Blue Lake Race Report- Friday and Saturday

The Blue Lake Triathlon is located about 15 miles outside Portland in Fairview, OR. My trip started out with Andy Swanson picking me up at just before 2 pm on Friday. We then headed out to Cheney to pick up Tim and make the 360 mile trip to Portland. Tim and Andy had plans tot stay with friends in Beaverton witch worked out perfect since I had a friend’s place just a few miles away.
We packed the bikes and car the night before so we could get out of town as quick as possible. After a stop or two we found ourselves in The Dalles, OR for dinner. Tim suggested we make our way to Bugerville for some good food and great shakes. I had a pretty good turkey and bacon sandwich which was followed by an awesome tri-berry shake.

We filled up with gas after dinner and what a pleasent surprise. Maybe we shouldn't have got the value size fries.

After the long 7 hour drive we arrived at my friend Nicole’s place where they dropped me off. They would soon return at 5:00 am the next morning since Tim was racing in the sprint triathlon and Andy was racing in the duathlon. I was actually pretty excited to be the “Iron-sherpa” for the day. It was interesting to see how everyone else gets ready for a race. In any other circumstance I am one of the athletes and really don’t pay to much attention but today I just got to sit back and observe.

Not to bad after 2.5 hours of sleep. HUH!
The alarm went off at 4:45 and I finally made it out of bad at 5. A few moments later Tim and Andy showed up and we were off. After the quick 20 minute drive through Portland we were near the race site. It was at this point I had Tim stop at a local convenience store so I could grab some water and a snack. After waiting in line for nearly 5 minutes (definitely longer than it sounds) while the employees cashed out the till.

Tim and Andy took the picture of me waiting in line. The funny part was that the clerks noticed someone taking pictures and was wondering what was going on. I had to inform them that they were with me and it was all ok. I am pretty sure they probably thought we were casing the joint for later. Even with the delay at the store we still arrived about 5:50 and joined the line of cars that were waiting for the gates to open. It was at this time that I saw a triathlon first. As we were waiting in line a lady came walking past with her wetsuit already on. Now we did get to talk to her after we parked inside the gate and she was extremely nice but it was definitely funny to see.
After getting parked we started pre-race. I helped Andy and Tim get there bikes all ready and then snuck into transition to take pictures and just hang out. As the morning progressed I could definitely tell something was different. I am usually one of the first people to show up at a race. I would rather be there early and have time to fix any problems then be rushed and screw something up. As the time was reaching 7:45 am there were still people getting their body’s marked and rolling all their gear into transition. This was literally 15 minutes before the race. I guess everyone was able to get it all taken care of but that is just way to much stress for me on race day.

I took this picture just to show the time. WOW!Since my sherpa duties was over I morphed into “Iron-paparazzi”. My goal was to take as many pictures as possible for Tim and Andy, since both had to race at the same time. It was at this point that I received a call from Phaedra informing me that they had locked their keys in the car, which according to her is IMPOSSIBLE;) and would be a few minutes late. Phaedra, Laura and Kelly showed up just after the start and really made the whole waiting and picture game a ton of fun.
I have gained even more appreciation to all the fans who come to any triathlon event. It is amazing how little you actually see the athletes you are cheering for and this was only a sprint. Races like Ironman and any half-ironman can last anywhere from 5-15 hours. I know you really have to do this sport for your self but during a race it is definitely the highlight every single time when you hear someone cheering your name.
It was a complete blast trying to plan where they would be and what would be the best location for pictures. By the way these two kicked some serious butt and both place 2nd in their age groups. NICE!!
After the race Pheadra, Laura, Kelly, Tia and I went for a great 15 minute run that really didn’t go anywhere. We meandered through the park but it did help to get a slight understanding of the course we would be racing tomorrow. We followed that up with a 30 minute ride along part of the bike course. This is where my good luck struck. No it wasn’t the rain that had been following me around for the past few weeks but a flat tire. Pheadra decided it would be a good idea to time me (of course) and I think I had it changed in something like 6:30. I am pretty sure I could have gone faster but hey it wasn’t during a race.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing and taking it easy in preparation for my first olympic distance race of 2008.


Tiffany said...

I think it's pretty hard core that you cheered on 2.5 hours of sleep! That is a true fan! I'm sure Andy and Tim appreciated having you out there. And you are right, even though you don't see the athletes you are cheering for much, it's a blast.

I also want to point out that when you changed my flat for me, it took you like 3:30! :)

jessithompson said...

Iron Paparazzi - Love it! Can't wait to bring on the serious heat on Sunday.

It was awesome that you could be down there and cheer/take pics for the Swanson clan. They definitely do their share of the cheerin' so it's nice that they were feelin' the love. Good work!