By Kirsten McCay Smith
Race Summary for Tri Boulder on July 24, 2016
On July 4th the Colorado triathlon community learned of a terrible accident which resulted in a local Boulder resident and BBSC (the company who put on this race) employee, Craig Towler, losing both his legs. This race was the first one that Craig could not be a part of since he joined the company in 2012.
I (as well as many others I imagine) had this on my mind when I got to the Boulder Res on race morning. I was reminded not only to be grateful for my body and all it does, but also for the triathlon community I have been involved with since my first sprint triathlon in 1999. Craig’s “Go Fund Me” page has raised over $100,000 for him and his recovery. I have read all 1,400 comments from donors and many didn’t even know who he was but are part of our generous and supportive triathlon community.
I learned later that more than 70 extra volunteers showed up in his honor to make this race even better than it has been in the past. And they did a great job! For a smaller race (300 sprint and 300 Olympic distance participants), there was great volunteer and spectator support from the opening of transition through the finish of the last athlete.
The day was pretty perfect. The sun stayed partly covered for most of the race and the temps in the morning were relatively cool as compared to the past couple weeks in Colorado, I think it was low-70s at the start.
The swim was wetsuit legal, although the res is warm enough to not need one. The swim went off in waves with the Olympic distance athletes starting and the sprinters following. There was even a beginner swim wave for those who were nervous about the swim and didn’t want to get run over by faster swimmers.
The swim was the toughest part for most of the people I have talked with (including myself) due to the position of the sun at the start. No matter how hard I tried, I could not see a single buoy. I even got stopped by a jet ski at one point because I was swimming to the opposite buoy! Oops!! I heard people with Garmins talking about how they swam up to 2,000 meters! But we were all in the same position, so it really was a handicap to us all. And as always, we can’t control Mother Nature!
The sun stayed tucked behind the clouds during the fast, fairly flat bike course. BBSC had 2 bike aid stations for the Olympic distance and one for the sprint which is another perk that most short races don’t provide.
For anyone who fished their race faster than 2 1/2 hours, they were lucky enough to get cloud coverage for most of their run. But in Colorado tradition, the sun rolled out eventually and the last finishers had the heat to contend with as well. The run had an aid station every mile and was full of kids handing out water and Heed. They did a great job of keeping cups full and cheering as the athletes ran by.
The age group winners got a special medal with the Colorado state flag emblem. I posted my medal on social media and had many people comment on how cool the medal was. Every participant also got a great medal at the finish line. Some people choose a race JUST for the medal, so if you are picking races for the medal, BBSC has your back!!
One of the best parts about Tri Boulder is the Olympic distance has a very generous cut off. This means that athletes who are worried about finishing in a certain time can focus on their race instead of the time. I spoke with so many first timers at the race. And 100% of them had an amazing experience! And that is what matters in our sport!
I would FOR SURE participate in this race and others put on by BBSC again!!