Hanson, Brandon win IM Boulder, but 4 Coloradans fill rest of Podium.

By Bill Plock

The last edition of IRONMAN Boulder featured two athletes in Matt Hanson (7:57) and Lauren Brandon (9:09) setting two course records on their way to victory. The other four podium spots were filled with Tim O’Donnell and first-time pro Kennett Peterson for the men and Lesley Smith and Danielle Mack for the women. All will be competing in Kona at the IRONMAN World Championships this fall. For Kennett and Danielle, this will be their first trip to the big island as professionals. Danielle won IRONMAN Boulder in 2014. Says Danielle, “I’ve been a professional for 7 years, won 3 Ironman’s and have never competed in Kona….thank God!”

Kennett Peterson and wife Adelaide Perr

The story of the day might be Kennett Peterson who until yesterday hadn’t competed in a full-distance IRONMAN or even ran a marathon! He settled in on the bike early in the race in second place and never relinquished that position. Tim O’Donnell lead through the bike segment with Kennett, Sam Sam Long jostling for second and third and Matt Hanson right behind. The race took shape on the run with Hanson running everyone down with a 2:48 marathon, O’Donnell dropping back with a 3:05 and Peterson held tight with a 2:54. Colorado’s Tripp Hipple crossed in forth place with Boulder native Sam Long rounding out the top five.

The women’s race featured and course breaking swim time of 48:43 and course breaking overall time of 9:09 by Texas’s Lauren Brandon. It was her first IRONMAN 104.6 victory. Says Brandon, “got my Kona spot, and I’m ecstatic!” Off the bike she was 37 minutes ahead of the field, but “with the likes of Lesley Smith running, I knew I had to have a big lead.” Boulder’s Smith indeed had a fast run of 3:11 narrowing the gap by nearly 25 minutes. Smith chased down the field passing seven others on her way to second.

The “Flatiron wars” are complete and was a great battle fought during the last IRONMAN to be held in Boulder. A bittersweet day and much more to come on that!

IRONMAN Boulder “Flatiron War” on Sunday, what a possible farewell!

By Bill Plock

The infamous “Iron War” in 1989 between Dave Scott and Mark Allen at the IRONMAN World championship in Kona is considered one of the greatest endurance races of all time. But this years IRONMAN Boulder is shaping up to have it’s own legendary finish in the pro’s race and what better way to possibly celebrate the last six years of this race? The “Flat Iron War” is about to begin, buckle up!

Tim O’Donnell

There are any number of pros with a good shot to win, but tomorrow, six pro men and two pro women who live and train in Boulder will battle it out. Three of them, Tim O’Donnell , Justin Daerr and Danielle Mack have won IRONMAN Boulder.

Also competing is two time Olympian, top five finisher in Kona, Tyler Butterfield. Now add in a rising star, Boulder native, Sam Long who has won two 70.3’s this year (Victoria just a week ago) with the other Boulder native and “speedo man” Colin Laughery (303 video) and his contagious love of triathlon with Kennett Peterson (303 video) making his pro debut tomorrow and we have the unofficial “Flat Iron War”.

In the women’s race, local pro and Boulder native, 2014 Ironman Boulder Champion Danielle Mack will battle it out with Boulder’s Lesley Smith (303video) in what will surely be a great competition on this final stage.

This will be a fun race to watch. Click on their names to go to their websites and learn more about these amazing athletes!