Race Report: 2013 Pacific Crest Long Course Triathlon

July 15, 2013

The annual Pacific Crest Weekend Sports Festival in sunny Central Oregon enjoyed a return of the heat in 2013 after an unseasonably cool race conditions the previous year.  Many traveled from neighboring states (and countries) to join in Oregon’s oasis of sun and geologic formations.

Out at Wickiup Reservoir, returning to defend his back-to-back wins in 2011 and 2012, was popular pro triathlete out of Boise, ID, Kevin Everett.  As a YMCA youth triathlon trainer and Scott Sports sponsored athlete, Kevin is living the dream.  He teaches what he loves and opens doors to youth to enjoy the fruits of their training much like he has since picking up triathlon after a his success in collegiate swimming.

The women’s race also featured a returning champion with Mackenzie Madison looking for her fifth consecutive Pacific Crest long course win.  Mackenzie was on hand the afternoon before the race offering book signings and conversation during packet pickup.  She had some close competition coming to the race and likely knew the women’s race would be very competitive.

In the shallows off the boat ramp, the elite wave waded into the waters of Wickiup Reservoir in anticipation of the start as the crowd counted down to opening plunge.  Early on, it was clear Everett would control the swim and carve his own course around the two-loop swim.  Mini packs of swimmers took advantage of each other’s slip stream in peleton formations well behind the leader.  The morning was clear and the waters calm, which made for relatively fast swimming conditions.

Everett led out of the water clear of the nearest swimmer by nearly three minutes, clocking  the day’s best swim split at 24:54.  Erik Smith (27:50), Tim Dodson (28:06) and Rick Silverton (28:12) hit the swim exit in the next cluster from the elite wave with splits bettered only by Cary Johnson (27:00), Brett Crandal (27:13) and Mark Frost (27:46) from later age-group waves.    Everett transitioned in privacy and efficiently making his way out onto the bike segment in less than a minute.

The separation at the front end of the women’s race was measured in body lengths as the top four swimmers from the elite wave exited 70 seconds apart.  First out of the water was Jennifer Luebke in 28:32 with Laura Coombs on her heels – just five seconds back at 28:37.  Madison exited the water within a minute of the leaders nabbing her fastest Pacific Crest swim split to date, crossing the mats in 29:01.  Erin Green trailed Madison by roughly 50 meters exiting in 29:42.  The women’s top split on the day originated from a later wave when San Francisco’s Karen Jeffrey completed her two kilometers of technically efficient freestyle in 26:48.  That was good for the second fastest swim from all of the 403 competitors that completed the opening discipline.

Everett eased into his 58-mile bike ride free of any immediate chasers, but with good company on the ride from the endurance duathletes that dripped onto the course in pairs while the triathletes swam.  Everett admittedly fed off of the duathlete’s energy and wished them well as he passed them by.   A few minutes back of the leader, the men’s race flip flopped in transition as David Garcia, Doug Christ, Jesse Carnes and Jared Wilson shuffled their order from out of the water to the opening pedal strokes.  Carnes peeled away from the others during the gradual ascent of the false flats that lead to the foothills of Mt. Bachelor.  Carnes was on his way to the fastest bike split of the day (23.5 mph) but by only a slim margin over the crushing effort coming from Gerry Marvin (23.46 mph) who started out of the age group wave.  A few minutes behind Carnes and Marvin, I found spirit in my tempo while moving progressively through the field.  I managed to pull into fourth position with only a slight advantage over Christ by the time the road turned grippy for the serious ascent up to the base of the Mt. Bachelor Ski Area.

The women’s race developed with thin margins persisting at the front end of their ride.  Luebke transitioned in a flash ahead of Coombs as they hit the pedals just 10 seconds apart.  Madison was a bit more deliberate in her transition from swim to bike which moved her down to fourth position to start the ride.  She eventually reeled in the third place rider (Green) before the opening flats turned skyward towards the Mt. Bachelor.   At the front, Luebke built her lead on Coombs, and the rest of the field, ultimately clocking the fastest women’s split on the ride at 21.72 mph.  Before the end of the bike, Madison reeled in Coombs for second position overall and the top three women transitioned less than four minutes apart.  Coombs entered the run with a solid grip on third position with Green trailing by a modest margin for fourth.  Kara Gordon and Brynje Enderly made significant progress while on the bike to enter their bid for the final prize money slots in the women’s race and entered the run in fifth and sixth position respectively.

The growing heat on the course could not be ignored as the race turned to the twisting bike paths of the resort community of Sunriver.  Everett was the first to test the amenities at the aid stations and utilized ice in his tri-suit and cups of water over his head to afford some respite from the energy sapping qualities of the rising thermostat.  A talented runner who regularly splits a 1:18 or faster half marathon in temperate conditions, Everett afforded himself the luxury of his wide lead to relax away from a threshold effort on the run.  Carnes trailed the leader by a modest, but increasing margin as he laid down a solid tempo early on his run.  I slipped into third position with Marvin’s exit from competition at the bike-to-run transition.  Behind us all was Rasmus Porgaard hitting the transition in 13th place overall.  He quietly picked his way through the field climbing the leaderboard until I caught sight of him between mile six and seven.  It looked like he was running on a moving sidewalk with the ease in his gate and the speed under foot.  Porsgaard leaned on his run to spring board the field and close the gap on Carnes entering the final miles of the course.

