by Bill Plock
As the fifth Ironman Boulder approaches, about 40 people gathered at Colorado Multisport for the unveiling of a new bike course. There are many changes from last year. In general this course should be a little bit faster with about 500 less feet of climbing and longer stretches of uninterrupted straight roads than last year.
The course is also two loops instead of three and very little of Highway 36 will be used. The notorious false flat of Jay road has been eliminated and riders head west on Neva road and east (downhill) on Nelson road, the steepest part of the course the last couple of years. There is an uphill section on St. Vrain road and an out and back on Hygiene road both of which aren’t as steep as Nelson.
The biggest change came by utilizing Hwy 119 (the diagonal) which is a divided highway. By working hard with transportation officials, Race Director, Tim Brosious was able secure the entire southbound lanes for a 12 mile, straight, out and back start to each loop before heading west toward the foothills. By having this road open only to racers, athletes should see good time splits with ample room to get into a good rhythm on this flat stretch of newly paved road
Race courses need to provide a fun, challenging and safe experience while impacting the community as little as possible. It would appear that in its fifth bike course version, those goals are being met better than ever. Longtime Ironman race director, Dave Christen said, “this is my favorite course so far and I think we will have a good chance at keeping it for a while.”
Please keep in mind that the course outlined in the video is not the full course as the last few miles in to town are being finalized at how it will connect to the run. The run is anticipated to stay basically the same and utilize Boulder Creek.
FB Live video here