Submitted by Craig Dean –
The second weekend in June in Fairview, Oregon was greeted with mild conditions and a sea of multi-sport athletes converging on Blue Lake Regional Park for the traditional start to the open water triathlon season in the Northwest – the Blue Lake Triathlon. Over 400 competitors raced each day in either Saturday’s sprint distance or Sunday’s Olympic distance events. There were plenty of new comers experiencing their first taste of multi-sport racing and lots of help from volunteers and veterans alike.
With the inevitable pre-race anxiety that nearly every participant faces, most experienced racers arrived early to the venue to allow for enough time to properly set up and attempt to relax before the gun. Blue Lake attracts many first timers with its flat and beautiful setting close to a major city.
A small wave of elite triathletes kicked off the swim before the larger waves of age groupers took to the 71-degree body of water. In the lead from the start was Rod McClaue from New York City. Rod was looking for a group training ride while on his west coast visit to Bandon, Oregon. Having found the triathlon bug years ago in the circuits that feed Manhattan area competitors, Rod jumped at the chance to taste a bit of west coast racing. Well behind Rod was a pair of young upstarts in 15-year-old Garen Marter and 19-year-old Marco Ramirez. Rod posted the fastest men’s split at 10:01. Garen exited the water in 10:57 and Marco in 11:01.
The lone woman in the elite wave was Bend’s Joanne Eastwood. She braved the swinging arms and kicking feet from the elite men and stuck rather tightly to our pack for the opening turn. She ultimately exited the water in 13:44. The top women’s split was posted by Portland’s Sara Cannon with a 10:59 performance. That gave her a near two-minute lead over her nearest pursuer in Camas, Washington’s Sierra Colletto. Alexandra Cohen, Remy Maguire and Julie Deal rounded out the sub 13-minute swim splits for the women’s field.
After a few twists and turns making our way out of the transition area and onto Marine Dr., the bike ride is a flat and fast effort on a simple out-and-back that only has a bit of crosswinds to spice up the ride. Ramirez managed to reel in McClaue a few miles into the bike and enjoyed the escort from the lead motorcycle until the turn around cone. I made up my two-minute deficit from the swim and took the overall lead and a personal escort to complete my 29:22 bike split. Mark Doane and Jason Shroeder made up the most ground in the later waves with their 2nd and 3rd fastest bike splits at 29:50 and 31:14 respectively.
Sara Cannon continued to create distance on the field by posting the fastest women’s split on the bike to go along with her top swim split. After 32:44, Cannon was into transition with only the run separating her from an overall win. Eastwood kept herself within striking distance with the 2nd fastest women’s split at 34:04. Cohen, Maguire and Deal all backed their strong swims with efficient rides that kept them in the running for podium spots.
I followed my ride with a relatively strong run that was escorted by local area triathlete, Phil Anderson, on the bike. Phil offered a bit of course information while leading out my run. After meeting Phil six years ago at the Heart of the Valley Triathlon in Corvallis, I’ve come to appreciate seeing him at many of the region’s local races. Seeing that he is giving back to the community by volunteering is a testament to the spirit of the sport. Two notable men’s run splits were posted by Molalla’s Kenny Wood (5:43 pace) and Colton’s Ken Hyland (5:45 pace). Ramirez ran with inspiration to the tape and good for 2nd place overall and a total time of 1:03:43. Young Jacob Bustamante took advantage of his swift running to skip into 3rd place overall (1:04:45) with a chase on Mark Doane through the twisting park paths near the finish.
Cannon finished what she started with a solid 21:07 run and breezed to victory with a 1:07:42 overall time. Remy Maguire popped from 3rd overall to 2nd with the help of the fastest women’s split on the day (6:24 pace) to complete her 1:12:01 race. Eastwood rounded out the women’s podium just behind Maguire and well ahead of all chasers with a total time of 1:12:53.
Congratulations to all that enjoyed a great day of racing in Fairview, Oregon. AA Sports organized a wonderful event and the many sponsors gave the event a festive feel. The party lasted into the afternoon with live music to accompany the food, beverages and good company. Nearly 400 competitors showed up again the following day for the longer Olympic distance race. Congratulations to OSU’s Blair Bronson on his scintillating seven-second victory over Tualatin’s Matt Berg.
Men – Craig Dean – Portland, OR – 1:02:01
Women – Sara Cannon – Portland, OR – 1:07:42
Men’s Age Group Winners:
11 & under – Reid Chen – Portland, OR – 1:24:07
12-14 – Harry Thoma – Portland, OR – 1:19:18
15-17 – Jacob Bustamente – Portland, OR – 1:04:45
18-19 – Marco Ramirez – Forest Grove, OR – 1:03:43
20-24 – Philip Crepeau – Moscow, ID – 1:13:14
25-29 – Jordan Fuesser – Portland, OR – 1:08:16
30-34 – Jason Shroeder – Boring, OR – 1:05:20
35-39 – Mark Doane – Ruston, WA – 1:04:56
40-44 – Jeff Marsh – Portland, OR – 1:08:39
45-49 – Ken Hyland – Colton, WA – 1:06:43
50-54 – Ted Wheeler – Portland, OR – 1:13:07
55-59 – Richard Earle – Salem, OR – 1:13:39
60-64 – Frank Goulard – Lake Oswego, OR – 1:11:39
65-69 – Jim Gulaskey – Lebanon, OR – 1:20:19
70-74 – Dick Shores – Florence, OR – 1:30:04
Women’s Age Group Winners:
11 & Under – Alexa Fuhrer – Portland, OR – 1:39:32
12-14 – Jessica Rouske – Camas, WA – 1:36:18
15-17 – Sierra Colletto – Camas, WA – 1:24:27
25-29 – Emily Alcott – Portland, OR – 1:17:49
30-34 – Remy Maguire – Portland, OR – 1:12:01
35-39 – Stephanie Colletto – Camas, WA – 1:20:55
40-44 – Suzanne Middleton – Corvallis, OR – 1:20:02
45-49 – Joanne Eastwood – Bend, OR – 1:12:53
50-54 – Jodi Marhaller – Medford, OR – 1:18:44
55-59 – Debbie Lavery – Kirkland, WA – 1:20:42
60-64 – Vickie Berger – Salem, OR – 1:53:51