It was a fun filled family day at the XTerra ‘Mine Over Matter’ Milton Off Road Triathlon. Beautiful weather accompanied a beautiful event in absolutely stunning scenery.
Water temp was 21.3 Celsius but with the air temperature and humidity as it was – warm and humid – the decision was made to go non-wetsuit; especially after we heard that those who competed earlier in the day shared that they were warm wearing a wetsuit during their open water or full course triathlon events. The swim ended up being perfect. Not a chill did any of us experience, and with the warmth of the sun and the light colour of the water – not dark like Lake Ontario or the Welland Canal – there was a lightness to the swim that made it a truly joyful experience. The water is so calm that sighting is simple… the yellow buoys out on the lake are easily seen with just the slightest of head up swimming, and even the orange flags that mark the entrance to the run to T1 are visible at a distance.
The bike course had a new section of technical trail added within the Kelso Conservation area that meandered in and out of pine trees, open fields, plus added a couple of rock gardens to make it just that much more interesting. What made this part of the section even more exciting was that a busload of tourists decided that today was the day to visit Kelso… thankfully they knew to get off the single track trail and out of the way of the triathletes. In fact they cheered us on while they took videos and pictures of us flying by. Who knew there would be spectators in the thick of the woods! As a family we race the Kelso MTB Series so it was awesome to know each of the paths almost rock by rock, and to know exactly where we were during the entire bike course. The bike course flew by as a result.
Trail running is new for all of us, but what another glorious experience to run through meadows of tall grass, through the forests, on gravel and dirt roads. The sun was beating down at that point, and finishing up on the loop around the quarry on the limestone gravel road was on the warm side. Being able to hear the finish line announcer on the other side of the quarry lake lifts you up and brings you home.
To cross the finish line and then be able to jump right back into that magnificent water for a cool down swim topped the day.
To be able to return to competing in triathlons after a 22+yr hiatus, to be able to return with the entire family, with my daughter eager to compete when she is old enough, really made it a special day.
Thank you to Serena for being the family support and camera crew. We would not have all the images and the video if it wasn’t for you.