Tri Boulder Race Preview

By Kirsten McCay

The 5th Annual Tri Boulder Sprint and Olympic Distance Triathlon is coming up and you don’t want to miss this race! This is a perfect tune-up race for the Boulder 70.3 which takes place in the same area 2 weeks later.

Compete in one of the fastest growing triathlons in Boulder. Swim in the beautiful Boulder Rez which is in the mid-70s right now, I swam in it with no wetsuit last weekend and it was perfect! Bike some of the smoothest (yay) and fastest (double yay) roads in Boulder. And run on the scenic dam trail which is a mostly flat and all packed dirt road. BBSC is a tri-friendly, professional race company that offers gender specific t-shirts, finisher medals, age group awards, Clydesdale and Athena categories, relays, race day child care, free entry into the reservoir, post-race food, and more.

This year I am doing the Olympic distance race and have already spent time on both courses and wanted to share with you what you are in for when you decide to do either of the races this year on July 23rd. I’m using the Olympic as a training race for USAT Age Group Nationals on August 12th. Either distance would be great for that or as mentioned above a tune-up race for Boulder 70.3 on August 6th.

SWIM: Currently the water in the reservoir is about 74 degrees. This is a great temperature that is warm enough for you to swim without a wetsuit if you don’t have one, but isn’t too warm to legally allow wetsuits if you are relying on that to help your swim time. The sprint course is a 750 meter clock-wise rectangle and the Olympic just doubles the distance out and back from the shore. There will be large buoys at each turn and small buoys for sighting. The swim is a wave start for safety and ease for beginner swimmers. Typically there are less than 100 people per wave.

BIKE: The bike course for the sprint is typically called the “Neva loop” and is basically a large loop around the NW part of Boulder. The sprint course is 17 miles, a little longer than the usual sprint distance, so if you are a cyclist, this race is for you! After leaving Reservoir Road, there is a very gradual climb for about 3 miles and then a fast rolling downhill for the next 10 miles. Once you are back on the Diagonal, it is another very slight incline for about 2 miles and then basically downhill (other than 2 short hills on the road back to the res) to the finish. The Olympic starts and ends the same way with a couple extra miles of slight incline rewarding us with several additional miles of declines! YAHOO!

RUN: The run for the sprint is primarily on dirt road and is a simple out and back around the res along the dam. There is a hill immediately when you leave transition, just remember it will be downhill on the way back when you need it the most. The Olympic is also an out and back, it just passes the sprint turn-around and goes an additional 1.55 miles slightly inclining to the 10K turn-around which will be fast for the return home to the finish line.

A great way to practice the swim and run is the Boulder Stroke & Stride which is a swim/run series held at the res every Thursday night. This will get you used to open water swimming, running up the beach, and that first hill on the run.

If you get to the Stroke & Stride, stop by and say “HI” to me at the “chip handout” table!!

And I hope to see you all out there on the 23rd.

EVERYTHING you need to know about IRONMAN Boulder – Race Director Video

Hey athletes! Check out this new IRONMAN Boulder race day information video. It’s packed with great answers that every athlete will benefit from. We are still requiring attendance to at least one scheduled athlete briefing!

IRONMAN Boulder Watch Festival

Boulder

 

Watch the swim and bike legs from the hottest spot on the Course!

Join us Sunday, June 11th, for a special watch party at IRONMAN Boulder. There will be vendors, refreshments, games and more plus live music from the Triathlete Rock Band, IRONBAND!

The watch party will take place on the Spectator Lawn at the Boulder Reservoir. Be sure to tag any watch party photos with #PartyAtTheRez you just may see your photos up on social! We hope to see you all there!

 

Event details here

IRONMAN Boulder Watch Festival!

Don’t miss the first annual IRONMAN Boulder Watch Festival to be held at the Boulder Res on race day Sunday June 11, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Watch the swim and bike legs from the hottest spot on the Course!

Join us Sunday, June 11th, for a special watch party at IRONMAN Boulder. There will be vendors, refreshments, games and more plus live music from the Triathlete Rock Band, IRONBAND!

The watch party will take place on the Spectator Lawn at the Boulder Reservoir. Be sure to tag any watch party photos with #PartyAtTheRez you just may see your photos up on social! We hope to see you all there!

Tri Coach Tuesday: How Cold is Too Cold?

Living in Colorado, we’ve come to learn that spring weather is unpredictable at best.  This can make for less than optimal conditions for swimming and racing outdoors.  Many of us have been disappointed when our anticipated triathlon becomes a duathlon or an OWS gets postponed or cancelled all together.  Although it doesn’t always satisfy our disappointment, the race directors always have athlete safety and well being in mind when these decisions need to be made.

 

Some venues have strict guidelines they follow.  Often times it comes down to a combination of swim distance, water temp, air temp, wind speed, type of event, etc etc.  In the end, if an event goes on as planned, the decision to participate comes down to the athlete.  Some athletes  can handle 52 degree for 1/2 mile, while others should opt out at 57 degrees.

 

Without Limits Productions RD, Lance Panigutti, reminds everyone that “RD’s have to make a determination based on all the athletes safety and skill set.  While some elites may be able to handle more extreme circumstances everyone needs to understand that it’s about the collective whole when it comes to moving forward to cancelling/modifying a portion of the event.”  He adds, “Every athlete needs to know and practice what they can handle, prepare for everything and hope for sunny skies”.

