Brett, Margret, Eileen, Tim… on the podium!

So many of the usual suspects congregated in Peterborough on the weekend for the umpteenth annual Peterborough 1/2 Iron-distance… had to throw in the Iron-distance part there to be “corporately correct”… even though for some strange reason they don’t actually make it Iron-distance… the swim is 2.0 km vs 1.9 km… and the bike was 85 km vs 90 km… on top of the fact that on any given year the bike distance changes, so you can’t even compare from year to year.  Seems kinda dumb to me… but what do I know.

Joanne comes 4th!… and brings home the pewter?

Lots of great stories… but I’m going to start with the headline story… at least in my mind… the RELAY!  This was the first year that we’ve put together a relay, usually we do Peterborough because it fits into the full IM schedule well as a good tune up race.  But this year we have numerous people in the group doing various things… still lots of Ironmen in training this year in the group… but also a few just training for shorter tri’s… running… and duathlons… not to mention the fair contingent that got into Marathon Swimming this year!  I am one of the latter and as a result haven’t done any biking since Ironman Cda last August and minimal running… so when Lambrina suggested a relay, I was all over it!  Provided I got to do the swim! 😉

Trying to catch Maisey… but she was “bookin’ it!”

So I’d do the swim, Lamb would do the run… and we recruited Helene (a super-fast cyclist, who qualified for IM World Champs in Kona this year!) for the ride!!!  Cool… we should kick some butt.  Problem is the evil Hugh decided he wanted to get a team together to challenge our prospective supremacy… Hugh would be running… he got Rick for the ride… and they needed a swimmer.  So who did they recruit?  About the only one in the crowd that could beat me… my daughter, Maisey!  The duel was on.

Bruce takes a short cut… through the weeds!

In a pool, Maisey could kick my butt… and likely perform the same motion in the lake too.  She’s a long time LOSTie, one of the originals, so she’s not afraid of open water swimming, like a lot of pool swimmers.  Damn.  But I still have more mass start and tri experience than her… which likely wouldn’t be enough… but that’s about all the ammo I had.

Finally the big race arrived… and despite all the trash talking between the two teams and rivals… I gave her a few tips prior to the race…. “like start at the back and work your way to the front, it’s more fun to pass all those people”… or “don’t bother sighting, just jump on someone’s heels and blindly follow”… it was the least I could do for the poor girl in her first adult triathlon!

Our group took home lots of awards and prizes… unfortunately new shorts for David wasn’t one of the prizes!

And we were off!  One of the few advantages one has as a fast swimmer is you don’t have to put up with the crashing and banging and chaos of the starting scrum… I bolted and was clearly in second place within about 200m… then some guy squeaked by… then Maisey cruised by… we even briefly locked eyes as she passed… I think she was laughing… I was dying to hold on.  The good news is that I did.  We came around the second corner and I was dragging nicely off Maisey’s heels, careful not to touch them so she wouldn’t know I was there (turns out later that she was wise to me, she’d just do a big roll once in a while to see if I was still there!  Not quite as stealthy as I thought!).

But then she made a fatal error… the front guy, who wasn’t far ahead was sighting off the wrong buoy!  And second place followed him… and Maisey followed him!  Perfect.  I let them take off in the wrong direction and continued sighting properly!  After a few hundred meters they all realized and started coming back on my tack… problem was… I was no longer on Maisey’s heels… and now couldn’t get back on them.

David and Lamb having a nice run! Nice LOST Tri jersey, Dave!

We came into the quick run on the beach at half way… Maisey was in 3rd… and oddly the entire loud LOST crowd from Oakville was rooting for her to beat the ol’ man… they went crazy!  I came bursting out of the water just seconds behind her… forced my lungs back into my chest and dove back in.  I have to say I was feeling good… and with everything on the line I wasn’t about to leave anything on the table… I was red-lining it… but I never saw those heels again.

I told Maisey that even if she was ahead of me after the swim, I would catch her on the 500m run to the transition area… I shouldn’t have told her that… she said she “was bookin’ it” to transition like there was a pack of wild dogs chasing her… I sprinted like there was no tomorrow and… I didn’t catch her… she finished 29 seconds ahead of me!

