Monday, 7 August 2017

Boulder 70.3

Racine 70.3 was a huge disappointment but I was fortunate enough to be heading to Indianapolis that night to spend a few days with Sram and Zipp. I had an awesome time meeting the crew, they took me through a tour of the factory showing how a sheet of carbon ends up a wheel in a box all hand built. Was lucky enough to do some new product testing and spend some time in the wind tunnel playing around with different equipment and my position.
From there I headed back to Boulder to get another few weeks of training in before the local 70.3. I have been looking forward to this race since last year which resulted in a poor drafting penalty call and was determined to have a clean run on one of my favourite bike courses. Knowing every meter of the course makes a huge difference and boosts the confidence for the day. The swim is out at the reservoir, knee deep start so its close to my preferred beach starts, the bike is one loop (54.6 miles) a couple of rollers and one little climb but mostly flat and fast and the run in 2 laps around the reservoir mostly dirt and undulating.
It's nice having a 'home' race, the week leading in is a lot easier not having to worry about travel, being able to train properly right up until the morning of and knowing where to eat. Although 2017 Boulder 70.3 brought a big turn out with 42 Male Professionals on the start list and some big names up front. A lot of local guys racing as well so was keen to see how I would compare amongst them.

Saturday morning at 0705 was the initial race start, with the water temperature being just over the cut off and a chilly morning I decided not to do a swim warm up and just work on the bands. I was glad I chose this because at 0655 it was announced that there would be a 15min delay for the start which meant I could keep warm. Finally we were off, I managed to get in few porpoises in and found clear water. To my left I could see Chrabot leading out and on my right there was a big group taking the inside line. I immediately drifted over towards Chrabot and hopped on his feet, luckily he was thinking the same as me and didn't worry about swimming over to the buoys until the first turn which meant we were able to create a small gap on the chasers. My breathing during the swim was a lot better than last year and the pace was kept pretty decent, I followed his feet all the way to the exit ramp and had about a 15sec gap on the chase group.

Got my feet straight into the shoes riding along the fire road out of the reservoir as I knew it would be on as soon as we got out onto the main road, I was not wrong. Chrabot was in the lead and pushing the pace early to get out of sight, my legs were actually feeling a bit heavy but could still push the wattage fine. It wasn't long before I moved to the front and continued to push the pace, with a few U-Turns early I was able to see the gap on the chasers growing. Once we got off the Diagonal Hwy (after 25km) we had no chance of seeing the chase pack and it wasn't until about 60 km that we got our first split to the chaser, at that point we had 2min 30. That was not going to be enough knowing who was in the chase group, we continued to push but the legs started to die off a little and the wattage started to drop. It was only a little drop off as we still managed to keep the pace high and finish with a 45.6km/h average and maintain the 2min 30 gap. Also recorded the fastest bike split for the day, course was 2 kms short but still clocked a 1:55:41

Out onto the run and the legs felt like dead weights, I knew from the start I was going to feel the lack of running I have been doing and its not the easiest course I've done. I tried to sit on Chrabot's heels for as long as I could but only lasted about 4km. I was now in survival mode and focusing on getting to the finish without losing too many places as I wasn't sure how many were in the pack. Tim Don caught me half way through lap 1 and he was flying, I was able to see Hoffman and Metzler running together towards the end of the first lap and they were about a minute down.
I was taking nutrition down fine and overall feeling strong but I just lacked that next gear, the speed to hold my position. I was caught by the both within the first couple of km's in the 2nd lap, I tried to stick with them but was afraid a burning out too early and not making it to the finish.  Although the running was hurting real bad, my pace remained pretty consistent and just know I've got a lot of work to do before my next race in 5 weeks. I ran down the shute for 5th place and a time of 3:46:31

I am pretty pleased with that race, there is nothing better I could have done on the day. Swim and bike went to plan perfectly and the run just requires more time which was expected. I have another 5 weeks in Boulder before I pack the bags to begin the journey home. First stop Santa Cruz for the 70.3 on the 10th September

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