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2013-05-29 11:02 PM


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Subject: 1st Olympic? Mistake?
I am a beginner triathlete... loving it and as mentioned the other day loved my first MSC event (which was my 2nd tri ever).
So this question isn't a knock on MSC but a question about the venue - Wasaga. I've been reading race reports and reviews about Wasaga which I had slated for my first Olympic distance and I've quite honestly been scared to death since. The bike and run aren't my concern, swimming 1.5KM open water is, well wouldn't be until I started reading about Wasaga's chop. Should I be worried about it and change to the Sprint distance (or give it a try distance to wrap my season up with a more relaxed effor) and then aim for an Olympic next season as a good goal (or target the Eleven Series Olympic tri in Niagara in September?)?


2013-05-30 3:55 AM
in reply to: #4760982

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Subject: RE: 1st Olympic? Mistake?
I wouldn't worry about it. If the weather is bad they generally move the swim I believe. But under normal conditions the water is completely manageable. You have plenty of time until then to build up swim strength as well. Only thing I didn't care for about the swim was that there is a bit of extended running through shallow water.
2013-05-31 10:02 AM
in reply to: ngrunberg

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Subject: RE: 1st Olympic? Mistake?
I only did the give-it-a-try in 2011, but the chop and waves weren't bad at all. I didn't have a wetsuit and the water temperature was fine.

I also did the sprint distance last year, but the swim was cancelled - extremely high winds and huge waves.

There is the option to move the swim to the river, but that didn't work in 2012 as they river water tests exceeded the legal limits.

I've read that weather conditions for Wasaga in early September are always a bit of a risk, so you do take your chances that the wind will pick up and affect the water.

I can say that John S and his team are excellent and they take the safety of the athletes very seriously. If the waves and chop get too bad, they will either shorten the swim or cancel entirely and turn it into a Du.

FWIW I was considering the Wasaga Olympic this year, but decided to go with Bracebridge in August.

The time trial swim starts was a major selling point for my first Oly.
2013-05-31 12:56 PM
in reply to: Scott71

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Subject: RE: 1st Olympic? Mistake?
Originally posted by Scott71

I only did the give-it-a-try in 2011, but the chop and waves weren't bad at all. I didn't have a wetsuit and the water temperature was fine.

I also did the sprint distance last year, but the swim was cancelled - extremely high winds and huge waves.

There is the option to move the swim to the river, but that didn't work in 2012 as they river water tests exceeded the legal limits.

I've read that weather conditions for Wasaga in early September are always a bit of a risk, so you do take your chances that the wind will pick up and affect the water.

I can say that John S and his team are excellent and they take the safety of the athletes very seriously. If the waves and chop get too bad, they will either shorten the swim or cancel entirely and turn it into a Du.

FWIW I was considering the Wasaga Olympic this year, but decided to go with Bracebridge in August.

The time trial swim starts was a major selling point for my first Oly.


X2 as mentioned John And his team do an excellent job , when it come's to athlete safety its their number 1 priority.
2013-05-31 6:07 PM
in reply to: ngrunberg

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Subject: RE: 1st Olympic? Mistake?
First off let me thank everyone for the positive comments about how seriously we take athlete safety. I really appreciate it.

ngrunberg, the honest answer is we can never be sure what swim conditions will be like on a large body of water, whether Georgian Bay or Lake Ontario. 5 and 6 years ago we had back to back years in Wasaga where the winds created enough rough water conditions that I cancelled the swim. Then we had three years of smooth water. Last year Ontario was hit with a freak storm where we had 55mm of rain in 8 hours combined with 60kph winds for most of the race day. Will that happen again? I would suggest highly unlikely and certainly hope not.

If you are concerned I have another option for you. Lakeside is the week after Wasaga. The swim is in a spring fed lake, warm and the bike and run are challenging and fun. In Southwestern Ontario the weather in the second week of September is generally warm. This race sells out every year, so I have to assume people love this race. Aside from those suggestions, I can suggest that you email us with specific questions and I guarantee we will address your concerns.

