The Peak, the Race, the Experience, by Kirsten Smith

Kirsten on Olde Stage

Boulder’s most unique triathlon The Boulder Peak, is very special to me. It was one of my first Olympic distance triathlons and was definitely my first “big” race with professional athletes, major sponsors, and media coverage–back in 2003, 16 years ago!

Boulder Peak is now in its 28th year and attracts athletes, both new and seasoned, from all over the world!!So what makes this race different than the other triathlons in Boulder Colorado?
1. It’s one the longest running triathlons in Colorado, has a great vibe and a long history with top age group athletes and pro/elite competitors
2. It’s been mentioned as one of the top races in several triathlon mags over the years and for good reason as it attracts athletes from all over the Rocky Mountain Region
3. Olde Stage Road
4. Olde Stage Road
5. Olde Stage Road

The majority of triathlons (of all distances) in Boulder use the same roads for the bike course. If you have done any of the other Boulder races, these names will sound very familiar to you: Neva, Nelson, St Vrain, Hygiene, and Highway 66.

The Boulder Peak bike course is the only one that turns off of Jay Road and heads up Lee Hill to the famous Olde Stage Road, which averages a 15% grade. On race day, the big hill is lined with spectators and volunteers cheering you on for motivation, but don’t be surprised to see several athletes get off their bikes and walk the final few meters to the top. At 6,500 feet, it’s not for the faint of heart or weekend warrior!! But don’t worry! You will soon find yourself flying down the beyond gorgeous shaded winding road that spits you out at Left Hand Canyon which is even more beautiful as it winds down toward Highway 36 along a rushing creek that makes you feel like it’s just you and Mother Nature out there on the bike course!
While the first 7-ish miles of the bike course are pretty much uphill, the last 18-ish are pretty much downhill!! Pro tip: keep that in mind!!
Over the past few years, the race has added a Duathlon, an Aquabike, and relays in all 3 events to meet the needs and desires of the sport and its athletes.

Mike Ricci of D3 finishing up!

The awards and swag for the Boulder Peak Triathlon are always top-notch! It’s not too late to register for this year’s race! If you are local, I would plan to make a trip up the big hill so that you know what to expect!! If you are coming from out of town, drive to the base of Olde Stage the day before and ride up to the top! If you can’t get there to ride it at all, take a quick drive up the hill to get an idea of what is in store for you!
The race has sold out every year since 2010 and only has a few slots left for the 2019 race. I am always honored to be part of this amazing race and can’t wait to take part this year, 16 years after my first Boulder Peak experience! My goal is to beat my time from 2003! I hope to see you out there with me!!