Tuesday, June 3, 2014

2014 Boulder Sprint Triathlon Race Report by Adam Gordon (@icfantv)

This was my second race in as many weeks. For as rested and mentally/physically ready as I was for the 2014 Summer Open Triathlon, I wasn't for this race. I was tired the entire week and instead of altering the taper I did for the Summer Open, I stayed with what had worked previously and it didn't.

I slept well the week leading up to the Summer Open, including race night, but not this past week and slept like crap Saturday night. But I shook it all off when I woke up and went through my normal pre race routine.

I got to the Boulder Reservoir early enough to get a decent parking spot for both my car and my bike. Setup was quick and I headed back to my car to relax. I didn't want to do a run warmup because for the Summer Open it made it harder to get on my wetsuit. I don't know what the water temperature was but it was far, far warmer than the Summer Open's 54ยบ. My warmup felt good and I relaxed in the water until it was time to line up.

At the swim start, I somehow found myself next to the winner of the Summer Open and some of his buddies. After the start of the race, I knew in the first 100 meters it wasn't going to be a good day. I felt like I had no power and was working way too hard. Thankfully, I found some fast feet in the next hundred meters or I'm not sure I'd have finished the swim. I followed the feet until the swim finish and realized it was the the same guy.

Coming out of the water and doing that run up the beach into T1, it's impossible to keep your HR down and I'm sure it was higher than it should have been. While my transition was pretty smooth, it turned out to be a lot longer than it should have been. Transition time is the easiest place to make up time, don't fuck it up. I don't know specifically what I did, but I fucked it up.

I'd ridden part of the course Saturday morning to remember what it was like to ride the first five miles uphill. To my dismay, the shoulder was in bad shape from the torrential rains we'd had the days before. Thankfully, 51st St. was coned off such that we were effectively riding in the middle of the road so the gravel wasn't an issue.

As mine was the third wave, I started passing people immediately and continued to do so until Neva Rd. The cluster of riders was so bad, they were riding two abreast. To make things even more interesting, a USAT referee came up behind me on a motor bike and decided to ride just in front of me. I don't know if he/she was dishing out penalties or what, but I kept having to leapfrog the motor bike until the turn onto Neva when they finally went ahead far enough I didn't feel like I was drafting. I played leap frog with another guy from my age group and probably could have received a penalty for not watching my spacing but this guy would pass me and then slow down - which was kind of annoying.

We did this for the entire bike and he entered T2 a few hundred meters in front of me (but I wound up passing him on the run, at least initially). T2 was a lot smoother and faster than T1 and I was out in just under a minute. By this time it was getting hot and I was beginning to feel the heat. I grabbed water coming out of T1 but the next aid station wasn't for a ways and while I was passing people on the run, I could feel my body not adapting. About a quarter mile after the turn around, people I'd passed on the way out started passing me, including the guy in my age group I was leap frogging on the bike. I saw at least three people in my age group pass me. I don't remember the wheels coming off or slowing down. I just remember willing myself to the finish and knowing I was completely spent after crossing the finish line.

Overall, I PR'd by nearly a minute over my previous race on this course with most of the time coming, ironically, on the swim. The PR aside, it was not a good race, but any race in which lessons can be learned is a race unwasted.

Thanks to my coach Billy Edwards, my team Foxtrot Wheel & Edge, my teammates, my sponsor GU Energy, Colorado Multisport, and my wife for the support.

Race Results:

47th overall, 44th male (296 men total, 474 total athletes)
12th out of 46 in age group
Swim (750m): 11:29, 26th fastest time
T1: 1:51
Bike (17.2 mi): 44:35, 32nd fastest time
T2: 0:59
Run (5km): 23:41, 132nd fastest time

Total: 1:22:35

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