Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Canmore Winter Meltdown Triathlon

A few weeks ago at work an opportunity to compete (I use that term loosely now) in the Canmore Winter Meltdown Triathlon at the Nordic Center with a couple of workmates.  As Lafarge was one of the main sponsors, we were to get a complimentary entry ("it was for free"); my teammates pulled out a couple of weeks after that so I organised Megan to do the 10 km (skate) ski & talked Anya into running 5 km - I was to ride 10 km on the snow.  With the spring melt progressing quite well over the last couple of weeks I was worried that the course might be very slushy (judging by last year's photos there wasn't much snow off trail).  How wrong we were, a big storm blew in Friday night & when we got up on Saturday morning there was a good 15-20 cm of snow everywhere.  At least it was around 0ÂșC.  Here's a quick outline of our day - we didn't come close to challenging the leaderboard, as this event is a fundraiser for athletes there were many tip-top athletes in the field (i.e. most of the entrants).  Oh, & while we were doing the triathlon as a team Alex somewhat crazily/gamely took on the event by himself.

Me & Anya doing some good Lafarge stretches - Greg standing by bemused.

Finn's Minions trying to look worried by all the snow.

Megan & Alex before the start - which was delayed (very casual event), I assume for the snow.

Most of the field setting off.

Kristy did a great job of looking after our evil overlord/mascot, Finn.

Megan heading out for her second lap - skiing was OK apparently (at least it wasn't concrete-ice), apart from trying to pass when one had to go wide into the deep snow.

That's me heading out on the bike - the first lap was the hardest five kilometres I've done in a long time (not helped by it being only 5 km I've done in anger for over four months).  The snow was deep & rutted out - which meant that any time you hit a strange line you were suddenly going a different direction.

Alex finishing his ski leg before heading out on the bike.
Heading out on my second lap - yes, I look like a midget.  Megan lent me her new 29er & I had the seat low as I knew I would be dabbing (putting my foot down) a lot.  The wheels were great, the Crossmarks (tyres) not excellent for drive.  The second lap was easier as a racing line had developed in some places & in others I'd learnt that the 29er was great for hitting the side of the trail & the fresh snow.

Anya heading out on the run.
Anya heading for the finish line - while the snow continues to fall, it must be warm as she's ditched the hat.

Alex heading for the finish.

And across the line (said in a good Clarkson voice).
Our star skier receiving the post-race debrief from our coach/mascot/overlord.

I think we are celebrating the fact that we survived the snow.  Worth celebrating too, a fun morning & we scored some Icebreaker spot prizes.

An indication of just how much snow there was to compete with - my car was cleared before the race & this was about four hours later.

The rest of the afternoon was pretty relaxing with a late lunch, a trip to the Hot Springs in Banff to soak & a great big Irish stew that Megan cooked up accompanied by wine, lemon meringue pie & games.
(Thanks to Megan & Kristy for some of the photos.)

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