Not only do our Posse work hard at events, but they also work hard in school and we want to honor that. So this Posse Result is for finishing the race of school and GRADUATING!! Congratulations Posse Graduates!
Anna graduated from OSU with a Bachelor's of Science in Biology and Joseph graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts in German with a minor in Anthropology!
Jaden graduated in the winter with a Bachelor's of Science in Math from OSU!
Sierra gradated with a Bachelor's of Arts in Sociocultural Anthropology from OSU. In typical endurance athlete style, she skipped the graduation ceremony and decided to run a 212 trail running relay instead. Go Sierra!!
And last, but not least, Jeremy graduated from Cleveland High School. He now has no excuses to help us out at every event!
Giovanna raced the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon last weekend. She placed first in her age group! Here is her mini post-race report:
The race was really fun! Very international, and although there were lines, it was well organized. Before I started, I was terrified about the run. When I started, I lost my goggles jumping off the boat, but the swim was not as bad as expected because a kayaker gave me another pair which miraculously fit, so all was fine. The bike was HARD. Not a lot of elevation but steep ups and downs and CA roads are really bad (really rough). The course was littered with bikes with flats, and there were a fair number of wipe outs too. Mostly around speed bumps. The run was also very hilly but that took the pressure off being fast. I biked and ran with people I met along the way- everyone was really nice.
In a nutshell, I would go back. It was super expensive, but understandable when you see what goes into it. I talked up BTW events to everyone I could. Hopefully I sparked some interest. I was approached by someone who had done Trifest and loved it. He will not be there this year as he is going to France, but he plans to come back. That’s about it.
I think the best thing was that I had no expectations, so I couldn’t let myself down!
Keller finished 14th at the Junior Elite Cup in Pleasant Prairie!!
“Great day of racing this past weekend at the Pleasant Prairie Junior Elite Cup! I had trouble on the bike, but after getting into a smaller group, I saved some energy for the fastest run split I have ever had!! Nice job everyone who raced, and I can’t wait until Monroe!"
Emile raced Ironman Santa Rosa on May 11th. He placed third in his age group, but more importantly had a great time doing it. Awesome job Emile!!
Swim: I walked down a long boat ramp from the transition area to the swim start at Lake Sonoma knowing full well what I was getting into. I wasn’t apprehensive though. I was relaxed, joking with my Dad and other friends who were participating in the race. My wetsuit felt restrictive, as they usually do, but I didn’t really care that much cause I’m used to it. I got up in the front pack, because I anticipated that I would be one of the fast swimmers of the day and didn’t want to have to scramble over people. The only thing I was worried about was coming around for the second 1.2 mile lap of the swim course because that’s when I would collide with the back and middle of the pack as they were on their first lap. Throwing 2,000 people through a 4 person wide gate into a 1.2 mile swim course in which everyone is trying to swim the same way, twice, leads to violence and fear in the water. I ran into the water with the cannon and had a good steady first lap staying with the leaders. This was relaxing and fun for me, but I knew the second lap was coming. I was still feeling fresh when i came around for the second lap, but as soon as we intersected with the back of the pack, the swim turned into carnage. I spent the second lap dodging and weaving through the pack, getting kicked and shoved the whole time. As a fast person with an extensive swimming background trying to PR my swim and stay in the lead of the race I move quite close to people as they swim, but I stop short of pushing and shoving. I know I was doing my best to not be rude, but I also know that when people swim with a large group, they sometimes take the elbows, knees, and feet that hit them in all different ways a little too personally and some people have a breaking point with their frustrations. It’s every man for himself when that gun goes off and there’s something interesting about the depersonalization of other people when they’re competing in a massive event where nobody can see each others face or hear each other talk. We all should learn not to take bumps to seriously, and not to give bumps too generously during the swim. I still managed a personal best Ironman swim, so that was a great sign! Got out of the water in 53:21 and ran up that boat ramp to transition 1 to hop on my bike.
