I wasn’t sure if this would be a low key race or one stocked with Boulder studs since this was the first running of the race – ever. When I found myself making small talk with pro Chris McDonald at the swim start, I realized it was probably the latter. Great. That guy is in my age group too. This was only my second race of the year and my first and my first Olympic tri in a year. When the gun went off I struggled for about five minutes to stay off the back group of McDonald and company and eventually slipped back and did my own thing. I’m not quite that fast. They weren’t that far ahead, but I could never mount enough of a charge to catch up. Overall though it was a good swim and I was a few spots down out of the water.
Heading out on the bike I past Melanie (super spectator) and Owen (super volunteer)….what up peeps!?!! Straight away a few guys blew by me, and I was moving at the time!! After the first ten minutes of the ride nobody else came by and I never saw another guy behind me. Much like the swim, a fellow sat about 20-30 seconds ahead of me the entire ride and I could never catch him. It’s funny how such a small distance can seem insurmountable when racing. The course was flat and the day was cool and I was absolutely flying. 24 mph average for the ride and a 1:02 split. That must be a PR for me.
Off on the run I actually felt good. The cool weather really works for a guy like me. I was holding a seven minute per mile pace and was pretty happy with that. I noticed I was starting to reel in the guy I had been chasing on the bike. What!?!? Me? Reeling in someone on the run? Oh wow, someone pinch me!!! The run was somewhat uneventful in that I just stayed exactly at a seven minute mile pace. A few guys slipped by me, but certainly not a parade like I sometimes see. I tried to pick it up over the last couple miles but a cramp started to suggest it might want to make its presence known so I had to hold back just a tad. I didn’t lose much time but perhaps I was about 30 seconds slower than I could have been. I finished with a 43 minute run with 2:09 finish time which was a nice Oly distance PR for me. Overall, I was very happy across all three sports. But the hardest part was yet to come.
I gave my gear to Melanie then hopped on my bike and biked the 60 miles home back to Boulder. I was feeling great as I reached the Boulder city limits until I passed a lady who was also biking home from the race! Except she was man enough….er, woman enough to do it with all her gear on her back!! Her bag, wetsuit, running shoes etc. all loaded up in her backpack. Suddenly I didn’t feel that studly. Humpf. The sport can be so humbling.