We traveled out to Portland with the plan to stay for 9 days and 2 half ironman distance races. Portland Rev 3 on Sunday, July 7th and Lake Stevens 70.3 Sunday, July 14th. This would be my first back to back halves and I was looking forward to testing my body’s ability to recover.
We arrived toPortland on Thursday, allowing all day Friday for scoping out the course and getting settled into Marian and Chris’s house. Owen’s sister and brother in law were generous enough to open their home to us for the week. We headed out to ride the hilly section of the bike course Friday morning. The course was unique, it started with a 10 mile flat section, followed by 25 miles of very technical climbing, then finished with 15 miles of flat fast road.
Post ride I felt confident and prepared. My taper was right on, I was ready to race. (I usually don’t have time to ride or drive the course pre-race, so this was a first)
I next attended the pro briefing happy to see so many Timex teammates (Kelly, Viktor, Nick and Lauren). It seemed everyone had questions about the stagger rule during the meeting. The official inPortlandwas the same who gave me the stagger penalty in Wildflower. After the meeting I approached him to clarify a few questions I had. We ended up getting into a slight argument about my Wildflower penalty, not exactly how I wanted to go into this race, but we ended on good terms.
After an impromptu hair cut for Owen we were more than prepared.
This was my first Rev 3 race and I found all the hype to be true. Leading up to the race I received personal communication from the race directors and arrived to a custom poster for my transition spot.
Thankfully Rev3 follows USAT wetsuit rules; 68F temperature limit for pro’s. So our race was no wetsuit. (I think all races should be lowered to this rule but that’s neither here nor there). The women’s field was deep, especially with strong swimmers. I positioned myself with Lauren Goss, Becky Lavelle, and Emily Cocks hoping to hang on their feet. At 30 seconds before the start Angela Naeth squeezed between Becky and I. Just as I was wondering what she was thinking we were rushing towards the water.
I caught Becky’s feet, but Angela was physically fighting me for them. I mistakenly let her push me off as we made the quick turn. Angela dropped back immediately and I was now on Maddie’s feet. Maddie’s a great swimmer (I swim with her weekly) but I was feeling good and her pace wasn’t fast enough. I went outside to make the pass as did Malaika Homo. We met together as I grabbed her feet. I’ve been concentrating on swimming harder in open water and here was my chance. Makaika was pushing a fast pace and I was holding on through the next 3 turns. As we neared the 4th buoy she pulled 10 yards ahead of me. The remainder of the swim I was grasping to catch her but never quite made it. I exited the water 5th with a slow swim time of 30:57 later to find the course was long. I was pleased with this respectable placement in the field.
Heading out on the bike I struggled getting my shoes on. I brought different shoes than I usually race in, my feet don’t slide right in. This cost me 30+ seconds, as I finally got them on I was passed by Angela and Maddie. Angela rode away from us, Maddie and I stayed together.
I was aware of all riders around me consistently staying staggered. I later found out Emily received a drafting/stagger penalty riding behind me while tackling a climb.
This course was absolutely beautiful, it was surprisingly similar to the Triple T bike courses raced on earlier in the spring. It was swirling climbs followed by steep descents finished with sharp corners all covered in a canopy of electric green trees.
At mile 25 I heard a truck following me, they never made the pass so I assumed they were either with the race or really nice locals not wanting to disrupt the race.
Just as I exited the trees and began turning on my speed in the flats (mile 40) I heard a rattling sounds from the front of my bike. I messed with my aero bottle cage which wasn’t the culprit. I looked at my SRM and I was still going 29 MPH so couldn’t be a flat. I continued on, happy with my placement (still 5th) and the way my legs were feeling. As I made a sharp turn my bike nearly rolled beneath me which confirmed my front tire was flat from a huge tack. I stopped turned to learn the truck behind me was the SAG wagon. I ripped off my wheel handing it off. The boys jumped out ready to help but unfortunately only had back wheels. I ride tubulars and don’t carry a spare, they didn’t have pitt stop or spare tubulars either so my race was over. (We unsuccessfully tried pitt stop on the tire later and found the hole was too large)
I rode the remainder of the course in the SAG truck, we were now following Uli Bromme, another training partner of mine. It was interesting to watch the race from this perspective. I also got to see teammate Kelly Fillnow finish her bike. The SAG guys were more than apologetic and very accommodating; they even invited me to float down the river with them in the afternoon.
Once I was dropped off I got to see Kelly and Owen complete their transitions and cheer on all the runners heading out to run.
I made friends with Mackenzie Madison. She took a wrong turn in the swim which put her behind so decided to DNF and save it for the next weekend. We spoke to the head official and found 4 pro women received stagger penalties. He actually praised me on my staggering this race =)
For once I got to be a spectator for Owen and watch him finish taking his age group win. Running an impressive 1:21 run split.
(I attribute this all to the hair cut)
We spent some quality time with Timex Teammates at the awards ceremony.
We enjoyed the week in Portland visiting the Rose Gardens and other tourist attractions.
We will be back next year, Owen won a free entry for 2013, another perk for Rev3 Races!