Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Anvilization.. The Oregon Anvil Double...

Quite a few months back I committed to a new race on the West Coast up in Oregon at Hagg Lake. I am certainly no stranger to double and triple iron distance racing and the Anvil series of Steve Kirby s are amongst my favorite doubles to have done in the past in Virginia.

 I arrived at Portland Airport and with ease found the MAX train to Clackamas were Teri the co director would pick me up and I would go to the hotel with Teri and Steve.
Waiting for the MAX train

My Bags traveled in style

What made Oregon Anvil Double enticing was a new course that was made up of 8 loops of swimming in Hagg Lake for a total of 4.8 miles, a 224 mile bike ride made up of 21 loops around the lake and finally the icing on the cake, 40 loops of trail /hills to make 52.4 miles. A refreshing combination of more miles and less loops, a lake swim and inaugural ....

Mmmm did I mention I had retired from this type of racing in 2012.... oh and I had just turned 50 years young in April and I was the oldest female....Arrrr what was I thinking!!!!

Pre Race
Stayed at McMenamins; a fantastic historic home turned into a hotel reasonable rates and an awesome Japanese soak pool as well as pretty good food. Jean arrived a day before the event her little mini Cooper packed to the roof with my Cannondale bike strapped to the back!
I also was the first responder to an accident of a 97 year old war veteran who had fallen over in his motorized wheel chair,  and was a little shaken from the event that unfolded but grateful to see Paramedics do such an awesome job.
The afternoon before the race began we were treated to a really nice picnic setting at Lake Hagg, the Co race director Teri Smith had made pasta, salads etc and we were able to pick up our race bags eat and socialize while gazing at our playground for tomorrows 4.8mile swim!! Steve Kirby who had flown in from the East Coast to Anvilize the West Coast went through the race stage by stage. A few of us Jean and I did not have a crew but this is an Ultra Triathlon we were not too worried worse case scenario we would work out of the mini Cooper!

The Race morning
Backed the car into our space, I checked my swim to bike bag and put it next to the bathroom,there was not a lot of us at Boat ramp C but we certainly filled that Lot with a lot of Ultra presence !
Jean and I before the storm

The Swim
Put on my Aquaman wetsuit, despite the Lake being warm I needed all the floatation I could get for this wee 4.8mile swim, sliced into 8 loops. A photo was taken and I entered the water...pressed the V800 button the event had begun there was no turning back!
After every loop I stopped to take water and Hammergel, the 6th loop I was like woo hoo, the final loop as always seemed to take forever but finally I made the final white buoy !

Now thank goodness the swim was flat! Lets just say this was not going to be your normal run of the mill double 224 mile bike ride, add a twist of lemon please ! It was 21 loops of how did the web site describe it...rolling course....10 plus miles long with over 13,000 feet of climbing! It was time to embrace the challenge!

As I started the first loop; I went to grab my perpetuem and discovered to my horror that it had no water! Only powder and ice which is actually how I told Charlie to fill it I just presumed he would know to add water!! I started to laugh luckily I had water and a hammer bar I would rectify that mistake back at the car!  I entered the lot and discovered I would never really be with out a support crew as the crews around, jumped into action asking what they could get for me! Sharing their knowledge and their smiles! 
Lake Hagg 

Now sometime into the ride lets say 13 loops I started to realize I was closing my eyes and ending up in the middle of the road, not a good place to be... especially given the fact of the wynding nature of the course. my pace had considerably slowed from earlier and I rolled into the parking lot very cautiously going down the hill....oh did I mention it was also getting dark...this is were I was to meet a friend Angie for the very first time, of course she met me in my glory of looking like crap! then the Medical Sport Doctor came to visit me and somehow I ended up having to sleep an hour or so later I was back on the bike it is now pitch black except from the light beam from my bike! I do the first loop and roll into transition refill a bottle and on the second loop I had to stop ..Lake Hagg was beautiful and so so quiet....I turned off the light and the sky was lit up with a thousand stars I was feeling super tired but elated at the night sky, I put on the light again and slowly rode back to the transition, the doctor had told me to eat solid food I went down to the food table and saw grilled cheese sandwiches....I thought mmmm I can do this..I ate a 1/4 of one and with in 5 minutes I was vomiting and heaving what was left in my stomach out onto the grass....that cost me another time out in an RV, when the doctor woke me up to get back on the bike I thought it was a bad joke!! but I put on my cycling shoes and went out into the black abyss armed with Hammergel and dry crackers!
The last 5 laps were memorable as in the early dawn light deers and fawns were bounding across the road so awesome, the sky changed color, and yup believe it or not I was going to finish this 224 mile bike despite being sick and feeling like crap! as the sun came up my smile just broadened and the last lap I realized I was not RAAM material as my rear just did not want to sit on that bike seat anymore!!! twas a long time doing 224miles but I had finished in the correct cutoff time too!
the last loop!!

