The 4th annual Subaru Banff Triathlon took place on Saturday September 7. It’s the final race in the Subaru Western Triathlon Series (http://triseries.ca/) and final race of the season for many.
This year the bike course had to be modified due to the June floods and the weather was quite dreary. Despite the cool temperatures and rain, the Two Jack water felt fairly mild compared to past years.
Originally I was only doing the swim on a sprint relay but when my teammate had to scratch last minute due to illness I decided to race all 3 legs instead of none. You learn something every time you race so I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity.
I stayed out in Canmore with some other racers. We set out our gear the night before and opted for early alarms so we wouldn’t be rushed. It was a good thing we prepped as Saturday morning we were without power. This served as a good reminder that it’s always best to plan ahead and leave lots of time for the unexpected on race morning. Not only did we get dressed and assemble our multiple gear bags in the dark, we had to come up with a plan B for breakfast.
Friend of LYNX Triathlon, Elaine, LYNX athlete April and myself all completed the sprint event.
Elaine and I started off in the swim together but quickly got separated. We all got to see each other on out and back portions of the course. Elaine had a great day placing 2nd in her age group and was the 6th female finisher out of 172. Way to go Elaine!
April did 4 races this summer but this was only her 2nd open water sprint race and she did an amazing job on the challenging course. She commented:
“Banff was the most challenging race I’ve done so far but it was a lot of fun. It doesn’t get any better than spending the day racing through beautiful Banff National Park. Although the water was cold, the hills steep, and the rain torrential at times, I felt like it was a great event and shouldn’t be missed by anyone who loves a challenge.”
I enjoyed my last minute race and felt lucky that the worst of the rain was later in the day. I was pleasantly surprised to see I ended up 3rd in my age group.
Lynn, Jason and Tamara were at the start line of the Olympic Distance event which didn’t get underway until 11am. Standing around in the cold rain and then spending around a half hour in chilly water leaves a person cold!
After having a great swim, seasoned triathlete Lynn decided she was too cold to continue. She later commented:
“At this point in my life, I need to be safe, try to stay injury free, and have fun when racing. Shortly into the bike, I felt that I was at risk of jeopardizing all of these initiatives. It wasn’t an easy decision to make but in the long run, it was the correct decision.”
I completely agree with Lynn- safety first! Just because you sign up for a race doesn’t mean you have to do it OR complete it once started. It is always most important to be safe and keep your best interests in mind.
This was Jason’s 1st full race season and 4th Olympic distance event. He said:
“It seems that no matter what we expect or plan to happen, things invariably change. I always try to remember to enjoy the amazing scenery, take time to thank the volunteers and offer encouragement to other racers on the course…and have fun!”
Jason was pleasantly surprised with his results given the race conditions and continues to practice / experiment with race day hydration and nutrition. You’ll figure it out Jason and great race advice!
Last but not least, Tamara. This was Tamara’s 3rd Olympic race of her first triathlon season and she finished strong with a solid 10k run after a very cold and hilly ride. When she finished she said:
“Sometimes the best laid race plan goes out the window when race conditions (water temp., weather) are less than ideal. Always plan, but be prepared to make adjustments to that plan on the fly.”
Love that smile Tamara!
It was so rewarding to see my friends and athletes have so much success this weekend. I think I will keep this race on the calendar for next year!