Overview: The Club had 25 racers at Ironman 70.3 Oregon in Salem, Oregon this week! It was amazing. The course itself was terrific. Weather was perfect. Congratulations to Clubmates who finished their First 70.3: Daniel, Raoul, Dale, and Maria!
Racers: David, Dale, Elsa, Burt, Philip, Joe, Carrie, Maria, Judy, Raoul, Rick, Alvin, Gregg D., Gregg S., Greg M., Sue, Lynda, Julian, Danial, Ivan, Teresa, Walter, Cris, Bob, Erick.
Thurs / Fri: Folks were driving and flying up to Salem, OR.
Sat: We met for group check in and got assigned a slot of consecutive numbers so that we racked together. Super fun. Athlete briefing.
Sun: Race Day and Post race Dinner.
Mon/Tues: relax and head home.
Big shout out to friends and family that took pictures and videos and shared with me.
|David VYPERz Chen||5:53:36||0:15:09|
|Walter Aguilera||6:46:43||-under review-|
Joe’s Race Report
My wife and I flew up on Friday Burbank to Portland. We rented a car through TURO, it’s like AirBnB for cars. It was really easy. They dropped off the car at the airport for us. Philip met us at the airport and we drove straight to Salem. Lots of traffic on the I5, sound familiar? Actually, a bad car accident. I heard our friends Burt, Erick, and Elsa, were stuck in the other direction for hours. Bummer. A lot of the crew was staying at the Grand Hotel in Salem, which was super convenient. Ironman Village was in the building, because the conference center is attached. We checked into our rooms. A bunch of us were on the same floor too. Lynda and Sue, Gregg D. and Bob, Irene and I, Gregg S., Philip, were all on the 5th Floor.
Mark B. of Unchained Bicycle Garage had already dropped off my tri bike and by gear bag at the hotel. Sue met him and held my stuff in the lobby for us. Mark fixed my chain the day before. My tri bike has a big rear cassette, so it’s fine line between a chain that doesn’t stretch of big front – big rear, and too floppy when big front – small rear gears. Mark, it was perfect. Silent smooth shifting! Mark also picked up my bike and gear bag from transition during the race. THANK YOU, MARK!
We did some light shopping at Ironman Village, which was super easy, since Village was in the Salem Convention Center which is attached to the Hotel.
We had drinks and dinner at Masonry Grill around the corned with Alvin, Julien, Rick, Daniel, Sue, Lynda, David, Raoul, and Irene and me. Food was tasty. All the restaurants were slow and understaffed due to post-apocalypse. We wandered around the shops and restaurants. Salem is cool.
We turned in early and I started packing up my bike and gear for the race.
Quick light breakfast at the hotel, included! Start Prre-hydrating all day. Drank at least two big bottles on Saturday.
I met Philip, Greg S., Gregg M., and Erick for a quick bike ride. I was wondering how the new chain worked out. It was flawless. Better than before. I rode 5-8 miles. There are so many one-way streets in Salem. Pointless. We rode the beginning of the bike course as it goes out of town down along the river. I didn’t want to overdo it. I was still concerned about my back, which I threw out last Friday. Back was touch and go all week.
10am: Group Club Check in. We met everyone on the corner and took the group picture and then walked through check in all together. We got a slot of consecutive bib numbers so we all racked together. Swag shirt was a dark blue tech tee and a green dry bag. Same exact bag as Oceanside 2021 and Oceanside 2022. Need to change it up Ironman, please. The registration was very crowded at 10am. Other Tri Clubs were also gathering and registering together.
11am: Athlete briefing upstairs in conference center. I got there early. Others got standing room only or watched the taped webcast. Key points on the race were basically true. They’ll show up below in my race.
Lunch: Wild Pear. Good salad. Just slow like other restaurants. Running theme.
Put stickers on my bike, helmet, morning bag. Race belt.
Took short nap.
