oregon adventures

Monday, June 26, 2006

Pacific Crest Triathlon

Sunday I did the Olympic distance Pacific Crest Triathlon in Sunriver Oregon. This is part of the premier triathlon event of Oregon with a Half-Ironman on Saturday and the Olympic distance on Sunday. Drove down Friday night and stayed in a 3-bedroom trailer owned by Keith S who retired form the Air Guard a few years ago. Saturday was my first day off in 3 weeks and I knew it would effect the race, but I grossly underestimated how much. Did packet pickup Saturday and then went to the lake to set up the bike transition and get body marked. It's a point to point race, so the bike transition is 28 miles away from the run transition. Saturday night, my friend Kevin, Keith, and I went to dinner at a new bar and grill on the edge of Sunriver and a couple at the next table saw our markings and asked which race we were doing. Turns out they had come up from San Fran to do the half-iron, but decided not to. The woman said she did it 2 years ago and said the run was horrible. Keith told her Sunriver is at 4800 feet, that made her feel better. Kevin had come down a couple of days early to get acclimated to the altitude. Sunday started already warm, someone said the forecast was 97-103. Set up the run transition and got on a bus to the lake. While waiting to start, I saw Jessica the pretty girl from my lane in the Hawthorne Farms tri. She was there to watch her friend, so I talked to her for awhile, she did the half iron the day before. The race started and I had a very hard time breathing and thought I wanted to quit and didn't want to do this race- I'd never had those thoughts before in a race! At the first buoy I let the group go and got in my own comfortable rhythm and eventually finished the swim in 39:58 the exact to the second time of the swim in my last race the Onionman and five minutes faster than last year. The transition was a little long because I had to put everything in a labeled bag and tie it for transport. Got on the bike and started strong. It's over rough pavement forest roads at first, but I went pretty fast and felt like I was zooming because I passed gobs and gobs of people. At 8 miles is a curve with a burned clearcut clearing and a beautiful view of South Sister and Broken Top. At 12 miles is the 450 foot climb, rode up it at 11-13 MPH and passed people like they were standing still. After the hill is a small downhill and then some flats and gentle rises that normally I fly over, but there was a headwind. At one point I went around a curve and the wind was like a wall. It was so strong the girl in front of me slowed so fast that I almost ran her over. Pushed on as strong as I could and drank both bottles and came in with a disappointing 17.4 average, one mph slower than last year. Then for the dreaded run of Pacific Crest- it has kicked my butt 3 years in a row- make that four now. I started out and had nothing, breathwise or gaswise. Jogged along at a slow survival shuffle and hit mile one marker at 5:05- huh? They shortened the run by a half mile because of the heat. At mile 2 the watch said 15:00, so I was creeping along at 10:00 per, but my mouth was so dry it hurt so I stopped at the water stop and drank 3 cups and then started up again. At one point after 3 miles I counted 11 people on the path with tri numbers all walking and I was the only one running. For some reason I can't remember and can't even fathom now the sight of everyone walking demoralized me and I started walking too. For the next 2 miles I did a walk run mix and then at the mile 5 marker I saw a guy with 69 on his leg. Last year I finished right after a 68 year old guy who everyone cheered for so much they didn't notice me finishing and didn't announce my name until I was long past the finish. I asked him if he was that guy and told him the story as we started jogging. He said he was the Sunriver bike rental store owner and all his employees come out to cheer for him. He started walking again and I had decided to do the last 1.2 miles non-stop. So I jogged on and saw a girl that I had leap frogged with on the bike and said hi and she could only nod. We ran together for a little bit and she started walking. So I jogged on with only breath in breath out in the head and made it to the end and at the finish line were tons of spectators and I heard "Jeff!" and saw Keith. So I went over to the edge to give him a high five and that set off a chain reaction of about 6-7 people leaning over, so I ran the rest of the way in along the edge high-fiving. Got in the finish tent and while waiting for food started getting lightheaded so I downed a couple of sports drinks in rapid succession. Final result was 3:29:10 which is 5 minutes faster than last year, but a 1/2 mile shorter run. Kevin beat me by 14 minutes an improvement for him of over 20 minutes from last year. The strange part is he said he didn't walk on the run and I still beat him on the run by 3 minutes- he was barely running, but running. My run pace was 11:13 per which is the worst pace for me in any race ever and the worst pace since I've been keeping track of time. But I passed so many people on the run it's unbelievable. I thought the drive home would be hard, but there wasn't a cloud in the state of Oregon and all the mountains were lined up in a row. As I left Sunriver the Jeep said 87 degrees. Got to Bend and it was 94 degrees. Per tradition Kevin and I caravaned to Madras and ate at the Black Bear restaurant. They have HUGE portions, the kind you want after a race. I had pecan-crusted trout. When I got back to Portland, my daughter said we need air conditioning- it was 101 in the city on Sunday. Uploaded several pictures, but they don't show up- oh well.


  • Bummer about the conditions, but you stared down the opportunity to quit. That in itself is huge! Congrads on giving it your best!

    By Blogger Deb, at 7:13 PM  

  • Congrats on the race! I could never have done it in Sunday's heat!

    By Anonymous Court, at 8:22 AM  

  • Man am I jealous all these great races and rides annndddd people to hang out with and eat trout post race....Congrats on the race! [And the trout]

    By Blogger Sean, at 1:18 PM  

  • Hi jeff i'm so impressed! I know it can be a bit discouraging not reaching times,but be reminded how great it is you are just out there and doing such good for yourself no matter what the clock says. and omg that trout dinner sounds wonderful :-)

    By Blogger neese, at 2:45 PM  

  • Wow. That's hot! You rocked it! You know you're in great shape when you can keep on truckin' under such adverse conditions. Funny how you think 17 mph is slow when that's usually about my average. It's all relative. Anyway, great race report and awesome job.

    By Blogger Rachel, at 9:29 PM  

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