Short version: decent swim; felt strong on the bike/had a minor mechanical issue/got passed by 3 men, no ladies; tough but solid run; ended up 2nd overall female by only 20 seconds, and a PB for Olympic distance.
Long version: read on...
I had to head to Calgary on Wednesday for work stuff so ended up in Calgary 4 nights total. The weather was $h!t leading up to the weekend - pouring rain and 8C on Wed/Thurs, and a little warmer on Friday. Luckily it turned around for the race - it was sunny skies all the way and 21C for the high!
A race is never complete without an 'incident', and this occurred during body marking. They asked me my number, and I told them: 1280. Later when I went to pick up my timing chip, 1280 was missing. So the volunteers asked me if I had the wrong #, and then I realized - 1280 was my hotel room! Whoops! They looked up my actual race #, and it turns out... my number was 1286! Imagine that - so my body marking only required the 0 to be changed into a 6! Hilarious. Geoff pointed out that it was lucky that someone had already taken 1280, or I would have been racing as someone else...
The half ironman wave went off at 8am, and everyone had to be out of transition by that time, so I got my stuff set up and then had 1hr 15 minutes till the Olympic start. Plenty of time! I was able to get in a nice 15 minute jog, then took the time getting my wetsuit on.
I waded into the water so I could do a quick swim warm up, put my head in, and the water was C-C-C-COLD! Man, it was freezing! My hands and feet were completely numb, and I had the classic ice cream headache. The temp could not have been more than 16C!
Swim: The swim start was pretty calm, and I got out fairly well and had some clear water quickly, just the way I like it. This also happened to be my first open water swim in nearly a year (since GWN last year). I would not recommend this! It just didn't work out that I was able to get in any open water swim training before the race.
During the first lap of the swim, I felt very out of shape.I was able to get into a good rhythm during my second lap and stretch it out a bit. The water was pretty chilly, and my feet and hands were numb from the cold. I exited the water in 3rd, behind 2 guys. The times were very slow, and I estimate that it was probably around 150m too long, based on my swim split (22:24).
However, I got back into it okay and finished off the last part of the bike strong. My second transition was lightning quick and I was off onto the run! Bike split ended up at 1:09.17 according to results (includes transitions).
They had a cyclist to accompany the lead female runner in this race (like they do with the pro's), which was very cool! I got to enjoy his company throughout the (almost) entire run. The run course was beautiful and followed the trails through Fish Creek park. I felt average but struggled along at times. There was a little out and back around 8km, and I got a chance to see that there was another female creeping up on me, only about 20 seconds back. Yikes! Just after 9km, there was a huge hill to run up which was very challenging. Around 9.5km, I was passed for the lead... tried to stay with her but was hurting too much and ended up 2nd by only 20 seconds. Final time was 2:19.00, which was a personal best.
Someone pointed out later that my stop to fix the chain on the bike cost me the win. D'oh! The chain thing did take me about 45 seconds to deal with, so that is probably true. Oh well. Doing all these races this year gave me a chance to blow out the cobwebs and iron out the kinks prior to Great White North.... which is coming up in just over a week! Time flies!