The tight women’s race left no room for error for any of the hopefuls on the run.  Maintaining proper nutrition, hydration or temperature control would take on additional emphasis.  Experience on the course and running in heat would prove important in the end.   Madison grabbed the overall lead from Luebke and executed her run through GI issues and determination to hold onto her fifth consecutive long course title.  Her 7:21 pace was third fastest in the women’s field on the day and brought her to the tape with a total time of 4:49:07.  The fastest split was posted by Green (7:01) and catapulted her from fourth place to start the run into second place overall at the line in 4:53:43.  Coombs (4:56:29) and Luebke (4:58:35) also stopped the clock prior to the five-hour benchmark capping their brilliant races with third and fourth place finishes respectfully.  The fifth and final “money slot” for the women went to Kara Gordon (5:02:53) who held off a surging Enderle and her phenomenal run (7:06 pace and second fastest woman) for fifth place overall.

On the men’s side, Everett held form throughout and paced himself (6:56 run split) to the line for his third consecutive long course title and 4:28:21 total time.  Porsgaard held his form to the tape in a magnificent split (6:15 and fastest on the day) to finish second overall in 4:33:53.  Carnes finished moments later in 4:34:30 and immediately congratulated Porsgaard on his fantastic catch.  I brought myself home with a total time of 4:40:19 with renewed respect for long course racing and just ahead of the nearing fifth place runner Doug Christ.  Christ broke the tape in 4:41:44 to complete the money slots for the men.

There was fantastic camaraderie and competition in Central Oregon for the 18th Annual Pacific Crest Long Course Triathlon.  Athletes completing their first or 50th triathlon crossed the finishing line well into the evening in a show of perseverance and commitment.

A special thanks again to the AA Sports Ltd. team, volunteers and sponsors that make the Pacific Crest Weekend Sports Festival a reality, and a HUGE success for thousands to enjoy each year.

Overall Results – 2013 Pacific Crest Long Course Triathlon
Male Overall:  Kevin Everett – Boise, ID          4:28:21
Women Overall:  Mackenzie Madison – Springfield, OR      4:49:07

Age Division Winners:
M 16-19    Derrick Rubalcava – Vancouver, WA    6:27:57
M 20-24    Troy Brown – Bend, OR    5:13:16
M 25-29    Jesse Carnes – Missoula, MT    4:34:30
W 25-29    Laura Coombs – Bellevue, WA    4:56:29
M 30-34    Rasmus Porsgaard – San Francisco, CA    4:33:53
W 30-34    Erin Green – Boise, ID    4:53:43
M 35-39    Craig Dean – Portland, OR    4:40:19
W 35-39    Brynje Enderle – Portland, OR    5:03:41
M 40-41    David Garcia – Portland, OR    4:47:49
W 40-41    Robin Sayed – Woodinville, WA    5:18:59
M 45-49    Raymond Whitlow – Yamhill, OR    4:45:26
W 45-49    Kristy Aalberg – Portland, OR    5:52:08
M 50-54    Patrick Wagner – Eugene, OR    5:19:00
W 50-54    Susan Moote – Portland, OR    5:35:53
M 55-59    Gregg Whittier – Sammamish, WA    5:38:01
W 55-59    Mad. Journey-Lynn – Sacramento, CA    6:41:28
M 60-64    Phil Anderson – Portland, OR    5:57:52
W 60-64    Lajra Williams – Sacramento, CA    8:16:47
M 65-69    Ken Zell – Portland, OR    6:24:42
F 65-69      Alisha Kern – Newport, OR    8:06:04

Congratulations to The Portland Triathlon Club – 2013 TRI NorthWest Team/Club Championship Winners!

June 14, 2013

 

The Portland Triathlon Club, 2013 TRI NorthWest Team/Club Champions

The Portland Triathlon Club2013 TRI NorthWest Team/Club Champions

The Portland Triathlon Club was named TRI Northwest Team/Club Champion June 9th at the Blue Lake Tri/Du event at Blue Lake Park. The Portland Triathlon Club earned 60 points overall. Other teams participating in the championship event included Willamette Valley Triathlon Club (Salem) 29 points; Oregon State Triathlon (Corvallis) 8 points; and Columbia Gorge Tri Club (Hood River) 6 points.

The Mission of TRI NorthWest is to provide resources for new and experienced triathletes. Members are connected with organizations, athletes, stores, clubs, products, services, and events that can enhance each athlete’s individual adventure.

