Boulder has long been the triathlon capitol of the world, rivaled perhaps only by San Diego. More world champions have called this place home than any other city on the planet. Yet it has never had a full Iron-distance race until this year. Following its acquisition of the 5430 Race Series, Ironman scheduled 2014 as the inaugural year for the full-distance Ironman Boulder. The first year of the race was incredibly popular with age groupers, but ill-attended by pros, attracting fewer than ten each on the men's and women's sides. Perhaps it's too close to Kona (9 weeks out) to draw the bigger names. Regardless, the race was full of great gear, and incendiary competition. Enjoy our full gallery of the race, and stay tuned tomorrow for a breakdown of some of the podium-place rigs!
Relative unknown before Ironman Boulder, Justin Daerr took his first full-distance Ironman win today with a blistering 8:20:56. Congratulations, Justin! But that bike ... practically makes my eyes bleed. There's SO MUCH room for improvement. I'm going to get in touch with Justin and see if he can't make it in for a TriRig Service Course treatment.
Richie was a dominant force from the gun, coming out of the water first, and creating an impressive lead on the bike. However, he faded towards the middle of the run, and was passed by Justin Daerr, who earned his first Ironman victory. Richie is on a Trek Speed Concept, beautifully-built with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2.
Unfortunately, we missed out on women's race winner Danielle Kehoe today! I spotted her bike in transition, so I know she was riding a black Trek Speed Concept, but I didn't shoot her out on course. But she won the race, and is worth mentioning at the very last! She won on the run, getting the better of short-distance veteran and runner-up Laura Bennet, photographed below.
In contrast to men's winner Justin Daerr, women's runner-up Laura Bennett's rig is the picture of aero cleanliness. In order to maintain the benefits afforded by the impeccable design of her New Trek Speed Concept, Laura keeps things simple. A simple BTA bottle up front (one of our favorites, the Profile Design HC Bottle), two frame bottles (maybe I'd put one of those in a BTS [behind the saddle] position), and integrated storage on the top tube. Fast wheels, fast helmet, there's very little to criticize here. Maybe she could have slightly more form-fitting wrinkle-free clothing, but otherwise she's taken care of a lot of good equipment choices.
I spotted this little gem among the age-grouper bikes: a Dimond! These beauties are made in Des Moines, Iowa (yes, even the carbon layup is done right here in the USA). I'm really hoping to get one to review soon.
Ironman Boulder was a two-transition race, so the only equipment in T1 was meant for the bike leg.