Jill I and travelled out the the small Town of Magog in Canada along with guide Jack Peasgood for the latest round of the ITU’s Paratriathlon series. I’d never heard of Magog, and as it turns out, neither had most of the Canadians we met. It is situated in french speaking Quebec and is very nice, just in case anyone is wondering.
We weren’t there to look at the scenery though – we went to get some more ranking points and wanted another podium finish under our belts. My theory being that this would help towards gaining selection to the World championships, also in Canada at the end of August. I knew I couldn’t overhaul my two PT5 compatriots from GB in the World rankings and as there are only two straight nominations allowed by each nation per category I was hoping to boost my chances of the organisers offering me a wildcard spot with a good performance.
We finished 5th…not the result we needed and a bit perplexing really.
I felt good warming up and I think Jack did too, After an unusual start where we were stood calf-deep in the water of a crystal clear lake we had to run and dolphin dive several times before we could start swimming as it was so shallow, we had a great swim. We came out of the water in under 11 minutes and about 20 seconds down on Aaron Schiedies from the USA. I was happy with that having lost 1:25 to Aaron during the swim at last year’s World’s, although we had company as Ryan Van Praet (Canada) was tickling my toes most of the way around – or was it Memphre the Lockness monster type creature that is said to inhabit lake Memphremagog?!
After a good transition we were out on the bike course – it was a pretty untechnical, L-shaped course with one long drag of a hill and a little decent towards the turn, although it didn’t seem too hard in the warm up. Almost straight out of T1 two teams went flying by us. I think we both thought they’d gone out too hard and would perhaps die as the ride went on. The first time up the hill wasn’t great. On laps 2 and 3 we improved a bit but never really seemed to get into our stride so didn’t pulled back time on those ahead. I’m not really sure why…was it the travel/jetlag, was it the bike or was it just a bad day? Who knows but we lost over 2 minutes when we had really been looking to gain an advantage… I’m not certain, but I don’t think i’ve ever lost time on the bike in a Paratriathlon.
We had to put that behind us quickly, and so we did with the joint fastest T2 along with Aaron, aided by a flying dismount from the tandem. Out on the flat 5k (4.7k) 2 lap run it was feeling pretty hot. I didn’t feel too bad though. Sure I was working hard and the swim-bike combo had taken something out of me, but I seemed to be running OK. Jack was doing a good job of guiding despite my best efforts to run into cones etc. We got caught by another Canadian David Blair, but to be fair he was running like a train and eventually overhauled Ryan to take the Canadian championships that was part of this event. One to watch I think. For my part I ran 17:24 which I was pretty happy with even if it was a bit short of 5k. My run form is now returning after injury and I just need a bit more top end zip as it’s not quite there yet.
We invested a lot of time and a hell of a lot of money in this trip as British Triathlon were unable to provide any assistance (even towards the Jack’s costs). Ultimately it proved a bit fruitless which is disappointing. We can only try to take the positives from this (good swim, good transitions, decent run) and see what happens from here.
Next up is the British National Championships in Liverpool on 10th August.