Terenzo Checks in: Portland Rev3 and Vineman 70.3
Rev 3 photos thanks to Eric Wynn.
And Vineman photos thanks to Larry Rosa.
I had been hanging out in Portland with my training partners and bike shop sponsor Athletes Lounge for the past few weeks and had really been enjoying the training and even more the great restaurants. They have some amazing trails to run on and I didn't realize how much I had missed running on them, especially my tempo runs along Leaf trail. The Revolution 3 triathlon series was running the Portland Half for the second year and this year they had really vamped up the course. I think they had gone for a Tour de France theme with some of the meanest hills I have ever seen in a triathlon.
I had a good swim and felt good for most of the bike. Richie Cunningham and Paul Matthews got away at the early stages of the race and put a minute into us by the start of the run. one of the toughest things I found on this bike course would have to be the last 10miles. You are on a dead flat road with a strong cross wind and most of us had left our legs on the hills. Fellow Kiwi, Graham O'Grady and I found ourselves chasing down the 2 Aussies up ahead with 2 Americans (well 1 canadian and 1 american ) hot on our heels. Off onto the run I could feel my legs had been burnt big time but I did what I could to hold it together. I started coming around and was holding a good pace but as soon as pne of the americans, Jesse Thomas passed me I ran a bit too hard for a mile and paid the price big time. At mile 4 I was in a good place but quickly my legs feel off and I am sure that people on the side of the road watching me run would not have been able to tell which direction I was moving.
From getting up to 2nd place I slowly moved backwards and just finished in the money with a 6th place which is respectable given the quality of the field. Richie who is having an amazing year managed to hold off Jesse on the run to come away with the victory.
Next stop was the Vineman 70.3 in Sonoma, Northern California. I won this race back in 2008 and had a great homestay. It is great to catch up with them again and enjoy some of the local wine. Again the quality and depth of this field was huge. It is amazing to see how much and how fast this sport is growing.
Again nothing too exciting happened in the swim, a small group came out of the water together and again Paul Matthews head an amazing transition and got away from the group. Immediately after getting on the bike Greg Bennett jump across and the two of them rode like it was a 40km TT and put 3 minutes into us pretty quickly. I wanted to focus on having a good run this week so backed off slightly on the intensity of the bike ride. Joe Gambles lead the chase group for most of the ride and we got off the bike and onto the run with just under a 3 minute deficit. Gambles took off out of the gates like a man possessed and Luke McKenzie and I settled into our rhythm together. Soon I found myself closing the gap to Joe and at mile 4 I was about to close the final 5 meters when running through an aide station one of the volunteers walked backwards into me. I thought he was going to hit the deck pretty hard but it all happened so quick and with my athletic build it was me who did the tumbling. I struggled to find my rhythm again and found myself pushing way too hard for several miles. I caught Joe and he started winding up the pace on a 2km dirt track and after making up 45 seconds on Greg Bennett in that short section my legs had been spent. Soon I was back into a similar position I was in last week just trying to survive to the finish line. When I was passed with 1 mile to go I had nothing to react with, but with 400 meters left and about to be passed again I found every bit of energy I had left to hold off 6th place and finish in 5th.
I hold no harsh feelings to the guy who took me down, our sport depends largely on volunteers and I am very grateful for all they do. Next time I will be more solid on my feet though!
My racing while it still isn't where I would like it to be I can see things starting to come together and there is now a light at the end of the tunnel. I am looking forward to Racing on a new course in the Philippines in a few weeks time and putting on a great show for all my fans over there.
Will catch up again soon