Maisey and Rob… The Duel in The Lake!

Let me just say that… I really wanted to beat her… in case that wasn’t apparent by now… but I also have to say, it’s pretty cool to be racing your own kid… and it’s pretty cool being beat by her.  Couldn’t be prouder.  Call it my Gordie Howe moment.

Back to the race.  Me being only 29 seconds behind was actually the best case scenario in my head… although there was no way I was going to admit it before the race… it set the race up for a real dog fight.  Rick is fast and in pretty good shape… but Helene is very fast and in great shape.  Lamb is fast and in good shape… but Hugh is faster and in good shape too… all pre-race betting, handicapping and calculations said this could come down to the wire.

It didn’t.  Two reasons.  Rick was way the hell faster than he was supposed to be.  That’s still on appeal until his pee comes back from the lab.  And Helene… well, as someone said “poor Helene… drama seems to follow her!”  So much so that it has become a running joke… dog bites, flats, mechanical, wetsuit issues… and something new and special for today’s race… well, let’s just say that she lived up to our prophetic team name: “the LOSTies”.  Yup, she got lost.  No fault of her own mind you… things just “happen” to Helene!

Team Blue Julia, Joanne and Eileen… actually they just all like the same shirts!

She caught Rick… and was now in 3rd place overall in this race of about 350 people… and she reached an intersection and the cop stopped traffic for her… and waived her through… the wrong freakin’ way! (did I mention that Rick is a cop too… I think Internal Affairs has been alerted, but I’m not allowed to comment on an ongoing investigation).  Now if she had been in the middle of pack, like most of us mortals, this isn’t a problem, you just follow everyone else… but the other 2 were a ways ahead… so she kept riding… and riding… and riding… until she saw “Port Hope 20k”!!!  She turned it around and when it was all said and done… she had gone 15 k the wrong way!!!

That pretty much put an end to the duel.  Hugh had a nice run… and with the pressure off, Lambrina had a nice run too.  Ryder’s Raiders beat The LOSTies.  There I said it.  They also came third over all.  Enjoy it.  Until next year.

Julia, Eileen, Joanne, Bruce and Brian… ready for the Sprint!

So that’s my story… but truth is our little group hits way above it’s weight class… we cleaned up.  Brett won his division (Brett, of Bean There fame!)… Margret from TCOB won her division too… Carlos got silver in his division… Ryder’s Raider’s came third… Joanne came 4th in her division… Scott won his division in the Du… here are the results for the LOSTies and some other locals that I recognized…

Peterborough 2012, results    (if the font is too small when you open it, adjust the font size to 125% at the top of your viewer)



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I founded LOST Swimming because I like open water swimming and would like to see it grow and thrive in Lake Ontario. I started as a competitive swimmer as a kid and ended up getting as far as a silver medal at Nationals and going to the Olympic Trials in 1988. But I retired after that, I was sick of swimming. So I got into running marathons and have run over 35 to date, as well as a few ultra marathons, including the Marathon des Sables (7 day, ultra across the Sahara Desert). I also kind of fell into triathlons and have done a handful of Ironman tri's too. This gradually got me back in the water and in 2006 I took the plunge and attempted swimming the English Channel. I didn't quite make it across, but the circle was now complete and after 17 years I was a swimmer again! Although I still do plenty of pool swimming, I now much prefer open water swimming and like to say that open water swimming is to pool swimming, what trail running is to treadmill running! As a result I hope to encourage more people to join me for a dip in Lake Ontario as often as we can!


  1. Rob,

    Saw you on the beach before the start and was wondering why you were not swimming naked?
    You were talking to your daughter and did not want to bother you.
    I hate cold water but almost overheated in my full wetsuit.
    Too bad your team got misdirected on the bike.
    Agree with you. Why don’t they stick to 1 bike course so at least from year to year people can compare.
    I would not be surprised if this race ends up disappearing sooner rather than later
    The turnout keeps dropping
    507 in 2007
    471 in 2008
    459 in 2009
    455 in 2010
    402 in 2011
    284 in 2012

    Welland is increasing and now with Tremblant + Muskoka + Syracuse 70.3
    It makes it busy.




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