Over the years, I have not been the best at writing race reports for all the various events. However, based on the overwhelming experience competing at the Oregon Double Anvil, I thought it might be a good time to provide some highlights for those considering doing an over the top, tough, slow, hilly and grueling double which is Oregon.
This race worked well with my work schedule and current project in Oregon so why not jump in and race! Thanks to Steve Kirby for giving me the extra push. The Oregon Double Anvil would be my 10th Double Iron and 99th lifetime Ironman event and could not of been a better venue to make some memories. A big thanks to all the amazing volunteers and the race directors Steve Kirby and Teri Smith for hosting and executing such a great event. Personally, I know what it takes to put on events and their experience, organization and most importantly motivation to get athletes to finish under the cutoff of 39 hours was over the top!
As I have learned with my normal busy travel schedule, I decided to fly the 6+ hours the day before the race and not worry about time zones, lost luggage (bike), no review of the course or pre-driving and just enjoy the journey. Many times surprises and obstacles make it so much more fun. In most cases every location has a bike and running shop in the event everything was lost and ultra tri athletes are the most giving with respect to equipment, clothing, etc. So, no need to change the pattern and Rick Freeman (super crew) landed mid day Thur. (race start Friday 7AM).
Based on the fact that since the 2013 Triple DECA, my training has been focused on running and cycling, I actually swam only 5 times since the Triple DECA. The swim memories of 30 days of 2.4 miles in freezing cold water just made it mentally difficult to swim. So the Oregon Double Anvil would be an easy slow swim for sure. All went according to plan and did not kill myself by any means and just some shoulder soreness. The lake is beautiful and so much better than lap after lap in the pool.
Knowing the next 24-36 hours were going to be very warm, lots of sun, low humidity (not my preference as our climate is much more humid and to my liking) biking during the morning and evening would be times to push a bit harder. Just to clarify for all the athletes who hear about the Oregon bike course and rumors of hills – they are true! It’s not much different than the hills in Pittsburgh, PA that we train on but the road is just slow, not sure how to best describe it as this: going downhill in several sections it was hard to get the speed over 13 mph. It’s such as strange feeling. Please prepare for a slow course no matter what and enjoy the great scenery and climbing.
My personal strategy for every ultra tri bike section is to not get off the bike. There are many highs and lows during the bike section of a double anvil and the key is to keep moving. So maintaining this strategy, I focused on moving the bike without getting off as the time adds up, especially with the climbing. There is no question, this is one the prettiest rides around and I HIGHLY recommend you consider this double because you will work beyond for that finishers medal. There is a reason that the time limit was extended 3 hours (39 hours for an official finish). Overall, the bike course for me was several hours slower than a “normal” flat course. An interesting personal occurrence for the bike happened at 180 miles into the race in the evening hours when my light burned out and was slowly going down the dark road. I wascarrying my Iphone and used it to light the road until I got my lights again. So a good tip in the future if carrying your IPhone, you can always use the light to see where you are going! Also, for this course there are not many benefits of the TT bike and would recommend athletes consider a light road frame with aero bars and aero wheels.
The 1.3-mile run course loop offered on the road hills and heat along with a section of shaded single-track trails. I think every athlete could not wait to get out of the heat of the open road and make the left hand turn into the trails. It’s a slow run no question. Just keep on grinding the 20 loops and that was my strategy.
Amazing performances from everyone including many athletes running hard to make the cutoff. It was inspiring to everyone there watching Nick Mallett pushing Rory hard, Alin and Jean crewing non stop. Also, Rick, Mark together and Shane notching yet another Double Anvil. However, Tim stole the show with an incredible finish to make the cutoff by 8 minutes – CONGRATS! These types of experiences make the ultra triathlete family like no other in my mind.
Thanks to the best friends and athletes who participated in the race!
- Andrés Villagrán
- Christine Couldrey
- Wayne Kurtz
- Rick van Tuyl
- Mark Blore
- Shane Eversfield
- Rory Bass
- Tim Davis
- Alin Lupas
- Jean Ho
- Dolph Hoch IV
- Lisa Wei-Haas
- Teresa Wymetalek
- Angie Gerber
- Nick Mallett
If you are looking for one amazing Double Anvil course, longer bike course, lake swim and beautiful viewsin the Pacific Northwest then I HIGHLY recommend you consider the Oregon Double Anvil. www.usaultratri.com
Also, if you have any questions from an athletes perspective feel free to email me at email@example.com Hope to see you again next year!!