Distance: 4000 meters. That's 2.485 miles for you non-metric people, and yes, the decimal places are very important.
Total time = 1:24:47
Pace = 2:07/100 meters
Age group place = 12/19 (There were a lot of FAST people!)
This report actually begins about 3 days prior to the event. I had recently purchased a suh-weet new wetsuit at a great sale price from Athlete's Lounge. It was a top-of-the-line 2XU for 40% off. Deal! I finally had a chance to try it out on Thursday night at Klineline Lake. It was awful. The fit was all wrong once I was wet, and the neck was pushing up into the base of my jaw and skull causing one hell of a headache. Damn. Thankfully the store has AWESOME customer service and let me do an exchange. Go there! So Friday night I trekked back to downtown Portland and tried on just about every wet suit in stock. Which, if you are at all familiar with putting on triathlon wetsuits, you know is pretty much a Zone 3 workout by itself. I was sweaty, my forearms were fatigued and shaking, and I couldn't find a single one that fit correctly. The only one that I hadn't tried on was the most expensive suit in the store. Seriously. So I did it. And of course it fit perfectly. Shit luck I guess.
Okay, fast forward to race morning. Jeff, Julie, and I loaded up the car with our gear for the day (swim stuff for all 3 of us, bike stuff for them, and run stuff for me) and headed on out to Hagg Lake in Gaston, OR. They were doing the 2000m swim and then heading out for a couple of hours on the bike. I was doing the 4000m followed by an hour of running. We got there, checked in, did the mandatory revolving porta-potty shuffle, and shimmied into our wetsuits. I nervously went out for a test swim, knowing that 4000 meters isn't exactly the ideal test run for new gear. Thankfully it felt awesome!
I wasn't sure whether to race this one or keep it chill and easy. So I went with chill and easy. The start was slightly chaotic, but quickly thinned out and became mellow. I kept my breathing calm, my strokes smooth, and went with the flow. I found a few feet to draft off occasionally, but was mostly flying solo the entire time. Fast forward 1:24 later...I came out of the water in good shape. Not even breathing hard and feeling like I could go another round. I wasn't smokin fast, but the effort level was ideal for Ironman pace. Perfect!