Last weekend I was lucky enough to make the trip again to gorgeous Eugene for the 2nd year of the Tri at the Grove! This fantastic event is run by Dark30 Sports in conjunction with Rolf Prima Wheels, one of my amazing sponsors, and this year more than 300 competitors took part in either the sprint or olympic distance events.
It was a flying visit as I arrived late Friday afternoon. But there was still plenty of time for a trip to Rolf Prima headquarters and a “chat with the Pro’s” for those who wanted to ask anything before the big day.
I was lucky to be staying with Brian and Carrie and their family of animals which reminded me of home! It was very comforting! It was also super nice not to have to get up ridiculously early for my wave start. 8.30am!! So civilised! I loved it! There was time for a good warm up, bike, run and swim! Everything was ready to go!
How beautiful is this location!! You have to remind yourself you are actually here to race!
The mind was ready, but what the body was going to be capable off, I had no idea??
It had been a big 4 weeks of training, and I was feeling it! New York Ironman was 2 weeks away so I knew I just had to get through this weekend and then it was taper time. I had nothing to lose!! Just go for it!
Another great Pro Athlete was racing, Emily Cocks, and I had heard she was a great swimmer and races more of the Olympic Distance races. This was going to be challenge!
The water temperature was perfect and after a good warm up we were off! Emily and I were a few meters apart at the start but once I looked over, worked out it was her and that we were swimming side by side, I slipped behind her and made it my goal to stay on her feet! This would be a very good swim for me! She did not know I was there until about 3/4 of the way through the swim when weaving around some of the slower swimmers from earlier waves I accidentally touched her feet. Bugger!! She picked up the pace a bit but I was able to stay there and was extremely happy to exit just behind.
But once again my Ironman transitions are not going to cut it in an Olympic Distance! I am working on this though!!
Onto the bike and it was a few miles before I caught and passed Emily. I was surprised I was feeling okay but was wondering how long that was going to last. 3/4 of the way through the bike, Emily and a few males caught back up to me and the pace backed off a bit as we rotated through back to transition.
Again, Emily had the jump on me out of transition and a couple of miles into the run we were again side by side. That was when I knew this was going to hurt!!
We stayed that way for most of the run. Accidentally bumping each other now and then and someone giving a little push every so often. As the miles passed, the thought began to come in my mind…we are not racing for anything, no money, just a good hit out…we are making each other work hard..lets just cross the finish line together. Then…no…don’t be ridiculous..we are both competitors…this is good practice…you love being the hurt locker and suffering…this is exactly what you want! Little did I know she was thinking exactly the same thing!
With just over a mile to go we passed the last aid station and I was on the outside so went behind to get some water. Emily made her move….and I could not get back on!! We ended up running exactly the same time with Emily taking victory by 10 seconds! It was exactly the hit out I was looking for!
We were bathed in sunshine during presentations and there were some amazing achievements on the day with a large number of first timers. Honestly a race that should be on your “to do” list if you are anywhere near Eugene in July next year!
Thanks to my incredible hosts Brian and Carrie! And to Rolf Prima and Dark 30 Sports and an awesome race!
See you all again next year!!
Women’s Winner Emily Cocks..Watch out for this girl!!