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BOULDER 70.3

Boulder 70.3Boulder 70.3Boulder 70.3

I lined up again in my hometown of Boulder again last weekend for another big race! This time it was for the Boulder 70.3 that was being dubbed by some as the preview to the World Championships in a few weeks time. I had some confidence from my last race, Boulder 5150, and I was excited to have a crack. I knew going into the race there weren't many strong swimmers so I took some time with my coach to work out the best way to attack the race. I didn't know if I should go at my pace from the gun and see if anyone comes with me or wait and pace off others knowing the field had a lot of strong runners. I decided to swim my own pace and just try and focus on me and see if it pays off. It was a wetsuit swim making it quite warm so I didn't push to hard in the swim being well aware that the forecast was for a hot, hot day.

 

I took the swim out at my own pace and stayed fairly comfortable throughout the whole swim. I was a bit surprised to hear that I had a minute lead out of the water heading into transition! I jumped onto my bike and got straight into my power zones my coach and I discussed pre-race. I felt great and there were a surprising amount of spectators on the road along the way. I was able to get time splits off the spectators and was hearing my gap increase at each point. At one point I had a minute thirty lead over the chase pack of five! I felt good and controlled and was growing in confidence with the kilometres ticking over nicely.

 

Once I passed 40km on the bike in 56 minutes I knew I was on for a good day, I felt good and had a great lead over a strong chase pack that included; defending Champion Joe Gambles and Legend of the sport Greg Bennett. I held a pretty stable lead over the quartet of Joe Gambles, Greg Bennett, Paul Ambrose and Callum Millward all the way through to the 55km mark. In hindsight I should of stayed riding my own pace but I got excited with the lead I had and how good I felt so I pushed home harder than I should of. Unfortunately Joe decided to up the pace in the group behind and they were only 25seconds behind me by the time I reached the second transition! I was really happy with this ride, for only my third 70.3 race I feel like I am moving in the right direction.

 

When I jumped off the bike in second transition I knew the run was going to hurt.  Riding on my own at the front of the race all day took a bit more out of me than I had planned! I just focused on the things I could control and settled into a pace that I wanted to try and hold for the entire run. Joe and Greg came past me after a couple of kilometres thus surrendering my lead I had held since the start of the swim. They came past at quite a pace and I had no chance of accelerating to keep up with them. I just tried to keep my legs turning over and find a rhythm. The Boulder event was a two lap tough course and after the first lap I was in 5th place but in a world of hurt! I thought I could hold onto a top 6 finish but on the second half of the second lap my legs didn't want to keep doing what I wanted them to. I faded into the second chase pack and unfortunately I lost a lot of places quickly, runners in the second group did three of the top five fastest runs for the day. I managed to finish in a sprint finish none-the-less in 11th place.  As much as I was struggling on the run the support I had on the course was fantastic, some of the best support on a half Ironman run you could ever hope for! It was great having so many people out there cheering and yelling my name!

 

I was very happy with my race, it was such a big improvement from the first two 70.3 events that I have ever done and I took a risk and raced off the front. The final result was not what I hoped for but I took away many things from the event and some confidence that my bike is back where I want it to be. I learnt that I can push harder than I think and I know now with a few tweaks to my cadence for a half marathon things will be going very well. I know I am running well so if I stick to the race plan next time I should run better.

 

So I can walk away and gain some confidence knowing things are heading in the right direction and there are more lessons learnt. I am now heading into a final build up for a 3 race block starting at the end of August. The first race is Chicago Life Time Fitness Tri as a hit out for the HyVee 5150 Championship final the following weekend. HyVee is a major focus for me so I will be really aiming for a good result there. Following on from HyVee I will be doing another 70.3 in Muskoka Canada the following weekend. It will be a challenging 3 weeks with hard racing but I am excited where my form is and ready for the challenge.

 
 
 
 
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