Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-altitude:Boulder Sprint Triathlon Race Report

My Dad and I arrived in Colorado on Thursday, June 17, with the goals of scouting the area, job hunting, and getting in a huge training week with our friends at Endurance Corner (Gordo Byrn and company). To kick off our big week, we decided to hop into the Boulder Sprint Tri (formerly 5430 Sprint) for a fun, quality workout. I will spoil the suspense and tell you up front that I did well, considering the conditions. I have lived the past 23 years at 465 ft above sea level. Boulder Reservoir just happens to sit at 5430 (hence the name of the triathlon--- 5430 Sprint Tri). So, needless to say, my body did not adapt to the altitude in the two days preceding the race. Additionally, my beautiful, super sleek, aero Tri-Bike, race wheels, and Rudy Project Aero Helmet did not make the trip out West. As a result, my bike time was considerably slower than it would have been, for the same effort. However, the goal of this session was not to set the world on fire, but rather experience the joy and (more so) the pain of racing.

The swim, which has recently emerged as a strength for me, went very well. I hopped onto the feet of a breakaway group of three in my wave, and came out feeling perfectly fine. The bike felt fine, but the flat, fast course had me lusting for an Aero-Rig, fully equipped with super-fast gear. All in all, not a bad ride. The run was surely a terrible experience. That was where I felt the altitude and the growing heat of the day. I just tried to keep the pace under control so I could breathe sufficiently in the thin air. Unfortunately, this controlled pace was way slower than my usual race speed, and even this pace was barely sustainable. I made it sure I made it to the finish successfully.

The overall result was not pretty, but considering I was racing against some very fast, experience, geared-up, and altitude acclimated Colorado natives, I was happy with it. I took away second place in my age group, as well.

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