Revving it Up!
It’s T minus 6 days to Vineman 70.3 and I’ve been revving it up!
Several months ago, The Revolution3 Triathlon contacted me to see if I would be interested in hosting a professional triathlete coming to the area to participate in the 2012 Rev3 Portland. I had offered to do this last year when they contacted the Portland Tri Club for assistance with this, but was unable to host because it was the same weekend as the Seattle to Portland bike ride. This year, however, I was free, AND, was already scheduled for vacation to prepare to head to California for Vineman, so when I got the email, I responded with an enthusiastic YES! Late June, I heard back from Rev3 that I would be hosting a tri pro from Australia, Madeleine “Maddie” Oldfield.
I picked Maddie up from the airport Friday afternoon when she flew in from Boulder, Colorado where she trains while in the US. Maddie, who is 24, is a petite, soft-spoken, and very polite young woman and I was immediately impressed by her. We got her bike at the baggage carousel and headed to Vancouver to get her settled and figure out the game plan of what she needed for the weekend
After getting her settled, we headed to Portland to Athletes Lounge for a reception. Athletes Lounge was hosting a meet and greet for Terenzo Bozzone, a five-time 70.3 World Champion from New Zealand, and Meredith Kessler, an American who recently took first place in Ironman New Zealand, St. George, and Coeur de’Alene. Terenzo and Meredith were in town to race Rev3 as well.
While we were there, and really my primary focus, I needed to get new tires for OJ, my road bike. I recently had a long ride, got a flat…changed the tube, forgot to check for embedded objects in my tire before installing and riding on a new tube, and immediately had a second flat a mile later. I realized I’d forgotten to do that about two pedal strokes in and thought, well, maybe it’ll be ok…not! Well, I dug out a chunk of glass from the tire when changing the second flat and figured that was it, I even finished the ride without a problem, but the next morning—another flat. I took OJ to work, checked the tire, dunked the inflated tube in water, but could not find anything. I decided the fear of having a slow leak and something sharp in my tire wasn’t worth the mental anguish for Vineman and wanted new tires. Maddie even helped me in the decision and I ended up with some great road racing slicks without tread and are super fast! They are what she uses. Maddie examined my old tire while we were driving back to Vancouver later and finally found another hidden chunk of glass…brown, presumably from a broken beer bottle…grr!
We left Athletes Lounge and headed for VooDoo Doughnut, Portland’s iconic “keep Portland weird” doughnut shop in OldTown Portland. I’d asked Maddie what she ate before races and she said “donuts!” so, off we went! We wandered down to Waterfront Park snacking on doughnuts and gave her a quick walking tour of downtown and the Willamette River. It was getting late and we needed dinner after our dessert, so we headed to Camas to have dinner on the Columbia River at the floating Puffin Cafe. When we returned home, Maddie assembled her bike, and we called it a night.
Saturday morning we headed out and drove the bike and running courses for the Rev3 Half. The 56 mile bike route is incredible, a complete change from last year, with 2500 feet of climbing! The majority of this route is in Gresham Fire’s response area so I was very familiar with the roads and route. We then went to Blue Lake Park so Maddie could pick up her race packet, go to a mandatory pre-race briefing, and have the bike mechanics from Athletes Lounge adjust her gearing. I ran into one of our Deputy Fire Marshals checking out the site for their fire permit, and got to visit with the Rev3 Race Director, who was a very charismatic individual! He told me about some special things that Rev3 does, including:
- They take your picture at packet pickup and display it on the Jumbotron and announce your name and stats when you cross the finish line
- Provide childcare at the event so single parents or both parents can race
- Allow family members to join you crossing the finish line, and will even bring your kids out of the childcare area to you for this. “If you want to carry a baby across the finish line, Cindy, you can totally do that here at Rev3!” He was a hoot! (Note: This is not allowed at Ironman events, apparently.)
We headed home, stopping quickly at the grocery store. Maddie went for a quick run, I made dinner, then I went out to do a 2 hour brick workout. The weather here has finally turned into summer, giving me only a week to do heat workouts to acclimate to hot weather in preparation for California. I was really concerned about how I would do, but my brick went fantastic, starting in 84 degree sunshine for a 1.25 hour bike and ending at 75 degrees with a 45 minute run.
I got Maddie to the park by 0630 Saturday morning. We asked someone to take our picture together and the woman exclaimed, “Oh, how wonderful, a mother-daughter tri duo!” We laughed and corrected that we were a “host-pro duo”! Crazy funny!
I caught up with Portland Tri Club friends and we watched everyone get set up in transition. The pros have their own area in transition, opposite Age Groupers, and each pro’s spot is designated with a banner with their picture and race number on it! It was really awesome!
Women pros started in the second wave. There were 18 pro women competing in this event.
Maddie looked great coming out of the water, but I was terrified for her because the “Scary Stairs” of Blue Lake that I crashed on practicing running to transitions last year at the Open Water Clinic awaited her! (see Is that Poop or Pudding). The transition route wasn’t marked the day before when we scoped it all out. I never dreamed they would have to run up those stairs to transition and had even told her the story of my crash up the steps the day before, and as soon as I saw them I was so worried that my story was going to psych her out heading to transition! She did beautifully though…she’s a pro!
