Dev: Congrats on staying injury-free and running 10k/day as well as all doing all the skiing. Hereâ€™s a blast from the past for you, and I thought other readers might like to see the wonderful winter sports playground we have here in Ottawa. Yesterday I did the virtual Winterlude Triathlon as part of my 100 runs â€” runs #116 and #117.
Iâ€™m not into virtual races at all, but itâ€™s tough to give up a 21-year race streak so I decided to plonk down the $65 to enter this yearâ€™s virtual Winterlude Triathlon. There were four options available, and I went with The Double: skate 15k, ski 12k, run 10k, twice the distances of the regular race. In the virtual race, participants could skate, ski and run anywhere, any time throughout the month of February. The three disciplines didnâ€™t need to be done on the same day or at the same location. But I wanted to emulate the regular triathlon as closely as possible, so I decided to do all disciplines on Feb. 6, the day the race would have been held. I also decided to do all of the legs on the Winterlude Tri course and to not use any mode of transportation other than being self-propelled. This meant I needed to be a bit creative, and I divided the triathlon into six different legs. (The Winterlude Sextathlon?) Here we go! Friday night
Just like the regular race, I got my gear ready and packed the night before the race. Skis, poles, ski boots, long blades, running shoes, a couple of Clif bars, water, toque, headband, neck cowl, thin inner gloves, medium mitts, overmitts, an extra mitt to stick down the front of my tights and a pack to carry/strap everything, and Iâ€™m good to go. Leg 1:
Skate 10k from Second Avenue to Hartwell Locks via the NAC and Dowâ€™s Lake Pavilion, 41:11
I got up at 6 am and filled my belly with porridge and coffee. Put on my ski boots, left the house at 6:40 and walked a block to the Second Avenue entrance of the Rideau Canal.
Look at that newly-flooded ice! With a temperature of -8, mostly sun and not much wind, conditions are going to be perfect today.
I skated north and via Patterson Creek to the north end of the canal at the 0.0 km mark near the NAC, carrying my pack with skis and poles strapped to the outside, running shoes on the inside. The ice was awesome but I took it cautiously; I didnâ€™t want to chance a spill and damage a ski or pole. Not many skaters were on the ice at this early hour.
Then south to Dowâ€™s Lake, again via Patterson Creek. Surely there can be no better outdoor experience in Ottawa than skating on Dowâ€™s Lake as the sun is rising. Magical!
Finished the first leg at Hartwell Locks. Blades off, boots off and running shoes on for Leg 2.