A true test of wits, technology and cunning, this Sunday's race promised to be a litmus for the storm yet to come.
While many of the events thus far have been focused on only a single aspect of our sport the real success of a triathlete can be measured by their transition. Whether you're stuck wresting your wet feet into a pair of malicious runners or convinced the race gate is on the other end of the transition zone this small seemingly minor component of a race has the ability to crack even the most seasoned athlete.
As the participants huddled nervously inside the aquatic center frayed nerves resulted in several heated debates; would the Tri tech T provide an aerodynamic advantage in the run? How many kicks could you give to the person in your lane before it was classified as foul play? Would the addition of the tent lead to faster swim times?
Due to the recent closure of the indoor hot tub, the AC realized it needed to provide an outdoor alternative for its' patrons this unfortunately meant that the usually brisk swimming pool we were used to had been transformed into a veritable bath tub. The excessive heat made many reluctant to engage in Ivan's workout and general grumbling resulted in somewhat of a more relaxed warm up.
With the performance of the men all but decided but for a few dark horses speculation grew as to the outcome of the females division. A recent increase in spring training resulted in a number of DNS's for this event, notable contenders Lauren Spazzador and Victoria Gilbert and Alex Lush managed to eliminate themselves only a few days or even hours prior to the event. Thankfully this meant times could actually be recorded this season; an idea that left Lauren practically dripping with excitement.
In an attempt to eliminate several of the injuries of last years mass start the faster swimmers got strategically divided across the lanes (this failed...). However an unexpected benefit of this shuffling was clear water and a human target ahead of many after the first lap. As the race commenced the realities of the 93 degree water set in, and heat unable to be shed via convection started to slowly poach the contestants.
As expected Nathaniel 'flipper' Janzen emerged first from the soup glancing hastily behind him only to discover dark horse and olympic hopeful Elliot Holtham hot on his heels. As expected. Rachael Schoeler was unphased by the conditions and erupted out of the pool seconds after to defend her previous title. Arriving next Scott had in an apparently successful bid to secure victory in the pool pulled out all the racing stops donning what could only be described as pure glory...
Despite failing to 'draft that shit' rising star Celeste 'VI' Pakstas cruised in on Mel Thompson's heels next easily crushing Matt and Vince in her bid to not just own, but dominate the podium this year.
Difficulties in transition shuffled around many and the grueling reality of being stewed was quickly replaced by the familiar damp cold of Vancouver. Several contenders reveled in this new environment and the standings got shaken up still further as scantily clad triathletes careened around campus. Despite being left a little behind in the pool Claire powered forward to take second place overall narrowly edging out Mel but failing to topple the reigning champion Rachael. In the guys division Eliot put in a record setting performance to take top spot ahead of Nathaniel and previous golden cape holder Matt Reeve. Despite his recent concussion Vincent Lavallee retained his standing as a generally good looking guy proving that it doesn't take a brain to race triathlon!
With the conclusion of this event all thought turn to this years storm the wall, how will the standings in today's race affect the athlete's strategies... Will Kory Seder really be able to throw Vince and Claire over the wall? Will Celeste and Scott's recent one-upmanship style training pay off? Will Lauren and Victoria recover in time? All this and more next week!
Official Aquathon results:
Elliot Holtham 16:39:00
Nathaniel Janzen 17:32:00
Matt Reeve 17:52:00
Vincent Lavallee 18:03:00
Scott Chris 18:37:00
Winston Guo 19:28:00
Rachel Schoeler 19:40:00
Mel Thompson 20:14:00
Eddy Wu 20:39:00
Celeste Pakstas 21:01:00
Mel Van Soeren 22:10:00
Derrick Lee 22:39:00
Kelsey Foote 22:44:00
Megan Wolfe 28:31:00