I Came, I Hurt, I Won the Race – Woodstock Report

The Multisport Canada season opened up on Sunday with the traditional season opener in Woodstock. I came to this race for the first time last year, and despite a terrible race I thoroughly enjoyed the course. I was eager to come back in 2014 to make up for my 2013 race, and after a strong performance I look forward to making every effort to get this one on my schedule for years to come. Awesome venue, deceptively difficult course, and now the memory of adding my first overall win of 2014 at the course will keep me coming back!

Full results can be found here.

As usual, Emma and her family rearranged their weekend to make sure I could get to the race as hassle-free as possible. I promised everyone who sponsored me with transportation a poem on this blog at the beginning of the year when we started planning my race schedule…well, I definitely owe Jayne and Roger a whole song at the end of this season! Thankfully, upon arrival there were no last minute mechanical panics, allowing me to focus completely on the task at hand. None of my usual competition were able to work Woodstock into their race plans, but there are always a few wild cards on the first race of the year. Time to get after it!

Woodstock First Run

Leading the way onto the course

RUN #1 – 16:58 (3:23/km, 1st fastest OA)

The first run was fueled partially by adrenaline, as I knew there was a reigning Provincial ITT champion in the field (Grahame Rivers). His presence provided fuel for me, because I was not totally sure what he could do on the run and my experience with Erik Box taught me not to write off the uber-biker! I took off on my own basically from the gun, and grabbed a lead that I would hold onto more or less for the remainder of the race. Thankfully, after pressing on my own for the first mile, I was joined at the front by someone who later turned out to be Bruce Raymer, course record holder at the Mississauga Marathon 5k until Jamie Switzer and I broke it in 2012! We worked together on the way back to transition, swapping the lead, and rolled in with a healthy minute on the rest of the field.

Out on the Bike

Heading out onto the bike after a strong first run

BIKE – 33:03 (36.7kph, AP~215, NP 232, 2nd fastest OA)

The bike today was all about continuing the trend of the run of staying away as long as I could. The course at Woodstock does not favour me, as I tend to do better (relatively) on very hilly, very flat, or very technical courses. Woodstock is none of those, and is rolling to boot. I did know that if I pushed the first half that I would be able to back off a tad while maintaining speed on the way back, as it is slightly net downhill. I thought I executed quite well, even though my wattage was significantly lower than in Harrow. I will chalk that up to having actually calibrated my Garmin for this one! I kept the foot on the gas the whole way and didn’t see another duathlete until the turnaround. I kept pressing to transition and actually made it into transition with my lead intact. First off the bike for only the second time in my duathlon career, and a 1 minute improvement on my Harrow bike split!

You can check out the data from my ride here for those interested in this sort of thing, just be warned the averages are affected by more than a few annoying Garmin dropouts in the first few kilometres of the bike.

Back on the Bike

Heading back in to transition

RUN #2 – 9:10 (3:40/km, 1st fastest OA)

After another quick transition (0:36, 2nd fastest by a mere second!), I’ll admit I took the foot off the gas a bit. Though the results look pretty, I was at 90% at best today. I was fighting my body for a lot of the first two legs, and though I wanted that elusive sub-1:00 overall finish time, I have higher priority races up ahead, along with a big training block. I knew having the lead out of T2 had put me firmly in the driver’s seat, and I felt confident knowing that if I was caught, that I would be able to fight back and have the finishing kick to take the race. I settled into a brisk but comfortable pace and wound my way out to the dam, where I saw I had a pretty comfortable lead in the du. I cruised right on in to the finish (as the first person across the finish line in any race) with a new sprint duathlon PB and my first win of 2014. Satisfying! And there is always the Island in August that chase after that sub-1:00.

Finish Line

Cruising into the finish!

FINAL RESULT – 1st overall (new PB 1:00:26)

I feel comfortable knowing that I executed relatively well today while identifying some areas that still need work. Big shout-out to Bruce Raymer for the push all day long, and for a great finish in his first duathlon. Looking forward to having this guy to push us all year! Another big shout out goes out to fellow Ignition Fitness ambassador Darren Cooney, for his awesome improvement this season. 2 solid PB’s out on the roads, and then a 9th place overall finish here today. Living proof that hard work pays off.

Happy Camper

One happy camper chatting with fellow Ignition Fitness athlete, Darren Cooney, after the race.

Thanks go out to Multisport Canada and the Recharge With Milk Triathlon Series for putting on such a great event and allowing me to represent your brand. Thanks also to Coach T, Roger and Ignition Fitness for giving me the tools to pull off such a result (including my rocket fast Felt Bicycles B16). Congrats also go out to my fellow MSC ambassadors, especially Lionel Sanders for being such an animal. Hard to imagine that just 4 years ago, the two of us occupied two tiny rooms separated by one thin floor of a university house in Windsor. And as always, thank you to the amazing Emma Parker, for once again dragging me out of bed and into the car, then chasing me all around the race site to get the great pictures I post in this blog. Couldn’t do it without my team!

Woodstock Champ

MSC Woodstock Duathlon overall podium

Until next time, keep Du’ing it! Pictures will be added to this post in the next day or so…

UPDATE 5/26 5:43pm – Check out my post-race interview courtesy of Multisport Canada.

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