Tag Archives: shawnigan lake


It’s been a long winter. You would be forgiven for thinking I was so badly scarred by Tour de Vic last year that I went and hid under a rock for six months, and you wouldn’t be far wrong.  I kind of fell apart after that ride and stopped training much, except for a last fling at the Tour de Foothills with Mom in November.  With all the time I recovered from training, I rediscovered the joys of drinking beer with friends.  And baking and eating bread.  And cookies.  And what my scale looks like when it’s begging for mercy.  And why you shouldn’t wear argyle cycling shorts that are one size too small.  (the warping of the check pattern graphically demonstrates how the shorts are being stretched.)

Anyway, I resolved to pull myself together and started training with Clint Lien and Mercury Rising Triathlon.  It’s been great.  I’m back to running (slowly), cycling (slowly) and swimming (less slowly, thanks to a great clinic with Clint and Coach Tenille Hoogland).  Travel and the usual plague of minor injuries and bugs has punched a few holes in the schedule, but on the whole, I’m back into OK condition.

So, Clint finally noticed that although I was training, I kind of hadn’t registered for any races and I had to admit to him that I’m, um, afraid of racing.  I hate racing.  But we agreed that I should do the Shawnigan Lake Olympic tri to get back into the swing of things. I knew all the right things to tell myself.  “Just getting going again.  Just train through it. You won’t be fast, but nobody cares but you.”

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Shawnigan Lake Triathlon (Olympic) Race Report

Shawnigan Lake.  In May.  After the most wretchedly cold spring in recent memory.  Completely immersed for half an hour or thereabouts.  With about 200 other people beating the hell out of you or swimming over top of you.  Does this sound like a good idea yet?  It’s the first major outdoor swim on the island’s race calendar and just about everyone was either really jittery or elaborately pretending not to mind the ice cubes in the slightest.

Fortunately, if you can look at things this way, Coach Noa has a sick sense of humour and had been chucking us into Thetis Lake since early May.  As a result, it seemed kind of normal to stand around saying things like, “Oh, yes, it’s much better today, the blinding pain in my face gave way to numbness within only about 200 metres of swimming.”

This was my first tri of the year.  I scratched from a pool-swim sprint earlier in the month because of a cold, so was interested to see what a winter of base-building would do.  OK.  Well, a winter of indifferent running, a complete rebuild of my swim stroke, and a whole lot of biking.  I mean, a whole freaking lot of biking.  I kind of really really like to ride my bike.

Now, the Transition Gods smiled on me for this race, and I got the spot at the very end of my row.  I want to express special gratitude for this spot because the odds of this ever happening again are, like, zero.  So, there I was, half-naked on a cool dank morning, leaning on my personal bike-rack-end-holder-thing, trying to pull on my recalcitrant wetsuit, and thinking, “I may not be a great swimmer.  I may be slow on the run.  But, by God, I climbed Mt Lemmon in April, I’m QOM on Munn’s Road, I am rocking the world’s Most Marvelous Road Bike, and I am going to crush this bike ride.” Continue reading Shawnigan Lake Triathlon (Olympic) Race Report