Kingston's long course triathlon is a unique distance - partway between an Olympic and a half ironman. The swim is half ironman distance (2 km). The bike is 56.2km (compared to 40k for the Oly and 90k for the HIM). The Run is 15k (compared to 10 for the Oly and 21.1 for the HIM). It's the only race of it's kind in Ontario, that's for sure.
But doing K-town wasn't on my radar until I learned about Via Rail's Bike Train. The bike train is a summer initiative that allows you to check your bike (as is - no boxing!) on certain trains. One of the trains is Kingston/Montreal. When I realized that, I decided to give it a try (sorry) over the long weekend so I could go do my longest triathlon yet - a perfect prep race for Barrelman!
I got to Kingston two days in advance of the race because it made the most sense given the Via Rail schedule (there is only 1 bike train a day per direction). This was great because it gave me time to check out Kingston on top of doing the race.
On the Friday I arrived, I took a look at the waterfront, where the transition area was going to be (right in front of City Hall).
I also took a walk to look at the Causeway Bridge because the race website mentioned the need for a lot of caution while going over it. The bridge has a grate floor and lifts up when boats need to go through. I actually got to watch this while I was there checking it out!
K-Town was an amazing triathlon to do. It was a beautiful race venue with amazing volunteers (Thank you to any who might be reading this!). It also was long enough to really give me a taste of what I'm in for at Barrelman. Specific lessons learned, included:
- Check, double check, and triple check your wave start.
- If you have a Garmin 910 - to put the watch in multi-sport mode - you need to hit Enter on the screen BEFORE you hit start. I really need to knock this one into my head.
- If you're wearing a Camel-bak on the bike, fit is crucial. You don't want it to sit lopsided.
- Sometimes it's worth stopping for 30 seconds in a longer race to fix/adjust an issue rather to spend hours being annoyed by it.
- Double check if there are porta-potties on the bike course. Having to go is the most distracting thing ever. If you think you might need to go - go in T1! (For those of you that pee on the bike - well, I guess you don't have this problem. Personally - barring an incident, I am NOT going there ever. I am not fast enough that a minute or two in the loo is ever going to be an issue).
- A visor (Got mine through the Toronto Triathlon Club) is actually great to wear on a hot and long run course....leaves room for you to dump water on your head at every aid station!).
- Don't forget to smile and thank the volunteers on the course!
Seriously MultiSportCanada? The K-town medal was AWESOME (gorgeous design!) and the finisher's hat to go with the shirt was a nice surprise! Thanks for a great race!