2:30p: Rolled bikes down the street to Transition. The hotel was 2 blocks from Transition. Awesomely convenient for Irene throughout the weekend. Line was slow to enter, because they assigning timing chips at Bike Check in. They had a computer snafu. But it was fine. Only One transition area. No point to point. Easy peasy. Dropped off bike. Nothing else. We oriented ourselves for Swim in – Bike Out. Bike In – Run out. Our rack was close to the Swim in and Run Out. But far from Bike In and Bike Out. We walked down to the water Swim out. We saw Greg M. getting out of the water from a practice swim. Greg said the water was cool and murky, but fresh water and not too cold. The ramp from the dock to the shore was a fierce grating and the walking path up to transition was chip seal, hard on bare feet. ow ow ow. for about a 1/10 of mile.
6:00p: Early light dinner at Ritters. Fried chicken sandwich and salad.
8:00p: Pack my gear in transition bag up. I packed the bike gear in a clear bag. I packed the run gear in a clear bag. I packed the swim gear in a clear bag. Curled up in bed. Slept surprisingly good.
SUNDAY RACE DAY.
4:00a. Rise and shine. Very first thing: Timing chip in ankle. Tri shorts. Heavy sun screen layer. Morning clothes. Hotel had grab and go bags, nice touch. I ate hard boiled egg, 2 slices of bread. Packet of pills: endurolyte, curaphen, core adrenal, bio allay. Start hydrating again. Had a nice BM: good sign for the day. Filled bottles and kissed Irene g’bye for now. She had a VIP pass and could watch the swim start from the several places, even the Paddle boat at the Swim exit.
4:45a Walked over to transition with Gregg D and Bob.
5:00a. Set up transition area. Sun was coming up. Didn’t need headlight. Ground was very wet with dew. My bike was covered with dew also. Laid out towel, and bike stuff. then run stuff, then put on swim gear. Wetsuit, goggles, and cap. Flip Flops. Took pictures with PTC. I still think I racked my bike backwards.
LINE UP and WALK
6:00a. Potty line was very long and very slow. The swim line up was along the side of the transition. The people were holding up Swim Times 27-30 minutes, 30-33 minutes, etc. Since there was a strong current in the river, we lined up farther up than usual to get to the bike and run sooner. Worked out pretty well. At 6ish, the line started walking for 1.5 miles through the park to the swim start. There were more potties at mile 1. Then bag drop for morning clothes. Then another 0.5 miles on asphalt and mud to the river’s edge. The line stopped for a long time. There was a berm so we couldn’t see the swimmer going down until we were right about to start. There was a janky ramp and a couple steps and a small platform and then we jumped in two at time. Very slow process for 2000 athletes. They warned us not to touch the bottom. Rocks are sharp. They warned us to stay close to the buoys on your left. We were in a pack waiting to go: Maria, David, Raoul, Cris, Rick, and me.
SWIM START: 7:01a. 22:48 minutes
I jumped in with Raoul. I saw the two people in front of me. I jumped farther out into the river and to their left. Raoul jumped to their right. I think he hit his foot or leg on the rocks down there. It was cool but I was hot from the long walk. Temp felt good. I swam out, and the current pulled me too far left. The canoes were whistling me to go back to the right side. It was shallow over there. The bottom of the river was white rocks. I could reach the bottom with every stroke. I got kinda dizzy watching them whizz by. The current was flying us over the rocks. Siting was poor cuz we were looking straight into the sun. The buoys flew by. I popped up to look around. 4 minutes and 800 yds. It was crazy fast. The last red buoy we turned right and headed to shore. The volunteers on the docks were waving red flags. I pointed toward them. A lady swimmer kept trying to cut me off. I may have kicked back a couple time. Dunno. Dock was easy to get out of the water. Ramp from the dock hurt my tender feet. The long sidewalk chute on chip seal tore up my feet. I ended up running along the edge of the grass and hopping over the barrier feet. Irene got a video of me: ow ow ow. This was by far my fastest 70.3 swim.
T1. 7:24a. 10:46 minutes
Slow transition. Included the long walk. Put on cycling jersey. There were lots of bikes still on the racks. I saw my friends out of the water. I knew I could get going. I took a packet of pills and got rolling.
