I’m hanging out in Boulder Colorado this week, so I took the opportunity to meet up with reigning Kona champion Mirinda ‘Rinny’ Carfrae and her husband Tim O’Donnell, also with an impressive resume of victories and course records.
We met up at a lonely crossroads on the outskirts of town, on a route popular for its challenging climbs as it snakes its way up into the foothills of the Front Range. And as is typical for Boulder in early April, the air temperature when we gathered at 6:40AM was a brisk 31°F, though it would later climb to the mid-60’s.
On this particular Friday morning the plan was to run from the intersection of Left Hand Canyon Drive and the Foothills Highway (AKA Highway 36) to the small mountain village of Jamestown. In doing so they would cover a distance of 8 miles, virtually all of it uphill. They would ascend 1,300 feet over those 8 miles.
The run would take them along Left Hand Creek and Little James Creek, both of which became raging torrents during the great flood of September 2013. Much of the roadway they would be running on today was completely washed away in the deluge, but has since been rebuilt. You can see remnants of the destruction in the video below.
On this day though, the only destruction would be these two tearing up the roadway as they sped up the mountain.
To get a feel for a typical training run for these two, just take a look at this short video I threw together:
Now, as impressive as this little training run was, keep in mind that Tim came within 53 seconds of outright winning the Ironman 70.3 Brazil Latin American Championship just last Sunday. And Rinny finished comfortably within the Top Ten in 7th place at the Melbourne Asia-Pacific Championship just 20 days ago.
Next up for Tim will be Ironman 70.3 St. George on May 2nd and Ironman Brazil on May 31st. Rinny will also be doing St. George, and she’ll hit up the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in September on her way to defending her long string of Kona titles in October.