By Kirsten Smith
We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect Colorado morning than on June 3rd for the running of the Without Limits/5430 Sports Colorado Triathlon.
This year’s sold out event of 800 participants featured a sprint distance triathlon, an Olympic distance triathlon, an Olympic distance aqua bike, and relays in both distances. This year the race also added a “first timers” wave capped at 50 athletes for a low-key, safe, and positive first swim experience, and on-site child care for kids ages 5-12 in the form of a mini-camp with activities, games, and snacks.
We couldn’t have asked for better conditions for the race this year. The water temp was 67 degrees (up almost 7 degrees from the previous weekend), the air temp was low 60s in the morning and low 70s in the afternoon, partly cloudy, and only a slight breeze to keep you cool when the sun popped out from behind the clouds.
This year I did the sprint race. The swim waves were small and spread out by 3 minutes so the swim was never too congested, great for both the competitive and non-swimmer. The bike course is a little longer than your average sprint (17 miles rather than 12) but the course was well marked, smooth, swept, never too congested, with plenty of volunteers and spectators to keep you motivated along the way. The run was an out and back on packed dirt around the reservoir with an aid station full of helpful and encouraging volunteers to make sure you had everything you needed.
The finish line at a Without Limits race ends with a slip-n-slide. YES! You read that correctly! A slip-n-slide! I have yet to master the art of sliding all the way to the pool at the end, but it’s a fun (and refreshing) way to end your race! And the resident race announcer, Ainslie, is another perk with this race. He is great at making me feel like I am important and a superstar when I finish my race.
I want to make sure to mention how easy and stress-free Without Limits makes their events. Every single staff member and volunteer I came across was friendly, helpful, and seemed genuinely happy to be a part of the race. Packet pick up was a breeze as there are several options for pick up a couple days leading up to the race so the lines race morning are short. The race T-shirts we got this year were AMAZING! Probably my all-time favorite race shirt as they are super soft cotton, long sleeved hoodies, and blue! Like a super worn shade of blue, which I personally LOVE!
Every finisher got a medal (which doesn’t always happen at smaller, shorter distance races) and the age group and overall awards were also fabulous. The top 3 finishers in all categories (including relays, aqua bike, Athena, and Clydesdale) got a glass vase (or carafe, however you look at it). Without Limits always has functional and unique awards!!
I spent an hour before the race and three hours after the race walking around, taking pics, and chatting with hundreds of athletes from the first-timer to the elite. Unanimously, everyone I spoke with would agree that this is one of the best local races of the season and this year the weather, water temp, and post-race activities made it a positive, memorable experience by all!