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Turning silver into gold

Marco Ramirez has a breakthrough summer racing triathlons


Marco Ramirez admits he was a little fed up last summer after logging his seventh runner-up finish at a sprint triathlon.

So the 20-year-old Forest Grove High School grad lost a few pounds, focused on improving his bike splits and continued running as much as possible.

The result has been a much-improved performance in 2014, with Ramirez winning his fourth sprint triathlon title of the summer on Aug. 3 at the Midsummer Triathlon at Blue Lake Park in Fairview.

That victory was extra special for Ramirez since he was coming off a disappointing fourth-place finish at the Hagg Lake Triathlon, which is essentially his home course.

“I was pretty devastated,” said Ramirez, a Cornelius native who competed in his first-ever sprint triathlon at Hagg Lake back in 2011.

“I trained specifically for that race. I live pretty close to the course, so I would run and bike out there all the time while I was training.

“I don’t know what happened. I just kind of fell apart.”

Ramirez pointed specifically at his running performance as his downfall at Hagg Lake, but the soon-to-be Oregon State junior — who is majoring in dietetics — turned in the third-fastest run leg overall at the Midsummer Triathlon three weekends ago to pull away and win in 1 hour, 3 minutes, 57 seconds.

Runner-up Liam Keaney, 17, of Portland, finished in 1:05:14. The race consisted of a half-mile swim, 12-mile bike leg and 5-kilometer run.

So far this summer, Ramirez has won four of the seven sprint triathlons he has entered, which is a vast improvement over last summer, when he always seemed to be the second guy across the finish line, including at Hagg Lake.

“It was pretty frustrating,” the 2012 Forest Grove grad said of last summer’s string of second-place finishes. “I’m pretty happy with how this summer has gone. It’s definitely much better than last year.”

With the start of the college school year looming next month, Ramirez said he has three more sprint triathlons lined up this summer, with back-to-back events on Sept. 6 and 7, followed by the Portland Triathlon on Sept. 21.

After that, it’s back to the books.

Well, at least until it’s time to get back on the bike.



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