Yesterday I raced IRONMAN 70.3 Boulder, just 13 days after my first professional win at Challenge Iceland. I felt like that win gave me a bit of a boost in fitness and more importantly, confidence. IM 70.3 Boulder always attracts the top local talent making it one of the most competitive races on the circuit and I was motived to see how I stacked up against some of the worlds best.
I had a great swim, queuing off the Ironman world record holder Tim Don and exiting the water with him in a great position right at the pointy end of the race with all the main contenders in contact. I had a fast T1 and quickly got to work on the bike. Two early swim leaders were able to maintain their advantage throughout the ride but a big group formed on the bike that included myself along with the majority of the race favorites including Ben Hoffman, Tim Don, Rudy Von Berg and Drew Scott. The ride was TOUGH! Unlike Iceland where the ride was very stable, riding in a group presents a dynamic that requires very high bursts of power that are difficult to absorb over the course of a 2hr effort (even more so at 5500 feet!). I was happy with my ride and was able to enter T2 with that group.
After my fast run in Iceland, I was backing myself to have another solid effort around the Boulder Reservoir, a familiar course that is a favorite of mine in training. Tim quickly asserted himself as the dominate member of our group, taking off early and never looking back. From there, Ben and I ran together- pushing the pace, catching one of the early swim leaders and then ultimately having quite the battle for the final podium spot. I was doing the majority of the pacemaking for the first 15k of the run trying to keep Ben honest but I was well aware that hassling the Hoff usually does not end well for his opponent. Late into the run he put in a very strong acceleration that I could not respond to. He darted up the road to grab 3rd place. I held strong to finish a respectable 4th behind three athletes with a laundry list of accolades.
To be in contention with those boys was a great performance and proof that I am starting to be able to race at a very high level. At 24 years old, the majority of these guys have a decade more of experience and miles in their legs so to have the opportunity to mix it up, learn, and compete is everything I could have hoped for from this race. I look to have similar performances at my upcoming late season races all of which will be in China at 70.3 Qujing, 70.3 Chongqing, 70.3 Hefei and 70.3 Xiamen.
Thank you to the Timex Multisport Team and all of my terrific sponsors!