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.
Join IM Boulder Race Directors Tim and DC for the unveiling of the 2018 IM Boulder bike course. This new course will be exciting, challenging and fast. If you can’t make it, be sure to check it out FB live on both the IRONMAN Boulder and 303Triathlon pages.
Follow the footsteps of the legends to the doorstep of the Rockies.
Pack your bags and head to Boulder and find out why the top endurance sport pros and aspiring (and inspiring) age groupers make this their home turf for year-round run, bike and triathlon training. Are your ready to Up Your Game? Select your 1 to 3-day world-class training and lodging package, starting at $793, and get ready to dig deep!
Now it’s your turn to be a local, as you immerse yourself in the one-of-a-kind Boulder active lifestyle for a memorable training vacation. Treat yourself to world-class training and education facilities, mystical trails, endless road climbs, the foodiest dining, and an amazing selection of shops featuring the very latest lust-worthy gear…all in one magical place known affectionately as the Mecca for endurance sport athletes.
Commit to achieving your very best at your next big race, and come make Boulder your pre-season training destination. Treat yourself to an incredible selection of indoor/outdoor training and educational opportunities over the surprisingly sunny winter and spring months. Planning to race this season in Boulder? Whether your goal is IRONMAN Boulder, Boulder Peak or BolderBOULDER, come to town a few months early to dial in your training and altitude acclimatization, while scoring a sweet dress-rehearsal opportunity on course. Either way, you’ll head home full of fitness and confidence…ready for a bunch of PR’s and the break-through season you deserve.
Avoiding Mental Sabotage Part 4: How to Channel Pre-Race Anxiety
BY PATRICK J. COHN, PH.D. AND ANDRE BEKKER
In part four of our continuing series on mastering your mental skills for race-day, we discuss how to properly channel your pre-race anxiety into positive energy and focus.
How to Cope with Pre-Race Jitters
Every triathlete, runner or cyclist, no matter their level, experiences pre-race jitters—the feeling of excitement or butterflies in your stomach prior to the start of a race. However, some athletes turn pre-race jitters into performance anxiety. Pre-race jitters are a natural part of your racing, but pre-race performance anxiety will cause most athletes to tense up, worry about their performance and ultimately not perform up to their ability.
Are Pre-Race Jitters Helpful to Your Performance?
The first step is to find out if you experience common pre-race jitters or if you are anxious or scared. The difference is that pre-race jitters or butterflies are helpful to your race—they help you focus and perform better.
However, real “performance anxiety” is a reaction to stress or fear about the event that can cause excess tension. We think that pre-race jitters are a form of respect for the event you are about to engage in and part of the physical way your body prepares for the race.
How can you distinguish between pre-race jitters and performance anxiety? Look at the characteristic of each below:
You feel excited to get the race started.
You feel physically up and alert.
You think clearly about what you want to accomplish.
You feel ready to tackle any challenge that comes your way.
You feel your heart beating harder, but you think it’s natural and helpful.
When the race starts, you relax, get into the flow, and don’t focus on how you are feeling.
You have energy to keep going until the end of the race.
You are over-excited about the race and feel scared before you start.
You feel physically sick to your stomach.
You have excess internal chatter and can’t think clearly or calmly.
You are worried about what you might encounter during the race.
You feel physical symptoms such as an increased heart rate, but worry that you are anxious or uptight.
You feel anxious or tight well into the start of the race and it may last for the entire event.
You feel drained and exhausted before the competition even starts.
If you identify with pre-race jitters, that’s great. That’s what you want to feel just before the event. You want to embrace the pre-race jitters.
If you identify more with performance anxiety above, you’ll have to learn how to overcome your performance anxiety by channeling it in a more constructive way…
The week leading up to a major race, what we call “race week” in the sport, can bring its own breed of stress and anxiety. These emotions can pile up and wreak havoc on an athlete’s race experience and even results. So what’s a high-strung athlete to do? The best chance for success on race week is to do your best to make it as much like any other week in training.
IRONMAN champ Linsey Corbin sums up race week success with this: “Get a lot of sleep early in the week, dial in your race gear early, thank a volunteer, stay hydrated, don’t stress about the weather, do something nice, keep the blood flowing, and have fun.” Below you’ll find a few more handy points to help keep the cortisol levels down.
IRONMAN Race Week Do’s & Don’ts….
Click HERE to read about bike tune ups, new gear, pre-race diet, too little – and too much – rest, massages, course recon, and managing your support crew.
About 20 minutes after the last person crossed the finish line at IRONMAN Boulder, it hit me. That feeling of wow, what a great day. The next day at the awards ceremony it bowled me over just what had happened. The epic nature and vibe of an IRONMAN comes down to thousands of moments, some inspiring, others mesmerizing and many simply beautiful that causes the ultimate appreciation and respect for the race and the athletes. At some point it just becomes overwhelming if you let it–in a good way.
I was walking with 73 year old Warren Mine of California (the oldest to complete IM Boulder in 2017) to help him retrieve his bike talking about his race (his 20th+ IRONMAN) when champion Tim O’Donnell walked by on his way to get his bike. I kind of shook my head in disbelief and reflected. What a crazy sport I thought. Here is one of the top athletes in the world, having just won the race, simply going to pick up his bike, limping a bit and commenting how his legs hurt–like everyone else’s. When LeBron finishes a game I’m guessing he doesn’t even pick up his basketball shoes. The mingling of pro’s and amateurs all aiming for the same goal, with the same vulnerabilities, the same dedication and similar dreams and hopes sets triathlon apart. It endears all of us triathletes. It builds bonds and communities and lasts a lifetime.
