Home > Triathlon > 1st Olympic Triathlon–Brockville Thousands Islands Triathlon

1st Olympic Triathlon–Brockville Thousands Islands Triathlon

Well, another triathlon in the books, but this one was a bit different. Finally decided to try the Olympic distance. A 1.5k swim, 40k bike and 10k run. Its a pretty time tested assumption that one great way to move forward is to push yourself more so latching onto a longer distance should move me forward. I have two more sprint tris later in the year, and going for a longer distance should be great training for those.

Now, this tri also came at the end of a weeklong camping trip to upper New York state. Didn’t do a lot of training and ate a bit more than I should. We got home late the previous night and I didn’t have a great sleep the night before. So was a bit apprehensive going in.

So…how did I do?

In a word..I finished but the tri was painful. Back in the eighties I used to do a pretty long tri in Oka Quebec. I don’t remember how long it was but it was longer than the Brockville tri. And one year I just wasn’t ready at all and I bonked big time, threw up and walked the entire run at the end. This one certainly wasn’t anything like that but some of the pains were familiar. Still like I said I was looking for baseline. In my case my baseline for the Olympic distance is 2:56:49.




The swim was in a protected bay of the St. Lawrence river. Thanks to very light winds the water was pretty calm. As stated in a previous post, there was a definite sense of being a fish out of the water as of the 100 so Olympic Tri folks, only about 10 didn’t have a wetsuit. Clearly it was now pretty uncommon not to have one.  Entry was a pretty fun experience, via a boat ramp extremely slick with algae. That would make exit interesting! We were the first wave of the day off as there were sprint tri folks starting about 30 minutes after we got started and many of us would finish after they did started but we would never be intermixed. As usual, some folks warmed up a bit while others bobbed. Soon enough it was time, the horn sounded and away we went. Certainly I was so freaked out about the 10k at the end (I have not run that distance in over 15 years or so) that I kept telling myself to take it easy.

So I tried to pace myself, 1.5k can take a while even if you are fast and I would not be fast. It was a 750k lap and we did 2 laps. Since it was a longer distance I found within 10 minutes there was quite a bit of space between swimmers and it was just you against the clock, which was nice. Soon enough the first lap passed.


About 1/2 thru!!

Then the cramps in my side started up, these would bother me throughout the rest of the swim and I also got an occasional toe cramp. Not enough to make me slow down too much but if I was worried before about the run I was really worried now!! And I found the swim long enough as well that I drifted off from time to time and thought about other things and got off course.  Need to focus on these longer swims!!  The last 5 minutes seemed to go on a bit and I wanted out. That brings up the topic of the ramp again. I know my arms would be a little bit tired and I didn’t know if I could crawl my way out. Luckily they had “handlers” who grabbed you and tugged you out. Thanks!! In the end did a 34.54 which was 53 out of 92 but 14 minutes behind the number 1 finisher. While I shouldn’t I was wondering how much a wetsuit would have helped.

Swim over..but not feeling great!


Bike is where I excel, so was looking forward to this leg. As I ran from the ramp to the transition area I felt my legs cramp up a bit. Crap. That wasn’t going to be good. At this point I needed to figure out how I can keep some fitness in check for the run. As I got to my spot I found it hard to get my shoes on without my calves cramping up a bit. I grabbed my bike and got moving. On the bike the hardest thing was the cramping in my sides, but I found that overall I could still be fast.



Start of the bike leg

I was passing people quite a bit but again was worried a lot about the run so kept saying slow down, slow down. Still look at the pace based on my Garmin 500, after a bit of warm up I was over 35kph and I could have kept that pace. But I knew I needed to slow things down so the following segments were lower. In the end my Garmin 500 said 1:11 but that includes some transition time.



Official timing but me at 1:10:58 and average of 34.2, not bad considering both how much I was hurting and also how much I was worried about the run and keeping some in reserve. Based on this and the fact that I was still able to do the run plan to go all out at the Ottawa “Canadian” Triathlon on Sept. 3rd and see what I can really do.  The 30k there isn’t that long, the swim will be shorter so damn the torpedoes I say. Time to see what I can do.

Finishing up the bike run

There was a short run from the dismount section to the transition area. My legs were no longer cramping during the change to my shoes and like the flash (well, not exactly) I was off…


Then I ran and finished…

That’s how I wished it ended anyways but the run wasn’t pretty. Now on the good side I was able to run the whole time, even if at a reduced pace towards the end, and I never felt like I wasn’t going to make it. The run is two 5k loops, a bit in town but mostly in a nearby urban park. The sun cover was nice and there were water stations 2 per loop.

Not looking great…and about to be eaten by a competitor by the looks of it??

Finally…and I mean finally!!..reached the end. Looking at my time I had the EXACT same time in the run compared to the bike (1:10:58). How weird is that??

There is no way you can make this look good…


The race certainly wasn’t a success but I learned a lot. First off I learned that I still need to lose a lot of weight, I just plain look fat. Secondly time to invest in a wetsuit and thirdly that I probably can win or get close on just the bike leg. Still I could not have imagined doing this one year ago, that has to be better right??

Categories: Triathlon
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