I was very pleased to see the Bay of Quinte Road Race on the calendar again this year. I regretted missing it last year, as it takes place in some of the places I spent time in growing up in small town Ontario. The race organization was a success that, in home-town style, even included a beer at the Legion.
I am both happy and disappointed in myself for this race. In one of the very few instances this year, I was smart enough to get into the right breakaway. But, although I was smart enough, I was not strong enough…
The rain started to fall as we lined up at the start and eventually turned into a torrential downpour. The rain was chilling us to the bone. I could see my friend and RealDeal teammate Chris Bozek shivering through is rain jacket.
Almost off the line my teammate Tim Burton went on a solo break and was gone for a good long while.
As Tim was caught, Anton Varabei, who would go on to win the race, made a move and I jumped on his wheel. A small break formed, which included Vito Barbera, Peter Morse, Ryan Roth and a couple others. This was the “right” move! We worked well, with Roth taking monster pulls. I tried, pretty successfully, not to be the one who had to pull through Roth.
As we started up the biggest climb of the day (roughly 100 meters of climbing over 3.5km) it was clear that Roth wanted a smaller group. He turned on the gas. First Vito popped, then Morse and then finally me. I was dropped near the top of the climb as the lead group of 3 rode off into the distance.
Thinking back on it, Roth was destroying me up the climb, I was working full out. But somewhere in the back of my head I was letting myself work at 95% in the belief that I would catch back on during the descent.
Hindsight is 20/20. I wish I had given everything…
The descent was not nearly as pronounced as the climb. A lot of turns and a couple longer flat sections. It quickly became clear that there was no way I could work my way across with Anton and Roth taking pulls up ahead.
I was caught by Vito and Morse a short while later.
The rain came at us from every direction. Fell on our heads, bounced up from the road, sprayed in our faces and soaked through our feet. There where points where the road looked more like a river.
The three of us worked through the water until the last climb of the day where we lost Vito. Morse and I pushed on as best we could but were caught by the peloton with about 20km to go.
An unsatisfying end to a day full of suffering.
On the bright side, as we approached the line, the sun came out and my friend Jeff Sykes was able to squeeze in before the peloton for a 6th place finish.
I haven’t had to attend any weddings this summer but I’ve had plenty experience being a bridesmaid.
After this summer, I expect I’ll be a hot commodity on the bridesmaid scene. I haven’t done much standing on the podium – but I’ve spent a lot of time standing beside it!
Provincial Time Trial Championships went better than expected, mostly due to the fact that Bruce Bird, Ed Veal and Derrek Ivey were not there. I finished 4th and didn’t get to stand on the podium – but I did get to stand beside it!
I did learn a lesson though: never drink an extra-large Tim Horton’s tea right before a race. Although, it did add extra motivation to finish quickly…
Provincial Duathlon Championships, to be honest, was a little bit more of an exciting battle. Everyone who came out seemed to be at their peak.
It took no time at all for this motivated crew to drop me on the first 10km run. I kept telling myself, if I could only keep them in view, I would get them all back on the bike. My goal of keeping them in sight quickly changed to just trying to survive the damn 10km. I was able to catch most, but not all, on the bike but then was passed a bunch of times on the second 5km run.
Sitting in 4th, with about 2km of running left in the race, I was pretty sure I was still in the lead for my age category. I could see Darren Cooney, in my age category, in his bright yellow kit behind me making up ground. As we approached the line I looked back again and he was almost right behind me. In what I imagined at the time looked like a heated sprint - but in reality I’m sure was a mess of flailing arms - I ran as hard as I could for the line. I only barely took it and then tried not to puke everywhere.
When all was said and done, you guessed it, I finished 4th overall and got to serve as bridesmaid again.
There was another lesson learned at the duathlon: don’t take 2 months off running and then do a 15km running race. Walking is almost impossible the next day…
Congratulations to Scott Finch who’s strong run and strong ride made him Provincial Champion, Daryl Flacks who simply flew by me on the second run, Andrew Mcleod who also showed no mercy on the second run and Darren Cooney for letting me have the “sprint” at the end. This was the most competitive duathlon I’ve done all year and it was a great experience.
A big thank you to Mike Mandel for all the work he did for our team this year and for putting in the hard work to host some great races. He is the glue that held us together.
Also, thank you to the folks over at Multisport Canada, your races were well organized and always kept it interesting. Maybe a little shorter run courses next year?
Anyway, here’s a quick recap of all my bride’s maid appearances this year…
Thanks to my team Real Deal Racing and sponsors Gears, WASPcam, Fieldgate Homes,Toronto Sport and Social Club, Morning Glory Cycling Club, Champion System, PowerBar,Balance Physiotherapy, RPM Total Fitness, Spin Kicks, Kenzington Burger Bar, Barnstormer Brewing and Iler Silva Law Offices for their help in getting me on (or at least near) the podium.