Fighting it out at Boulder Peak

by Jordan on July 18, 2014

Boulder Peak has long been a race where a strong result amid a strong field has eluded me. The last time I raced it was 2011 where I posted a calamitous 13th place finish in the heat to just barely earn my ticket to Hy-Vee. This time around started on a similar note. I parked off of Jay Road to ride the two miles to Boulder Reservoir as a warmup. As was well until I was a little under a mile from transition when my rear disc flatted. I had a tube with an iffy valve length for the disc so ignominiously hoofed it to transition and arrived with only 45 minutes until the start. Fortunately the guys from Colorado Multisport who were wrenching for the race got me fixed up quickly and I took the last spot in transition with all of the other pros out on their warmup. I set my gear up quickly and all was well, enough time for a jog and swim.

The worst part of this race for me was certainly the start. I let myself get boxed out at the gun and pretty much had to tread water for a moment or take kicks to the face. I quickly figured that I’d be best circling around the group to get up with a pack. From there on in I was gutting it out the entire race. I toughed it out up to a credible group and kept fighting and fighting. My coach, Grant Holicky, told me pre-race that fighting for feet was the key to my race and that was sound advice. Halfway through the guy ahead of me lost the feet ahead of him so I chugged past him, inch by inch, then battled to get up to the feet ahead. I caught those feet and stayed tough on them through the rest of the swim. This ability is something that has eluded me in years past and something that Grant emphasizes with our training. Big thanks to 2XU for their new swim skin that came out this year and is my new favorite piece of equipment.

Jumping on the bike and pushing 340 watts brought my heart rate down indicating that the swim was definitely a big effort. It paid off though as I had guys to work off of on the bike and some of the front pack swimmers within sight up the road. With about 8 miles to go I caught Brad Kahlefeldt then my training mate Kyle Leto. Kyle and I rode near each other from there into T2 and it was good having him there for that extra push.

Starting the run I was with Kyle and Brian Fleischmann. At Boulder Peak, the pros start last and run a modified 3 loop course. This makes for a big crowd with the only downside being the heat but it’s worth it. I moved past Drew Scott and into 5th place at the end of the first lap but then Brad caught me halfway through the second lap. The last half of the run was really tough and I just couldn’t manage to work back into the 15 second gap that Brad and gotten on me.

Digging deep and truckin' like my hat on the run. If your eyes are sensitive to bright light then I advise shielding them from my chest area.

 I was happy with this finish given the strong field, my sustained effort through the race always fighting for those extra seconds, and my finally getting into the money at this race which is always a good marker. To top it off, Amy and I had our first child just 11 days before the race so I was happy to race well while operating on a very different daily schedule. The race was Alistair’s first big outing from home and it was fun to have him and Amy at the race.

Representin'

With Grant and Kyle post-race

This race got me some solid 5150 series points towards qualifying for Hy-Vee. I’m taking a risk this year by not going to that extra 5th race that I can get points at but I’d rather stay home and train this weekend and be with the family then fly off to Kansas for some more points. I should be right on the line for being one of the 25 points qualifiers for Hy-Vee. As the season is going on and I’m feeling fitter and fitter, I’m definitely getting more keen to be on that start line in Des Moines on August 31st. As always, big thanks to Smith Optics, Runners Roost, and 2XU for their support. Next up, going for the three-peat at the New York City triathlon on August 3rd. That race is part of the Lifetime Fitness Toyota Cup this year which will bring a host of very accomplished guys so I’ll definitely have my hands full. Onward with some quality training for that race.

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