Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lake Chestermere Sprint Triathlon Race Report {part one}

Sunday morning started off bright and early at 5:30am. Mr.D was a trooper and got up with me at that time to make the 40 minute drive to the race site. We arrived at the race site around 6:45am and it wasn’t too busy yet, which was perfect.

After we arrived, I quickly set up my bike/transition. Deb had come by at this point to chat and she gave me some pointers on how to set up my area, which I was thankful for! Once my transition area was set up, I walked over to get my body marked and pick up my timing chip.
After I was marked and picked up my timing chip, I had well over an hour to kill. That was fine to me as I would rather be there early than late and be frazzled before the race. While waiting for my event to begin, I had my breakfast, made some bathroom stops and watched the try a tri and Olympic distances go before us.

At this point, I was starting to get really nervous for the swim. All I wanted to do was start near the back of the pack and SURVIVE! A couple minutes before the swim began, I made my way down to the starting and went into the water to get used to it. It was still cold!
Suited up and ready to go

Almost ready to go and the nerves were written all over my face!

The swim:

With a countdown from the race director, we were off for the 750m swim. I was fine for the first 100m of the swim, but then my heart rate started to accelerate and I could not get a hold of my breathing! I was really starting to panic at this point, so I had to keep rolling onto my back to try and get my breathing and heart rate under control. That combined with the fact that the water was really cold, which made breathing even harder, I decided to focus on making it to each buoy and not worry about others passing me. At this point in the swim, I wondered what I had gotten myself into and wanted the swim to be over so badly!

Slowly, but surely I made my way to the last buoy using lots of breast and back stroke. I was never happier to see the boat ramp and the volunteers who helped pull us up the slippery ramp.
Making my way to the transition

750m swim: 21: 22

Transition one

I don’t have my official times for my transitions, but all I know is that I tried to be as fast as my legs and brain would let me! On the run from swim to the transition, I had taken my goggles and swim cap off and started to undo my wet suit. As soon as I had reached my area, I struggled to get my wet suit off. It’s more difficult than you think! Once I had my wet suit off, I quickly pulled my shorts, socks and tank top on. I then put on my socks, shoes, sunglasses and helmet before it was time for the bike ride. My transition area was near the fence, so Mr.D was right there cheering me and all I remember telling him was that I was tired already! The swim definitely threw my confidence for a loop.
Struggling with my shirt in transition
Looking way too happy in the transition area!

The bike

After quickly running my bike out of the transition area, I was off for two laps of the ~11k ride. The bike course was out through a bit of the residential area and then onto the highway. Two of the road sections were busier roads, which actually wasn’t too bad as it had a wider shoulder.

The hardest part of the bike ride was getting control of my breathing and heart rate again. I won’t lie, the swim really got my self confidence down, so there was a couple minutes on the ride where I fought back tears and had to tell myself to buck up and finish this race strong!
Coming in off the bike ride

23.2k bike: 57:47

I will finish up the recap with the last transition and run tomorrow as it is getting a little long.


  1. ah good work Leigh!!! Must have been so good to finish! :) You rock. Look forward to hearing the rest. So glad Mr. D was there to cheer you on!

  2. I'm so proud of you! And so glad Mr. D was there for you! I can't wait to hear how the rest of the race went :)

  3. I think you did an amazing job!!! I can't even imagine biking or swimming that long for FUN let alone for a triathlon. Wow girl :)

  4. Awwww man, way to leave me hanging :P

    GREAT job on the swim, you still had an awesome time even if you didn't feel good! I could see why it would be nervewracking to be swimming in the open water, especially with all the other people around you.

    How do you know your swim time? Did you wear a watch or is that like the "official time" from the race results?

    Just reading this post put my stomach in a bit of knots. I'm so nervous for my sprint tri. I'm not really nervous for any of the sports themselves but moreso the transition between each sport!

  5. I think you did an amazing job. Swimming exhausts me! I don't know if i could do the whole swim then bike then run. I think my legs would be like lead by the time I did the run!

    Looking forward to the last part of the recap!

  6. Way to go Leigh. It is hard to bounce back when thongs start off poorly!

  7. I realize this was almost a year ago but AMAZING! You're such a rock star. I've been thinking about doing this race this year before my 1/2 Iron Man but the timing doesn't work. The thought of the lake swim horrifies me! Good to know about the back trick, I might have to pull that out a few times to catch my breath and calm the nerves. Are you doing another Tri this summer? I'm looking at Joes Team in June, before the 70.3.



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