Yesterday I took part in a new experience and was part of a Half Iron Triathlon Relay team for the Subaru Shawnigan Lake Triathlon. My team mate was Blair Scott and our cheer leader was his wife Gayle. We had never met before until Saturday. How I came to run in the relay was through their son Jarred who is part of the Frontrunners run club I run with. On Saturday Blair and Gayle picked me up and we went out to the town of Shawnigan Lake to get our race packages and Blair could leave his bike in the transition area. After the mandatory meeting we stayed for we headed back to Langford and went to Original Joe`s for dinner. It was nice to be able to spend some more time with Blair and Gayle and get to know them.
Sunday morning I was up at 4:15am because I wanted to make sure that I was ready for pick up at 5:30am. That gave me plenty of time but I wanted to take to enjoy my coffee, get some food and also have everything I would need for the day because it was going to be a long one. It was raining but felt warm.
We arrived at the Shawnigan Lake Provincial Park where the race was taking place a little after 6:00am. It was raining there as well and felt a little cooler. Since I wouldn`t be running until almost 12:00pm I layered up with more clothes so I didn`t get chilled. Blair started at 8:00am with a 1.9km swim. They announced that the water was 13 degrees and I felt bad for the swimmers even though they would be wearing wet suits. Blair figured he would be between 40-50 minutes for his swim. It wasn’t his favourite part of the triathlon but he had been working with a coach to get better and faster. He came out of the water at 45:48 and then it was off to the ride; his favourite part. He spent a little longer in the transition than he had hoped but before the race he had let me know that he would be about 2:55-3:00 hours for the 88k ride. Again, he was bang on with his time and came in at 2:57:46.
I was already in the transition area when he came through from his ride. I waited for him to dock his bike which was mandatory before I was removed the timing chip that was attached with velcro around his ankle. I then put it on mine and took off for the half marathon portion of the race.
We all know how much I love my music when I am running but for the race you weren’t allowed to wear your iPod. I was a bit disappointed but I understood it was for the safety of myself and the other racers. So, before my run I listened to my iPod to get myself revved up and ready to go. My Garmin was set with my last half marathon race time from March and I was hoping to use it as my guide and pace along the way.
As I started out running I looked at my watch to see my pace and get myself into the rhythm but it was reading zero for my pace. What? How could that be because I was clearly moving. I figured it could have been because I was running through the trees and the satellites weren’t picking up the signal but I had to kept going. It took some time for my watch to sort itself out and I found that I was focusing on my watch and trying to figure out what pace I was going instead of focusing on how I felt. I changed the screen to read the length time I had been running for and used that as my guide but at the 10k marker I decided that I was just going to focus on my form and putting one foot in front of the other. I would run my run.
When I first got on the trail I would see other runner’s coming back from their run and would tell them ‘Good job’ or ‘Way to go’ and they would say the same thing back. This happened the whole way of my run and I loved it. It was so nice to hear and see. There were young volunteers along the course who were probably students from the local school and did a wonderful job at being supportive as you ran by them. They were great and at one point I told two of the girls that they rocked because they were saying some pretty encouraging things. They hollered back ‘You rock!’ It made me smile and it was just what I needed to hear.
I was feeling good except for a bit of tension happening between my shoulder blades so I started making sure I ‘shook out’ my arms and thought about my form. As I got closer to the 18k mark my body was starting to feel some more aches. I was starting to feel like I was running and running and not passing any of the markers. The turn around mark for the course was at 18k and I was happy to see the boys there telling me to head to the finish.
As I reached the 20k marker I was behind in my target finish time but I was ok with that. I had been pushing myself the whole run and didn’t feel that I could have run any faster than I had. As I reached the marker saying ‘To Finish’ I was even more happy. I knew that the run was almost done and I just had the sprint to the finish to get through. As I crossed the finish line Gayle and Blair were at the end and had my blanket ready to put over me because they knew I would be cold and wet from the rain.
I ran the run in 1:40:16 official time and I am happy. I feel like I left everything out on the trail and was a valuable part of the team. Some friends asked if it made me want to do a triathlon but I said no. I am not a fan of open water swimming for many reasons and to have so many people in the water with you at one time; that is a fear as well. I would do another duathlon in a heart beat.
Overall team BeScottie finished in 5 hours 30 mins and 21 secs.
Would I do a relay triathlon again? Yes I would.
Have you done a triathlon or have you been part of a relay team? Would you do it again and what did you love it?