So grateful to loose the bike and even more grateful to take off the cycling pants and put on running clothes!!! Lets just say I was sore and running would be a refreshing sport to do! I began the run just a little after 9am, with no rest from the bike there was no time as only had until 8pm I ran to the end of the tarmac and was met by WAIT! single track, off camber, downhill and I could not believe it! this is when I officially took Steve Kirby off my Christmas Card list! thank goodness I had chosen to wear Cascadia Trail shoes! this was to be a challenging run too and oh add the mercury creeping up towards triple digits, I kept my smile I love to run did the first loop in 15 minutes just 39 more to go.... On lap 5 I took a hit to my left calf muscle not sure why but an angry yellow jacket had decided to sting me through compression socks too I jumped so high and dropped the grapes I was eating as I let out a primeval scream! My body was so tired already and so vulnerable my calf quickly swelled up and nothing more I could do but continue running through the trail, which after a little steep section ends up on the road I had just cycled 21 times! then more uphill to a downhill and transition. Took a tablet for allergies and toothpaste on the sting! set off again. It slowly dawned on me with my limited mathematical knowledge that I would run out of time before 8pm, do decided that I should enjoy the marathon distance, at around lap 12 I found out it had been extended to 10pm, but even with that generous cutoff I had taken too much time in the medical tent and when I finally made 20 loops I accepted the award of Anvil Plus which is 4.8 swim, 224m bike and 26.2m run. 

The winning time was 27 hours, normally doubles are won in 20 hours to give you an idea at the difficulty of the course. 
I had kept with Hammergels on the run and taken Endurolytes, Anti Fatigue Caps and Race cap supremes through out. And of course my Hammer Recoverite afterwards
Order Recoverite first time? 
Yup my body had shut down in the middle of the night, I could not drink swallow or eat for a while, but thats ultra racing you never know how your body will hold up at sometime plan for discomfort.

To all the other support crews that came over to help ...amazing
It was difficult and challenging and would not change the course at all except maybe reverse the run...
Post race awards one of the best I have been too...
A few of us at the Awards..

Thanks to Teri, David and Steve for anvilizing the West a lot of hard work putting on this first event but next year I am sure it will sell out! 
Shout out to my awesome sponsors for the support, My new Williams Wheels 30s were smooth rolling, No flats with Serfas tires, The Aquaman wetsuit gave me the woman's fastest swim of the day! Hammer Nutrition for sponsoring the event too, I kept up with the Hammer gels and supplements when my body could not take anything else! Rudy Project USA for hot looking helmets, bags and glasses; Profile Design for Handle bars; Kool n Fit again for sponsoring the event I used the spray on my legs a lot during the bike! Ocean Potion Suncare for sponsoring the event and for protecting my skin. Polar USA for the chance to use the new V800 it was everything and more you said it would do and also for the prizes for 1st place finishers.. Triall3sport cases for protecting my wheels. TriSlide for my chaffing with the wetsuit, To my swim coach Christine from Competitive Tri Swim Masters at Covina, Brooks USA for running shoes, to Jean Ho for the friendship formed and helping with getting from A to B, Charlie Vickrey for the massages and most of all my husband for always supporting my crazy ideas and his company A.W professional Gardening and Landscaping!


Pre Race .....
run course

Run Course
Caroline great to finally meet you!

First place rookie!!! Steve Fullard!!

Ultraman peeps!! 

Kool n Fit
Stacey who won the double what an awesome achievement.
My friend Angie and Jean after the event.


Do not tell Hammer this is Tango!

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