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BOULDER PEAK 2014

I have just had a great week with the arrival of my parents and the Boulder Peak Triathlon. I placed second last year and I really wanted to get a great result in front of my parents.  The course changed a little due to road damage from the flooding last year so we didn't have the Classic Peak of old stage road. The organizers still did a great job of making the bike course challenging. I had a week off following my three sequential 70.3 races and had only been back in training for a week in the lead-up to this race. I was nervous, as I knew that it would either be a fantastic day and that I would feel unbelievably good or that I would feel like I'm pushing through concrete all day long. Ben and I talked a lot in the week to make sure I wasn't digging myself a hole so I could have a good hit out in the race.

 

With any race in Boulder, it's a given that you will have a few of the world's best lining up. One of my pre-race favorites, Greg Bennett, raced on Saturday in Minneapolis and unfortunately had to pull out of the Sunday race. He is a legend of the sport and I always love racing him even if it means getting my arse kicked. For the first time in the US, I had the honor of having number 1 for race day - I always try and beat my number so the pressure was on.

 

It was a beautiful morning and we started a bit later in the day so I knew it was going to suit me with the heat starting to kick in. I had a good swim start and quickly settled into fourth place. There were a few athletes on my feet so I started to drop off the front guys to open a gap; I could then accelerate across to hopefully get rid of a few. By the time we headed home the tail end was smaller and I moved up to third spot. I was feeling good and I thought about picking the pace up but decided to stick to my race plan and save it for the start of the bike.

 

The first 10 km of the bike is a slight climb and can demoralize anybody slightly unprepared.   I used what Joe Gambles has used to great success and hit the start of the bike hard. I managed to gap everyone straight away except Matt Chrabot who seemed to have the same race plan. As we crested the top of the first hill he opened a gap on me and I was sucking in some air to recover from the effort.

 

I train on most of the roads that made up the course so I knew each hill and what the winds could be doing.  It is nice to have the advantage of knowing every aspect of the course and where I could subtlely make up time. I had a couple updates along the way so I knew that, coming into transition, Matt had about 1 minute on me and I had about a minute or two back to third place. The run course is surprisingly hard with three laps up and over a small rise - by the last lap it feels like a mountain! The sun really beats you up on the black top and it can be a suffer-fest. I ran out hard and wanted to try and close the gap to Matt which I knew would be a big call. At the first turn I managed to see that I had a good size gap to Kevin Collington, who is a known fast runner, and my housemate, Mark Bowstead.   I managed to run strong all the way to the end and hold the gap to Kevin and I was also happy to see Mark hold onto 4th position.

 

I was pleasantly surprised that I felt good on the day and was even more excited to come away with another second place. I now go into a big training block for my main focus races for the year: HyVee on the 31 August and 70.3 World Championships the following weekend.  After the week off, my body recovered well and my mind is fresh and ready for the final push to get in the best shape possible. I have had a great year so far but I still have some goals that yet to achieve…

 

Thank you to everyone for the amazing support on and off the course.

 
 
 
 
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