2013 TRI NorthWest Division Champions Results HERE.

Race Report: 2013 Heart of the Valley Triathlon

April 22, 2013

Submitted by Craig Dean –

The 2013 HOTV sprint triathlon was held five weeks earlier than in previous years, but maintained its excellent reputation as a well-organized, competitive event for a wide array of athletes.  The Osborn Aquatic Center in Corvallis, OR once again hosted the multiple-wave pool swim where participants were treated to extra wide lanes in the 50-meter indoor pool.  Local Northwest multi-sport legend Kirk Rose greeted the participants on the pool deck and bellowed instructions for everyone to hear.  He worked with the official race director in explaining to competitors the 10-second send offs, passing etiquette and the route to the transition area.  Kirk’s energy was contagious to many of those around him and especially to those who know his history in racing and overcoming personal health issues over the years.

The race had a clean start and a bit of shuffling in the lanes before each swimmer found their tempo.  Daniel Hough started 10-seconds behind Ray Fiori, but managed to skip past him in the opening 100 meters allowing Fiori to embark on his pre-race strategy of clinging to Hough’s slipstream and enjoying the speed and comfort of the draft.  Ray commented after the race that he had to press into anaerobic levels to catch Hough’s feet after each turn, but the benefits of the draft made the effort worth the while.  The fastest swimmers made waves in lanes 9 and 10 with Karl Britsch leading Marco Ramirez and Brian Villarete out to transition.  The transition area was clogged early with the top eight swimmers separated by 1:34.  One of the pre-race favorites and defending TRI NW Sprint Champion, Nate Youngs, had the misfortune of swimming an extra lap, setting him behind his actual efforts.

The women’s race was tight as well.  Mixed in with the male lane assignments, Robin Clevenger and Angie Smith exited the waters just seconds apart and quick on the heels of the leaders in the men’s field.  Angie, currently training for Nationals in Milwaukee, WI this June and flying the banner for the state of Oregon at the event, has become a staple competitor for the overall win at most Northwest races she enters.   Chasing the leaders into transition by 30 seconds was Kelsey Longrie and 10 seconds later, Kambria Schumacher.  Schumacher was looking to make her mark on the hilly ride.

The bike course at HOTV may be a mile shorter than the typical sprint races, but it makes up for the distance with an aggressive elevation profile.  After exiting transition and crossing a controlled intersection, the road pointed skyward in a quadricep burning incline that is just long enough to coax respect from the most accomplished cyclists.  Ray, an experienced mountain bike rider and self-confessed specialist at the cycling leg of triathlons, took advantage of his slim frame to leap up the ascent while gobbling up the leading swimmers.  Ray’s burning desire to establish the overall lead while on the bike was accomplished when he overtook Hough amongst the slopes at the midpoint of the ride.  He ultimately grabbed the top bike split of the day with a 24.46mph average speed.   I picked my way through the field while chasing relay rider Grant Eldridge.  We eventually joined Hough who was riding in 2nd position overall for a spirited conclusion of the bike race.  We were tightly trailed by a young upstart in the sport of triathlon, Marco Ramirez.  Due to his start differential, Marco finished the ride in 3rd position overall and in contention for the podium.

The women transitioned well out of the pool and created separation early on the ride.  Smith churned ahead of Clevenger and into the overall lead on the early slopes of the course.  Her 21.31mph average speed was good enough to hold the overall lead into transition, but her gap on Schumacher became dangerously thin.  Schumacher set the top women’s split with a 21.51mph average and whittled Smith’s lead down to 22 seconds heading into the run.  Clevenger nailed down an impressive ride to hold onto 3rd position while Erica McKenzie made the biggest jump from deep in the field following the swim to 4th position after the ride.

In stark contrast to the undulating terrain of the bike course, the run was a pancake flat, two-loop course that offers a peaceful neighborhood setting with a few tight corners.  It was difficult to site anybody except those in immediate proximity.  The only evidence of Fiori’s solid lead on the pack of chasers came from a few of the more experienced spectators that clocked and communicated split times.  To those hoping to catch Ray, the split information was not supportive.  In Ray’s own words, “I made it hurt”.  Fiori cruised to victory by nearly a full minute and a total time of 1:01:01.  I finished 56 seconds behind the winner and Hough another 47 seconds behind me.

On the women’s side, Schumacher bolted out of transition and quickly established her tempo around the track which led out into the neighborhoods.  In a slight alteration to the course from season’s past, the run segment started with a loop around the track rather than finishing on the rubberized surface.  Schumacher continued her quick cadence and leapt into the lead to never look back.  Her women’s best run split of 19:13 capped a winning day with an overall time of 1:07:19.  Angie Smith laid down a solid run of her own to finish 30 seconds back of the lead and well clear of her nearest pursuer.  McKenzie continued with her momentum off of the bike and transitioned in a flash before setting her targets on 3rd place.  Her 20:05 run split matched that of Smith and catapulted her into a 3rd place overall finish.

Congratulations to everyone involved with the promotion, organization and execution of the event including both the AA Sports event staff and the folks at the Osborn Aquatic Center. The Heart of the Valley Triathlon provides a perfect opportunity for those looking for their first triathlon and a favorite for those looking to get an early season race under their belts.  If you haven’t already, spread the word about the sport.  It’s a lifestyle more than an event.  It’s a community to be proud of and one that can be shared with many more.

For complete event results CLICK HERE.

