - 2006 - T2

RUN: 7 km – 27:42 (3:58/km)
7/27 M25-29, 60/652 Overall

I came out of T2 with Blair a step behind. Here’s another great shot – thanks Wolfgang!

Dan & Blair - Orillia - 2006 - Run

I pushed the run right from the start, and quickly lost Blair. I hovered around 4:00/km the whole way through, and was passing quite a few people on the run. I pushed hard at the end, and cruised in just under 28 minutes – my first sub-4:00/km run split yet in a triathlon!

Total: 1:43:53, 7/27 M25-29, 83/652 Overall (Full Results )

It was nice to finally beat Blair!! Though this victory will have a little * beside it, since he wiped out on the bike. He was pretty bloodied up, and his leg was scraped and bruised. At least he was going up hill though, so it could have been worse. I finally had a fast run, and I’ll have to see how much more I can push it!!

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