The Blue Lake Triathlon was wonderful this year. The weather was perfect for racing. I was worried the swim might be cold, but when I dipped my toes into the lake it felt as warm as the water at the club where I train, and it nearly was, at a balmy 74 degrees. With the cloud cover, it definitely allowed athletes to push hard for personal bests. I competed last year, when temperatures were closing in on 100 degrees, so this year everyone enjoyed the beautiful racing weather.
When I arrived at 7:10 the parking lots looked full, but they had additional lots, so there was plenty of room to accommodate this year’s large group of competitors and spectators. Check-in was a breeze and with so many volunteers, even entering and setting up at transition was quick and painless. When my event started at 8:33 the air was still a bit cool, but the water was nice. Growing up I spent my summers swimming and skiing in lake Coeur’d Alene, so to say I love a good lake swim is an understatement. The beautiful trees and homes that line the water fill me with so many good memories.
This year, however, I used a favorite pair of old goggles with some anti-fog, and while always feeling so relaxed in the water, I didn’t test them before the swim, which I do not recommend. The anti-fog along with an old coating of chemicals from pool water, previous lake swims and who knows what else, made a film that made it impossible to see. I spent so much time treading water and backstroking, I’m surprised I ever made it back. Lesson leaned. Always check and double-check goggles before your swim. The bike portion of Blue Lake was probably my favorite this year. It’s flat, fast and scenic along the Columbia River. There is always a little headwind on the way out, but nothing too bad. The run is also really beautiful and fun. The volunteers and competitors were all so encouraging and supportive. Blue Lake is an event I could compete in every year. It’s so close to Portland, held at the beginning of the season, the weather is usually temperate, and the course is flat, fast, scenic and so much fun!
I love Why Racing Events. They are always well-managed, down to earth, yet professional, and supportive. Add that to the fact that the location is close to Portland and the courses are flat, fast and scenic with stunning views of the Columbia River and Mt. Hood. With so many options, this event is perfect for beginners, or as a season opener, and while we all race for different reasons, the common thread is that we have a reason.
The sports and fitness expo was great. Some of the sponsors included Deschutes Brewery, Running Princess, IQ Credit Union (provided free race photos), Les Schwab, Fleet Feet, Franz Bakery (with a super cute food truck), Western Bikeworks, Athletes Lounge, University of Western States, KIND Snacks, Alpenrose, Gatorade, Pepsi, Visit Bend, Visit Central Oregon, Northwest Personal Training, Sweetwater SUP, PACE (Portland Athletic Center of Excellence), RLA Ice and Iceborn and The Old Spaghetti Factory. The Old Spaghetti Factory brought in so much good food! All the delicious food and fun music, DJ’d by Star PDX, fueled competitors with energy even after the event.
Highlights from race day:
- The Kids Triathlon – Such a fun, memorable and special event! It was great to see all the kids being exposed to the sport as well as a healthy and fit lifestyle.
- The new Super Sprint distance which was a hit for everyone, including Junior athletes, first timers and Speedsters.
- The swag, medals, finisher’s shirts, WHY Racing ankle straps and WHY Racing/Athletes Lounge swim caps that can be used all season long.
- The Post-race meal sponsored by Old Spaghetti Factory was a delicious way to replenish carbs while sharing race stories with friends and family. Deschutes Brewery Beer was a big hit with athletes as well! There were so many options for those with special diets. The Franz signature Grilled Cheese sandwiches and Franz donuts were popular items as well.
- Participants helped support local clubs, teams, non-profits and provided future race credits to fellow athletes.