Our team met up at 8 am on Saturday to scope out the new bike course and get in a short pre-race workout. The bike course was completely different this year so we loaded up into cars to drive the new course. We’d be doing a double out and back along a completely different road as we were trying to avoid crossing the railroad tracks through town like we have in the last few years.
The course used to be pretty flat and fast with the exception of one hill, but this route was a little different. It was a bit hillier overall but no big climbs. It would be one you would have to be smart to manage your effort on and to be mindful of the wind. I wound up measuring the elevation gain and loss over the course at about 2700 feet.
We also chatted about drafting and Angie tried to give a visual for how big the distance is that we would need to leave between two bikes.
After we drove the bike course it was time to get on our bikes and ride the run course. The route for the run had changed, but we essentially followed the same pathways as before, we’d just be running the same out and back twice. We couldn’t take off without a team photo though!
We also had a very cute Team Tri Life mascot join us in the morning, Leo!
I think this was the largest Team Tri Life group we’ve had at Great White North. It was pretty amazing!! We got on our bikes for a little toodle ride over the run course, giving us a chance to look for elevation changes or landmarks. Going through the course just started to amp up the excitement for the next day! I think it also helped dissipate some nerves too. We topped the morning off with a super quick brick run and coffee at Starbucks before going in separate directions for the afternoon.
Neil’s grandmother lives really close to where we were staying so we met up with her for lunch at Swiss Chalet.
I figured some lean chicken, a baked potato and some veggies would make a good lunch the day before the race!
After lunch it was time to get things set up for the race the next day. We had to drop off our bike to run bags at the pavilion where we had picked up our race packets between 2 and 5 pm. We also had to drop off our bikes at the lake during those same hours. I was worried that drop off was going to be a total gong show because it was crazy dropping our bikes off at the lake last year. Maybe having two drop offs worked to spread people out this year and it wasn’t that stressful. I spent more time chatting with friends at the bag drop off than dropping my actual bag off!
Dropping my bike off was quick and easy too!
I racked my bike and scoped out my position in transition. First row…easy to find!!
I said goodnight to my bike, we scoped out the lake and chatted with friends, then headed out to Edmonton for a little shopping at West Edmonton Mall and dinner.
Dinner at Olive Garden has been my tradition before every Great White North race. I always order the same thing – capellini pomodoro with grilled chicken on top.
I know this dish works with my stomach so I don’t mess with it!
Back at the hotel it was time to get my stuff ready for the race the next day. I debated whether to put my temporary tattoo race numbers on that night or the next morning. I texted Tara to ask what she was doing and she suggested a tattoo party. Good times! There was also apparently a tattoo themed wedding happening at our hotel that night too…
Tattoos are more fun with friends, right?
I realized just as I put my age group tattoo down on my calf that it was upside down, but Deb was quick on the wet washcloth and it was too late!
Oops!! Despite the tattoo fail there were so many laughs and it was so great to hang out with these awesome ladies and have some fun the night before the race.
Next up…we race!!
I guess a changed bike course is the price of a different run. I liked the old bike course, and that long run to the turnaround point just killed me. It never ended. Looks like you had fun during your tattoo party!