August Review and Main Season Re-cap
And I’m done!
On August 27th I wrapped up my season by competing in the ITU Long Course World Championship in Penticton, British Columbia. The day was a hot one with a lot of highs and unfortunately some lows but all in all was a success.
The days leading up to the race had been quite windy during our early morning swims at 7:00 (meet at the big Peach at 7, no excuses!). Luckily on race day we had calm waters and were fortunate to have a smoke free day as well. The air quality had been of concern the days leading up but was not a factor at all on race day.
After a relaxed swim and controlled bike, I managed to come into the second transition in fifth place and felt quite fresh. The goal now was to run easy and manage the heat and hope for other people in front of me to slow or over run in the conditions.
The first half of the run went smoothly (as you can see I am currently smiling at this point in the race!). The goal pace I had was to hold 4:30/km and run a 2:15:00 30km. I managed to move into fourth place and was passed only by one person in my age group who was now in third. During the pass by my competitor I thought to myself that his form looked unsustainable; running on his toes, large strides, and almost bounding. This is not what a long-distance run looks like. My race plan was to run comfortably and wait for the last 6km to make my move and give it everything I had. Unfortunately, this did not unfold for me as just before this point in the race I began to suffer from severe dehydration despite thinking I had taken enough fluid in. I managed to clear 20km in 1:31:00; the last 10km of the race took me about as long to finish between walking and trying to get enough fluid in.
I managed to finish in tenth place still; but upon looking at the splits later I couldn’t help but calculate the splits of the athlete who
passed me for third place. From roughly the same area that I slowed down, his splits dropped about twenty seconds per kilometer. He was also suffering in the heat! If only I had had that extra cup of fluid perhaps I would have gotten third.
That’s racing though! I managed to grab a flag being handed out by a volunteer and finish with a smile.
This season has ultimately unfolded almost perfectly; I showed improvement in all disciplines and most importantly in my execution of events. I would like to thank Momentum Health for their support this season and keeping me out training as much as I did this year. Being able to shut down any issue that might have been creeping up was paramount to keeping me on the course. Hopefully if you were competing your season went smoothly; and if your main competition is still coming best of luck! I will be sharing some off-season thoughts later this year. Until then, best of luck and happy training/racing!
Nick Ontkean - Athletic Therapist and Kinesiologist BSc.Kin, CAT(C)