Home > Tri Posts > Race Recap: Tour de Waterloo

Race Recap: Tour de Waterloo


I think, before a recap of this morning’s Tour de Waterloo bike ride race, a bit of my weekend’s back story is in order…

It all started Friday night, when one of my closest university buddies came to town after work for a night of drinking-like-our-university-days.  Amazing visit with a great friend.  Amazing tasty beers.  It’s been a long time since I’ve closed out the bar, leading to very little sleep that night.  Had a blast – wouldn’t trade it for the world… but shouldn’t have done that 36hrs before a race.  Strike #1

Saturday I drove out of town to the wedding of one of my high school friends.  Lovely wedding – such happy people, and great to see old friends I see too infrequently.  We danced, we drank, we survived the lack of air conditioning (though it was dicey for a while).  Such a fantastic night – so glad I was there.  Drinking and dancing the evening before a race is rarely a recipe for success.  Strike #2

After the wedding Saturday night I drove to Waterloo and crashed at my sister’s apartment.  I enjoyed getting to visit my sister – I see her too rarely.  But getting in late and sleeping in a home you’re not used to (again with no a/c – seriously, where did this weekend’s heat and humidity come from?!?) before a race is also not the best strategy!.  Strike #3.

Yep – I was in trouble…

The pre race festivities were simple enough.  Not a lot of vendors – not a lot of loud music or activities.  But there was coffee, and bagels.  And that made for a happy Dave!

That's about as excited as I get in the mornings...

That’s about as excited as I get in the mornings…

The starting area reminded me of a charity bike ride I did a few years ago – probably because it’s the only other time I’ve started an event on the bike.  I’m used to starting my races with a bunch of runners, or swimmers.  Bikes take up a surprising amount of space, and make for an interesting stop/start dynamic when the pack takes off.


They corralled us by distance – the 130km racers went first (crazy fools), then us 70km racers, and finally the 40km racers (where I really should have been).  It seemed to work well enough.  How else to do you reasonably release 550+ bicycles into the city streets at once?

The gun went off and out we were – and like most races, as the pack leaves together I get swept up in keeping with the pack instead of racing my own race.  I managed to stick with a group of riders for only the first 5km, by which point some of the early hills had left me very winded and gasping for air… and I had lost my pack.  It occurred to me that training in downtown Toronto leads to very little hill riding.  One can ride for dozens of miles on perfectly flat urban terrain.  The farm country NW of Waterloo is not like that – it has some BIG hills – and they thoroughly kicked my ass!

Hypothetically… if I were to get to move back home to Waterloo sometime in the foreseeable future, I would love to get to do more training on these hills… if only that could happen… <COUGH/> foreshadowing <COUGH/>


This weekend was really hot and wet – heat and rain can lead to some wicked humidity here in SW Ontario.  I was anxious of the weather for this race.  I woke up to a pleasantly cool morning and was optimistic.  It didn’t last… It was hot – easily the hottest day of the year so far (in my unscientific opinion, since I didn’t bother to actually check the temperature this morning).  Here’s what it is right now though, at 6:30pm – I’m guessing it was a bit higher near mid day…

That's 86F, feels like 99F

That’s 86F, feels like 99F with the humidity

Sun: 1.  Dave’s skin: 0

Seriously!  Way too many sunburns already this summer!!!

Seriously! Way too many sunburns already this summer!!!

Heat + Humidity + A few drinks and late nights before the race = not a great performance.  Though I actually didn’t do too poorly: 73km in 2:50:28, for an average speed of 24.6kph.  Good enough for 20/24 in my age group.  I was hoping for <2:30:00, but didn’t factor in the hills that I wasn’t used to, or the shenanigans I would get up to in the preceding evenings.  It did give me a realistic baseline of my current fitness over a longer distance (and a less flat one at that), which is what I was ultimately looking for.  It’s given me confidence for the bike portion of my first Olympic distance triathlon at the end of this summer.

The Tour de Waterloo does pride itself on food.  And they didn’t disappoint!  A big plate of pulled pork AND butter chicken post race, hosted by McCabes Irish Pub, is easily the best race eats I’ve ever had (go figure – a blogger who didn’t take a picture of their plate of food!).

Next up next is the Cincinnati Triathlon in only 4 weeks.  Looking forward to getting back into a training routine!

  1. June 24, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Just want to say how much I am enjoying the humour that you are putting into your posts. As one of your non-athlete readers that is definitely one of the things that keep bringing me back. 🙂

    • June 24, 2013 at 9:36 am

      Thanks 🙂
      Being an age group triathlete is hard work – especially for someone coming into it overweight and without an athletics background. It’s hard balancing all of the training and nutrition requirements, with family and work commitments. You have to be able to have fun and laugh at yourself a bit. I’m glad you enjoy reading it.

  2. June 25, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Great recap, might want to cut out the partying for the triathlon. Sounds like things are coming along for you.

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