It’s no secret that Boulder, CO is home to some of the world’s best professional triathletes. The altitude, phenomenal cycling routes and stellar trail running are just a few reasons why many endurance athletes flock to Boulder and make it their home. Fifty professional athletes will be competing for $60,000 in this P-750 event.
The flat and fast course offers a one-loop wetsuit swim that takes place in the Boulder Reservoir. It should be a calm swim that’s turbulence-free. Water quality was a concern less than 24 hours before the race. Fortunately, on Friday afternoon park officials announced that bacteria counts were at acceptable levels and the event’s swim portion was not in jeopardy. The bike course is flat and fast with just over 1000 feet of ascent over 56 miles. The one-loop course will prevent any congestion and the thin air will allow bikes to slice through the air very effectively. The 13.1 mile run course is a two-loop design that takes competitors around the Boulder Reservoir along a hard-packed dirt road and nearby trails. While it’s mostly flat, the course offers no protection from the forecasted 85° F heat and sun.
Davide Giardini, Joe Umphenour and James Seear broke away from the other 21 professional men and formed a group at the front. The second group was less than a minute down and included Tim Don, Callum Millward, Richie Cunningham and a few other heavy hitters. Giardini, who’s no stranger to racing off the front, was first to T1 after clocking a 23:18 swim. The second group hit transition one minute down to the leaders.
Giardini pushed the pace from the moment he left transition. At Texas 70.3 he rode under 2 hours, so he’s capable of breaking up the field. However, at 12 miles a large group of contenders still sat less than a minute down. That dangerous group included Greg Bennett, Richie Cunningham, Tim Don, Callum Millward, Ben Hoffman and Mark Bowstead. Twenty miles in, Giardini was still in front with the group less than 40 seconds behind. At 35 miles Bowstead rode to the front of the race with Millward and Giardini 40 seconds back. With Bowstead on the front, things began to stretch out as Cunningham, Don and company faded to over a minute back. At fifty miles Bowstead had a 1:11 lead on Millward who was riding in second position and another 30 seconds on Giardini. The chasers who were once 40 seconds behind were now over 2 minutes down. Bowstead was first to T2 with a race-best 2:01:23 bike split. Millward entered transition just under 2 minutes down and Giardini another 30 seconds back. The fleet-footed Tim Don came off the bike over 3 minutes down but was certainly capable of running through the field.
Bowstead stormed out of T2 first and maintained his lead through the first few miles. However, by mile 5 Millward and Don had run a minute into the leading Kiwi and sat just 1 and 2 minutes down.
By 6.5 miles Millward caught and passed his fellow countryman, Bowstead, to take the lead. At 10 miles, Tim Don was still pressing and made the pass on Bowstead to slip into second position. Cunningham was running well in fourth position with Ben Hoffman another 2 minutes down. In front, Millward wasn’t fading and he was protecting a 90 second lead on Don through 11 miles. Don was running well but was running out of real estate. Callum Millward broke the tape first in 3:46:37 with a 1:16:30 run. Don, who’s had a very successful early season, finished second 1:25 back with a race-best 1:16:25 half marathon.
Want to see how Callum Millward trained for the win? Check out “Training with Callum Millward”
|1. Callum Millward NZL||24:19||2:03:53||1:16:30||3:46:47||$12,000|
|2. Tim Don GBR||24:12||2:05:25||1:16:25||3:48:11||$6,000|
|3. Mark Bowstead NZL||24:47||2:01:23||1:20:07||3:48:34||$4,000|
|4. Richie Cunningham AUS||24:14||2:05:14||1:19:10||3:50:57||$3,000|
|5. Ben Hoffman USA||24:42||2:05:16||1:21:15||3:53:23||$2,000|
|6. Matt Russell USA||29:22||2:03:56||1:18:08||3:53:55||$1,500|
|7. Paul Ambrose AUS||24:48||2:07:11||1:21:28||3:55:34||$1,000|
|8. Davide Giardini ITA||23:18||2:05:20||1:26:30||3:57:29||$500|
Jodie Swallow swims to the front of every race she enters and today was no exception. She led the pro women around the one-loop course but had Camille Donat, Alicia Kaye and Katy Blakemore on her feet.Laura Bennett was just behind less than a minute down but seemed to be working solo after falling off pace. Swallow was first to transition after her 25:06 swim with Kaye and Donat just four seconds behind.
The first group of women had a good gap on the rest of the field as they left transition. Swallow was first out but had some fast company. Former short-course specialist and Lifetime Series Champ, Alicia Kaye, rode to the front and gapped Blakemore and Swallow by over a minute by the time they hit 10 miles. At 25 miles Kaye stretched her lead to over 3 minutes on Swallow and 4 minutes on Blakemore. Jeanni Seymour, who made up serious ground after her swim, also rode 4 minutes just behind Blakemore. Forty-five miles in, the remainder of the women’s field was 10 minutes off Kaye’s pace with Swallow, Blakemore and Seymour riding between 4-6 minutes back. Kaye would be first to T2 after a race-best 2:15:40 ride. Swallow was second, 4:45 back, and Seymour and Blakemore came in another 2 minutes back.
Kaye left T2 with a comfortable 4.5-minute lead but certainly didn’t take her foot off the gas. Kaye’s short-course-proven leg speed allowed her to stretch the lead on Swallow to over 6 minutes at 5 miles and 7 minutes on Blakemore and Seymour.
At the halfway point, Kaye continued to lead by over 6 minutes as Blakemore ran her way into second position to overtake Swallow. Ten miles into the half marathon Lesley Smith charged past a fading Swallow to claim third position, 9 minutes down to Kaye who was clearly in control. Alicia Kaye crossed the line first after nearly leading wire-to-wire, in 4:13:10. Blakemore would hang on for second and Lesley Smith would close with a race-best 1:25:40 run for third.
|1. Alicia Kaye USA||25:10||2:15:40||1:29:53||4:13:10||$12,000|
|2. Katy Blakemore USA||25:13||2:22:32||1:28:17||4:18:33||$6,000|
|3. Lesley Smith USA||28:37||2:23:36||1:25:40||4:20:47||$4,000|
|4. Danielle Mack USA||29:05||2:21:25||1:30:51||4:23:58||$3,000|
|5. Jodie Swallow GBR||25:06||2:20:12||1:38:00||4:25:53||$2,000|
|6. Jeanni Seymour RSA||26:38||2:20:57||1:38:40||4:28:30||$1,500|
|7. Uli Bromme USA||31:06||2:22:43||1:39:28||4:36:11||$1,000|
|8. Camille Donat FRA||25:09||2:29:59||1:38:48||4:36:26||$500|