Bike. 7:34a. 3:17 hours
Bike was nice. Bumpy road for 2-3 miles, then the roads were pretty smooth all day. Lots bikes on course. Trees everywhere. Went through foothills and rollers. Mile 3-16. Julian passed me at Mile 5. I saw Judy at Mile 16. Then flattened out in the vineyards and farm land. Railroad under crossings were fine. There was one steep spot, ~9% for a quarter mile. I saw walking. It was a little narrow there, but I down geared and it was fine. The turn around was on a steep uphill and narrow. I also ate it maneuvering the U-turn. I took a packet pills at the turn around. At mile 30, my back flared up and I was in serious pain. I slowed down and took two advil. It hurt to pedal. Back pain was wrapping around my torso, but I didn’t want to stop. If I stopped, I might not be able to get back on my bike. Gregg D and Ivan passed me around this time. I smiled briefly, then cried a little on the inside. Kept rolling through mile 45, and the pain subsided. I was able to apply a little more power through the rollers back home.
T2. 10:29a. 6:42 minutes.
My back was numb at the time. I quickly jammed through transition. Changed to a PTC tech tee. Grabbed visor, water bottle, nutrition bag. Plus I grabbed extra advil bag. I took a couple more preventative Advil at T2 and got rolling before the pain started again. I figured it coming back sooner or later, might as well get as many miles done before it hurts.
Run. 2:20p. 3:20 minutes.
Run was in a park. You cross this cool bridge. The run course is a couple figure 8 loops in the park. A lot of it was shaded and lovely. Most of it was one direction running. so pretty wide for walkers, like me. I was run – walking. My walking was quick and long strides. I was keeping on a 4 miles / hour. And that worked out. The sunny parts started getting pretty hot. The support was terrific. I got Ice in my hand bottle at each aid spot and then drank it a bit. Pills on the hours. No cramps. Just kept run / walking. Saw everybody on run. That was great.
Finish Line. 7:18 hours
Bunch of PTC racers were at the finish line to cheer me in. It was awesome. Burt, Raoul, David, Philip, Maria, Elsa, Lynda, Walter, Daniel. It was great. Irene was at the VIP tent, which was at the finish line. She got some great shots of me. Swag was a black IM hat and a cool medal. I hung out for a couple more guys to come in. I was happy to finish. My back hung in there long enough to cross the line. Huge sigh of relief at the finish line.
Mark B had picked up my bike and transition bag. He was terrific. He left my morning bag with phone and hotel key. perfect. The walk back to the hotel was a couple blocks. Dinner at 5pm. Club hosted the appetizers and first round of drinks. The food was slow and understaffed again. But tasty when it arrived. We were having a good time. We celebrated the First Time finishers. We celebrated Dale and Tricia’s upcoming wedding. We celebrated Raoul’s birthday. We shared our race days and plotted for the next race. Good times.
Irene and I drove out to Neskowin, to visit Lynda and Bill. Neskowin is a tiny beach town on the Oregon coast. The 1+ hour drive is beautiful. You see the trees and valleys. We arrived at Lynda’s place just as Bob and Gregg D were headed out, to drive back to LA. Sue was staying out there too. Lynda walked Irene and I around their vacation home. We played with the dogs and then went for a walk on the beach. We went for lunch up the coast. Then drove up to Tillamook to see the cheese factory. We had ice cream and headed home. Irene and I stayed at Sue’s rental. It was a super cute beach bungalow, around the corner from Lynda’s place. Lynda BBQ’d steaks. We watched replays of the Tour de France.
Irene and I got up early for one more walk on the beach. Then we drove into Portland, a couple hours from the coast. We went directly / indirectly to Portland Rose Test Garden. Amazing. Tons and tons of rows of Roses. Every color. It was beautiful. We whizzed through in a half hour and got rolling. We went to VOODOO donuts. Yum. Then off the airport and return the TURO car. Easy Peasy.
Got home. Good times.