Ironman Oregon 70.3
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Ironman Oregon 70.3 - Triathlon
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We had been watching the discharge rate of the Willamette River for weeks before the race. Between a lot of rain and a big winter snow melt the rate settled at about 2x the prior 2 years rate.
Course was point to point and basically a straight line until the turn into a protected area with no current to the finish.
At the athlete briefing they said the far side of the river was flowing even faster, so to keep everyone on the right side of the river they wanted swimmers to keep the buoys to their left (except the 2 red turn buoys).
They lined up athletes by expected finish time at transition and then we all walked 1.5 miles to the swim start. When it was finally time to get in the water, athletes jumped off the end of a floating dock 2 at a time. I jumped in with DH on my right. As people jumped in, WHOOSH they were gone. I jumped in holding my nose with one hand and my goggles on my face with the other. WHOOSH we were off.
I followed the crowd and went way left - and I swear a saw a buoy over there. Someone said they heard 1 came loose. I quickly realized there was way more chop than expected. Also, it was pretty shallow and you could see the large rocks. This was making me nauseous watching them go by so fast. I started to panic so I had to stop and get myself together. Even stopping in this current meant you were still moving forward. So I got myself together, slowed my cadence and had to shut my eyes when I was face down.....breathe.....close eyes.....breathe....close eyes - until the water was deep enough.
The RD said the first half of the course the bouys were yellow and then orange. "so when you see orange you're halfway there." First problem, I was way left so the were on my right and moving fast......1......2.....3......4 - halfway! I kept trying to move over and finally started making some progress as here comes orange.......BANG smashed right into one......ok let's try again......2 actually tried to stop right before it and move right - NOPE current swept me away......3......BANG slammed into it again but this time landed on the correct side.........4.....5.....6... apparently someone can't do math because halfway should be 4 and 4. Well whatever here comes the red - thank goodness. I made the turn and looked to the shore. There was no arch just volunteers with orange flags. I actually had to put in some effort here to get to shore but was so happy to see land :)
What would you do differently?:
We couldn't get in the water before the race but that would have been helpful I'm sure.
LONG run to transition - and a pee stop
I always get caught in the scrum - constantly leap frogging people or getting caught in traffic and can't maintain steady power. I don't know how people do it. Also, people were complaining this course was hilly. It was not but I saw people walking up little hills anyway. 1,086ft over 56miles - that's like 20ft/mile. And no one can seem to navigate around a cone which is frustrating too. Overall pretty happy with my bike but I would have liked to have ridden steady with a better vi.
also road surface was chip seal which didn't seem to bother me as much as DH. He hated it and got bounced around a lot.
Overall pretty happy with my run. I would have liked to gone under 2:15 but there was much less shade than I was expecting - and I got a little fried because I skipped the sunscreen.
oh and time includes a pee stop. I was doing an excellent job staying hydrated.
70.3 is probably my least favorite distance race but overall pretty pleased with the result. The total time (adjusted for the crazy swim) is on par with my PR set in 2014. Over the last few years my attitude about long course racing has improved and I think I'm starting to see that in the results (good race here, IM in 2019 is my PR). Getting better with age? Maybe just smarter!?
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75F / 24C
Overall Rank = 1078/2328
Age Group = f45-49
Age Group Rank = 32/136
The 1.5 mile walk from transition to swim start.