The Boulder Peak Triathlon had been a must-do race for decades. But owners – including Ironman and Life Time – passed the race around like it was a journeyman shortstop, and declining entries left competitors thinking that the race had lost its mojo. But the Boulder Peak is back in the hands of a local independent race director. Reviews are positive, prognostications are bullish, and the race is no longer back on its heels.
The story goes on to delve in to the event’s well-documented history, from its inception by Race Director Paul Karlsson in 1992, right through this year’s new owner, Lance Panigutti.
According to Slowtwitch,
Entries were slightly up in the first year under new ownership with 707 finishers, but most participants feel the quality that made the Boulder Peak race great has returned. A $20,000 pro prize purse attracted Olympians and Ironman 70.3 Champions. A cash King/Queen of the Mountain prize for the first to reach the top of Olde Stage added some flair for the race. And Panigutti is bringing back Karlsson’s sense of fun: There was a slip n’ slide at the finish line.
Check out 303’s full race coverage and recap article
At present, there are 35 professional triathletes racing Sunday’s Peak – including some big names and out of state folks.
303 reached out to them and asked a few questions, including:
Why are you racing the Peak?
If you have raced the Peak before, what is your favorite memory?
How does the Olde Stage climb/descent fit into your race strategy?
Any messages for other pros in the field?
Here are some of their responses:
The Peak is the perfect opportunity to put some really hard training to good use. This is my fourth season as a PRO and I have almost exclusively raced the 70.3 distance. I have some international 70.3 races coming up on the calendar and with the Peak in my backyard, the chance to race full gas against some of the strongest guys in the world was too good of an offer to pass up on. As I have gotten older the pressure to perform and get results has gotten more significant every season. I was reflecting on when I was having the most fun racing. That was in 2014 when I did a few Olympic non-drafting races. I’m looking forward to 2hr of very intense suffering on Sunday. It is racing in it’s purest form and is a whole lot of fun.
This is my first time racing the peak!
I think it will be full gas from the minute we hop on the bikes to the apex of the Olde Stage climb. If you are not prepared to ride at or above your threshold for the entire segment, you will likely get spit off the back and never be able to regain contact with the front of the race. My #1 goal is to not over think this race. If I swim with the front and make it up Olde Stage with the front of the race, I will be in a very good position to have a solid result.
Bring it! The start list is looking quite strong but a lot of athletes are in unique situations. Charbot, Shoemaker, Long just raced IM Boulder. Von Berg and Deckard just got back from Europe. West and Dye have both done a lot of races lately. I have not raced since early June. I have been here in Boulder training hard as ever. I am fitter than I have been in a long time and I am looking forward to seeing what that means come Sunday.
It’s been a while since I’ve raced an Olympic Distance event and I’m glad it’s in my home area.
Yes in 2014 and I won.
Hopefully I can make up any lost ground from the swim by quickly popping up the climb. It’s a power climb so the bigger guys won’t be at a disadvantage and the smaller guys won’t gain as much.
Best of luck and I’ll see you out there.
Sounded like fun, seeing that I do mostly IM and 703 distances – and convenient to Colo Springs where I live.
Last time I raced this (2006ish?) I did Mt Evans the day prior – so what I remember was that it was a pretty crappy race for me but it was a fun and clearly challenging weekend.
I only know of this Olde Stage road by name, so I guess I’m going in with eyes wide open; and I can’t say I have much of a race strategy except to go as hard as I can for as long as I can.
Let’s play nice in the swim. We’re all going in the same direction. 🙂
I am currently coached by Siri Lindley so I am training here in Boulder for the most of the summer with Siri and some other Team Sirius athletes. Our main goal for this season is obviously IM World Champs, but Boulder Peak triathlon gives a great opportunity to put some speed in this “Ironman machine” :)! I have never done a non drafting olympic distance race before and I am super excited to see how it feels. Boulder is an amazing place to train in and the route of Boulder Peak Triathlon is just stunningly beautiful and hard at the same time and it will be super cool to test how I can manage the altitude, the heat and the old stage climb!
I have not raced in here before. But it seems that the race has big traditions behind it so it is a huge honor to do the race that so many of the worlds best athletes have done during the last decades.
I usually do love the climbs on the bike. However as I have never raced or trained at altitude before, here in Boulder the climbing seems to feel… let’s say not so enjoyable with a little less oxygen than normal. I will do my very best on the climb, but I will decide according to how I feel on race day if I will put my all into the climb or if I will save a little more energy for the later parts of the race.
It is super exciting to toe on to the start line with you and it is great to see that so many of the very highest level olympic distance athletes will be doing this race.
I love racing in a hometown event and this race in particular has a lot of good memories for me. It’s been nearly 3 years since I’ve raced in Boulder so this one was a no brainer for me!
My best memory is definitely winning the amateur race in 2011. It was just as I was getting into triathlon and completely unexpected for me so that made it even more special.
Olde Stage is such an iconic climb in this race and I think really defines the whole event. This will be my 8th time racing the peak so I would like to think I’ve learned a few things about the ideal way to attack this course :). The race is usually sorted out by the top of Olde Stage so it helps to be very aggressive in those early miles on the bike.
Haha…I won’t stir the pot. Lets see what happens on Sunday!
Rodolphe Von Berg
I am racing the Peak because it is an iconic Boulder race, and now that the steep Old Stage climb is back on the bike course, it is a big attraction for me, it makes the race more exciting for everybody.
