North Bay Triathlon 2015

My first triathlon of the season was a small one in North Bay, Ontario. I had been wanting to do this race since last year. I figured it would be a good warm up for Ironman Muskoka. It's a relatively short race 1000m swim, 31km bike and 8.4km run. The reason I wanted to do this race is because I was born in North Bay and it's where I learned how to swim. I learned how to swim in Four Mile Lake when I was 5 years old. My father held on to me and walked out until the water was deeper then my height and then threw me out. I had to doggy paddle back to him. He thought it was funny, but I never did and I was fairly traumatized by it. Thankfully my mother put me into swim lessons and that fear never stopped me from swimming. But still, it bothered me. Although I wasn't going to be swimming in that lake, I wanted to conquer that fear in my birth place. It was also a good excuse to see some family members.

My boyfriend, Dave, came with me and we split up the drive by going half way on Friday night and finishing it up Saturday morning. It's only a 4hour drive from Toronto, but it allowed me to sleep in slightly Saturday morning and get lots of sleep. We got to our Friday destination and I was able to get some good sleep there. Woke up Saturday morning and then drove to North Bay. We got there fairly early and we were able to head over to Levesque's Furniture Outlet to see my Uncle Rene and Aunt Lise.


Uncle Rene, me and Aunt Lise

We then head over to the hotel and got settled. My sister and her mother met up with us at the hotel and then we went off to Greco's for my regular "carb loading" before a race. I had a lasagna (it was awesome) and spent a lot of time catching up with my sister. After dinner Dave and I went back to the hotel and I tried to relax but couldn't of course as I was fairly anxious so we went for a short walk in the area. We enjoyed some heat and sun that day which was pretty amazing considering the rest of the province was being hit by lots of rain. After the walk I felt much better and I was able to fall asleep.

Flat Carol

Flat Carol


Woke up the next morning and made myself a breakfast. It was a banana with peanut butter and maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal. I'm not sure the oatmeal was a good idea. But I knew I needed more then the banana as I wasn't going to eat throughout the race and I need to stay away from bread race morning. Got dressed into my race kit, packed up all of our stuff and checked out of the hotel. I picked up my sister as she lived very close by to the hotel and I wanted her there to see me race. We got to the race site (with my Tim Horton's coffee in my hand) and we were very early. So we sat there drinking our coffee and chit chatted. It was nice to take it easy and not be in such a rush. After about 10-15minutes I pulled the bike out of the car and pumped up the tires. I had to get Dave to help me out with that as I usually struggle to get my tires to 100psi. Since I had registered the day before I was able to get right into the transition area, pick up my timing chip and get my body marked. Then I still had lots of time to stand around with Dave and my sister.

We had lost the heat and sun from the day before but it was still dry when I first woke up. Unfortunately while waiting around it started to spit. Thankfully it wasn't raining hard and Dave and my sister both had umbrellas. It was getting close to race time and I went back into transition and put on the wetsuit. So glad it wasn't raining hard at this time. I hate putting on the wetsuit in the rain. It came on fairly easy. Then into the water. The air was chilly but the water was warm and I was able to keep warm by staying in the water. When I would get out of the water and I was actually shivering. I did a little warm up in the water and then head back to the shore to start.

Before race


The swim start was a wave start as women and relay went first. It was the first one in a while where we started from shore. The last few have triathlons I did have had the start right in the water. I had to do a bit of running in the water and then finally got in deep enough to start the swim. I took it easy, making sure to site properly. There were 2 turns and I didn't want to go too far off course. I started to push it a little bit as I got closer to the first buoy. Then slowed down to get around it. Then went off to the next buoy. So far so good. Then a little push again, then the last turn. I started slowing down as I was trying to relax to go pee. I wanted to get that done before the bike but unfortunatley it just didn't happen. Knowing it wasn't going to happen and seeing I didn't have much distance left I just pushed it. Then got out of the water and noticed I was under 20minutes. Amazing! I was hoping for 22:30 and far exceeded that. Quite pleased. I only ventured a little off course twice but I was able to correct that quickly.

Start of bike


Once I got to the bike it was spitting a little, but not too hard. I quickly (for me) got all my gear on and went out of transition. When I got to the dismount line I had some problems clipping in. There was some sand in the transition area, not a lot, but enough to get some into my clips and cause me some issues clipping in. I finally got it clipped, this took about 20-30 seconds and then I finally got it together. Got onto Trout Lake Rd and then made the turn onto Lees Road. The hill. Nasty hill with some turns. Actually, funny enough, I didn't find it all that hard. I guess I've been practicing enough. Not that it was easy, but not as psychologically damaging as I thought. Even got to ride by some old friends' house, but they no longer live there. I used to drive around in that area a lot when I was a kid. It's quite beautiful and I miss the scenery. It was nice to enjoy it during the ride. Once I got to Four Mile Lake Rd I was able to go a lot faster. The first half of the ride took me 37min and if I was going to be that fast on the 2nd half I wasn't going to make my goal time of 1:10. But I was able to make up for it. Unfortunately during the one of the downhills on Four Mile Lake Rd it was quite bumpy and I lost my aero bottle. It bounced off the bike and onto the road. Sorry to the people behind me! I didn't want to bother to get it and figured I could grab it after the race. I had only sipped it a few times and I wasn't too worried about having more electrolytes. Then the rain was hitting really hard. It almost felt like hail but that was just my speed. I was able to go fairly quickly and if it had not been raining I could have gone faster. I did the last 1/2 in 30minutes and finished the bike in 1:07:26. Under my goal of 1:10. Score!

Start of run


Got into transition with no problems. I had a woman pass me as soon as I got out and there was just no way I could keep up with her. Ugh, frustrating. My legs were finding it a little rough to run but I got the hang of it. It didn't help that it was a slight incline to start and I didn't want to start off with my heart rate too high. I felt like I had a nice pace, around 8:30 (min per mile) or so and I know I wanted an average pace of 8:37. I grabbed water at the first station and at the 2nd station I grabbed the gatorade. Wow, that was a mistake. I only sipped it but it was gross. I had to stay away from that stuff. Avoided the aid stations until after the turn around and had only a sip of water. I was getting a stich on the right side. It was also mostly uphill going out and downhill coming back so I let gravity work it's magic to finish. The stich went away after awhile and in the last 1km I pushed it. I was also passed by 3 people in the last 500m, just couldn't keep up with them and still finished hard at the end.

Run finish


3rd place in my age group according to sportstats. Since I placed in my age group I stayed for the award. I got a yellow reflector for my bike. When I got my award they announced it as 2nd place though as I suspect the woman that actually got 2nd place wasn't on their list. The reward doesn't have the placement on it, but hey, I'll take the 2nd place (even if it doesn't say that on SportStats.

3rd/2nd place. Nobody showed up!


It was a fantastic race and I am so glad my sister got to see me. I'm hoping it will be a positive experience for her. Thanks to Dave and my sister for coming to see me!

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