oregon adventures

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Onionman Olympic Triathlon

Sunday I did the Onionman over in Walla Walla. Usually it's really warm over there, but not race morning. Drove over Saturday and it was in the 60's in Eastern Oregon and Walla Walla. Checked in to the Hampton and drove down to Milton-Freewater Oregon about 8 miles south of Walla Walla. Found the Milton-Freeman country club and payed for 9 holes and zoomed through on the flat course in an hour and 5 minutes. Looked at the watch and decided to pay for the back nine. The back nine was up on a hill that had a very steep path up to the top and then up and down on every hole. On hole 16 or so my legs were saying "you know we have a tri tomorrow?" Nice community course and scenic up on top for the back nine. Went back to Walla Walla and got a pizza and some pasta and ate way too much. Then setting out my stuff for the morning I realized I didn't have a water bottle, 25 miles with no water may be bad.
Got to the lake an hour and a half before the start and I was four cars from filling the parking lot. After that people had to park on the dam and walk a long ways. The Jeep said 42 degrees and it was sprinkling. I set up transition and sat in the Jeep trying to warm up. The water was 59 degrees which is cold for Walla Walla area, so they shortened it to one loop, so about 850 instead of 1600 meters. Got in and put the face in and got used to the cold. Started out and it was freezing, but quickly forgot about it and just swam. Got out at 15:51 which was a little slow, I zig zagged a lot. Put on my Headhunters jacket and started to put on long gloves, but struggled with wet hands so took off and left after a 3:53 transition. I was shaking at first and miserable on the chip seal lake park road with speed bumbs, but then got on the main road which was smooth. Warmed up a little and cruised along in what felt like legs in sand. It looks flat to down hill, but is really uphill and 16-17 takes effort. Got passed alot, maybe the extra nine holes wasn't a good idea. Got to the turn around and it was downhill then and my attitude changed to what a beautiful ride in the country. Cruised at 18-26 all the way back for an average of 18mph for 25.2 miles. As I was putting on the run shoes the sun peeked out and it was noticeably warmer. Got to mile 1 of the run and hung up the jacket by a volunteer and ran nice and comfortable and picked up the jacket on the way back and finished with a 56:19 run for a 9:04 pace over 6.2 miles. Total time was 2:41:36 good for 120 out of 213 overall and 11 of 14 for 50-54 age group. Got some good bbq'd chicken and salad and tried one cookie from a table full of them. Then back to the hotel for a long hot shower. By then it had opened up and was in the mid to high 60's and was beautiful. Drove towards home and stopped at a small winery of the hundreds around Walla Walla and it was jammed inside, so I tried a couple wines and left. Decided too many wine tasters, so looked at the map and took a long detour to Heppener Oregon to the Willow Creek golf course and played nine holes there. Nice course in a town of a couple thousand with brown hills around and lots of wind. Ate dinner in a little diner in downtown Heppner. Then drove an almost empty highway back to I-84. Then on the interstate it was white knuckle driving all the way to The Dalles because of the wind pushing me all over the road and dodging the swerving semis.
The race gave a really nice bag that says 2011, I noticed afterwards that the number says 2010. Overall good race, scenic area and a road trip. Now have golfed 113 Oregon courses.