Hesch and Bak Take 2012 Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon Titles

September 2, 2012

From Press Release –

Christian Hesch, of Hollywood, CA and Natalie Bak of Bend, OR enjoyed perfect running conditions in the Willamette Valley on their way to their first Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon victories today.  Hesch ran a 1:06:37, to beat out Aissa Oghoughi of Vancouver, WA (1:07:05) and defending champion Mario Mendoza of Bend (1:08:53).  Bak, who finished 2nd last year, completed the scenic 13.1-mile course in 1:19:23, defeating Lauren Johnson of Portland, OR (1:19:31) and Korina Pongracz-Bartha of Portland, OR 1:21:53.  Bak and Hesch received $500 in cash, a Riedel Decanter trophy and Double Magnum of wine from Ken Wright Cellars.

Nearly 1,500 runners traveled from 40 different states and seven foreign countries to the heart of Oregon’s Wine Country in the Willamette Valley.  The race started at Stoller Vineyards, as the sun was rising over Mt. Hood to the east and the moon setting to the west, providing spectacular views for the runners.

Hesch built a strong early lead but had to “kick it into gear” after Oghoughi mounted a strong challenge at mile 11.  “It was an incredible day and an incredible course,” Hesch said.  “It rivals any wine country scenery I’ve ever run through.”

It was beautiful out there, I loved the run and Destination Races does a great job,” said women’s winner Natalie Bak.  “I’ll definitely be back next year.”

The Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon is the fourth of five events in the Wine Country Half Marathon series.  Produced by Destination Races of Sonoma, California, the Wine Country Half Marathon series also includes events in Santa Barbara Wine Country, Napa-to-Sonoma, Healdsburg and Loudoun County, Virginia.  For more information visit www.destinationraces.com or www.run4oregonwine.com.

Results (full results can be viewed HERE)

Men
1.  Christian Hesch, Hollywood, CA — 1:06:37
2.  Aissa Oghoughi, Vancouver, WA — 1:07:05
3.  Mario Mendoza, Bend, OR — 1:08:53

Women
1.  Natalie Bak, Bend, OR — 1:19:23
2.  Lauren Johnson, Portland, OR — 1:19:31
3.  Korina Pongracz-Bartha, Portland, OR — 1:21:53

Muscle Milk Race to Kona Winner Announced

August 4, 2012

From Press Release –

AA Sports and Muscle Milk® are proud to announce the winner of this year’s inaugural Muscle Milk® Race to Kona contest. Sherrie Austin of Portland, OR is this year’s winner and will receive the following:

  • Five (5) night stay for two at The Royal Kona Resort (October 9 – 14, 2012 )
  • Two (2) Round Trip Airline Tickets (Must depart and return to Portland International Airport)
  • Assorted Muscle Milk and industry gear pack

Congratulations to Sherrie and a warm thank you to all of the participants of the AA Sports events this year included in the Muscle Milk® Race to Kona.

To check out a video of the prize drawing held at the My First Tri event in Portland on Saturday, August 4 head to the AA Sports YouTube page.

For more information about the contest, and for details about next year’s Muscle Milk Race to Kona, visit www.racecenter.com/racetokona.

Race Recap: Sun and Fun at Wahine All-Women’s and Amica Mid-Summer Weekend

August 1, 2012

If you weren’t at Blue Lake last weekend, you missed out! At the Wahine All-Women’s and Amica Mid-Summer Triathlons, athletes enjoyed the warm water and flat, fast bike and run courses, plus a very festive atmosphere.

The weekend kicked off Saturday morning, July 28, with the All-Women’s event. The weather was perfect for the sprint triathlon, sprint duathlon and novice “Tri-iT” race. Kids joined in on the fun too with the Wiki Keiki Kid’s Triathlon. The Amica Mid-Summer Triathlon was held the next day, July 39. It featured an Olympic Triathlon in addition to a sprint triathlon, duathlon and “Tri-iT.” The events brought some of the area’s top triathletes and duathletes, as well as participants of all abilities.

“One thing I appreciate about AA Sports is how much they support athletes of all abilities! I did the Wahine on Saturday and had to work to get 3rd of 9 in my division. On Sunday, I showed up and did my best at the Amica [Mid-Summer] Olympic, slower, but because I was the only one in my category, I still got a special medal. Not all races do this. Plus, the music and food was available long after the last finishers were done. They are great about keeping aid stations on the course open for as long as it takes. It’s great to see people out there who are newer at triathlons, or slower, or just having a tough day getting all the support they need to finish and feel great about their day,” Sherrie Austin said.

The top women on Saturday proved age is only a number. The first three triathlon finishers were masters athletes from Portland. Sara Cannon, 43, won in 1:10:26. Not far behind was Bridget Dawson, 54, with 1:11:38 and Kim Grasberger, 48, in 1:12:36.

In the sprint duathlon, Laura Lindsey, 39, from Portland, won in 1:18:11. Jodi Shook, 37, (1:29:12) and Kirsten Bosnak, 26, (1:32:54) rounded out the top 3.

In the Amica Mid-Summer Olympic Triathlon, Jeff Smith, 30, and Ann Davidson, 48 were the overall winners. Both are from Portland. Smith finished in 1:55:31 and Davidson in 2:11:30.

