I love racing in Boulder and it honestly feels like a hometown race for me. Racing at altitude never feels good but the comfort of knowing the course, sleeping in my own bed and not having to fly halfway across the planet makes this race incredibly convenient.
I made a small tactical error early in the swim and I missed out on a big goal of mine which was to swim on the feet of speedy swimmer Alicia Kaye. I ended up swimming comfortably in the chase group with Leanda Cave and Katy Evans. After not having the swim I had hoped for, I focused my attention on the bike- an area that I have been putting the majority of my training attention into.
I rode solo for the majority of the bike ride and had one of my career best rides, matching the pace of Alicia and having the third fastest bike split of the day. The run course at Boulder is one of my favorite routes and I train on those roads at least once a week. I can typically rely on my run no matter the circumstance so I was confident I could make up the 90 second deficit I had coming off the bike. I was able to catch Alicia just after mile 4 and comfortably maintained the lead for the rest of the race to take my fourth win of the season!
Of course there was a bit of added pressure going into Boulder 70.3 racing in front of my home crowd but I am my hardest critic and most of the pressure to perform was self imposed. I kept my expectations in check and know that I still have 5 weeks to prepare myself for my real test of the season at the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships in September.
Boulder 70.3 is usually in June but this year they moved it to August. The temperatures where not as high, but like I said previously, racing at altitude will always be tough regardless of the weather. Race day conditions were pretty comfortable for me but the dry air can be deceiving and make it tough to monitor your hydration levels. I drank three bottles of EFS on the bike which is standard for me over the 70.3 distance and ensures I am set up for a fast run. First Endurance products are without a doubt the best products on the market!
This win felt really great. I am originally from Johannesburg, South Africa but Boulder is my adopted home. It is where I have chosen to make my life here in the USA and a city that I hold very close to my heart. I started coming here in 2012 as a kid with a road bike and a dream of being a “pro triathlete.” I honestly did not know what I was getting myself into. I raced 70.3 Boulder that first year and was nearly dead last of the professional females. It was a tough reality check but it did not deter my sprits as I continued to work hard and compete in this race in subsequent years. I slowly moved up the ranks, finishing 6th in 2015 and 2nd in 2016. Yesterday I took the win, a special victory that I will enjoy and savor.
I am starting to feel like my performances are being recognized. I have been on the podium in my last 11 races and have won six of those. This race was important to me but now my main focus is the IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship in Chattanooga. I will settle back into a big training block right here in Boulder, on the same roads we raced on, in order to prepare to race the best on the most important day.
The more success you have, the more pressure there is to perform. But for me, it is all about enjoying the process. I train really hard, invest 100% into the sport and lay all of my cards on the table come race day. That is my best approach to racing well and I am really enjoying it at the moment!
Its truly humbling to look back and see just how far I have come and days like yesterday remind me that we can never put limits on the things we want to achieve. I would not be where I am today without the support of my incredible team!