(9-8-09) Submitted by Dave Campbell – Ah, the late season… you really never know what to expect. There can be great race turnouts, very light race turnouts and competitors can be flying or totally burnt out. Ironman Canada has typically had a big impact on late-August and early September races in our area but there is another factor… weather! Athletes will tolerate rain in the early season because they are so rarin’ to go and get out and race. But after a long season of glorious sunshine, when we awake to darkness, cool, breezy air and showers, some of us are inclined to just crawl back under the covers
Such was the setting Saturday for the Scoggins Valley Triathlon, the final Hagg Lake Triathlon of the season and one of the last Olympic distance races in the Northwest. Thankfully, it wasn’t too cold, although the fast descents on the bike course were definitely… invigorating. But for the 77 hardy souls (or long season survivors?) that came to race the Olympic distance (and 18 duathletes and 122 Sprint distance athletes) it sure was wet!
44-year-old relay swimmer Perry Bishop of Portland led a small lead group out of the warm and muddy reservoir water and up the long climb into transition in 21:27. 28-year-old Carla Shrum, also of Portland and also on a relay was the first woman and 8th overall in 24:50. Transition was the place where some, such as myself, opted to let some time tick away while we wrestled wet clothing onto our wet bodies in the hope that the added warmth on the bike was worth the seemingly mammoth amounts of time that flittered away while we struggled. Of course, others stuck to the basics and hoped the effort kept them warm in the mid-50 degree air.
The Hagg Lake bike course is well-suited to my cycling background, and despite having to stop for an apparent flat (wow, my decal that covers the valve hole on my disc wheel for aerodynamics isn’t much of a time saver when the water forces it loose and I have to stop to tear it off) I posted the top time of 1:05:49. “Team Tedder’s” Jeff Tedder (Bishop’s biker) was about a minute back but the next cyclist was almost five minutes in arrears. The turnaround and a couple of the fast downhill sweeping turns required a bit more caution in the rain but the small field was ultimately a blessing when it came time to pass as many were a bit scared of the wet roads. 51-year-old Bridget Dawson of Portland, 4th woman out of the water, moved firmly into the women’s lead with a 1:18:51 bike split (24th overall).
I injured my left hip flexor at Pacific Crest in late-June and have run very sparingly since so the run was certainly my biggest challenge. Not surprisingly, I was slow but thankfully pain-free. I survived the run in 44:12, fourth best on the day to win overall in 2:18:06, far from a fast Hagg Lake time but I was happy my hip was working again. The rain certainly slowed us all down a bit. 29-year-old Josh Speer came off the bike 5th but ran a race-best 41:35 to come up to 2nd overall in 2:22 flat with 3- year-old Trevor Yates third in 2:23:41. Dawson, as always, continue to impress with a 45:12 run, 10th best overall, crossing the line 7th overall (2:33:59) and first woman by nearly five minutes!
Cindy Toraya, 40, of Tacoma, WA put together a very consistent race (only 20 seconds slower than Dawson on the bike and only 30 seconds slower on the run) to finish second overall. Seattle’s Jodie Totten, age 24, was third in 2:45:39.
Team Tedder (runner Elaine Testa) narrowly won the relay by just 22 seconds over Team Homebrew (Stephen Sutton, Gary Szalay and Kenneth McNaught) in 2:27:05. Notably, 58-year-old Michael Godfrey of Portland was a very impressive 7th overall in 2:30:09. After Dawson generously gave up her Masters trophy (the overall received one as well) Toraya took home Masters honors and I followed her lead with Joe Rozanek of Scappoose receiving Top Master in 2:25:28.
42-year-old duathlete Dave Florence of Canby, who led from the gun, “sandbagged” his final run, allowing his good friend Rui Zhu, 33, from Salem to catch him with the two crossing equal on time 1:57:38 but Zhu breaking the tape first. 31-year-old Toni Becker of Bend won the women’s 5k Run-40k Bike-5k Run duathlon in 2:22:09, 18 minutes clear of second place in a very small women’s field.
40-year-old Marcelo Silva of Beaverton repeated his win at Mid-Summer with overall victory here in a solid 1:09:18 ahead of a couple of very promising youngsters. 14-year-old Hayden Fawcett of Happy Valley, OR was second overall in 1:12:37 in a very impressive performance while 19-year-old James Ferris (Mulino, OR) was third in 1:15:28. Micah Ramsey, 36, of Portland topped the women’s field in 1:23:45, bettering most of the men enroute to 14th overall! Only two minutes separated the next six places overall in a hotly contested women’s sprint race with 28-year-old Sarah Holman of Beaverton the next across the line in 1:25:23 and Kendall Burnham, 34, another 30 seconds back for third.
So, what’s next? There are still lots of fun triathlons around the Northwest most weekends. The ages of the results tell another story, too however – kids are back in school and we parents are now busy again with student activities. And then there is cyclocross! Or, a well-deserved break from competition while enjoying the fall weather with hiking, fishing, or other outdoor pursuits. Ah, yes the late season. So, stay active, enjoy the fall, and whether sooner or later I will see you at the races!