Defending titles and course records is tough! I like it though. I like the expectation because when you handle the pressure and deliver, the victory is even sweeter. I love the Boulder course. It’s great racing on your ‘home course’ and being able to sleep in your own bed. For this race, I also had a couple of guests. My Dad and his best friend, Kim, had made the trip from Australia to visit and also to race! It is pretty special to be able to do a race with your Dad. I have grown up doing this since I was a kid and I am still doing it! It was fun having them around and definitely was a distraction from the race but in a good way! I think that they were more nervous than me.
The race could not have gone better. I swam with the lead group. Once onto the bike, my legs felt amazing so I pushed on. I had gained the lead at 5 miles and never looked back. Something clicked with my bike that day. I just missed breaking the 2 hour mark for the 56miles and came off the bike with over 3 minutes advantage on rivals. I ran out of T2 at a controlled but good pace. Racing at altitude places additional stress on the body and your performance can change pretty rapidly. I knew that I had been riding above myself and was prepared to hit some bad spots. I did! Just after half way, I started to get hungry and a little lightheaded. I managed to hold myself together and get some calories in and come away with the win. It’s a fine line when you are racing on the limit for 4 hours. It was a good lesson learned.
Despite my ‘bad patch,’ I managed to sneak under my 2011 course record which was an added bonus. Jordan Jones and Ben Hoffman finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. My Dad and Kim finished. Dad struggled a little with the heat. Kim surprised himself a little and did well. He even led the swim in his wave!