Bike: I hopped on the bike after a smooth transition that surprised me. My transitions are usually clumsy and embarrassing, but this one went very well! We headed out over the bridge and down the hill from Lake Sonoma into Dry Creek Valley for the first bit of the bike. Climbing a short hill, I realized I was pedaling too hard and backed off significantly as we descended towards highway 101. Riding south alongside 101 and veering into the Alexander Valley I was passed by a significant amount of people, but I kept my pace manageable for myself. I knew I would have to do the Alexander Valley section twice, so I took note of the landmarks that I saw and the sections of road that were rough enough to cause a crash. Climbing Chalk Hill was a steep hill, but also an easy section of the race because it gave me a chance to get out of the saddle. Coming off the top was a nice part of the bike with a screaming fast descent that really recharged my motivation. Riding across 101 again near Santa Rosa, we came very close to the finish line, but had to head north again to complete the distance. After a rough rolling section we crossed a bridge over the Russian River and veered north. A few more people passed me, then we repeated the Alexander Valley and Chalk Hill sections. My legs had lost their pop at this point, but the ride was nearly over. Veering south towards Santa Rosa, I backed off on the pedals and took it a bit easier to freshen the legs up. About two miles from the finish, I was about as ready as I’ve ever been to get off the saddle and run. Hopped off the bike, finishing with a time of 5:16:34, which is a close second to my personal best of 5:13:11 at Kona. Overall, I don’t think I passed a single person during the bike ride and I feel like it’s still my biggest area for improvement, but that just adds more fuel to the fire for next training block.
Run: Had another smooth transition, although it felt a bit slower, and headed out on the run. I set myself the ambitious goal of running a 3 hour marathon off the bike and I set out for exactly that however foolish it was. I set out on the first of 3 loops and decided not to think about distances on the first loop, but just get the lay of the land and see what the course was like. It was totally flat, mostly shaded, and there was even a 2 mile section of very quiet trail that ran alongside a creek. I passed some people and was passed by others, but I wasn’t too worried about that. I knew that I had to maintain my pacing if there was any chance of getting a kona qualification. At this point I was third in my age group, and I got a bit disheartened when I realized that I probably wouldn’t be getting that kona slot, but I held on to a sliver of hope and kept pushing. During these events many people have told me they experience the “why am I doing this?” self questioning, doubting, and negative mindset. I started to get this same mentality early on in the run, after I had a bathroom break and started running again. I sulked while running for a while, then later on realized that my time really doesn’t mean anything, a kona slot didn’t mean anything because other people are way faster than you sometimes, all that mattered was my mentality and my goals. I signed up for this for an intrinsic reward and for a feeling of personal growth. For pushing myself harder than I ever had before and forgetting about time, competitors, and conditions. For the last lap of the 3 laps, I gritted my teeth and put myself through as much pain as I could mentally take. I didn’t just want to finish, I wanted to make it to the finish line satisfied that I had brought myself to the very brink of what my fitness in that moment would allow. My last lap was tough, but I didn’t bend or buckle. I turned the corner around the finish line and gave a couple of shouts, because I had made it. At the other two Ironman races I had done, I remember running in with a smile because I had finished with stubborn intent, but not that real fire. This time I was screaming and yelling down that finish chute because I had made it to the finish line without sulking and feeling sorry for myself for the last few miles. I signed up, I paid the entry fee, I worked for 5 months preparing for it, so how could I not enjoy the very thing I worked so hard for. Had a great time out there and can’t wait for the next week.
Finally: It was a good race and like always I learned a lot, but I am so fired up for the next big race. I think I am going to race some shorter stuff to increase my speed on the bike so I can hang with the front pack out of the water. My Dad had to DNF because his rear derailleur was sheared off when his chain derailed near the end of the bike course and got caught in his rear wheel. He’s ok and has signed up for Ironman Maryland to get that finish and earn his “you are an Ironman!” experience. My next race is Alaskaman and I’m very excited. I’m planning on pursuing Kona again, but first I need to race more and feel more confident on the bike, because I’m still just not there. Santa Rosa was the hardest I’ve ever pushed in a race and I’m proud of the result. I’ll be back to Ironman with more experience under my belt. Growth Mindset.
The Posse had a great day showing off their skills beyond typical triathlon events at the Selco Pole Pedal Paddle in Bend last Saturday!
The Middletwins (Kate and Hannah) placed first in their age group. Spencer raced solo and placed second in his age group. Jake, Joseph, and Ken also raced solo. Team Anema (Anna and Ema) placed third in their category. Bri and Jaden both raced on teams with their fellow AeroBeavs. Congrats to our friends, the AeroBeavers on their successful races!
Keller placed 26th at the Junior Elite Series Male Triathlon in Richmond, Virginia. We can't wait to hear about his next race!
It was the second race of the Junior Elite Series, which I just aged into this year. I qualified for Nationals, which takes a bunch of pressure off my shoulders. It was torrential rain the entire race, which I think played to my favor being from Oregon. I posted the fastest bike split in the day, and over all it was a decent race. Next up is Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin at the end of the month!
It was a huge weekend for the Posse across the country! Staci, Quincy, Ema, Ramón, Ben, Sierra, and Dave raced the Mac 50k in Corvallis. Kevin raced Ironman 70.3 in St. George, Utah. Here is everyone's mini race reports! Congrats to all the Posse who raced last weekend!!
