Dodson wins Olympic race at Blue Lake
FAIRVIEW An algae bloom at Blue Lake cancelled the swim portion of the triathlon held Sunday at the Fairview park, but that didnt stop racers from coming through the finish line soaking wet.
The opening swim legs were replaced by a one-mile run. But after two hours of running and pedaling through the park trails under a hot early-morning sun, racers were dripping in sweat and dunking water cups over their head to stay cool.
Tim Dodson of Portland and David Gettle of Weiser, Ida., lined up next to each other for the start of the Olympic-length race and would battle each other throughout the day. Dodson was first to the transition zone, but Gettle didnt need long to make up the gap during the 40-kilometer bike ride. He zipped to the front of the pack and started the 10K run to the finish line with more than a two-minute cushion.
But Dodson was on the hunt.
He caught his target in the second mile and surged past at a quick pace before throttling back a bit and conserving energy over the last three miles to the finish line.
He passed me by early in the bike stage, and I just had to keep riding my race, Dodson said. I got off the bike and hammered it through those first three miles. Once I got past him, no one else was close to me, so I cruised it in at a slower pace.
Dodson came through the finish line in 1 hour, 42 minutes, 55 seconds almost a full two minutes ahead of runner-up David Garcia. Gettle came across in fourth place.
For Dodson hitting the finish line felt like déjà vu.
I dreamed the night before that I won the race, and that it was the last win, Dodson said. Im 42 and you dont get many victories after that age.
But the challenges are still coming for Dodson, who gained a spot in the 2014 IronMan in Hawaii his first attempt at the legendary race.
You always have to go north with your goals, Dodson said. Ive always been a sprinter, but now its about competing within myself and going the distance. The Iron Man has become a middle-age mans dream.
Darryl Williams, 49, of Troutdale was the top East County finisher, placing 32nd in 2:01:51. He was sixth in his age group.
Carrie Suiter, 34, of Eugene won the womens race in 2:05:19. Sandys Kristin Harris, 43, completed the Olympic course in 2:41:46.
? Joe English, 42, of Hillsboro won the shorter sprint triathlon, covering the course in 56:20 to beat runner-up Marco Ramirez by almost a full minute.
Ramirez stayed closely behind English through most of the bike stage before putting on a late surge that got him through the final transition zone with a slight lead. But English closed the gap and regained the lead at the turn-around of the 5K road run.
English is set to compete Saturday at the sprint triathlon world championships in Ottawa, Ontario. He completed his first multi-sport race as an 11-year-old.
Ive been able to turn a lifelong hobby into a competition, English said. It adds a focus in life and gives you goals to work toward.
Alyson OBrien, 24, of Portland won the womens division in 1:04:50.
Steve Sherman, 44, of Eagle Creek finished in 1:11:48 to place ninth in his age group.
Sandys Darren Oeck, 37, finished 30th in 1:07:23 and was sixth in his age group, while David Mullins, 18, completed the course in 1:17:01 and was second in his age group. Jim Vitale, 73, completed the course in 1:52:40 and was third in his age group, while Marc Bast, 33, finished in 1:20:12 and was eighth in his division.
View an online photo gallery from the races at daveball.exposuremanager.com.