Skip to main content

Smokey and Sweet: Priest Lake Olympic Triathlon

Photo by Priest Lake Multisports
Leading up to today, I can only imagine what Ken and Stephanie Eldore must have thought about how the day would pan out. Combined with the already smokey conditions, there existed a considerable chance of high winds and rain. This morning, though, the winds blessed us by traveling in a direction away from the race site, which meant we could see across Priest Lake and take in the beauty of the mountains that enveloped the water. Breathing in cleaner air also made for a more enjoyable race day. As for the weather? The rain and wind held off until after the awards ceremony. I can't think of any race directors with that kind of control, though if you've ever attended a Priest Lake Multisport event, you wouldn't be surprised by what these people and their devoted volunteers can pull off.

Bryan and I arrived Friday afternoon, and we took the opportunity to assist Ken and other volunteers with some of the set up. If you've not taken the opportunity to experience just what goes on behind the scenes, I highly encourage you to do so. Even in the short amount of time Bryan and I spent volunteering, we couldn't help but be impressed by the organization of it all. We left Friday night with our race packets, pretty convinced that Ken had it all under control.

Today, all those present appeared grateful for the opportunity to test their fitness. Priest Lake waters rival all others, and today's water felt cool, but not uncomfortable. Out of the water and up the long path to transition, heading out onto the bike course felt effortless after I'd made it out onto Highway 57. The smooth road helped convince me the higher power output I put forth didn't feel as bad as it seemed last year. No winds contributed to any psychological meltdowns, which contrasted sharply to the images I imagined with the "High Wind Alerts" that popped up on my cell phone last night. Finally, while the 10k run always feels difficult because of the rolling, gravel road, I couldn't help but feel thankful that the sun didn't beat down upon us like it did last year. 

All in all, this year at Priest Lake felt great. I managed to pull away with a win and a PR on what I think to be one of the best courses in this region. I look forward to returning next year. Thank you, Ken and Stephanie!




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My opinion...For what it's worth

My first Half Ironman 70.3 turned into Boise 29.3. I may be the only one to say that I respect the officials' judgment call on this one, because apparently, a few of my triathlete comrades lack sufficient brains themselves. The comments I'm reading on Facebook leave me pretty disturbed. Let me just put this out there: I entered this sport because it looked tough and challenging. It pushes anyone who enters these races to their ultimate limits and requires a demanding amount of time to complete the training necessary to succeed. I entered this sport because of the people. Healthy, smart, fit, inspiring, motivating. I can't think of a single person who has questioned my ability to participate in this sport. I entered this sport because anyone can do it. I passed people younger and older than me, some as old as 74. I watched one woman hobble along the run course, surely just on her first lap. She looked like her knees were going to cave in. Yet she was running. I did not ent

Pain loves misery. Misery loves company.

I remember running through complete darkness along the paved trail between Moscow and Pullman during my years studying at University of Idaho. Five years ago, my training consisted entirely of running. Cycling served as something to do on the weekends, and swimming didn’t even exist until my sophomore year. What I remember most, however, revolves around the early morning runs. I awoke at 4:30, donned my warmest clothes, started my GPS, and turned my headlamp on in preparation for eight to ten miles of farmland along a lonely stretch of highway. Running served as my outlet. I buried myself in 20+ credits of biology, chemistry, physics, and human anatomy courses to fill my time. And fill my time it did. So running every morning was my recourse to stay sane. Every. Lonely. Morning. It wasn’t until the thrill of riding my bike overtook me did I realize riding alone—training alone—hardly compared to the enjoyment of working out with other people. My dad always stressed the importance of r

Noosa Triathlon - The Grand Finale

I looked out into the surf and watched the waves churn and roll, crash, then churn and roll again. Supposedly, I signed up for this, along with the 7000 other athletes who stood on the shore with me, questioning their own sanity. These Aussies grew up swimming in this insanity on the daily, and their numbers far exceeded that of my fellow Americans. Nevertheless, I puckered up my American ass and tried to stand tall and confident to the waves. I watched Natalie Van Coevorden scheme and plan her strategy, pointing out toward the buoys. Not until the gun went off did I realize that plan involved running at least 100 meters down the shoreline before we jumped into the water. Interesting. I never would have thought to do that, considering my open water swimming experience in ocean rip and waves is virtually non-existent. When confronted with a situation such as this, I have learned to fake it. Pretend I know what I'm doing. I can do it. I can swim with the best of them. Then I jump