Paddle race 1:02:00  11.0 km (10.6 kph)
Paddle section of MOMAR. Did not have a great pre race week - lots of late nights and a couple days feeling like I was getting sick. I hoped the body would feel OK but didn't really know what to expect. Figured that Todd, Shane and Norm were my biggest competition and since both Todd and Shane were in regular boats I could build up a bit of a lead off the water. Todd had told me that he thought he would be slow running today given his lack of run training after his back injury but I doubted that would slow him down too much - especially since he is faster on his feet than me on a good day. Actually all three of the guys I mentioned are faster on their feet than me so I knew I had to hold my own on the bike (which should be doable), navigate well, and hope that my paddle lead held up.
I'll bet that I was in the small majority of racers who were actually looking forward to the paddle. We started from barnet marine park and headed past Belcarra park to Jug island in indian Arm before retracing our wake. Nice to be back in old stomping grounds from my time living in Port Moody. The water was calm but the tide was going out so a little slow getting to Jug Island. Was by myself pretty much right away and paddled solo the whole time. Felt good and really tried to push the pace. Had a few close calls with boat wakes - they are worse in calm conditions I find - I turned into one and took water over the bow into the cockpit. Gapped the next boat by 5 minutes I think and had 12 min on Todd.
Bike race 1:56:00  25.0 km (12.9 kph) +800m
After the paddle the course took us west along the Barnett hwy and then up the west side of SFU along the Trans Canada trail. Self nav section but nothing tricky and the riding was just a grunt up a steeper gravel path. At the top of SFU we dropped our bikes and got a score O map with 12 CPs to collect amogst the buildings and parks on SFU. Interesting orienteering but not terribly difficult. Only a few CPs were in the woods and not a huge amount of elevation gain and loss. After I finished I didn't think I would make any huge gains on this sections as it was hard to make really big mistakes - relocating was pretty easy. I ran OK - legs have not felt fast this season but I haven't really trained for speed so can't expect much. Only a couple small bobbles costing me a couple minutes at most. Looks like only a handful of people beat me so happy with that.
Next we rode down Mel's and onto Dead Moped and North Road trail. The conditions were a bit slick and I rode a bit conservatively thinking smooth was better than choppy. Bike felt better with the shorter stem. Got a bit confused at CP 9 and wasted a minute or so figuring out what I was supposed to do next which was to climb back up to the top of SFU using Cardiac Hill. Had to walk a few sections of cardiac - there was a reason I never used it to climb up when I lived in the area. Next we rode a series of new trails to me - Gear Jammer, Upper Cut, Lower Snake. Fun riding - way better shape than Mel's.
At this point I was still in front and had no idea what sort of lead I had. Next section was a short run back to the top of Nicole's trail and down the mountain bike trail. Now that I was back on my feet I was again feeling a bit sluggish but I plugged away and ran most of the hill up. As I turned off Gagliardi Way I saw a racer behind me and guessed it was Todd. Looks like he had gained a few minutes per section on me and my 12 minute lead after the paddle was soon to be gone. It seemed he was gaining however I held him off on the run down Nicole's and left the CP 30 sec before him.
On the bike we seemed alot more even in speed and I maintained my lead through the next CP as we rode back towards Barnet marine park. Unfortunately at the next CP I essentially gave the race away when I reached in my pocket and realized I had lost my passport. In the excitement of racing head to head I shoved the passport into a different less secure pocket than the pocket I had been using and obviously it fell out. Luckily I didn't have to backtrack too far to find it and only lost 4 minutes probably but a crummy way to drop behind.
Run race 1:35:00  15.0 km (6:20 / km) +400m 5:35 / km
There was supposed to be a bit of extra biking before the final orienteering stage but the course was running a little long so it was cut out. That meant that I was now 4 minutes behind Todd and I had 25 minutes of orienteering left to try and catch him - not that likely but you never know. This section was in Barnet marine park and most of the CPs were reached using runnable terrain. The legs were feeling quite slow at this point but I pushed as hard as I could.
I was looking at the map thinking gary must have been wrong that this would take 25 minutes as it looked much shorter than that. After getting three of the CPs I noticed that there was 7 spots to punch but I could only see 6 CPs. I kept scanning the map to find the last CP but couldn't see it. Since it was G I thought maybe it was mistake and I kept collecting the other CPs. Only after getting my last point did I finally notice it - on the far left edge of the sheet and actually plotted off the map. Kind of lame in my opinion. I had kept scanning the mapped area and therefore hadn't seen it. Unfortunately I should have hit this CP earlier and now had covered and extra km or so unneccessarily. To make matter worse this CP was the furthest away and I now had at least a 3 km round trip run to finish the course.
As I ran back to collect it Shane and Norm appeared - great even second wasn't guaranteed. I am pretty sure if I hadn't appeared they would have missed CP G as well (as it turns out Todd also missed it at first and later teams were explicitly told not to forget CP G). I was tempted to hang back and let Shane and Norm make the same mistake I did but instead just kept running. They both shortly passed me after realizing that they needed to get G as well. Shane runs 33min 10km so it was rather depressing how quickly he ran by me. Norm also pulled away steadily. This section was not playing to my strengths. Given how fast Shane was running 2nd was not guaranteed despite him needing to get the rest of the CPs. It was certainly a painful run out and back to get G but I made it back and nipped Shane by less than a minute for second. Todd finished 8 minutes ahead.
If I had caught G earlier I could have won although that would have been a crappy way to win. Had I not dropped my passport we would have started the run together but Todd likely would have pulled away and stlll won. Next year I need to increase my foot speed if I want to win. Squamish with the climb up the chief was a better course for my running strengths. This course had alot less elevation gain on foot. Better yet if the paddle is doubled in length:)