The National Triathlon race in Ottawa was super fun! The race around Canada’s Capital was spectator friendly and was the first to introduce draft legal racing to age group athletes, making it an anticipated day for the triathlon community.
The weather was beautiful and the water temperature called for a non-wet suit swim! My wave, that was supposed to go at 6:40am, was delayed. Although it gave me time to look around and talk to some tri girls, we were grouped together with the second wave of women. We were tightly squeezed for the mass wave start.
This race was my first draft legal race EVER. Drafting is when cyclistsrotate through a line or group, taking turns riding at the front (called pulling). When drafting close behind another rider, cyclist expend less energy because of the reduced wind resistance. By taking turns pulling and taking a break drafting a group of cyclists can go way faster than a tried out lone cyclist.
Since I got out of the swim with a few women 4 of us grouped up at the start of the bike ride and started doing somewhat of a drafting circle. Me and another girl pulled away and caught up to a solo girl ways up ahead. On the way back, our efforts from pulling away from the girls were shut down as a huge group of around 12 women, including the ladies we had pulled away from earlier, had caught up with our 3 person group, swarmed us, and consumed us into their drafting group. From there it was a fun time as the huge group worked together to complete a super-duper fast bike split!
I was very nervous for the age group draft legal race because many athletes, including myself, had never done a draft legal race before and/or did not have a draft legal card. But my worries were quickly erased as the riders biked with caution making a fun and speedy bike ride. It was a lot of fun to race the bike in a group and kept me engaged in the action the whole time.
The run was two 2.5km laps which kept spectators engaged and cheering every time we looped around in front of them. The cheering in turn encouraged us to go faster.
My first experience in a draft legal race was so great. It was supper fun and I am happy that it was held in the wonderful city of Ottawa. Additionally, I qualified for the 2017 ITU World Championships! See you next summer Rotterdam, Netherlands!