Monday, July 13, 2015

Pan Am Men's Triathlon

The men's triathlon was held at Ontario Place West Channel on Sunday. What an opportunity to see Canada's best triathletes along with the best from the Pan Am nations.

The crowd was incredible, cheering extremely loud for the Canadians but also cheering for every athlete. That's the beauty of triathlon that even just completing the event is an achievement.

The Pan Am triathlon offered two seating sections. The first offered a great view of the swimming portion of the event.

On your mark!!
And they're off!!

The athletes did a lap of the swim course then came back to the starting platform running up the ramp, then diving in for the second lap.

Canada's Kyle Jones diving in
Canada's Tyler Mislawchuk was swimming in 2nd place. The Canadian flag visible in this photo.
At this point, we moved to the other spectator section. I found out where the athletes would be exiting the water, so chose that grandstand to watch the next part of the race going up to the top so I could look over it to see the water. I didn't realize at the time that it would mean that I wouldn't see the finish very well, but in hindsight I would still choose this spot. I loved watching the swimmers coming towards me and watching them exit the water. When will I ever have the chance to see that again?

Canada's Tyler Mislawchuk exits in second place!!
Go Tyler!! The crowd was so excited!!
Kyle Jones was the next Canadian to exit the water. Go Kyle!!
Not far behind was Andrew Yorke! Go Andrew!!
Kyle leaves on his bike while Andrew arrives at his.

Focusing on the water exit, I missed Tyler's transition but it was so amazing to see the athletes going into the transition and changing as fast as possible to get going on their bikes. There were no wetsuits (the water was just above 20 degrees Celsius) so the transition was extra quick.

Confirmation that Tyler exited the water second.

The cycling consisted mostly of one huge pack. A small group tried to get away, but it wasn't long before the peloton (do we call it a peloton in triathlon?) caught them. There were a few stragglers but mostly until the end, they stayed together waiting for the run to make their move.

There was sad news when we realized there was a Canadian missing, then got confirmation from the announcer that Kyle Jones had abandoned the race. Luckily, it wasn't health related (he was coming back from injury).
“One of the athletes went off the course on the other side of the cones and when he tried to reenter the course he touched one of the cones and it kind of shot right at my front wheel and punctured the tire immediately,” Jones said following the race. “I kind of lost control a little bit but I was able to stay up, which is I guess the one good point of it, but the bike was pretty much unrideable." from

Time for transition number 2
Whenever I watch a triathlon on television (or livestream), I always love watching the athletes come into the second transition ensuring they travel as fast as possible but get their feet on the ground before the red line. They make it look so easy, but I can imagine that it's not.

Large group of athletes transitioning as fast as possible to start the 3rd leg: 10km run 

The first time we see the runners coming back to the transition area, Andrew Yorke gives the fans another reason to cheer loudly, running in second. Tyler is also looking great tucked in with the great runners in the field.

They come back through the transition area giving us two chances to see the runners every lap.

Go Andrew!! The crowd was SO loud!
Andrew, Tyler and Kyle gave their all on the day, especially wanting to win on home soil with their friends, family and fans cheering for them, but in the end Crisanto Grajales from Mexico outsprinted Kevin McDowell of USA. Ivring Perez who led after the swim portion won the bronze.

Where are my photos of the finish? Well, it turns out that they run really close to the stands. If you look up a few photos before, when the athletes transition to the run, the finish line is to the left of the transition area. Imagine those sitting spectators standing, and that's what I saw. Only the front few rows could see the finish properly, but that's okay. The front rows couldn't see the racers come out of the water. I tried to take a photo of the leaders and ended up with a shoe and a bunch of spectators. I put my camera away and enjoyed cheering the rest of the finishers.

Andrew Yorke finished 7th and Tyler Mislawchuk was 10th.

My first medal ceremony of the Games. The crowd once again was amazing, celebrating their great achievement.

I love these photos I took after the race. They're so typical triathlon.

I don't like this one as much :-(

I may never get to see a triathlon like I did at the Pan Am Games with the views we had, but I will be back to cheer all our Canadian triathletes when they're back in Toronto.

Until then, I hope they stay healthy and qualify to represent Canada at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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