I won't comment on a competitor race and can only suggest you look at the results to see how many athletes raced and see if there are any comments in forums on 11 Global. I hope we see you in Wasaga or Lakeside.
2013-05-31 7:06 PM
in reply to: John Salt

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Subject: RE: 1st Olympic? Mistake?
Originally posted by John Salt

First off let me thank everyone for the positive comments about how seriously we take athlete safety. I really appreciate it.

ngrunberg, the honest answer is we can never be sure what swim conditions will be like on a large body of water, whether Georgian Bay or Lake Ontario. 5 and 6 years ago we had back to back years in Wasaga where the winds created enough rough water conditions that I cancelled the swim. Then we had three years of smooth water. Last year Ontario was hit with a freak storm where we had 55mm of rain in 8 hours combined with 60kph winds for most of the race day. Will that happen again? I would suggest highly unlikely and certainly hope not.



One of the years was 2006, I was supposed to race my first Oly and wasn't prepared to run 10 km then bike (only the other way around). As always, your team was great and I switched to the sprint duathlon instead


2013-05-31 7:39 PM
in reply to: Daffodil

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Subject: RE: 1st Olympic? Mistake?
I found that OLY's are much more enjoyable. The race is longer than a sprint so you can enjoy it more.
2013-06-01 8:58 AM
in reply to: John Salt


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Subject: RE: 1st Olympic? Mistake?
Thanks so much everyone for the notes and thank you John especially for your message on the topic. I hope my initial post wasn't interpreted as an indication that I didn't think MSC goes way way way above and beyond to ensure safety and an outstanding experience. As mentioned in the Woodstock wetsuit thread I was blown away by the event last weekend and have no doubt that the MSC team puts on every event to that same standard - I have 100% confidence in the MSC team course management, that is why my 6 year old daughter and 10 year old niece are doing the KOS in Huronia in July!

It was more of a question of: as a novice should I be going for an Olympic distance and if so is that event (and specifically body of water) a more challenging one even on a friendly weather day versus the Lakeside one John suggested or holding off on an Olympic until early into next season and just do the Wasaga Sprint.
2013-06-03 7:09 AM
in reply to: ngrunberg

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Subject: RE: 1st Olympic? Mistake?
Hi ngrunberg,

I didn't take it as a criticism at all and thank you for your positive comments. I really appreciate them and so does our team.

I have seen people asking questions like these in other forums and personally I don't think anyone can or should tell you whether you should race a particular distance, unless they know you and your athletic background. The easy and general answer is, if you do the training you have plenty of time to prepare for a September Olympic distance. If you are really unsure about what training is required there are plenty of training resources on the Internet and, of course, there are a lot of great coaches in Ontario. Depending where you live there is probably a Triathlon Club you could train with.

As to Wasaga and the swim there are a couple of issues that impact the swim conditions. The swim usually starts about 50m from shore because of the sand bars. The rest of the swim is fairly shallow too and if there is significant wind can make for a choppy day. Those factors combined with larger body of water all come into play. If we start to get windy conditions on race day it means we are constantly monitoring weather radar so we can anticipate deteriorating conditions. We bring two powered Zodiacs to each race and in Wasaga pay for the OPP to bring their boat. However, if we get to a point where our lifeguards on paddleboards cannot manage the conditions and respond to a swimmer in distress, we cancel the swim. If the conditions are such that closer to shore it is manageable we have shortened the swim. The are a lot more things to consider but these would be the top ones in Wasaga.

As someone mentioned we cancelled all of the swims last year because of extremely high winds. Last year was incredible. The rain started about 60 minutes before race time. The winds were averaging 60kph for several hours and we had 55mm of rain in less than 8 hours. The is a picture of Jason Vurma leading out the first run in the duathlon. Jason is on a bike and the back tire was half underwater. I hope we never see another day like that.

Lakeside is a week later, in a small spring fed lake and we have never had to cancel a swim. If you are at all concerned about your abilities I would suggest Lakeside over Wasaga, although Wasaga and the finish on Beach Drive is pretty awesome.

