Tune Up for the 2010 Season


 Well, the 2010 race season is underway and the first race was just a tune up for the “real” races.  The first race of the year was the Spring Classic Duathlon in Portland, OR on April 10th. It has been five years since I moved to Seattle and I still haven’t done a race in Washington.  I figure it’s about time to start doing some in the Northwest.  I teamed up with a fellow Husky triathlete Graham Mang for the event.  Graham is an amazing biker and his run is coming along although he is more suited for the half IM run distance.  This made it a little difficult when a speedster like myself wanted to blast the 5K’s.  We left on Friday for the race and trucked it down there in the pouring rain.  It rained all day Friday and into the morning on Saturday until just before the start of the race.  The wind was still wicked though and threw us around like a rag doll on the bike. 

            Graham and I stripped down to our pimp K Swisss racing suits and of course wrist bands to match.  We toed the line and when the gun shot off we were off.  I took the 5K’s at about 80% pace especially the first one.  I know I could have gone faster but this was just a tune up.  We let the first pack go ahead and we settled into the second group.  I was feeling good and trying to motivate Graham to keep up the good work.  We rolled into T1 in just under 18min and headed for the bike.  The bike was a 15mile double out and back ride right along the Columbia River and the Portland Airport.  We got on the bike in about 15th place and our goal was to pound it and move up to the top 5 by the end.  A tandem is obviously longer than a standard bike and therefore the wind affects it more.  The win on race day was between 20-25mph and I felt as though we were getting smacked by a large wooden paddle from the side constantly.  We persevered and continued to move up.  At the halfway point on the bike we were in 7th place and slowly creeping up on the lead pack.  On the last 5 miles the wind really picked up and Graham was just trying to keep the bike upright.  By bikes end we had moved up to 5th place and I hoped we could snag a few more on the second run.  I slipped on my patriotic K Swissles and shot off feeling good.  We immediately passed one guy to move into 4th place overall.  I was feeling good but Graham was feeling the effects of the bike.  I kept encouraging him with my familiar words “Smile through pain.”  We hit the turnaround still in 4th place but with about a mile left one person ran us down and we strided into the finish line in 5th place overall. With a time of 1:15:48.  This time would have won the overall race in past years but this year a group of pros came and competition just keeps getting better. 

            I was happy with the way I felt and confident that I am ready to run really fast in my next race at the 7th Annual PossAbilities Reverse Sprint Tri.  My friend Tanner also had an amazing race and has been improving rapidly.  Graham did an amazing job in guiding and it was a great way to start off 2010.  My next race is April 24th in Loma Linda, CA.