Monday, June 18, 2012

Boulder Sprint Triathlon Recap

Sunday was my first triathlon while being up at altitude, and I was a bit nervous to say the least. It is only a sprint triathlon, but I didn't know how my body would cope being expose to above threshold activity for the duration of the race. But I was also excited, as it was my 2nd race of the year. Boulder doesn't have a lack of competitiveness if you didn't know that already!

Up at 5am, coffee, standard oatmeal, nut butter, banana and fruit breakie and I was off to the Boulder Reservoir for the race. The nice thing about a race 3 miles from home, was I rode there, and didn't have to worry with traffic. Thanks to coach Grant Holicky, I was set up with a sweet rig for the race, and ready to go fast.
Ready to rock tomorrow!!! Thanks coach @grantholicky
Got to the race site by 6:10 or so, and got body marked, and transition set up. With the bike ride over there, I opted out of a bike warmup and proceeded to get some time in the legs with a quick run before heading back to transition to finalize everything. All locked and loaded and I was ready to rumble, grabbing my wetsuit and heading off to the swim start. Race started at 7:30 and I was in the 4th wave (29U) group. Had a bit of a swim warm-up while the first 3 waves were off.

RACE TIME! I was able to get into the water with the first line of guys, and readied myself for the thrashing that was about to begin. Announcments were made, and the gun went off. I started my 310XT and began to sprint off the line, just missing out on this picture, I am probably just a bit to the left. I believe "Washing machine" is the correct term, as you are being thrashed/kicked/punched/grabbed/violated in every way possible. I need to work on this, because I was soon behind the first few waves of guys.
Athletes in the 12-29 age group begin their 2012 Boulder 5430 Sprint Triathlon on Sunday at the Boulder Reservoir.  For more photos and a video of the triathlon, go to Cliff Grassmick / June 17, 2012
I was soon able to get into my own rhythm and settle in. But it wasn't long before we started mauling the wave ahead of us. Running over bodies left and right, before finally heading out of the 750m swim. BAD NEWS STRIKES!!! I went to touch the lap button on my Garmin 310XT and realized it was no longer on my wrist....OOPS. It now lies in a watery tomb at the bottom of the Boulder Reservoir.  I heard reviews of this happening quite a bit, and will acknowledge the fact that the strap isn't the best. Swim time of 10:53, 8th in my AG and 35th overall...Not too bad, but needs improvement.

Into T1, I grabbed my helmet, race belt, sunglasses, and was off on to the 16.5mile bike. The bike course is second nature, but also very deceptive as the first 4miles are on about a 2% gradient. I tried to settle into a nice constant pedal stroke and started picking off riders 1 by 1. By the time 5miles came around it was time to rip it. For the next 8-9miles, it is pretty much downhill by 2%, and I was able to get it up to speed and tear down the rode, again, just blowing by riders. Now, in doing this, it makes you seem like your going 55mph, but you really aren't. The last 2 miles are that gradual 1.5-2% uphill, but I was happy to pick off all but 3 of the guys in my group ahead of me. Ended up with a time of 41:22 and a 25.0mph avg. Ended up 3rd in my age group and 18th overall for the bike!!!!

Out of T2, it was time for the part false flat/descent 5k run. This area of the res is extremely open and exposed and the sun didn't let up, even at 8:30am in the morning. It was HOT to say the least, and I settled into an unknown rhythm without my Garmin on the wrist. I feel as though I went out a bit hot int he first mile, and lost 1 position to the top runner in the field (again, from my AG). At the turn around, I saw 2 other guys in my age group, and sure enough, both would catch me by the finish line. DOH! But I can't complain to much, I have only been running since January, and I am way ahead of where I ever thought I would be. Finished in a time of 20:53 (6:45min/mile avg). Faster than I have ever run a 5k before.

So overall, I finished 7th in my age group, but 24th overall/700 competitors with a finish time of 1:16:17. A very good position, and just shows the depth of my age group in the race (20-24). 7 of us were in the top 24. The winner of the whole race was Drew Scott (22years old), son of the infamous Dave Scott (7x Ironman World Champ). A couple CU Boulder National Champion members also finished ahead of me. There is no regret to my placing, I did everything I could, and know with more run training, that time will keep coming down! I can't wait for the Olympic Distance in a few weeks, and will hopefully crush some souls with a longer swim, and longer bike heading over the dreaded Old Stage Climb! Coach says I am very consistent over all three right now, which is better for long distance stuff (as what happened in KC). Going to be a fun race for sure! Check out the video of last years racers heading up Old Stage.

Here are a link to the results if you're interested. I'll re-post pictures if there are any once posted on the website.

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