Rev3 Portland Half Iron Triathlon Race Report

Raced a half-iron distance tri put on by Revolution 3 this weekend in Portland, OR. This was my “long race” for the season as I’m focusing on olympic distance this year, but I still had a great race.

BG hovered near 180- 200 during the morning leading up to the race (stress, adrenaline, etc). Backed my basal off to -55% of normal for 5 hours. Last BG check was 211 about 10 min before going into the water. I had eaten a Hammer Bar about 20 min before entering the water so I knew I’d be good to go for the swim, but I carried a gel inside the ankle of my wetsuit, just in case I had a surprise low in the water and needed to get some glucose.

Swim went well. Had a time of 32:46, with which I was very happy. Came out of the water, stripped my wetsuit, put on my running shoes, and made the .4 mile run back to the TA. This span was much longer than a “normal” tri, but it was slightly advantageous (outside of having a ridiculously long T1 time) because I was able to get into a rhythm and get my heart rate down (and stable) before jumping onto the bike. Tested in the TA at 166. Perfect! Grabbed the bike and hit the road!

Raced “naked” with my bike b/c I had no computer other than my watch giving me my total time. I usually train with power, but my disc race wheel is not set up with a tap, and I don’t have an SRM or Quarq (I wish!). Not going by anything except my total split time made it easier just to “ride hard” and go by feel. The performance at this race also let me know my bike training is right on target where I want it to be!

Wanted to go sub 2:30 on the bike, and jumped back off my bike into the TA with a split of 2:28! Pretty stoked with that and at that point knew I was definitely having a good race. I had consumed gatorade and water for most of the bike. About 2/3 of the way through, I took a Hammer Gel (apple cinnamon, my favorite!) to give me some sustained energy and cover me through the beginning of the run. Tested in the TA and was 161. Another great number! Threw on some socks and my Newton racers, and hit the road for the run!

I felt pretty good through the first several miles. My garmin had messed up in the TA so I was forced to run “naked” as well, w/o the luxury of a pacing device (not my “plan”, especially for a 13.1 mile run, but of course I had to make-do). I had my total run time on my watch, and I could roughly do the math with each mile marker to see what my pace was (but this is NOT a strong suite for me, so I could really only tell that I was doing sub 8s, and maybe 7:15-7:30s, but no exact time splits…math calculations while running is hard ;-). I took Gatorade at each station from miles 1-7, and then started grabbing Gatorade and coke for miles 8-11. The finishing 2 miles were “water only” because anything I put in my stomach at that point wasn’t going to clear my GI in time to help me in the race.

Came up to mile 12.5ish and approached a fellow age grouper who had passed me about mile 10. I ran behind him quietly for a few minutes and once I felt like I was ready, I ramped up my pace to probably 6:30/mi and blew by him as fast as I could (all while looking “cool and collected”, focusing on easy breathing too so that it looked like I wasn’t hurting to keep that pace at all), hoping he wouldn’t be tempted to try and follow. It worked, and I was clear of him. There was one more AG runner just ahead of me. We came into the final stretch, and rounding the last corner (probably 60 meters left), I decided I would try the same technique. I knew he had passed me earlier and would know I was competition. He saw me and as I suspected, recognized me and followed suite by putting on the final burners as well. I had made the final push too early and couldn’t hold my sprint pace long enough, so he caught back up and passed me in the final 20 meters, finishing 2 seconds ahead, which secured me an 8th place AG finish.

Despite this small setback at the finish, I was VERY happy w/ my results, as I clocked the run in 1:44, bringing my total time to 4:54!!! I had wanted to go sub 5, and my previous PR was actually a 5:18, so I blew that out of the water by more than 24 minutes! The course was pretty flat and was the perfect venue to attempt such a PR-smashing feat.

BG was 93 at the finishing line, which was another great item to top off a great race! Rev3 Portland was a very beautiful race course (Mt. Hood was the snow-covered backdrop and the race was located right next to the Columbia River) and I had an amazing day against the clock. Overall the weekend was definitely a great time! I would highly recommend this as a destination race if you’ve never been up to the Pacific NW.

Now that my “long” course is completed for the season I can get back to focusing on my training for AG Nationals! Getting really excited about the race in August!

Wow, Bradford, I’m exhausted just reading your account! Congrats :wink:

Great report, Brad, very exciting! Congrats on the numbers all around! Lots. Of trial and error to keep those bg numbers in range? I got lost a little in the cycling jargon. Can you explain some of it? Tap-SRM-Quarg?


Thanks guys! I appreciate it!

@Terry, yes, lots of trial and error w/ all of my training to figure out the magic combo of how much insulin/food/exercise works for a particular distance (like 70.3). After training for several years at these distances I’ve established a pretty good idea about what works and what doesn’t. Some days it all comes together on race day and I can have a pretty rockin’ time like I did in Portland.

Sorry about the cycling jargon :slight_smile: This is the first year I have started “training with power”, meaning I measure power output (in watts) on the bike, rather than following just heart rate, for example. I have a powertap on a training wheel (it’s the rear hub on the wheel I use all the time, and I can switch wheels from road bike to tri bike to cyclocross bike and still have power readings in each case). These are slightly more variable (b/c of the loss of power reading through the chain, etc) than something like an SRM or Quarq, which are crank-based power meters. Crank-based power meters are more expensive though, and I didn’t have that kind of cash flow to make that sort of training upgrade at the beginning of this season. Additionally, unless you’re a pro at disassembling/reassembling your crank, these can be a pain to transfer from bike to bike to bike (in order to have wattage readings). Since I don’t have one of these, and I don’t have a powertap hub in my disc wheel (can you say $$expensive$$?!?!), I don’t have any data off which to base my progress during a race (other than how I “feel”).

Great report Bradford! It’s nice seeing your fueling strategies. I went against my better judgment and signed up for an Olympic distance triathlon in September. I’m doing more open water training this time. I think the swim will go much better than last time (thanks for the tip about hiding a gel in the wetsuit). Can’t wait to hear about the AG Nationals in August!