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Impressions from The Cultus Lake Triathlon

    1. Very Strict Rules - But Well Communicated

    Running triathlon races takes a lot of structure and rules for safety and efficiency. This is known to me, but somehow the vibe I got coming to this event after a 3-year absence from the sport (and the last race before it's run during the pandemic with different rules for social distancing etc.) was that the rules were somewhat heavy and oppressive.

    Still, when those rules are well communicated by volunteers, pre-race emails and written material in the race kit, I can't claim there was any space for misunderstanding so it was easy to follow the rules.

    2. Swim Start Needs To Be Broken Up In Waves

    The sprint race had 2 waves to start: the first was all males as well as non-gendered athletes. The second wave was all females. I'm more used to waves being broken up by age category as well as gender to spread the masses out in the water. Open water swim collisions are already scary for the beginner triathlete, and we were having these kinds of collisions even while treading water and waiting behind the starting line. I think it made the swim leg of the race more difficult than it needed to be.

    3. Best Run Course

    The course followed the lake shore initially and had sections through a shady forest path and along residential streets with beautiful houses and people cheering us on from their front porches. One of the nicest run courses I can imagine.

    4. P.A. System

    I saw a race crew member trying to locate a certain athlete by yelling throughout the transition area. The pre-race briefing where course details

    5. Body Marking

    Rather than write bib numbers on racers' arms and calves, the race organizers supplied temporary tattoos. They look neat and worked well (though I was stressed about applying them properly), but it seems like an overcomplicated solution to what wasn't really a big problem. Perhaps the tattoos will wear off faster than a number written in Sharpie, which is what I'm more used to and is easily done in a matter of seconds.

    6. BC Beauty

    The bike course was a simple out-and-back with a little climbing (and thus downhills too), but even the simplest routes in the Chilliwack area can have beautiful greens and mountains to see.

    7. Friendly Neighbour

    The fellow racking his bike next to mine in transition was very nice and friendly and we managed to meet twice during the race - we finished our swim and bike legs at roughly the same time. I think he must have been much faster on the run because I believe his total time was 10 minutes less than mine.

    8. Cycling Jealousy

    I can remember being passed on the bike leg very far along the total distance and seeing what kind of difference a very expensive bike can make. I'm used to that - but on that day I got passed by someone riding a simple commuter bike and I was unable to catch him again - he must have very strong legs!

    9. Cool Weather

    The temperature was in the low 10s at the start of the race. When I first got on the bike with wet skin and no sleeves I was freezing, but luckily the early parts of the bike ride were an incline so the work of going uphill quickly warmed me. I think the cool weather meant I also felt less need to drink water, which meant better speed as I didn't slow down to hydrate (or urinate).

    10. Cool Location

    Cultus Lake has a water park and theme park nearby and other cafes and restaurants. We could have stood to take more advantage.

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