Maddie flew out of T1 like a gazelle! I wish I looked that good running WITHOUT a bike!
I stood and watched several more pros running their bikes out to the bike mount area. One woman took a horrible spill right behind Maddie, catching her toe on the edge of the asphalt roadway from the grass, losing her bike and sliding on her shoulder. It was horrible to watch, but she got up, brushed herself off and kept going. A male pro lost one of his shoes that had been clipped onto his pedals about 25 feet from the bike mount area and had to run back for it. These things happen to all of us, not just Age Groupers, and you have to roll with the punches.
I went back and cheered athletes coming into and out of T1, including five Portland Triathlon Club members doing the Olympic and HalfRev events. They looked GREAT!
Then I reported to my volunteer post on the Marine Drive overpass at 223rd Avenue, the Aid Station for 1.4/3.6 mile of the run course. The Portland Tri Club staffed a water station last year as well, and it was such a great experience! We handed out water, Gatorade, ice (very popular), gel, salt tablets, bananas, grapes, and power bars (not a single one taken). We also sprayed Age Groupers with super soaker water guns (we didn’t think the pros would appreciate this!). It got super hot during the run, in the upper 80s/90 and everyone, pros included, was getting toasty and needing water to drink and to splash.
This was a great location to be situated at. Athletes in the HalfRev came north on 223rd, under the overpass we were on and headed west down Marine Drive, turned back at 122nd Ave., and down the exit ramp at 223rd to finish the bike course in the park. The OlyRev athletes did a loop on Marine Drive and also exited down the ramp to 223rd, so we got to see everyone finishing their rides. The view off the overpass was spectacular and the perfect place to cheer and cowbell everyone from.
We all watched for Maddie and then we saw her fly beneath us. I tried to run to get a picture of her coming up the on-ramp to Marine Dr., but she was too fast! It was the same when she exited. But I got a picture of her running through the aid station. So exciting!
Maddie finished as the 8th pro woman with a time of 04:48:37.393! She needed to finish in the top 10 in order to earn points toward the 2012 Rev3 Pro Championship Leaderboard—her placement gave her 410 points toward her standings. They haven’t updated the Pro Leaderboard yet, but I’m anxious to see if she moves up in the standings with this.
So how do you celebrate an 8th Place Professional Triathlon finish? With ice cream, of course!
And, with a 12.75 mile bike ride! The highlight of my whole weekend was having Maddie join me for my training ride Sunday evening so she could do a “spin down” after her race. I was on cloud nine the whole time—I’m sure she didn’t realize how awesome that was for me!
After our ride and dinner, we sat down and recorded a little interview. She and I had chatted a ton over the past two days but I wanted to capture some of that conversation to share with you all, because it was fascinating to get a glimpse into the life and training of a professional triathlete. I had intended to write the Q&A out on the blog, but we recorded 30 minutes, so I think it’s going to be easier and better to share the audio (plus, she has that great Australian accent that doesn’t carry over through text!). So the interview starts rather abruptly as it wasn’t intended to be a podcast…but, here’s my FIRST Trimazing podcast!
I am still trying to figure out how to embed a player in this blog, so please bear with just having a link. I also need to learn how to edit audio files, come up with intro music and introductions! This happened before I was prepared for it, but there’s no time like the present to get this going!
Hosting Madeleine was just a joy! I learned so much from her and really, really enjoyed getting to know her personally. She is a class act, humble, sincere, polite. Maddie left me with some really special parting gifts, that really meant a lot and were completely unexpected.
Orange BlueSeventy Swim Goggles–my signature color! I’m hitting the pool with them tomorrow to see how they fit and if they do, I’m TOTALLY wearing them at Vineman for good luck!
And her Rev3 Medal!!!! Completely blew me away and is something I will treasure always. I asked her to sign the ribbon. It says “To Cindy, Thanks for all your support! <3 Maddie”
Maddie, you are always welcome back (and not because you gave me the medal!!). I look forward to hosting you again next year if you do, indeed, do Rev3 Portland again and, yes, I will join you in that race…as an Age Grouper! Congratulations on a great race and I look forward to following your progress in the professional circuit.
Now it’s off to California for my first half Ironman event…Vineman 70.3! I’m ready!
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Cindy wants you to be Trimazing—three times better than amazing! After improving her health and fitness through plant-based nutrition, losing 60 pounds and becoming an adult-onset athlete, she retired from her 20-year firefighting career to help people just like you. She works with people and organizations so they can reach their health and wellness goals.
Cindy Thompson is a certified Health Coach, Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, and Firefighter Peer Fitness Trainer. She is a Food for Life Instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and Rouxbe Plant-Based Professional, and Harvard Medical School Culinary Coach, teaching people how to prepare delicious, satisfying, and health-promoting meals.
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