Staci: Mac 50K
I am thrilled that I was finally able to do the Mac50k. It’s my home course, but every year it is on the same weekend as one of our own events. This year, the organizers moved the date one week earlier in May, which worked out perfectly! I knew the course like the back of my hand so I knew just how hard it would be. Coming off a marathon 6-days prior was definitely not helping me out. That being said, I was treating this as a catered training run. It was probably the hardest running event (IM Triathlons included) I have ever done. Part of that was nutrition, part tired legs and part extremely hard course. That being said, it was a well run event, great course markings, a special commemorative beer and TONS of friends and local runners. The volunteers were spot on and remarkably knowledgeable about the course. It was clear that they knew the Mac well. I’m so glad to have participated, but next time I’ll need to get nutrition dialed (bonking for 16 miles is never fun - there was no catching up on fuel) and have a bit more rest in between long runs (5-day marathon recovery isn’t enough). Thank you to all involved! I will see you soon, McDonald Forest, but not for a few days.
Quincy: Mac 50K
Before the start, some ultra-ultra-experienced friends were postulating about when a 50k race really starts - the last 10k? The last 10 miles? While it wasn’t my intention to race the Mac, I think I did figure out when the dueling really begins. In my case, it was a duel with my gut and with my brain.
Miles 1-20 were, comparatively, a breeze. I’m prone to exercise induced excitement (to go fast), so Staci’s reminder to “take it easy!” at the starting line was a good reminder that I felt I heeded. This was to be a big training day for an upcoming 50 miler, so 50 mile effort was my goal. I cruised along comfortably for 3.5 hours - perfect execution of the plan.
Then, Mile 20 reared its ugly head. It’s hard to know why exactly my wheels fell off here. Ultra-running is a tricky beast - sh*t happens when you exercise for ridiculously long periods of time and half the battle is mitigating that sh•t. Maybe I got excited and neglected my nutrition plan. Maybe I tried to eat too much. Maybe I wasn’t trained up like I thought. Whatever happened, waves of gastrointestinal discomfort slowly eroded my mental fortitude and I slogged my way to the finish...
At this point, my report sounds a little like a sob story, but it’s not. I learned a lot in what I’m considering my first “real” ultra. Most importantly, even through the roughest moments, I had a complete and utter blast. This is a great race put on by great people. I had friends new and old strewn all over the course while I ran some of my favorite trails in the entire world.
It was a tough day, but an insanely good day. I left inspired and completely psyched for the next big race coming up in July. On to the next one!
Ema: Mac 50K
Today was my day for a race. I felt strong, tapered, and ready to run. The first ten miles, my legs felt really good and I was holding a great pace. I was a little worried it might be the beginning of the end since I ran so hard, but I think I think I ended up pushing myself just the right amount. The second ten miles were harder, but I still felt strong. Once I summited the steepest hill on the course at around mile 23, I knew most of the climbing was done, and I was on my way to finishing the race! I ended up finishing 1st in the 20-29 age group and 10th overall for the women! There is nothing I would really change about the race. My nutrition was on point (although I wish I had remembered to eat savory foods at the aid stations in stead of sweet stuff), my pack was comfortable when I didn’t fill the front bladders all of the way, and my legs felt good. In the future, I think I will practice more uphill speed hiking, and also trying to jog up hills, because that is where people were passing me. Im really glad I knew the course well, and had a blast the whole time. I can’t wait for the next race, but right now I’m ready for lots of yoga and maybe some very easy slow jogs when I can manage to stop waddling around like a pregnant woman. Running is awesome, and as I like to say, when you feel it, you feel it.
Ramón: Mac 50K
Ohh the Mac..an almost guarantee tail kicker run in almost every direction you go. I decided to get out there for the race to log a big distance. And doing so in a fun environment that will reconnect me with Corvallis friends. Although there wasn't too much pep come raceday, I was able to find a decent gear to keep me trucking along the tough course and eventually reach that finish line!
I'll recover from this one and get ready for the next one. I'll be helping pace the 3hr group during the Newport Marathon on June 1st. Vámonos.
Ben: Mac 50K
Sometimes breaks are nice and needed. I got burnt out mentally after the Angeles Crest 100 and running today I just mentally had no desire to keep going. Thus, I DNFd. I'll get 'em next time!
Dave: Mac 50K
This was Dave's 9th year racing the Mac 50K!!
