Boulder IRONMAN 70.3 Packed Pro Field

By Bill Plock

Professional triathlete and second place finisher of the Boulder IRONMAN in June, Kennett Peterson isn’t sure exactly why he has so many competitors tomorrow, but no doubt the start list is impressive. It includes some notable international names and local pros who have won here before—Ben Hoffman, Andy Potts, Tyler Butterfield, Josh Amberger, Justin Daerr, Chris Leiferman, Sam Long, Meredith Kessler, Danielle Mack, Linsey Corbin, Maggie Rusch, Lesley Smith to name a few.

All in all, 44 men and 24 women pros signed up. The actual start line will probably be smaller as often pros sign up far in advance and then adjust their schedules for many reasons.

Kennett suggested a couple of things are probably adding to the large field. One it’s local and many pro’s live and and train in Boulder. Traveling to race is expensive and the prize purses aren’t deep enough to make it cost effective to always travel. Also, the IRONMAN race calendar is not that full right now after a packed June and early July schedule. A 70.3 right now is a great time to start a final push for those racing in Kona in a couple of months.

If you want to see some great racing this weekend, come to the Boulder Reservoir tomorrow!

Kennett Peterson, Insight on Recovery from IMB, Life of a Pro Triathlete

By Kennett Peterson

My post Ironman Boulder recovery got off to a bad start when I didn’t take my own advice and celebrate the night away with alcoholic beverages. Instead, I went home, showered, and laid down until it was time to go back to the finish line to hand out medals and watch an athlete I coach cross the line. Adelaide and I brought a pizza home from Papa John’s after sitting in a parking lot for 10 minutes trying to decide what to do for dinner. I ate my whole pizza but felt slightly ill and nauseous the rest of the night, and went to bed at 8:30. I got poor sleep, and would get poor sleep for the next night as well.

The sick feeling I had that night worsened over the next few days and turned into a full blown cold; the forced rest that it required meant that I got great recovery—I barely moved for about four days. I wasn’t too worried about missing workouts for Coeur d’Alene though, which was three weeks after Boulder and is this coming weekend, since the sickness never fully moved into my lungs. I began training again seven days after Ironman Boulder, starting out with a fairly hard run on Switzerland trail at 8,500 feet elevation. Probably not the best idea, but I figured it would either make me much, much worse, or better. It made me better, miraculously.

By mid week last week, 10 days out from Boulder, I was feeling decent enough to do a few hard sessions back to back over a two-day period, including a hard masters, a moderately long (3.5 hour) ride with some low cadence intervals, a tempo run off the bike, a group ride with some intense climbing efforts, and an easy open water swim. I felt better than expected for all of the workouts, and thought I was on track for a good race at CDA, which was 10 days away at that point. Then, disaster struck the day after pushing too hard and I relapsed with the sickness.

I rested for three days straight hoping that it would go away, then planned to do a few test workouts to confirm that racing CDA still made sense. The first of those test workouts, which involved 3×10 minutes upper threshold intervals on the bike, was planned for today. And I failed. Not wanting to allow time to change my mind or continue see-sawing back and forth about whether I should race or not, I cancelled all my travel arrangements the moment I got home from that ride this morning.

It probably doesn’t make sense for me to go to races with the mindset of “at least make your money back” anymore. That may have been a primary goal in the past, but I feel like I’ve reached a level in this past year or two where the goal should be to do a race fully prepared, and toe the line with the mindset of winning or performing at my own personal best ability. I need to go to races fully prepared and committed to doing everything possible to have my best performance—something that I struggled with in bike racing because there was always another big race a week or two away, and training through a race or racing with a lingering illness was normal.

My next two races will be Boulder 70.3 and Santa Cruz 70.3 before heading to Kona, where I’m truly starting to believe that a top 10 is within possibility.

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!