Boulder 68.3 was great. I spent the week leading up to the race in the mountains at 8300' sucking wind on all my workouts. No such thing as zone 1 up there.
By the time I got to Boulder coming down 3k feet was like being home again except there is NO humidity. This race was the first time I was in the first AG swim wave. Male pros, female pros and then us. That meant I was only getting passed on this day. The swim was uneventful with water temps in the low seventies.
The bike was awesome. A one loop with two climbs and some rollers. At one point on a nice downwind section we were doing 40+mph! I felt good coming off the bike and proceeded to the two loop run around the reservoir on a combination of gravel, dirt and paved roads.
It was cool getting passed by Alicia Kaye on her second loop and getting a better appreciation of how smooth and strong the pros are. (BTW Tim Don is tiny, but effing fast!) I managed to get a cramp in my hammy early and spent the next 2-3 minutes walking it off.
On the second loop I felt much better and got into a rhythm. With a 1/4 mile to go and pushing for a strong finish I managed to slip on the loose dirt and get another cramp. Stretched it out and quickly and bee lined for the finish.
Crossed the finish and felt like I put together a solid race despite a slower than planned run. After getting through the finish area I look at my watch to see 5:00:16! Is it possible to be happy and pissed about a result at the same time? I say yes.
I immediately start thinking about all the ways to cut those seconds to go sub 5. Better hydration as the dryness there threw me for a loop. I am so used to the D.C. swelter it's hard to judge how much liquids you need, or not slipping at the end and cramping?
All in all I felt great about the day. I realized later that the bike course was only 54 miles. While being annoyed by the short course this makes the :16 seconds sting a little less, but still the motivation to get faster!
My advice to anyone headed to Boulder for a race, hydrate and then hydrate some more, appreciate the beauty on the ride and spend some time in Boulder. Such a cool town.
Jen Walwrath, 1st Time Ironman
This was my first full ironman and it did not disappoint. What an iconic course!
Swimming in Mirror Lake can’t be beat. The water is clean and clear, as far as lakes go, and you can catch glimpses of the mountains between trees. I had only one complaint - since I started with a lot of guys, larger people kept swimming over me and I had to work pretty hard to defend my space. I even shoved some legs and threw a few elbows.