So my season plan was altered with my unfortunate results from the Calgary 70.3. I had planned on using the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas as my final tune-up before Kona however I didn’t get a qualifying spot from Calgary…as a result of my tire issue. So instead I signed up for the Leadman Tri Epic 125 in Bend, Oregon. I had done the Leadman Epic 125 in Las Vegas earlier in the year and was thoroughly impressed with the event. Seeing as the military rate for the Bend race was $0 I figured it was a steal. My wife being the amazingly supportive wife she is gave me the green light to race!
On Thursday, 20 Sep 12, I travelled to Bend, OR. I opted to fly to Portland and then drive a rental car to Bend instead of driving the 18-20hrs from Cold Lake. I knew it would be a long trip either way but this method afforded me to the opportunity to race on Saturday, attend the post race awards on Sunday morning, and still make it home for work on Monday (I'll admit I didn't get home until after 0200hrs). The travel to Bend was thankfully uneventful. I started the day at 0730hrs from home and was checked into the Super 8 in Bend shortly after 2200hrs that night.
Friday morning I did my final prerace brick(bike then run) of approximately 1hr duration. I completed package pick-up, which was a mere 5minutes…unbelievable! Checkout the free swag…a jersey, long sleeve tech tee, visor, a lanyard, and a light bag.
I then made the drive out to Cultus Lake to complete a light swim with several accels and then check my bike and T1 bag into transition. I enjoyed my light swim in the beautiful Cultus Lake. The scenery was amazing, the water temperature was perfect and almost crystal clear. Then it was back into town to T2 to drop off my T2 bag and attend the prerace athlete briefing.
Race morning came quickly, but thankfully I had a great sleep. I woke at 0400hrs and had my usual prerace meal : coffee, oatmeal, and a banana. I headed out the door shortly before five and then grabbed the bus to Cultus Lake. What should have been an hour drive turned into an hour and a half. The bus drivers were not from the local area and somehow managed to take the extra long way to the race start…subsequently the 250 race was delayed in starting. I checked over my bike dropped off my nutrition and got set for the race start at 0800hrs.
I swam out to the first buoy as my warm-up and then awaited the start. It was a small field of a couple hundred athletes spread out among 4 waves so the swim start was quite tame. I was in the first wave and quickly found a pair of feet to sit on for the first couple hundred meters and then decided to up the pace. I settled into a good rhythm and then just tried my best to focus on a long stroke with a strong pull. The swim went by rather quickly and I was surprised to see 32:XX on my watch as I excited to the swim. I figured the course must have been really short or something (Aside: Swim was supposed to be 2.5km my Garmin 910xt had the course as 2kms).
T1 was quite slow as I took the opportunity to put on a dry top, arm warmers, and socks. Seeing as the temperature was about 8C I did not want to freeze in the first hour. I was very thankful for the warm clothes, but my legs definitely did not appreciate the soaking wet and cold Compressport Calf Sleeves and Tri shorts. (Aside - if you are looking for a sweet pair of tri shorts you should be seriously considering these) The first hour on the bike I tried to force myself into a strong pace, generate some heat, and settle into my nutrition plan. My legs felt great while my hands were freezing (I wish I had stuffed my light gloves into my T1 bag at this point). By the time I started the climb up Mount Bachelor I was feeling great so tried to up my power output knowing that the last 30kms of the race was mostly free speed. The descent down the backside of Bachelor was fast, wicked fast. I had a top speed of 75km/hr. (If you think that is crazy fast…think again! Jordan Rapp the Male Pro who won the race had a top speed of 60mph ~96km/hr). As I weaved into town and towards transition my quads started to tighten up. I backed off the pace and eased into transition hoping the legs would loosen once I started to run. (Bike 106.5km – 2:56:xx)
As I ran through transition I quickly counted 4 or 5 bikes already there. So I figured I was near the front of the race, but likewise knew there were fast athletes in the later waves probably chasing me down. I knew the run was only 16.5kms so I figured I would just run by feel. The legs were definitely a little sore and stiff as I slipped on my new Brooks Pure Connects (yes the new Blue ones Brian at Brainsport had sent me - they are now broken in for Kona!). I was out of transition rather quickly and settled into a strong pace on the run. The run was a mixture of trail and road with a few short steep hills and one rather long climb. I just kept pushing my pace, but despite my best efforts I saw no other athletes. It was a very scenic run with awesome volunteers at the aid stations. I made the final turn over the bridge and through the finishing shoot…5th Overall. (Run more like 15.5kms - 1:02:xx)
After it was all said and done I remained in fifth place overall and first in the M25-29 division with a time of 4:37:15. (I was actually the 2nd athlete in M25-29 but the top athlete was 3rd Overall so didn’t get counted in the division). This race was a tune-up and I was very happy with the results. I had an excellent swim for me, a very strong bike, and a solid run (the fastest run of the day).
The Leadman Bend race put on by the folks at LifeTime Fitness was truly an Epic race. A special thanks to Dominic Guinto for his superb work as the race director! You can be sure that I’ll be trying to squeeze the Tempe and Bend races into my schedule for next year.
Next up...Kona! I can’t wait!
|Jordan Rapp - aka Rapstar coming down the finishing shoot to take the win at the Leadman Epic 250 Bend!|