You are being cautious and this is smart. We are seeing more and more people these days who have not worked on their swim to the point they are very confident with the distance. So, as I said I would talk with a tri coach, a tri club or a swim coach. You have lots of time to get your swim confidence. I hope we see you in Wasaga or Lakeside in either the Olympic or Sprint races.

If you would like to contact me please email john@multisportcanada.com
2013-06-03 7:17 AM
in reply to: ngrunberg

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Subject: RE: 1st Olympic? Mistake?
Hi ngrunberg,

I didn't take it as a criticism at all and thank you for your positive comments. I really appreciate them and so does our team.

I have seen people asking questions like these in other forums and personally I don't think anyone can or should tell you whether you should race a particular distance, unless they know you and your athletic background. The easy and general answer is, if you do the training you have plenty of time to prepare for a September Olympic distance. If you are really unsure about what training is required there are plenty of training resources on the Internet and, of course, there are a lot of great coaches in Ontario. Depending where you live there is probably a Triathlon Club you could train with.

As to Wasaga and the swim there are a couple of issues that impact the swim conditions. The swim usually starts about 50m from shore because of the sand bars. The rest of the swim is fairly shallow too and if there is significant wind can make for a choppy day. Those factors combined with larger body of water all come into play. If we start to get windy conditions on race day it means we are constantly monitoring weather radar so we can anticipate deteriorating conditions. We bring two powered Zodiacs to each race and in Wasaga pay for the OPP to bring their boat. However, if we get to a point where our lifeguards on paddleboards cannot manage the conditions and respond to a swimmer in distress, we cancel the swim. If the conditions are such that closer to shore it is manageable we have shortened the swim. The are a lot more things to consider but these would be the top ones in Wasaga.

As someone mentioned we cancelled all of the swims last year because of extremely high winds. Last year was incredible. The rain started about 60 minutes before race time. The winds were averaging 60kph for several hours and we had 55mm of rain in less than 8 hours. The is a picture of Jason Vurma leading out the first run in the duathlon. Jason is on a bike and the back tire was half underwater. I hope we never see another day like that.

Lakeside is a week later, in a small spring fed lake and we have never had to cancel a swim. If you are at all concerned about your abilities I would suggest Lakeside over Wasaga, although Wasaga and the finish on Beach Drive is pretty awesome.

You are being cautious and this is smart. We are seeing more and more people these days who have not worked on their swim to the point they are very confident with the distance. So, as I said I would talk with a tri coach, a tri club or a swim coach. You have lots of time to get your swim confidence. I hope we see you in Wasaga or Lakeside in either the Olympic or Sprint races.

If you would like to contact me please email john@multisportcanada.com
2013-06-07 10:02 PM
in reply to: John Salt

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Subject: RE: 1st Olympic? Mistake?

As has been mentioned, MSC team puts on amazing races. Yes, John and his team are there to look out for your safety first and foremost, and not to just put on a race.

Personally, I do recommend Wasaga Beach, and you do have the time to be prepared for the swim... especially if you go out and practice in a big lake this summer. Every time we go to the beach (usually Lake Huron/Pinery area) I go out for a 30-45 min swim... no matter the conditions. I've swam in some pretty rough water, just to get a feeling for swimming in heavy water. (BTW... it's MUCH harder to swim without buoys to guide you. Sighting off of shore lines and distant trees, really helps to keep your swim straight on race days, when all you need to watch for is the next buoy).

However, if you're in any way concerned about the Oly swim at Wasaga, do as John suggests, come to SW Ontario and do Lakeside. You won't regret it! I've done both races and have had great experiences at each... the bike and run courses are similar, the major difference is the ease of swim at Lakeside.

Good luck and happy racing!



2013-06-09 7:06 AM
in reply to: Bopper

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Subject: RE: 1st Olympic? Mistake?
Wasaga Beach triathlon is my favourite Tri of the year.

if the water is calm then the swim is outstanding - beautifully clear with sand at the bottom - I can't recommend it more highly!

The bike course is great too and the run cannot be beaten with the beach finish.

last year the weather was freakish and despite entering the race we bailed on it but usually it is my favourite race of the season
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