Rick Floyd, 28, from Boise, ID, (1:10:31) and Dana Reid, 32, from Hood River (1:20:54) were the winners of the Amica Mid-Summer sprint triathlon. In the duathlon, Sean Campbell, 45, from Klamath Falls and Laura Lindsey, 39, from Portland came out on top. Campbell clocked 1:20:22 and Lindsey finished in 1:28:20.

For full results, visit http://aasportsltd.com/events/results/

The fun did not stop at the finish line! The Hawaiian theme at the Wahine All-Women’s Triathlon created a festive atmosphere.

“I have done this all women’s race 3 times and this was by far the BEST! Loved the theme with great music, shirts and post-race food and drink!” Jennifer Surface Scott said.

After the races, participants and spectators were treated with lots of food, drinks and entertainment. Saturday’s Wahine All-Women’s event featured live drummers and a Polynesian show with fire and hula dancers!

“Great event and so much fun! Food, beer, and music were terrific! Loved seeing all the awesome, strong women out there!” Heidi Cardoza said.

The Ben Rice Band played live rock and blues music for Sunday’s event. This popular, local band was a hit with the crowd. Even after competing, athletes found the energy to dance and have a great time!

Want in on the fun? Come out to Blue Lake this weekend for My First Tri!

Race Report: 2012 Pacific Crest Long Course Triathlon

July 16, 2012

Submitted by Craig Dean –

The annual Pacific Crest Weekend Sports Festival on June 22-24 drew endurance athletes from all 50 states and several countries to the beautiful resort community of Sunriver, Oregon.

The weekend was highlighted by the Long Course Triathlon and unseasonably chilly conditions leading up to the start of the race.  After delaying the race for an hour from the previously scheduled 9am start time, race directors made the difficult decision to shorten the bike course away from the snow packed mountain pass of Mt. Bachelor and onto the lower elevations of the 28-mile Olympic bike course.

As triathletes are generally a hardened bunch, most of the entrants took the change in stride and focused on the job at hand.In the transition area, athletes chatted and joked about what lay ahead on the chilly and rather wet bike ride.  Some participants traded tips and techniques for battling the harsh conditions with a few key garments that could be added before the ride.  The normally quick transition from swim to bike was going to be a bit more involved than usual.  A few veterans from the similarly harsh Boise 70.3 race just two weeks prior, shared from their experience and helped others prepare for what lie ahead.  Moments before the start, the sun peeked out from behind the heavy clouds and offered some much needed hope to the masses inching their way to the water’s edge.

An elite wave of silver caps lead the charge into the clean and crisp waters of Wickiup Reservoir.  Returning champion, Kevin Everett out of nearby Boise, ID, bolted from the opening gun and swam the majority of his leg uncontested, covering the 1.2-mile clockwise course in 25:34.  Kevin commented after the race that the beauty of the nearby hills dusted with snow and the warm (looking) sun in the skies above made the swim a pleasant journey.

Meanwhile, a couple minutes behind Kevin’s wake, a small chase pack developed.  In the pack were a couple silver capped elites as well as two speedsters from the red cap wave that entered the water one minute later. A second chase pack of silver capped elite racers trailed Everett by roughly five minutes.  In the pack was three-time women’s champion Mackenzie Madison alongside OSU standout Molly Macgraw, as well as a trio of males battling their way for position.  Macgraw lead the pack out of the waters with a 31:39 split with Madison tight on her heels for the short run to the bike racks.  Behind the women, the trio of men emerged in near unison in what would become the cover shot for Bend Bulletin’s Sunday sports page.  The top women’s swim split on the day came out of a later wave when Nicole Pressprich crossed the timing mats with a 29:16 swim split.

Everett wasted no time at the racks as a result of wearing his arm and leg sleeves under his wetsuit while on the swim.  After the race he commented that the temporary sun that poked through the sky just after the swim made him contemplate the necessity of his thermal vest that lay draped over his waiting bike.  Kevin adorned the vest and still turned a quick 1:17 transition.  The 2nd and 3rd elite’s out of the water, Tom Campbell and Todd Riley, flipped positions in transition and rolled out of the park just seconds apart.  Riley nearly matched Everett’s blazing pace on the bike while pedaling clear of all chasers.  His 1:09:23 bike split was second only to Everett’s 1:08:09.

While the top two males sailed clear from the field, the men’s race was tightening behind them.  Campbell held comfortably in 3rd position nearly two minutes ahead of pursuers Nick Alden and Cameron Dorn.  Alden and Dorn traded positions late in the ride when Dorn flipped his chain and had to stop momentarily to flip it back into place.

On the women’s side, Macgraw loaded onto her bike first out of transition, about a minute up on Madison and nearly three minutes clear of third place Julie Glade. Macgraw held onto the women’s lead for nearly half of the bike before Madison reeled her in.  Madison held onto the lead for the remainder of the ride, but didn’t create a gap on the rest of the field.  Joanne Gilchrist utilized the top women’s bike split on the day (1:19:17) to eat into the leader’s margin and pull into T2 in 3rd position just seconds behind Macgraw.  Anne Heiner quietly picked off riders ahead of her and eventually joined Glade in pursuit of the leaders heading into the run.  The women’s race would be decided on the run and the twisting bike paths in Sunriver.