I have never raced the Peak!
I am racing Boulder Peak because I love the opportunity to race at home. Though I’m not a full time Boulder resident, I spend nearly half the year here and the opportunity to sleep in my own bed and then get to race a competitive, well run event with prize money cannot be beat!
This is my first time racing Boulder Peak!
Since Olde Stage is fairly early into the 25mile bike, I’m not sure how much it’ll split up the field. I’ve never raced a non-draft Olympic distance event with this difficult a climb. I’m hopeful it’ll split things up enough that we get an honest bike race before hitting the the run!
Let’s put on a show ladies!!
It’s a great opportunity to race some of the best athletes in the world right here where so many of us train. The course is also very difficult, something you don’t really see that often, so it makes it very exciting.
Difficult climbs are definitely spots where you can take a lot of time out of people, but you also need to play it really smart because it is just one section of the whole ride. The decent can also be pretty quick, so being a little gutsy there could pay off.
Bring your A game!
I am racing the Peak because I moved here two years ago and love the opportunity to have a pro olympic distance race in my (new) hometown!
I am most looking forward the Olde stage since I love climbing and fast descents. As a lighter athlete, I prefer these to the flat and fast roads around the res.
I really enjoy all of Without Limit’s races and the effort they put into making such awesome events. I think it’s great that they’re brining back a pro field and prize money to Peak, and I want to support that by showing up. Also, it’s just two miles from my house, which means I can ride there. That’s a huge bonus.
I’ve never raced it.
When I was a bike racer I did a lot of my intervals on Olde Stage. I’ve probably ridden it close to 200 times at this point, so I know how to pace it: start out as hard as you can and gradually go harder. The descent takes like 39 seconds so it won’t really factor into any position gain or loss.
After the Olde stage descent make sure to go left on Left Hand.
I am racing Boulder Peak because my coach and I thought it would be a fun way to mix up my ITU draft-legal racing with a local non-draft race and to get back on the TT bike. Also because I went to school at CU Boulder and I was a proud member of the Colorado Triathlon Team, I thought that racing in Boulder in front of family and friends would be a great way to reconnect with those I haven’t seen in a year since graduating, plus it is always a blast racing in front of the Boulder crowd and having my family watch me race! I have nothing to lose, and I am excited to be racing against some of the best girls in the sport and to give it my all on race day.
This is my first year racing as a professional, but I have raced Boulder Peak a few times in the age group and collegiate category. My favorite memory has been racing in front of my teammates and friends, and getting cheered on the whole way. In addition, I have so many memories training on the Boulder roads, throwing down with my teammates, so I always have visions of those experiences while I race, which motivates me to push harder.
I am excited to be racing Old Stage for the first time! I am a strong climber and fearless on the descents, so I know that I can take advantage of this, while saving my legs for the run.
I hope my racing speaks for itself 🙂
I’m racing Boulder Peak because I can ride my bike to the start – I live in Boulder only a few miles from the Res.
I raced Peak once before, in 2014, as an amateur. I remember hearing about the Olde Stage climb but it wasn’t in the race that year from the flooding in Lefthand and the roads being torn up.
The Olde Stage climb has meant specific preparation with lots of reps up the climb and understanding how hard I can push at various points to maximize my effort.
I am so happy that Boulder Peak is back! I spent the first 11 years of my career chasing the ITU circuit around the world and only raced a handful on non-drafts in the US. I switched over to non-draft racing last May and have generally been training for long distance now, but I cannot pass up an opportunity to race on such an iconic course and race. I am so excited that Lance and the Without Limits team are working hard to bring this race back for the Pros.
Have not raced before.
I am excited to race a race with a nice climb, I am not as much of a climber as I used to be, and would love to be riding a road bike instead of a TT bike up and down it, but that being said I am just going to be smart about it. This race is basically a long climb from the Res to the top of Olde Stage about 25km long.
I think it is so much fun to race against people that you know and train with. Cam Dye and Jason West are two of my training partners and are nailing the non-draft Olympic distance right now. I am just going to go out there and see how I can do!
I’m racing the Peak because it’s the best Olympic distance event around. I love the climb on Olde Stage Road–it makes the race honest and fair. BP also got me into triathlon so I am stoked to revisit as a pro. I haven’t done an Olympic in years so it is gonna be fun to try the distance again.
Crushing people’s souls on Olde Stage
The climb fits in because it gives me space to catch the faster swimmers. It also allows me to push the descent and use my bike handling skills to my advantage.
I’d heard a lot about Boulder Peak over the years, even before I started racing triathlons, and decided this year would be a good time to test myself on Old Stage!
This is my first time racing Boulder Peak but it hopefully won’t be my last.
I’m going to work the uphill so that I lose as little as little time as possible on the descent! I’m not a very big person and my descending still needs a little work.
This is my first official race as a pro and it sounds like I picked a great race to start with!
I am really excited to be back racing the Peak. It was the first race that I did when I was 15, and growing up in Boulder it has always been a special race to me. This year it will be even more special as it will be the first time that my kids have seen me race.
Winning the race in 2012
I can’t find a single reason NOT to race here at home.
The crowd support on Olde Stage is awesome so that will help me up the punishing climb!
Go hard. Be aggressive.
I’m looking forward to a hard race, especially with my training partners, Paula and Alicia, in the field. They are incredible, hard-working athletes and I hold a lot of respect for them in approaching the Peak.