Post contributed by Karleen Scase
LYNX Athlete Tay, was recently in Victoria for the Ironman 70.3. Captioned below is her race experience.
Race morning was surprisingly warm with no wind, and overall a lot warmer than I had been expecting. The water at Elk Lake looked like glass as we walked to transition (making my dad extremely happy) and building some anticipation to get started!
The transition zone at Victoria was very spacious, with a lot of fence-line to throw extra supplies making for a less congested spot at your bike! They announced it was time to clear transition and everyone started to make their way towards the water. The swim start was very small, as it is treed on both sides, but organizers did a great job of making sure swimmers were seeded properly even with the limited space provided.
Swim start was extremely smooth and well spaced between the pros and age groupers. Karleen and I waited together for probably fifteen minutes before we even got in the water after the Pros. The spacing of athletes made the swim amazing! The water was warm and clear, with plenty of room between myself and anyone else.
This swim venue is up there with Whistler for a gorgeous morning and amazing views throughout (race started at 6am…very early!!).
The bike course was certainly different than any race I had done before, it was very technical and required a lot of focus – which I found helped time pass quickly! There were a lot of rolling hills throughout the course, with only two of the hills really standing out as steep climbs. The corners and tight turns of the course were all very well marked with marshals and officials, as well as a solid amount of spectators sprinkled around the course. The one loop on the bike also kept things very interesting, important to note there was a fair amount of rough road and larger pot holes, so you really have to pay attention.
The run course has to be my new favorite by far! The course was almost all trail and completely shaded, which allowed for less pounding on the legs- but also makes you pay attention to what you are doing. I found this run flew by, and it was also so nice to get to see friends and family at about 10k before starting the second loop. Having the protection from the sun and heat also made for a much more enjoyable run. The trail was a little tight in spots but it was never an issue to get around anyone. I would say this course also offered a challenge as it was quite undulating and you had to watch for rocks and roots!
Although this race seemed (really) early, I would absolutely do it again, and recommend it as a great way to kick of the season! The venue is very spectator friendly and the overall course is really unlike any other race I had done before! It is also awesome to have the option to drive and limit external factors like bike transport! I look forward to racing this one again next year!