As one of the top professionals in the Pacific Northwest, Kevin Everett had only the clock to compete with while winding his way around tight turns and weaving bike paths of the resort community.  His four minute lead on Todd Riley coming out of transition exploded to a 13 minute margin of victory thanks to his race best 1:19:31 run split (6:08 pace).  Riley fought hard to hold onto 2nd position overall by running over two minutes faster than his run split at the 2011 Pacific Crest long course and held off his nearest pursuer by 40 seconds.  Riley turned to wait for the 3rd finisher at the line when Cameron Dorn out of Waterloo, SC sprinted home.  After having his chip stripped during the swim and chain pop during the ride, Dorn overcame early adversity to pass Alden in the opening miles of the run before gobbling up Campbell several miles later.  Campbell completed his masters win by pacing an identical run split (1:27:33) to that of 5th placed overall Alden.

The women’s race was separated by less than six minutes for the top five heading into transition.  The run shuffled the deck for everybody except the leader, Madison, as she held onto her thin lead with a 1:38:09 run to the line.  Charging hard behind Madison was Ann Heiner and her 1:36:27 run split.  Heiner started the run in 5th position and picked off competitors until she hit the tape within two minutes of the winner and good for 2nd place overall.  95 seconds later, Gilchrest crossed the tape after an impressive 1:39:46 run split to grab 3rd place.  A few minutes later, Glade completed her gutsy run and late pass on Macgraw to finish in 4th place.  Macgraw hit the line just 20 seconds in arrears.

For all the competed in the 2012 Pacific Crest long course triathlon, it was a test far greater than merely swimming, biking and running.  The unseasonable wintery conditions altered the course and challenged the athletes to compete against a fourth element – Mother Nature.  Congratulations to all that displayed the wonderful spirit of camaraderie and perseverance that thrives in our Northwest triathlon community.  The conditions may never repeat themselves in the races future, but the bond amongst the athletes certainly will.

A special thanks to AA Sports, presenting sponsor Sunriver Vacations and the community of Sunriver for hosting and supporting this fantastic annual event.

For complete race results, CLICK HERE.

Men’s overall winner:  Kevin Everett – Boise, ID  2:56:02
Women’s overall winner: Mackenzie Madison – Eugene, OR  3:36:06

Age Group Winners:
M 16-19  Ian Merkel – Redlands, CA  4:15:57
M 20-24  Cameron Dorn – Waterloo, SC 3:10:35
F 20-24  Molly Macgraw – Corvallis, OR  3:43:05
M 25-29  Chris Depner – Corvallis, OR  3:20:19
F 25-29  Anne Heiner – Portland, OR 3:37:44
M 30-34  Nick Alden – Eugene, OR  3:14:16
F 30-34  Julie Glade – Seattle, WA  3:42:45
M 35-39  Todd Riley – Bend, OR  3:09:37
F 35-39  Kristin Yarris – Salana Beach, CA  4:02:59
M 40-44 Tom Campbell – Renton, WA  3:12:22
F 40-44  Joanee Gilchrist – Chico, CA  3:39:19
M 45-49  Raymond Whitlow – Yamhill, OR  3:23:54
F 45-49  Sheila Donahue – Dundee, OR  4:09:12
M 50-54  Rob Saxton – Sherwood, OR  3:58:58
F 50-54  Carol Beebe – Bellingham, WA  4:34:22
M 55-59  Ross Wheeler – Kirkland, WA  4:22:38
F 55-59  Christina Anderson – Issaquah, WA  5:46:38
M 60-64  Bob Jordan – Lake Oswego, OR  4:36:54
F 60-64  Sharon Jensen – Bellingham, WA  6:00:11

Top Northwest Athletes Capture Regional Triathlon Titles

From Press Release –

The 2012 Pacific Crest Sports Weekend Sports Festival was held June 22-24, in Sunriver, OR. Despite the unseasonable weather, athletes came out in droves from across the country to participate in the 16th annual event. Among the events was the Pacific Crest Long Course Triathlon, which served as the 2012 TRI NorthWest Long Course Championship.

Eugene’s Mackenzie Madison returned to Pacific Crest this year to defend her long course title bringing her streak to four straight wins at the event. Photo: finishshots.com

Keeping safety a priority, race organizers were forced to shorten the bike route on the Long Course Triathlon due to snow on Mt. Bachelor, and the athletes adapted their race strategies accordingly. Kevin Everett, 37, from Boise, ID, and Mackenzie Madison, 25, from Eugene, OR, were the overall TRI NorthWest Long Course Champions.  Everett clocked a 2:56:02 and Madison finished with 3:36:06.

