Better late than never....
Day 8 brought our second and final competition of the Canada Games: the Team Relay. Provinces competed in teams of three, with each athlete completing a 300m swim, 6.67k bike and 2k run, before handing off to their next team mate. Both races were held under good conditions: non-wetsuit swim, fairly calm water, moderate winds, warm temps.
In the Women's relay started at 10AM. Dorelle was our lead athlete, followed by Domi Jamnicky, and anchored by Joanna Brown. In the first leg, Dorelle had a strong swim, and got onto the bike with BC, with a ~0:10" gap on MB and AB. The bike was a bit tactical, with BC waiting for MB, before attacking and putting a slight gap on us before T2. Both teams wanted at least 0:30" on us heading into the 3rd leg, so we were effectively racing against team tactics on the first leg. On to the run, MB and BC put a bit more time on us into the first hand off. Team MB had a bad exchange and lost a few seconds, effectively separating all athletes. Domi started our second leg in 3rd place, and raced great throughout, although the top 3 didn't change. Joanna put in a strong swim and bike, but lost a little time to MB's Rachel Edwards (who had a great bike split), before blasting the run with the best split (6:47) of the day. We had measured the 2k the day before the race to confirm it was accurate (it was), and I timed Joanna's relay run split with a stopwatch, from the mat at the exit of T2 to the finish line. The time on my watch was 6:22. I'm not sure why the official time is 0:25" slower, but I'm pretty sure I know how to use a stopwatch. All three girls posted relays times in the top 10 of the race. Great racing all around, and a Canada Games Bronze Medal for the team.
Womens relay results here.
The Mens relay started at 12 noon. Connor Hammond was our lead athlete, followed by Ian Donald, with Tristan Woodfine as anchor. Our plan for the guys was to give BC a run for their money by giving our 2nd and 3rd guys a 10-20 sec advantage into each swim. The BC team was strong across the board, but especially in the water, so a small advantage for Ontario heading into each swim leg would put us into T1 with the BC athlete, and in a good position to work together on the bike and push the run. Connor executed perfectly, overcoming some early contact in the swim to get into the front pack, and building the run to give us ~0:20" over BC. Ian swam very well, exiting the swim with BC's Cole Stewart as planned, and moving smoothly through T1, on to the bike. Unfortunately, Cole (a strong rider) opened up a small gap and put his head down to maximize the advantage, with Ian chasing hard to limit the gap. On to the run, Cole buried himself with a great run. Ian was able to claw back time, but BC's Jeff Phillips still started the 3rd leg with a good ~0:15" lead. With Jeff hammering off the front, Tristan was given the big task of chasing Jeff, and/or holding on to 2nd. Nova Scotia was having an excellent race, and their 3rd athlete got out of the water with Tristan. Things were looking up for us, as Tristan now had someone to work with in pursuit of BC. Unfortunately, the NS athlete dropped his chain right out of T1, which resulted in a 0:60"+ time loss before it was fixed. The MB moved up to 3rd out of T1, with Tristan riding solo in pursuit of BC further up the road. Phillips was able to open up a bit more time on the bike, and run home for the win, followed by Tristan and MB for 3rd. Without that mechanical, Nova Scotia was looking at a likely bronze medal, or at least a very exciting fight with MB for 3rd....but that's racing. All ON boys were in the top 12 of the relay times, and claimed a Canada Games Silver medal for their efforts.
Mens relay results here.
The relay event was well run, and an exciting event for athletes, spectators and coaches. It would be great to see a relay event at all Junior Series races next year (race Saturday, relay Sunday) - that would double the draft-legal race experience for our junior athletes for the same travel budget, and the athletes would love the new challenge.
A big thanks to OAT for the incredible support over the last 3+ years. Thanks also to our Manager, Karen Bonham, and Mission Staffperson Stephanie Johnston, who both provided excellent support throughout the games. Finally, congratulations to our athletes. They raced hard in both events and contributed to Ontario's medal haul (2 silver, 1 bronze), but most importantly they represented their sport and their province very well.
Congrats to all competitors, coaches and officials for being part of Triathlon's debut at the Canada Summer Games, and putting on a great show.