When Rev3 Portland was announced early in the season, I knew that this was going to be my time to shine. It isn’t to often that an e
lite triathlete who trains in the Pacific Northwest gets to race on home turf in front of a home town crowd. When it was announced that the race was going to be flat and fast, I was excited to see how fast my legs could actually go without the annoyance of having to slow down on large hills.

After sleeping in my own bed the night before the race and eating my now ritualized oatmeal/yogurt combo, I brewed up a strong batch of Yerba Mate to drink out of my victory mug (a mug that I had won racing earlier in the year) to keep the good thoughts going. Showing up at Blue Lake park feeling like a rock start boosted my ego even more, it is fun to race when people know who you are. In hindsight, I should have maybe warmed up a bit more instead of pretending to be a big deal.

The gun went off and the race was on. I swam in Michael Lovato’s bubbles pretty much the entire way staying cool and collected. On the run to transition it was hard to stay focused on the task at hand, my swim split landed me in the top ten and I was excited to actually be in the race. When I hopped on my bike and was escorted out onto the course by two motorcycles it was becoming hard to channel my excitement into turning my pedals. As soon as my heart rate was put into check the race helicopter hovered over me and threw a grenade on my emotional state.

I was done being in awe and ready to race, coming off the bike in 5th place. By mile five on the run a bruised heel that had been plaguing me since Rev3 Quassy came back to haunt. It quickly turned from an annoyance to pain, but I was still in the money so I pressed on. By mile nine on the run it felt like someone kept hitting my foot with a taser, electric shocks were shooting up my leg. I walked the last few miles to get my moneys worth of pretzels and Coca-Cola at the aid stations. It was also a desperate attempt to salvage the rock star status that I had built up in my head.

I am excited to race Rev3 Portland next year, hopefully I will have my issues with running resolved.

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Damian Hill