2012 TRI NorthWest Long Course Champions:
Male Kevin Everett 2:56:02
Female Mackenzie Madison 3:36:02

Age group winners:
M 16-19 Alex Dalton 4:57:08
M 20-24 McKenzie Sampson 3:25:15
M 25-29 Chris Depner 3:20:19
M 30-34 Nick Alden 3:14:16
M 35-39 Kevin Everett 2:56:02
M 40-44 Tom Campbell 3:12:22
M 45-49 Raymond Whitlow 3:23:54
M 50-54 Rob Saxton 3:58:58
M 55-59 Ross Wheeler 4:22:38
M 60-64 Bob Jordan 4:36:54

F 20-24 Molly Macgraw 3:43:05
F 25-29 Mackenzie Madison 3:36:02
F 30-34 Julie Glade 3:42:45
F 35-39 Kelsey Richards 4:07:53
F 40-44 Jonna Skokan 4:01:37
F 45-49 Sheila Donahoe 4:09:12
F 50-54 Carol Beebe 4:34:22
F 55-59 Christina Anderson 5:46:38
F 60-64 Sharon Jensen 6:00:11

It warmed up in Portland for the 2012 TRI NorthWest Olympic Distance Championships at Hagg Lake on July 7. The historic race brought the Northwest’s top triathletes to scenic and storied venue at Henry Hagg Lake in Forest Grove.

Jeff Smith’s well-rounded swim, bike, run combination put him on top of the Olympic distance field at Hagg Lake this year by four minutes. Photo: finishshots.com

The overall TRI NorthWest champions this year were Jeff Smith, 30, and Ann Davidson, 48. Smith blazed a 2:04:01 and Davidson was not far behind as the top female with 2:24:11. Both athletes are from Portland, OR.

2012 TRI NorthWest Olympic Distance Champions:
Male Jeff Smith 2:04:01
Female Ann Davidson 2:24:11

Age group winners:
M 12-14 Alex White 3:52:13
M 15-17 Jordan Landstrom 2:16:55
M 18-19 Ciaran Smythe 2:21:55
M 20-24 McKenzie Sampson 2:16:09
M 25-29 Steve Campbell 2:13:32
M 30-34 Jeff Smith 2:04:01
M 35-39 Craig Dean 2:08:01
M 40-44 David Garcia 2:11:55
M 45-49 Steve Mayer 2:18:06
M 50-54 Mark Boguslawski 2:36:38
M 55-59 Curtis Troupe 2:29:47
M 60-64 Randy Boehm 2:48:58

F 20-24 Kambria Schumacher 2:25:28
F 25-29 Jacqueline Knowles 2:53:52
F 30-34 Sara Schmitt 2:47:47
F 35-39 Jill McDonnell 2:48:10
F 40-44 Tami Syverson 2:56:46
F 45-49 Ann Davidson 2:24:22
F 50-54 Judy Rose 2:39:40

For complete results from the Pacific Crest and Hagg Lake events, visit racecenter.com/results.

If you want a shot at the 2012 Sprint Distance Championship, be sure to sign up for the Amica Mid-Summer Sprint Triathlon in Fairview, OR, on July 29.

2012 Blue Lake Triathlon Kicks Off Northwest Season, Club Champions Crowned

June 11, 2012

This year’s Blue Lake Triathlon & Duathlon is in the books and the 2012 Northwest triathlon season is officially under way. Seven different events were held over the weekend with Saturday, June 9 playing host to the sprint distance events and Sunday attracting athletes competing in the Olympic distances races.

In addition to individual competition, the Blue Lake Olympic Triathlon doubled as the 2012 TRI NorthWest Club/Team Championship. Coming out on top was the Willamette Valley Tri Club. The Portland Triathlon Club placed second with VO2 Multisport in third position. Points are awarded for both participation and also for age group placing. Although the WVTC fielded less participants than their Portland rivals, their age group performances gave them the advantage to take this year’s title.

Complete results for the weekend’s events can be found at www.racecenter.com/results or for a complete rundown of the Club/Team Championship, check out the results HERE.

Race Report: 2012 Heart of the Valley Triathlon

May 30, 2012

HOTV-MagAdMemorial Day Monday is celebrated in many ways across the country.  From memorial ceremonies with fly over jets to riverside campgrounds with friends and family around fire.  For a few weekend warriors, Memorial Day starts with a sprint triathlon at the Osborne Aquatic Center in Corvallis, OR.

The first wave of swimmers at this year’s Heart of the Valley Triathlon took to the pool just after 8am with additional waves of swimmers hitting the lanes minutes after the previous wave cleared the waters in search of their bikes.  By 9am, the final wave of swimmers pushed from the starting blocks.  In all, 159 individuals finished the race in addition to 11 relay teams.  Race organizers utilized an outdoor 25-yard pool in addition to the indoor 50-meter pool with extra wide lanes to expedite the tricky task of efficiently conducting a pool swim triathlon.  In the early waves a plethora of athletes with various swim techniques managed their way through the 7-1/2 laps.  From the pool deck, I witnessed backstrokes, breast strokes, side strokes and back floats.  I couldn’t help but think of the courage it must have taken some of these novice swimmers to enter into the event.

