Last weekend saw my return to competitive triathlon at the annual IRONMAN 70.3 Calgary—the first time I’ve competed since joining the 4iiii team. Could I make the podium in what has become my home race?
Ironman 70.3 Calgary is held in Auburn Bay and is a relatively smaller race with about 900 competitors starting in a little community south of Calgary. Race morning started like every other, waking up bright and early and getting down to set up gear in the transition area and get ready for some racing. It was a perfect morning, not too hot or cool with little wind.
The race was broken into several groups of starters (4 groups, 2min apart of about 200-300 athletes) and I started in the first one at 6:50 am. We swam in a small lake called Auburn Bay and had two laps of an approximately 1km loop (just under 2km total swim distance). The water was calm and not too cold so perfect racing conditions. I managed to slot in with a few other guys and held a good pace coming out of the water towards the front of the race after just over half an hour of swimming.
The 90km Bike Ride
Out of the water, there was a quick transition, removing the wetsuit and hopping onto the bike. The first segment of the bike was wildly fast. It was slightly downhill on open, exposed roads with a tailwind so the perfect conditions for a speedy ride. I was pushing a bit harder than I thought I would be able to hold but decided to go for it and see how it panned out. After the first 40km averaging about 50kph, we headed back to town and I was sitting in 3rd place overall. By about 70km into the ride, I started running out of steam and the last 20km was a struggle. Despite that, the three leaders stuck in these placings until we finished the 90km bike ride and got ready to start a half-marathon (21.1km) run.
The Final Leg
On the run, the day started heating up but it was a great out-and-back run along the Bow River. I pushed a bit harder than I should’ve on the bike so didn’t have the legs for a fast run but managed to hold a steady pace throughout, and survive a brutal hill out of the river valley about 18km into the run. At the end of the day, I finished in 4hr 8min which was good enough for 3rd overall and 1st in the 30-34 age category.
All-in-all, it was a beautiful day and a really fun race. It’s always great to toe the start line and push the body to see what you have on the day. That was my only triathlon for the season but will be excited to try and get in a few more in 2019!
During the race, I used my Viiiiva heart rate monitor to track my effort throughout the day. On the bike and run, I was able to monitor my heart rate through my bike computer and GPS watch to keep my effort in check. While swimming, real-time data is hard to use but I was still able to access the stored file in the Viiiiva to view my effort from the swim leg of the race
On the bike, I used my PRECISION PRO powermeter to monitor my bike output. I went in with a goal wattage and was able to track this throughout the race. Especially in the later stages of the bike leg when I was really struggling, seeing my power numbers kept me motivated to keep the effort up and continue to push the pace right to the finish.