Monday, July 5, 2010

Eugene Triathlon (a.k.a. 3rd annual CDT)- July 4, 2010- 3 perfect days in Eugene OR

Apologies to other BRS contenders, plans for the Eugene Tri came up literally the week before the event. Since the Eugene Open took place in Mukilteo this year, and rather than try to cram the CDT and TdM the same weekend, how about a chance for a road trip to see Baby Ventoux live on a 3-day weekend? Too good to pass up.

DAY 1: SPC Davis (aka Crash, aka Widowmaker) picks me and Davey up at 5 AM for drive down to Eugene. I had been harboring crazy thoughts of getting up at 2 AM the day of the CDT to drive to Sauvie Island to run the Foot Traffic Flat marathon prior to the CDT, but SPC talked me down. He called it an “intervention”.

That was a good thing because there was plenty of action in Eugene. Weather- picture perfect. We stopped at the Nike store to buy hats for the event and learned, there was a 10k race the next morning, the 37th annual Butte to Butte 10k. A butte is not a butt, but rather a conspicuous isolated hill with steep, often vertical sides and a small, relatively flat top, smaller than mesas. I tried to talk SPC to running it with me, but he wanted to keep his legs fresh to compete with Ventoux, last year’s CDT champ and always a dark horse, as he trains in Oregon. We stopped to pick up halibut fish & chips and some fabric paint, then met up with Papa Ventoux, View from the Sidelines, Sammy the Majestic Dog, and the newest addition, 5-week old Baby Ventoux, a.k.a Anna Jane. Anna seems like a mellow kid, View’s eyes and Ventoux’s hair. They are the most diligent of parents, exposing her early to important things like, the World Cup and Tour de France.

We step out on a relaxing short bike ride. I accidentally send this photo to some poor schmo with an email address resembling that of First Class. Then we ride along the river, tracing the 2nd half of the Eugene marathon route, and climb Skinner Butte for a spectacular view of the city and the rock wall. Pleasant evening by the grill, priming our livers for the Tri.

DAY 2:
PROLOGUE: Butte to Butte 10k:
Some anxiety dreams. I have graduated from dreams of not finishing a book for English lit, to forgetting my flute at home, to dreams of missing the start of a footrace. Ventoux and SPC drop me at Spencer Butte at 7:30 AM. Perfect day in Runningtown, USA with 6000 others. I walked around watching lean teenage gazelles doing striders, 8 year old kids, wiry 65 year olds who can kick my ass, and parents running with strollers. As the gun went off I thought, only 6.2 to go, I'm almost done. Is this what Van Phan thinks to herself at the beginning of a marathon? I have run 62 marathons or ultras and at least half-dozen halfs, but this was my first ever 10k. You get to run up Spencer Butte, down Spencer Butte, then straight to Skinner Butte. Beautiful scenic run, and a 10k PR for me. I maintain that the Butte was nowhere near as malignant as the CDT route, running up Madison and 23rd ave.

Then it’s on to pick up awesome tacos with carne asada and green salsa at the Mexican equivalent of Super H mart in Eugene. We go to scope out the route. No easy access to open water; we decide to swim at a pool, then naturally we decide to sacrifice all transitions for a Swig stage. 1 can of PBR to be ingested between each stage, first to finish all 3 cans wins. We meet up with First Class, who had finished his stint as a race photographer at the Butte to Butte, and as you can see, has been training seriously for the swim stage .

SWIM: Amazon pool: 300 yards in a 50 yard pool. A gorgeous, outdoor pool on a sunny day; the 4 of us got in on the “family” discount. Ventoux decides to do a warm up lap. The rest of us were deciding who was going to be slowest since we were doing circle swim; within 5 minutes each lane had several swimmers. Venoux the easy winner at 6:45, SPC 2nd at 7:46, Gerald 10 seconds behind, just happy to have kept her tacos down, then First Class..

T1: First can of PBR. “Don’t worry, it’s PBR, it’s just like water”. Say Dr. Feelgood and Nurse Davis. That is my kind of transition.

BIKE: 3 mile criterium loop. Holy headwind. Random bystanders on bike path shooting quizzical looks at the weirdos wearing BRS bike jerseys and spandex shorts, sprinting as hard as they can, tongue hanging out and drooling, to cross this flat, 1.14 mile bit of sidewalk 2.5 times. Ventoux surpasses Gerald in the 2nd half to win by 10 seconds,
Gerald able to hold off SPC for a 10 second lead. First Class places 4th.

T2: 2nd can of PBR. This sure beats riding while soaking wet with vertigo and running in a swimsuit.

RUN: roughly 1.5 miles. SPC and I were tied, started 1:31 behind Ventoux. I sure felt the 2 PBRs sloshing around, but as I got going the 2nd mile, felt better and caught up to SPC who was struggling over his last PBR. I tried to suppress my glee as View expressed surprise (“she’s back already…”) and as Ventoux was distracting SPC with pleasant conversation, I was able to edge him on the final beer stage for the 2nd place finish. SPC did manage to beat out First Class, who was right behind me.

SUMMARY: winner: Chris from Ventoux
2nd place: Gerald
3rd place: SPC Davis
4th place: First Class

Leave at 5:30 AM to scout out GRAMROD route. I already know my form not up to snuff for planned Ghost of Ride Around Mt. Rainier in One Day, 154 miles and >10,000 ft vertical gain. It is a LOOOOOOONG but gradual climb, shoulder narrow at times, and I must say, a bit monotonous after say, 100 miles. But the kicker was, it was 44 degrees and snowy at the top, and we only had shorts. Visibility low with fog. Moreover, I had left my bike shoes in Eugene. It was fate. Bike ride aborted; I did manage a nice 90 min trail run at Cougar Mtn to round out the perfect weekend. Now back to reality, and charts?


  1. What happened SPC? This account has you dripping slow all over the course? Big congrats Ventoux. And extra specially special contgrats to View and Baby Anna Jane.

  2. What happened? Papa V knows how to god damn swim, and Gerald is god damn fast on the bike (and apparently knows how to chug beer)!

    I do need to clear a very important matter up. I talked to the wife, and she wanted to know what type of crack I've been smoking. I guess you ARE supposed to support an infant's head. So just forget what I said, that might explain Weiss' neck problems...

    Definitely a great time in Eugene, my only criticism would be that the weekend lacked spaetzles...