To spectate IRONMAN Boulder for the first time convinced me more than ever that through this endeavor lives are changed. Relationships begin, are cemented, and are celebrated by a common event experienced uniquely for everyone. I parked myself for over two hours photographing hundreds of Colorado athletes as they entered the run course from T2. The relief and smiles to be on the run leg permeated most, and their hopeful gaze for a good run was greeted by hundreds of cheering people lining Boulder Creek. Hours passed. I walked miles, taking more pictures, cheering and remembering my runs on this creek for the past three IRONMAN Boulders. All I could think about was the love and support I always felt and that was the only thing I missed about not racing. It’s addictive and appreciated. I thought how lucky all these people were to experience it–especially first timers. They will never forget it.
Later that night, during the last hour of the race, I simply sat a few feet from finishers who were greeted by Tim O’Donnell and his wife and three time IRONMAN World Champion, Mirinda Carfrae. The unofficial triathlon king and queen of Boulder graciously medaled each of the final age groupers. Most gazed in disbelief or were too dazed and confused to grasp the significance–but once they understood who was putting their arms around them, the smiles beamed.
To witness the tears, the joy, the pain, the end, and really the beginning of a new journey for so many sticks in my mind. Tears came to my eyes many times.
But no race is complete without recognizing those who win and rise above. Those who persevere the most, overcome amazing challenges and earn one of the toughest and most coveted entries in all of sport–a chance to compete in Kona. A spot reserved for the top 2%. The dreams of the athletes, their families and coaches hang in the balance of getting a spot.
It’s not as clear cut as you might think. Going into the awards all that is known is that 40 spots are awarded. They are then divided among all age groups proportional to how many people raced in the age group.
Some age groups have one entry, others as many as three of four. But not every athlete chooses to go or some have an entry from
an earlier race so their spot rolls down. Each time an athlete’s name is called and there is no response, some athlete hoping and waiting erupts in emotion–some show it more than others and it is wonderful to witness (you must be present to claim a spot). The tension can be thick.
In the female 30 to 34 age group, local athlete, Team Vixxen Racing member, Elizabeth West, was third in her age group with two spots up for grabs. She is coached by Eric Kenney of EK Endurance. I knew how anxious Eric was, hoping to see her dream come true. If you know Eric, you know he wears his heart on his sleeve.
As Mike Reilly began to announce that age group I was nervous. My personal connection and empathy for Liz and knowing how close she has been in past years and remembering how I felt missing a spot by one place two years ago, put a lump in my throat in anticipation. Mike called the first name. Silence. He called it again. More silence.
Tears swelled in my eyes and I gazed not at Liz, but at Eric a few feet away, standing alone to the side. He crumpled to a knee and couldn’t fight the tears. That moment will last a lifetime. Liz hugged many and tears came to her as well and her mom sat crying; it was simply beautiful.
Ironman Boulder is over, dreams are cast and inspiring stories will be told for a long long time.
Banks “a hero for the rest of his life,” Slomkowski says.
BOULDER — As a steady stream of exhausted athletes crossed the finish line of the Ironman Boulder, the volume of cheers rose Sunday at 10:30 p.m. to welcome James Banks and David Slomkowski to the end of their long ordeal.
The duo from Baltimore had begun 15 hours and 45 minutes earlier. Banks, whom Slomkowski pulled and pushed for more than 140 miles, smiled broadly after a finish-area volunteer hung the Ironman medal from his neck. Banks, 18, has cerebral palsy and scoliosis.
“Booyah!” a group of friends shouted, knowing that is Banks’ favorite word for expressing happiness.
Two top male pros missed the run turnaround today, causing devastating disqualifications.
Justin Daerr told 303Triathlon, “Thank you for the support and the kind words.”
An excerpt from the recap he shared with his followers:
During the race, I came within 30-50 meters of the actual turnaround, but I misunderstood the way the run course had been marked, as did the biker accompanying me. The actual turnaround was just above a rise on the path so I could not see it as I turned around prematurely. I’ve since learned that another pro made the same mistake. (Read the full entry)
Top five professional men’s results:
SWIM BIKE RUN FINISH
Tim O’Donnell USA 00:49:2004:24:2502:53:5508:13:30
Matt Chrabot USA 00:50:2504:30:3303:07:4208:34:36
Patrick McKeon USA 00:57:0804:35:1503:03:4008:42:24
Jarrod Shoemaker HUN 00:50:1804:50:2502:59:2108:45:38
Jozsef Major USA 01:03:2004:31:1003:10:5708:51:35
Top five professional women’s results:
SWIM BIKE RUN FINISH
Rachel Joyce GBR 00:54:5904:56:0903:16:0109:13:32
Heather Jackson USA 00:59:5104:49:0603:26:0909:20:42
Danielle Mack USA 01:04:4605:11:0203:20:2409:42:16
Kelly Williamson USA 00:54:5605:26:1503:16:3509:44:08