Bracebridge Tri Preview

The (Recharge With Milk) MultiSport Canada Triathlon Series is hosting Sprint and Olympic Distance Duathlon and Triathlons this weekend.  I’m signed up for the Olympic, as indicated in the good old Race Calendar.  This series has been constantly evolving and improving, so it’s not just the promise of Chocolate Milk and Hero Burgers that entices me.

Bracebridge used to be the home of a half-Iron distance event, but it seems like that’s gone this year.  Still the venue is in Muskoka and I’ve been interested in doing this one for years.  I haven’t had enough time to really improve performance since Muskoka 5150, and I expect this to be challenging so I don’t have much in the way of expectation or strategy going into this one, I’m just there to enjoy myself.  Let’s look at the different stages…

Swim

The Muskoka River being used for the swim course is going to guarantee some current to slow us down, but at least the course is simple.  It’s a single loop which is always good, having different people either exiting or continuing on a swim course always creates chaos.  What intrigues me most is the start; they’re going to release a swimmer every 5 seconds… can’t wait to see how that works out.

Bike


In sharp contrast to the swim, the bike course looks complicated.  Just after 10km there’s a hairpin turn.  Then after the 20km mark is a small loop for the first out and back segment.  After that, you don’t take the same way home, because there’s a shortcut after 30km which takes you back to transition.  This is still Muskoka, so hills are the rule, not the exception; anything around a 90 minute ride would be fine by me.

Run


The run course is a fairly simple out and back that follows the river.  I hope that means it’s flat.  My achilles tendons have been stiff in the mornings even though I’ve taken it easy this week.  I will probably wear my Salomon trainers rather than the Zoot racing flats to give myself some more cushioning.  That will cost me a little in transition and the heavier shoes may make me slower.

Other Considerations


It looks like the family won’t be joining me on the race which makes things lonely, but at least a little more straightforward in terms of getting to and from the race site.  I’ll try to concentrate solely on getting the race done.  The weather forecast does not look promising, and storm weather could cancel the swim, converting the event to a duathlon.  I love the swim part, so this is not something I look forward to; the run has become something I do and let it all hang out because it represents the end.  Having a run first where I have to carefully manage my pace for the subsequent bike and run (again), is the kiss of death to me.  Still I know the countryside will be beautiful, and I have a great post-race experience to look forward to.  Wish me luck!

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