An Exclusive Ironman Boulder Message from RD Dave Christen

IMG_2562From detailed Facebook letters, to patient step-by-step videos, Race Director Dave Christen has been an amazing Ironman steward for athletes and spectators alike. (Check out most of his work on our Ironman Boulder Resource Page.)

Here, exclusively for 303Triathlon, he reflects on Boulder, “The Friendliest IRONMAN out there!” (Be sure to check out the “Race Day Moods of DC” slideshow at the end of the story!)

Memories from this year….
From Race Director Dave Christen

What a great year! I personally believe IRONMAN Boulder is officially the most friendly IRONMAN on the circuit. Let me explain what I mean throughout this note. You will soon see what I mean.

IMG_2695The community of athletes wrapping their arms around those from out of town, the courtesy on the course, the beauty of the venues, the spectator accessibility. These to name a few are the starting blocks to what built this race into the Friendliest IRONMAN out there.

In general I just hear people from outside of town say this is just such a friendly race. What a great reputation we can build on! There are beautiful races, hard races, fast races, popular races…..but friendly ones? I have never heard that descriptor and quite honestly I could not ask for a better one.

IMG_3684That has inspired me anew to help foster that and encourage that. The stories I heard of athletes from out of town, being welcomed by our local community doing private previews of the courses, dinners at their houses, offers for additional visits after the race, offering of equipment, supplies, etc.

On the course you hear people cheering each other on, careful comments of passing on the left, courteous “excuse me’s” on the run course…..oh and that run course! Year two and we had bigger support on the run course than last year!

IMG_3951The finish line was so warm and welcoming but still electric. It was just another perfect night in Boulder.

So my lasting memory will be that this year IRONMAN Boulder created its identity and that is “Friendly.” How cool is that! You and I both have the chance to foster that and I hope everyone latches onto that and joins in making IRONMAN Boulder the most welcoming and thoughtful race on the circuit. Only the athletes can continue that tradition now, so hopefully they latch onto that idea.

Funny moments include the sprinklers at the Boulder High School setting off during the shuttle bus loading for the second year in a row…Now a tradition I won’t dare change now.

male winnerThe special moments include having an age group male and age group female break the tape and create such a special feel to IRONMAN Boulder as the “every man’s race” where who knows who will break the tape first. How cool is that!

The hard moments include the difficult moments when athletes can no longer continue on their dream. We all need to honor their attempts and make sure we support them even more next year as they come and “TRI” again.

carla thompson shoesThe moment of the week for me was Carla Thompson. In T2 an athlete could not find his gear bag, and our Volunteer Carla literally took the shoes off of her own feet and gave them to this guy who went on to finish his IRONMAN in Carla’s shoes. The story does not end there.

carla shoesHe made a point to return the shoes to Carla and at the Volunteer banquet we had the chance to share this story on stage with the other volunteers. Shortly after us honoring Carla, a give away for a $50 gift card was awarded to a man who had the right number drawn. Instead of taking the gift card he asked if he could give it to Carla to honor her willingness to serve others and give willingly….literally gave me goose bumps.

Because at that moment, I knew this race had put the nail into its personality and that is one of goodwill, grace, generosity, welcoming spirits, and over all just a friendly place to race.

Can’t wait for 2016 stories.

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Thank you Dave for all your hard work, dedication, and heart!