Since moving out to Boulder 1 month ago, I have been feeling rejuvenated with new places to train, new groups to train with, and generally a positive outlook towards triathlon. As a result, I decided I would join the CU triathlon team for the 2015-2016 season. They seemed like a great group of people, and they have competed quite well in the past. Their first race was almost 28 days exactly after we arrived in Boulder, so I decided I would give it a whirl.
At Boulder Sunset tri, the race starts late (10 am), and the collegiate wave was third to go off. I got out pretty well and swam the fastest swim of the day by over a minute, and over 2 minutes to the closest collegiate competitor. There was a lot of traffic in the water, but otherwise I felt good swimming. I have had the awesome opportunity to do most of my swims with some stud triathletes at BAM: Paul Ambrose, Greg & Laura Bennett, Emma Mofffat, and more, so my swim has been feeling strong.
On the bike, I knew it would be a pretty fast 26.4 mile ride from the Boulder res up to 36, down to Nelson and back 75th street. It climbs the first half and is much faster the second. We also had a northwesternly wind slowing the first half down, but once we hit Nelson rd., my next 5 mile split was 9:30 (so over 30 mph). Jack Toland, a young but talented triathlete caught me at 13 miles and put about a minute into me by the end. I ended up riding 1:01 for the 26.4 mile course (57:30 at 40K) which is solid for me, but more work needs to be done.
On the run, I felt pretty smooth, despite not being able to find my shoes in T2. My fault, but I have overlooked a crowded transition zone for awhile since pro racks are generally pretty easy to find. Since this was not a pro race, I was back to being amidst a large transition area, and I dropped the ball here. Took me 90 seconds to find my shoes and most other athletes' T2 splits were :45 or so. Went out running controlled around the res, and had a lot of people to pass since there was a sprint, duathlon, and other waves in front of us. I got confused around 2 miles, and thought I was off course since I could no longer see athletes ahead. I walked back to where I thought I could have been wrong, but then saw an athlete coming my way. After another minute of wasted time, I was back on my way. I caught Jack around 4 miles along the res, and we exchanged congrats. Ended up finishing at 2:01 total, with my 1:30-2 minutes of poor planning in T2/not knowing the course. Either way, I was pretty happy with my first triathlon at altitude and am excited to do a few more races as part of a team at CU Boulder.