By Bill Plock
The champion of Sunday’s race will be the last champion for the foreseeable future of a full-distance IRONMAN race in Boulder. For us at 303 Endurance Network, parent of 303Triathlon, it’s been an amazing 6 years of covering and racing this race.
The first race director of IRONMAN Boulder, Dave Christen shared his thoughts saying, “IRONMAN Boulder has been such a great event because of the people who raced it and those amazing volunteers who put the race on. Between Dan, Tim, and myself as the different Race Directors of the event for the 6 years, we all agree we have only played a very small role. The City of Boulder, Boulder County, and Colorado State Patrol, all hosted a world class event in a world class city. We are excited about the changes in the IRONMAN calendar as we are seeing athletes gravitating towards new experiences and new host communities. Boulder will always be in the IRONMAN calendar in some form and we are are proud of the athletes who raced one of the most beautiful and challenging courses in the series. I personally want to say thank you to everyone who played a role in the event and for those that provided such honest and constructive feedback over the years. I wanted it to be a race dictated by the athletes and I can say we did that. Congratulations to everyone who has and will conqour this race! “
Sunday’s race should be iconic with three former champions racing the men’s and women’s pro field and Boulder native pros Sam Long, Colin Laughery and Danielle Mack competing.
For us at 303Triathlon, this race has been our “Super Bowl” and covering it with the iconic Boulder creek path “flux capacitor” run course, the downtown finish line, and the amazing support of so many local triathletes made the atmosphere simply electric.
No doubt the race had declined in popularity and there are many possible reasons for that. When you look at the national landscape and see the decline in participation in some long standing races and the increase in participation in new venues, it seems to support how athletes do like different choices. Some races will be returning to their origins such as St. George and Penticton. So who knows, maybe a return to Boulder is possible someday.
A few of our favorite stories from over the years: