Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Community Festival Fun at Edmonton - Standard Du RR

Edmonton is known for its many summer festivals.

The ITU World Triathlon Edmonton weekend was a festival for not just athletes but for the community as well. Little BMX bike course for kids to kill time, beer garden for adults and of course festivities for the athletes. A distance for everyone, and a fun 5k run goose chase.

I chose the Duathlon standard distance to qualify for next year's event in Penticton. But let's be honest, the sprint and standard Triathlons were the big ticket main events - i.e. if I were to do this again, I'm choosing those ones. Even their finisher's medals were bigger. :P The elites raced the sprint distance.

It was a fun, not-very-competitive event unlike the atmosphere we are normally accustomed to. The TV commercials even promoted that the super humans are coming. You can tell the city gets behind this event with the all road closures.

Scenic morning at William Hawrelak Park

Not much information was given to us before the race other than the distances were 10km-40km-5km run-bike-run. The athletes guide didn't have much to go by other than Pokémon Go was not to be played on course, (probably a joke). :)

For us it was 3.5 out-and-back loops inside the park, we started at the end of the loop along the road. Then 4 laps of a challenging course consists of hills, twists and turns.
Up Emily Murphy hill, down back residential street Saskatchewan Dr, and then follows Groat road over the bridge for a second gradual hill and turn around on 107 Ave NW overpass, back on Groat road and into the park. Amazingly all of the roads were closed for us. We finished it off with a 2 loops inside the park again.

The first run was a touch short (9.1k) and the second run was a touch long (5.1k). The bike was close (38.7k). I was chasing after my friend Irvin, tri-veteran and former run coach of UBCTC, the entire time as he finished 5minutes quicker than me. Candy bars and fresh fruits was served at the finish with a nice heated tent. I was impressed by the huge finishing towels. Since the duathlon was the first to start and transitions wasn't going to be opened for another few hours, we were kind of forced to mingle with the others to share our glory stories. :)

The next day, we were treated with the elites putting on a show! It was fun to witness the action on the big screen in the grand stands and see the battle between series leader first place Mola against second place Johnny Brownlee. The sprint favours Johnny Brownlee, he was giving high fives! I think we might be back next year to do this again. :)