Boulder Peak triathlon, it’s almost legendary NO actually it IS legendary. The perils of the grade on Olde Stage Road plus being a Hy-vee 5150 US Champion qualifying race, make for one really AWESOME event!
Oh! the stories I’ve heard:
- Olde Stage max grade of over 20%
- Athletes walking up that portion of the bike course http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btLTxM0CZoc
- Athletes toppling over on Olde Stage because of an inability to downshift
- How granny gear on Olde Stage just wasn’t low enough
- Speed limits set on the downhill due to the technical nature of the ride
- It’s the hardest triathlon I’ve ever done, I heard from a badass athlete friend
EEEeekk! Seriously, enough to put the fear of God into me! Frankly, I’d be really pretty pissed off at myself if I had to walk it and even more so if I toppled over going 0.5 miles per hour! There was NO WAY I was going to ride Olde Stage for the very first time on race day. One of the many benefits of living in the Denver metro area was the proximity to the Mecca of triathlon…BOULDER.
Being a qualifier race for Hy-vee 5150 US Championship, which has the largest prize purse of any triathlon, even more than Kona, which is odd IMHO, gave the race even more cache.
To test my mettle on Olde Stage my coach and I rode the bike course of The Peak directly after finishing Boulder Sprint. Figuring, if I could do a decent job of riding The Peak on tired legs, I should be in pretty good shape to have a good ride fresh from the swim on race day. Was it tough? OH Yes! Was my HR maxed at the top of Olde Stage? You betcha! Was the ride doable? Absolutely! Riding the course a couple of additional times before race day also helped.
The Peak draws a blend of age groupers and top-tier pros such as TO (Tim O’Donnell), who by the way is even hotter in real life, all competing in this pretty awesome Olympic distance triathlon right here in Boulder, Colorado! As an added bonus to racing at The Peak, I got the opportunity to watch some talented pros AND secure a photo opp with Ironman world champ (and TO’s finance) Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae.
The Peak was an awesome race, although I didn’t have a stellar swim or run…my bike was pretty strong. Finishing 9th overall in age group, which was good enough for me to receive a nice little email congratulating me on my performance at The Peak and inviting me to register for the 5150 US Championship, which was on September 1st! How cool! I thought about registering but I held off.
My focus now was on to the Boulder 70.3 which was my “A” race of the season. I was driven to redeem myself after my less than fabulous race at Harvest Moon long-course (i.e., half Ironman distance) in 2012. I’d wait and see how the Boulder half went and then maybe register for Hy-vee.