Kevin: Ironman 70.3 St. George
At many Best in the West races, you would’ve found me cooking dinner for the crew, prepping burritos for volunteers, providing post-race concertos on stage at Best in the West, taking care of administrative business for the OSU tri club—and throwing in a half-ironman or four in between. St. George 70.3 was the first race my entire family came along to support me, and it was the first race where I had nothing to focus on other than swimming, biking, and running. They drove to Utah with me, they woke up at 4am, they shuttled me around, they drove to three different spots on the bike course to cheer me on. I will remember and appreciate this weekend forever. Here’s how the week went down:
-April 28: pack up all my belongings in Corvallis and drive home to Portland.
-April 29: repack the essentials and leave the rest at home.
-April 30: drive 12 hours from Portland to Salt Lake City and unload the cars in pouring rain and wintry mix.
-May 1: drive all around Salt Lake City—Costco and twice to Ikea. Organize the apartment.
-May 2: drive 4 hours to St. George.
-May 3: check in, drive the course, set up transitions.
-May 4: race. Drive back to Salt Lake.
-May 5: say farewell to my family, and I’m on my own!
Yeah. Bittersweet. I left Oregon to start physical therapy school one week after St. George at the University of Utah. Though a few tears were shed, my friends—family—back at OSU and BITW gave me purpose to race. That last climb on the run, slogging back up Red Hills Parkway, I thought about how much love and support I received from friends as I left Oregon.
St. George was a special thing for me—it marked the end of a year almost 100% dedicated to triathlon and was my only race before starting graduate school. I’m no pro, nor do I intend to be, but I live to be passionate, to experience the feeling of being dedicated to the process, the ups and downs, of whatever I am doing.
How did the race go?
Swimming is hard. This was my fastest swim to date, but I was hoping to break 30 minutes after a winter of massive yardage (for me) and large improvements in the pool. It wasn’t bad swim though!
St. George is beautiful, and it was hard not to be distracted by towering red rocks while climbing snow canyon. The course was surprisingly fast for how hilly it is. I enjoy climbing, and there was never a moment I wasn’t enjoying the ride. I paced conservatively in anticipation of a hard run and to minimize any fade in the last miles of the race. I went from 128th to top 30 between the end of the swim and the end of the bike.
The hills are long and steep, the air hot and dry. I envisioned Patrick Lange moving through the aid stations at Kona: two hands for two cups of water—over the head, onto my kit; two hands for Gatorade—drink as much as I can; two hands for ice—dump some into my kit and hold onto a few cubes in each hand. I held a steady effort and ran well until I couldn’t—the legs started falling off at mile 11. Fortunately, it’s hard to run extremely slow down the 8% grade of mile 12. Unfortunately, the 2-3% downgrade of mile 13 was not steep enough to keep my legs going, and it was a slow march home.
4:32:08 was good enough for a one-minute PR, which I am happy with considering St. George is one of the hardest courses around. However, the puzzle of the last three miles, the fade, fuels a slight dissatisfaction with my races, and I’m hungry for more!
Hope to see you in Victoria!
Staci and Ema raced the Blooms to Brews Marathon and Half Marathon yesterday and had an awesome time! Staci shaved an entire 73 MINUTES off of her marathon PR for a total time of 4:03.59. Ema placed second in her age group (even with pacing Staci for a few miles in the middle of her race) and finished with a time of 2:11.16. Thanks to Get Bold Events for putting on such an awesome race!!
Our very own Ramón Martinez, of Vámonos Coaching raced the Boston Marathon yesterday! Congrats Ramón!
“Boston was a blast! The race did not disappoint in terms of crowd support, and being able to toe the line at a race that has so much history behind it was pretty special. I was able to crank out a 2:56 (top 7%), and I’m pleased with the effort. I was able to re-qualify with the new BQ standards, and maybe I’ll return next year. But for now I’ll walk the town for some sightseeing ¡Adios!”
This week’s Posse highlight is Anna Wheeler.
As our volunteer co-coordinator of 2 years with her good friend Ema Armstrong, she’s in constant contact with the volunteers before, during, and after races. Often behind the scenes, she’s the one who makes sure those aid stations have enough supplies, those intersections are safe, and that medal ends up around your neck at the finish line. She’s a student at OSU studying Biology and hoping to pursue a degree in Veterinary Medicine. Anna is a legendary horseback rider and is specifically a master of the highly skilled form of riding known as Dressage. Although she loves horseback riding, she spends a fair amount of time riding her mountain bike with friends. Anna has an extreme affinity for bikes and when she’s racing, not surprisingly, her favorite leg of a triathlon is the bike. When you check in to volunteer at one of our races, you'll likely meet Anna and her friendly disposition and cheery smile will warm your heart.
Anna’s motivational quote: “Because in the end, you won’t remember the time spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain” -Jack Kerouac