Bottom line:  Be educated on the effects of the cold and how they effect you.  In the end, you are responsible for your safety and well being in any type of event.

 

Other things to considered:

 

Cold Shock

Cold water zaps your body heat 25 times quicker than cold air. Add to that the physically exhausting nature of swimming, and you’re losing body heat at a rapid pace. Extremely cold water — 50 degrees or below — can lead to cold shock. This occurs when the body is overwhelmed by extreme cold, and it can send your body into a heart attack or unconsciousness, the latter of which can lead to drowning. Your body responds to a sudden plunge into cold water by making you involuntarily gasp, and if you’re under water this can cause you to drown before you get to the surface.

Hypothermia

You’re probably well aware of hypothermia, which occurs when the body loses heat at a rapid pace. This can also occur in cold temperatures of 50 or below. While hypothermia takes longer than cold shock, it can be just as serious. Exposure to cold water for long periods of time lower your core body temperature. The lower it gets, the less your body can function. Once your core temperature reaches 93 degrees, you’ll be unable to use your arms and legs, and your mental function begins to deteriorate. At 80 degrees, you can become unconscious and drown.

 

Excerpt from livestrong.com

 

Excerpt from Loneswimmer.com

One can’t reasonably expect to go from pool swimming to doing an hour in 7C / 45 F without a wetsuit, based on desire to swim alone. Granted, this isn’t likely to occur, but I’m trying to illustrate a point.  Ability to handle COLD is again a matter of a few factors more important than others (all other things like alcohol, food, illness, sleep being equal): namely, experience and weight.

People with plenty of experience of cold can swim in very cold water. I can swim for 20 minutes in 5 C / 40 F water, because I’ve gotten used to it. But I certainly don’t recommend it and I won’t claim it’s fun. And the bigger and heavier you are the more you can handle with less training. Fat is an insulator. Just having plenty of fat alone makes cold easier to deal with. But fat does not lessen the pain of the initial shock for example.

I have done some reading on regular cold water immersion. It seems the evidence says regular immersion in water temperatures of less than 10 Celsius is very beneficial for health, in a few different areas; improved respiration and circulation, lessened chances of infection and heart attack. However once the time goes over 10 minutes some of those benefits tend to reverse, especially hypertension and cardiac arrhythmia.

BAM OWS

Boulder Reservoir

 

BAM hosts bi-weekly Open Water Swims at the Boulder Reservoir throughout the Summer.  These events are safe, casual, and open to everyone ( as long as you are 18yr or older)
These Swims are Perfect for Open Water Enthusiasts, Triathletes and Swimmers of all Abilities

This year we will utilize two different courses
The “Traditional Course” of approx. 1000 meters with a shorter option available
The “Right Angle Course” of approx. 950 meters

Courses will be defined by large orange/yellow buoys
Lifeguards are positioned throughout the courses to assist swimmers
Shore course available for tentative swimmers (approximately 300 yards)

Event details and registration here

  

BAM OWS

Boulder Reservoir

 

BAM hosts bi-weekly Open Water Swims at the Boulder Reservoir throughout the Summer.  These events are safe, casual, and open to everyone ( as long as you are 18yr or older)
These Swims are Perfect for Open Water Enthusiasts, Triathletes and Swimmers of all Abilities

This year we will utilize two different courses
The “Traditional Course” of approx. 1000 meters with a shorter option available
The “Right Angle Course” of approx. 950 meters

Courses will be defined by large orange/yellow buoys
Lifeguards are positioned throughout the courses to assist swimmers
Shore course available for tentative swimmers (approximately 300 yards)

Event details and registration here

  

BAM OWS – Cancelled

Boulder Reservoir

 

BAM hosts bi-weekly open water swims at the Boulder Reservoir throughout the Summer.  These events are safe, casual, and open to everyone (everyone over 18 yrs old)
These Swims are Perfect for Open Water Enthusiasts, Triathletes and Swimmers of all Abilities

 Every Tuesday & Thursday from May 23rd through August 30th
From 6:10 to 7:40 am
PLUS Saturdays May 27 & July 29
From 7:00 to 8:30 am

  Located at the Dream Cove area @ the Boulder Reservoir

 

Event details and registration here

Summer pass information here

BAM OWS

Boulder Reservoir

 

BAM hosts bi-weekly open water swims at the Boulder Reservoir throughout the Summer.  These events are safe, casual, and open to everyone (everyone over 18 yrs old)
These Swims are Perfect for Open Water Enthusiasts, Triathletes and Swimmers of all Abilities

 Every Tuesday & Thursday from May 23rd through August 30th
From 6:10 to 7:40 am
PLUS Saturdays May 27 & July 29
From 7:00 to 8:30 am

  Located at the Dream Cove area @ the Boulder Reservoir

 

Event details and registration here

Summer pass information here

BAM OWS

Boulder Reservoir

 

BAM hosts bi-weekly open water swims at the Boulder Reservoir throughout the Summer.  These events are safe, casual, and open to everyone (everyone over 18 yrs old)
These Swims are Perfect for Open Water Enthusiasts, Triathletes and Swimmers of all Abilities

 Every Tuesday & Thursday from May 23rd through August 30th
From 6:10 to 7:40 am
PLUS Saturdays May 27 & July 29
From 7:00 to 8:30 am

  Located at the Dream Cove area @ the Boulder Reservoir

 

Event details and registration here

Summer pass information here