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A novel by Len Joy

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Sunday, September 14, 2014

North Shore Triathlon - September 14, 2014



When I had my surgery on August 13, my secret goal was to recover in time to participate in the North Shore Triathlon.  This triathlon, which began last year, was brought to life by Craig Strong and his team at Precision Multisport, where I train.

Last year my daughters joined me for the race. It was their first tri experience so of course it rained the entire time.  They said that didn’t discourage them, but this year Christie was safely back in London and when I asked Nicole if she would like to do it again, she gave me a funny look. 

When I went to see my surgeon for my first post op checkup he was not enthusiastic about my triathlon plan. Actually he said “No biking!”  I wasn’t really going to argue with him as I had already tried biking (just a few miles) and it wasn’t super comfortable.  I came up with a backup plan. My friend Zeev Saffir volunteered to do the bike segment for me.  Zeev is 30 and I have to confess he might be slightly faster than me on my best days on the bike so he was an excellent choice.

The air temp was only about 45 degrees as we prepared to enter the water. But that was actually a good thing as it made the 54 degree water feel warm. Well at least not unbearably cold. I had predicted to my coach (Heather Collins) that I would do the swim in 8:30 and I finished in 8:28 which is probably the first time I actually did better than I predicted.  Heather has worked on my swimming form a lot this year.  Last year in this same tri I took 10 minutes to complete the course. 

Another great thing about having Zeev waiting to do the bike segment was I could hand off the racing chip to him before I took off my wetsuit.  That definitely helped our transition time as I was shaking so much it took me about five minutes to get the wetsuit off. 

I finally warmed up and was ready when Zeev finished the bike segment. He zipped around the course in 36 minutes, averaging just over 20 mph.   

I had predicted for my run a 5K time of 24 minutes but it took me 25:23 to finish.  I blame the cold.

Zeev and I  finished with a time of 1:13:49. I had predicted a time of 1:14.  We would have finished second in the relay competition but we weren’t consider a true relay so we finished first in our own special two man division. 

It’s a great race. Beautiful location and Craig Strong and J.P. Bordeleau and a ton of volunteers really made it a rewarding experience. Lots of first time triathletes had a chance to compete.

 
Zeev Saffir and Nikki Kopelson