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Nostalgia... (long)(1 post)

Nostalgia... (long)brider
Oct 24, 2001 11:50 AM
Just wanted to wax nostalgic on some of the races I've done in the distant past (Pacific Northwest area), see if any of you have done the same races, and maybe if you agree or disagree on my views. It's been years since I've done any multi-sport event, so I'm a little out of touch with the race circuit. All raves and rages welcome.

Crystal Mountain Triathlon. This was by far one of the toughest races I've ever done, with a totally masochistic profile (but isn't that one of the draws). Started in "Deep Lake" in Enumclaw for the swim (1/2 mile), then the 34 mile bike took us up to the base lodge at Crystal Mountain (the last 6 miles of that ride is now the Washington State Hillclimb TT Championships), then UP THE SKI SLOPE on a service road for the run, and back down some (mercifully) less steep service roads to return to the base lodge (6 miles). The entire run was on dirt roads/trails. I stopped once on the run to soak my headband in a creek. I had to walk almost the entire way up the ski slope, and I only saw one person NOT walking (I assume he wsa part of a relay team). Quads felt like they were going to fail me on the downhill run. A great race that I'm sorry to say isn't in existence any more. I only did this once (the last year it was offered). I heard the the first year the run finished at the top of the ski slope.

Olympia Traithlon (don't know if this was the real name, but it started and finished at Millersylvania Park, just south of Olympia). Uneventful swim, but followed by a 1/4 mile run to the bike transition. Bike was on rough back country roads, where my butt went totally numb (I switched to a Softride very soon after that). The run was, again, all on dirt trails, and this particular year, rained the whole time. Don't remember the distances, but it was on the order of Olympic distance.

Lake Padden Traithlon (Bellingham). This was an early season triathlon, and the first tri I ever did. It was a drafting legal race, long before there even was an ITU (mainly because there were no course marshals). Fun race, very hilly bike ride, and again a run mostly on dirt trails (two laps around the lake). There was a long hill behind the lake that was used in a few stage races I did there that I was always disappointed wasn't included in the tri. I remember one year I had a guy sucking my wheel through the entire bike leg, only to try to sprint around me in the last 200 yards (like that really would've made a difference). Any way, he overshot the last corner and crashed into a gate, sent himself sprawling onto the road.

Troika Triathlon (Spokane). Half Ironman distance, and very hot (to me any way). Swim went into the fog, and you couldn't see the turn around bouy from shore. Kind of made that a little eerie. The bike went into a closed-to-traffic area that made driving the course prior to the race a bit difficult. Fairly hilly, and ended in downtown Spokane. The run followed the Spokane River east, then turned around and headed back into downtown. There was vitually no shade on the run, and I think it got to 95 degreesF by the time I finished. I remember tryin to run with my feet landing in the shade of the guard rail, hoping the pavement would be cooler there. Once I took a sponge and wiped it across my mouth, not realizing the bitter taste of every one's sunscreen I'd be experiencing for the rest of the run. Nasty. Chuck Vuylupeck won that year, just 45 minutes ahead of me.

Hagg Lake Traithlon (southwest of Portland). This is the area I want to retire to. Absolutely beautiful. The entire lake, and the surrounding strip of land, is a state park. Clear water, clean air. I think this was Olympic distance. The bike leg goes twice around the lake, with a little dog leg added (of course on a hill) to make the distance. The run is an out-and-back hilly affair. If this race is still going, and you have the chance to go, I'd highly recommend it.

Well, that's it for now. Thank you for indulgin me in my walk down memory lane. Hopefully I've been able to convey the feel of these races. Of course, the vivid memories I have cannot be fully explained, but I'm sure you all have your own.