Before the 3rd and final wave started in the indoor pool many of the contestants checked with their lane mates about the rules and conduct when passing.  There would be a lot of passing as the lane assignments were configured according to each swimmers estimated 500-yard time.  Some of the estimated times may have had more to do with desired time rather than a true estimate.  Thank goodness for the extra wide lanes.  Some swimmers stopped at the wall to allow for quicker fish to move ahead and occasionally a center line pass was required to keep everybody moving.  When the churn of the pools subsided, Jefferey Nason stood a top the best swim split of the morning with an Aquaman like 10:02.  Jeff was followed by Karl Britsch’s 10:32 and Matt Berg’s 10:38 to establish the top three men heading into transition.  On the women’s side, Rachel Lee led out of the water like she has at this event in year’s past with a 10:33 split.  The next women out of the water was Jayette Pettit at 12:04 followed by Allysa Martin at 12:48.

The HOTV bike course may be a mile shorter than the typical sprint distance of 12 miles, but it makes up for its abbreviated distance with a steady grind of rolling hills.  With nary a flat section, riders find themselves constantly cycling up and back down their chain ring in search of the perfect gear to tackle the terrain.  Matt Berg quickly established the overall lead with a quick transition followed by a strong climb up the opening hill.  The field behind Berg shuffled a bit with Steve Mayer making the biggest leap from 14th out of the water to 3rd into transition.  Steve utilized a the leading bike split on the day (28:28) to pull into contention while making it look rather effortless while passing me into the transition area.  Berg led the race by 1:30 heading into the run.

On the women’s side, three ladies separated themselves from the pack with strong bike splits to set up a three racer showdown on the run.  Molly McGraw’s 34:17 set the bar on the ride while also pulling her from 35th out of the water to 2nd in transition.  Just 16 seconds behind McGraw, in 3rd position, was Gruber who had chipped away at Lee’s solid lead with a 35:28 bike split.  Lee held onto the lion’s share of her lead with a 35:37 split and entered the run 2-minutes clear of her chasers.
A shirtless Matt Berg headed out of transition with a quick cadence and relentless pace.  He never looked back on the lead he established early on the ride and cruised to victory with a new course record.  Berg’s 58:32 erased the previous mark established by last year’s winner Grant Hayball (59:18).  I paced the leader with a similar run split and pulled to the line at 1:00:02 and the same deficit (1:30) that I had entering the run.  Chris Depner laid down the fastest run split on the day (17:20) while firmly securing his 3rd place finish.

The women’s race provided the drama for the morning with a shuffling of the deck towards the end of the run.  Gruber whittled away at Lee’s lead in the winding twists of the neighborhood run on her way to a top performing women’s split of 18:37.  She needed all but 14 seconds of her run margin to take the lead and ultimately the win on the women’s race with a total time of 1:08:58.  Lee held on for second with a total time of 1:09:12.  McGraw slipped from 2nd to 3rd overall and finished with a total time of 1:10:47 while laying down an impressive 20:43 run split.
There are plenty of colorful stories and addition to the race that don’t take place towards the front of the pack and those are the participants that make regional events like the Heart of the Valley sprint triathlon thrive.  Three cheers to Team Burton and the “I am Burton” shirts worn while racing.  I share my applause also with young Sawyer Olson who took his father’s advise and tried all he could to “stick to that guy there!” while out on the run. Sawyer’s father was pointing at me from the passenger seat of his van while egging his son on during the run.  I’m guessing young Sawyer will soon be scanning the race calendar on www.racecenter.com in search of his next event.

A special thanks to AA Sports, event sponsors and the folks at the Osborne Aquatic Center for another great experience at the Heart of the Valley Triathlon.

For complete race results, CLICK HERE.

Men’s Winner Matt Berg :58:32
Women’s Winner Elizabeth Gruber 1:08:58

Age Group Winners:
Male 11 and under Jason Seiner 1:26:20
Male 12-14 Sawyer Olson 1:18:48
Male 15-17 Axel Estell 1:21:42
Male 18-19 Marco Ramirez 1:06:32
Male 20-24 Lucas Montgomery 1:08:50
Male 25-29 Chris Depner 1:02:14
Male 30-34 Travis Vitek 1:02:47
Male 35-39 Craig Dean 1:00:02
Male 40-44 Ken Hyland 1:04:08
Male 45-49 Steve Mayer 1:03:59
Male 50-54 Greg Hoard 1:16:01
Male 55-59 Phil Anderson 1:14:46
Male 60-64 Philip Deluca 1:28:10
Male 65-69 Riley King 2:17:14
Women 11 and under Ember Stratton 1:48:44
Women 12-14 Akari Seiner 1:32:21
Women 18-19 Olivia Cook 1:30:11
Women 20-24 Rachel Lee 1:09:12
Women 25-29 Juline Walker 1:15:39
Women 30-34 Jennifer Phillips 1:20:04
Women 35-39 Yalitza Moreno 1:20:51
Women 40-44 Cory Larson 1:22:25
Women 45-49 Jayette Pettit 1:18:22
Women 50-54 Mari Hammon 1:23:11
Women 55-59 Gail Kimberling 1:23:41
women 60-64 Sharon Gerl 1:22:47

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