“MoSports Madness” – Overdrive Race/Triathlon Ontario Championship Recap

The moment you’ve been waiting for! It was such an interesting day, that we had to take some time to digest it. But with the results now offical, it’s time to recap! We planned to do a group-by-group analysis similar to what we did for Boucherville, but only finishing times are available from the timing company. No matter, because the day turned out to be a spectacular one (ie. of or like a spectacle).

FIRST, LET’S TALK ABOUT THE RACE COURSE
Picture an auto racing track. Then throw everything that you (probably) thought out the window, and instead picture a silky smooth road surface (probably from years of embedded motor oil and tire rubber) that winds through 8 corners down ~60 metres to a tight hairpin, and then climbs all the way back up. Now picture having to ride a road bike around that course 5 (for the sprint) or 10 times (for the standard distance race). Add to your mental picture a tough, undulating run course full of twists and turns, slick pavement and loose wet gravel, that is circumnavigated 3 times in each race.

Had enough? Because just when you thought that was it, the standard distance athletes also had to run the bike course twice before they even got onto their bikes! Add in steady rain and temperatures that dropped into the low single digits and you have yourself one difficult day, especially for athletes nearing the end of a long(er) season. We would be surprised if very many left Bowmanville without an experience they would never forget!

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE RACE – FIRST UP, THE SPRINT!
Garrick Loewen got a chance to show everyone just how much he loves duathlon-ing, as he took the sprint duathlon win in a tactical see-saw battle. Loewen used his cycling prowess to close an early deficit on the difficult parcours, before going straight on past in an effort to enter T2 alone. When that failed to materialize, he put the pedal to the metal and ran his way to a negative split second run on the deceptively difficult run loop to stamp his name on the championship trophy.

Peter Schindler added another line to his stellar season by claiming 3rd (2nd Ontarian). Peter was exceptionally consistent all year, and is hands down our Rookie of the Year for his impressive string of results. Cameron Mitchell held on for a strong 3rd Ontarian after a solid first run to build on his success of the past two years.

1. Garrick Loewen – 58:48
2. Jesse Bauer – 59:14
3. Peter Schindler – 1:05:38 (2nd TriOntario athlete)
4. Cameron Mitchell – 1:05:50 (3rd TriOntario athlete)

Jennifer Schindler capped off a strong year with a provincial championship. Executing on her game plan to “run hard and bike conservatively”, she opened up a lead on the first run that she never relinquished. As far as we can tell this is her first foray into duathlon, with this the best of a trio of strong results (4th OA female at MSC Gravenhurst and 3rd OA female at MSC Bracebridge, both sprints). That intriguing potential has us eagerly looking forward to what is to come as we follow her progress in 2018!

Conservative cycling was the name of the game on a course that claimed three athletes to crashes, and Karri Beck, despite being out of her preferred element, continued a strong season by securing the silver. Soo Owens grabbed a surprise bronze (the best kind of medal) to punch her ticket to the World Championships in Fyn, Denmark a year earlier than planned.

1. Jennifer Schindler – 1:17:02
2. Karri Beck – 1:21:58
3. Soo Owens – 1:22:32

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE DEFINITION OF “TOUGH”
Matt Straatman capped off a fairy tale season (that also featured a 3rd overall finish at the ITU Age Group World Duathlon Championships) by taking his first Triathlon Ontario championships over the Standard Distance. There really never was any doubt, as Straatman took the lead from the start, lapped nearly all of his competitors on the bike and brought it home for a comfortable win in tough conditions. The temperatures dropped precipitously during the race, and athletes were pulled off the course at around the 1:40 mark of the race. Straatman was one of 4 athletes to finish the whole course, while several athlete succumbed to hypothermia and were unfortunately unable to finish the race.

Chris Schindler once again impressed on the bike course, riding his way from 7th after the first run to 2nd at the finish line (side note: what an outstanding year from the Schindler brothers!). Andrew McLeod followed up his M40-44 bronze medal from Worlds with a bronze medal here as well and a special shoutout to Jeff Haig, the 4th and final athlete able to finish the whole course.

1. Matt Straatman – 2:06:24
2. Chris Schindler – 2:08:37
3. Andrew McLeod – 2:10:09

A small group of determined women took to the start line for the standard distance race, which was a fun back-and-forth battle despite the confusion of the shortened bike portion. Miriam Young took the early lead on the first run, but Tara Lapstra steadily reeled her in until she was leading heading out onto the bike course. Young’s bike prowess quickly shone through, however, as she powered around the course and through the corners. She quickly overcame her deficit and began extending her lead before being pulled from the course after 8 laps.

Lapstra was on the run course first despite finishing one less laps of the bike course, due to relative positioning when the decision was made. Lapstra was initially declared the winner after a strong final run, but helped ensure that Young’s exceptional performance was properly recognized for what was truly a unique and exciting day of Canadian duathlon racing. Eventual bronze medalist Sue Lin Holt was steady all day to wrap up the final podium position, and the chance to represent Canada in Denmark that goes with it.

1. Miriam Young – 2:20:06 (8 laps completed)
2. Tara Lapstra – 2:14:12 (7 laps completed)
3. Sue Lin Holt – 2:20:32 (7 laps completed)

So what can we say about this one that we haven’t already said? Not much. Everyone who made the trip to Clarington deserves kudos for doing their part to support this great sport. The weather wasn’t great and the forecast sure didn’t hide the possibility, but you showed up anyways. This sport doesn’t continue to grow without steadfast support from athletes like yourselves!

An additional congratulations to everyone who punched their ticket to Denmark this past season. As a reminder, the window to claim your spot ends this Tuesday, November 14. Follow the link in the email you received to claim your spot, and do it before general registration commences on November 15! Any additional entries for other events can be secured during general registration as well.

Until next time…keep Du’ing it!

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