Welcome to my epic race report on the REV3 Niagara Falls Barrelman 2017! I’ve blogged all about training for my first triathlon, how I prepped for the weekend and the first event so far, the 2km swim. Onwards to the 86km bike!
As you can see from this photo, I LOVED the bike course! I had a smile plastered on my face the whole time! Flat, fast and so scenic, the time flew by! I took the opportunity to stock up on fuel and happily munched away on my chunks of Cliff bar as soon as I got up to speed, then routinely ate a few chews every 30 minutes. I diligently took sips from my coconut and plain water bottles, and picked up a water or F2C bottle at each hydration station.
This was my first bike race, and I got used to the flow quickly. I had to keep remembering to say “on your left” and learned to gage when to pass. I was surprised by the number of cyclists who passed without saying “on your left” and thought that was kind of dangerous and egotistical. However, for the most part I was passed by friendly fellow triathletes who called out my name in encouragement. I forgot I was wearing my bib so was a bit startled the first time this happened! “Thanks, you too” I called back and chuckled to myself as they were clearly doing just fine. I even received a compliment on my fun polka dotted trisuit! I would actually keep passing the same woman a few times on the race, and called out a friendly “hello ____” each time. Love it!
The heat wasn’t too bad on the bike. The flat course was kind on the legs and I reached speeds of up to 45 km/hour! For the majority of the race, I hovered around the 30km/hour mark and aimed to be between 70/80 RPMS. Biking along the open country roads was much more fun than city biking, where I would constantly have to stop for traffic and pedestrians. I loved every minutes of it! My stomach grumbled a few times, but I assumed it was just the heat and pushed the feeling aside.
Time flew by and before I knew I was racing through the last kilometre. I felt full of energy, like I could bike forever, and flew passed a few people near the end. I completed the bike in 2 hours and 55 minutes, way better than I ever imagined having roughly estimated 3.5 hours. Awesome!
My bike to run transition took just as long as my swim to bike unfortunately. The first issue was since we had to wear our bib on the bike, I didn’t want to bike with all my gels so I had to add them to my belt during transition. My hands were all sweaty and I struggled to get the darn things in. I’m not sure what I would do differently here, I guess wear the gels on the bike? Even if they were on a separate belt I would still have to swap my bib over. As I battled with my gels, I gulped down some coconut water and was thankful for my Honey Stinger Cinnamon Wafer – a nice change from all the chews!
On my way out of transition I took my first bathroom break of the day, and ran into my second issue. My stomach was NOT happy with me and I couldn’t figure out why. I had done everything exactly the same as when I trained. The only exception was the F2C endurance drink on the course, but I had drunk only a small amount, and couldn’t imagine that was the source of the problem.
To make matters worse, I struggled to prevent the gels from touching the dirty port-a-potty (ew), which was so hot that the toilet paper stuck to everything. I tried to slide more Body Glide on my thighs, but was too sweaty and gave up. Another 10 minutes down the tube.