Going into this race, my second triathlon ever - I was much more confident and excited compared to the nervousness I had before blue lake. I knew that the course was going to pose challenges: heat, altitude, elevation on the bike, and a challenging run mixed with trails, stairs, and climbs. However, I had an additional 5 weeks of training under my belt and knew that I was ready to race much better.
I had a couple specific goals for this race:
- I knew that the swim was going to be fast, as it was a downstream swim in the Deschutes River - and I wanted to be much more competitive in this swim (mission accomplished).
- I knew that the bike was going to be challenging with a hard climb the first half and a fast the descent the second half - I wanted a big negative split and wanted to push harder than I had in my first race (mission accomplished).
- The run is my strength and I knew this was going to be a challenging 10k - I wanted to have a competitive run that was within top 10 overall (mission accomplished).
- Finally, I wanted to step on the podium in my age group - something that I hope to do at every race from here on out (mission accomplished!).
The swim started off upstream from the Old Mill District in Bend and was a screaming fast from the beginning. I started off at a comfortable pace and quickly fell into a rhythm that felt hard but sustainable for the entire 1300 meter distance. I came out of the water in 15:54 which felt competitive and was good enough for 26th place overall - huge win!
The bike was going to be a challenge, with almost 2,000 feet of climbing in the first half of the 40k race. The second I hopped on my trust Trek 1.2 (last race on a road bike, as I've since purchased a 2013 Cervelo P2!) the intimidation was gone and I was ready to race. I quickly passed the guy in front of me and it was a battle to the top of century drive. As I began to make the descent I was back and forth with another age grouper. At around mile 20 I made a big push to get passed him and with a grin I said "race you to the bottom!" and I never looked back (and never saw him again!). Finished the bike in 1:17:22 which was good for 29th place overall - not great, but I'll take it.
From the beginning of the run there was no one in sight which made for a mentally challenging 6.2 miles. My first mile clicked off at 6:26 and I knew this was going to be a much slower run that I'd had at blue lake. I held a steady pace until we entered the trails at mile 3, from there on it was a grind to the finish. I wasn't able to catch anyone but I had a very competitive run which was a big goal of mine going into this race. 10k time was 42:33 which was good for 8th place overall - slow, but for this course I feel great about that!
I ended up placing 2nd in my age group, which was male 25-29 since this race was USAT sanctioned - for USAT races your age group is based on the age that you will be on 12/31 of the calendar year. I am STOKED about the huge improvements that have been made in 5 weeks, both physically and mentally. Next up: mid-summer olympic triathlon and a couple 70.3's!