Race Report - Ryan Dockman
August 13, 2017
Sunday's Olympic was my 3rd year consecutive year racing Bracebridge and it didn't disappoint. The weather turned out to be amazing, the Team at Multisport ran the event without a hitch, and the sprint into the finish line was yet again another inspiring moment. If you haven't raced the Bracebridge Triathlon I recommend you put it on your list for next year!
Two years ago (2015) I was challenged by my younger brother (Cameron Alksnis) who had signed up for this Bracebridge Triathlon. He had been a Professional Soccer player winning a few NCAA Championships and was eager for a new challenge. Even though I was 7 years older (33 at the time), and it had been almost a decade since I would have considered myself athletic. I couldn't let him race on his own so I took on this challenge even though I knew it would take considerable effort, focus and training to even just complete an Olympic.
In 2015 I didn't come close to beating him. He finished his first in just over 2:30, but I did finish and was excited about the achievement. I transformed my health, accomplished my goal and I reaffirmed confidence in myself that I could take on challenges and achieve them. Since this rejuvenating race I have set new goals and set out to achieve them. In 2015 I finished 93rd overall completing in 2:48 and running the 10 km in 54 minutes. In 2017 I am happy to say that I have caught up on the field placing 23rd overall (2nd AG) in 2:25 and running the 10 km in 44 minutes.
As for the course this year: the swim had a bit more current than usual. A quick tip for this race is to watch the weather reports the night before because if it rains you'll see the river current will pick up. The Multisport staff were great and recommended that downriver it's best to race with the current (in the middle of the river), and to swim up current closer to the shore. The advise helped and was out of the water in 54th place which is higher in the field than I usually am.
Bracebridge's bike has some steep uphills, good downhill sections and long rolling hills. This race has a time trial start so it is bit challenging to figure out where your Age Group competitors are, but it's fun. If you can find other strong bikers to race with it makes for an exciting leg. I averaged just under 37km with help from my new Blade Carbon 808's. My time was 1:08, I jumped up to 23rd overall and was a full 13 minutes faster than my 2015 time! Good racing wheels really do make a difference; you can feel it while you ride and it will help improve your racing.
The run is an out and back, and for the 3rd consecutive year the sun was shining. I'm convinced the river must cool the course down because it was too nice out for it to be a mild as it was. I ran 10 minutes faster than I had in 2015, a huge improvement that I'm happy with.
All in all a great race that I would recommend for beginners or seasoned vets. Last year I was able to make my way onto the Ambassador team and I am very appreciative to be able race Bracebridge year over year. Cam's since raced IM 70.3 Worlds and I've just recently qualified for the ITU AG Worlds and it all started in Bracebridge. Thanks for the inspiration Multisport, I look forward to 2018!