2013 Boulder 70.3

Funny thing about the Ironman 70.3 in Boulder. At mile-high altitude and close to the famed Flatirons mountains that feature challenging climbs favored by elite cyclists and triathletes, why is this event a relative speedway where pros and age groupers alike can vie for PRs? That is because the bike leg is virtually flat with gentle rolling hills and bypasses the 600 foot climb of Olde Stage Road. The two loop run around Boulder Reservoir is almost as flat, but times are not as super-fast because the predominant trails don’t offer much of the traction to be found on pavement. What it does have is a top flight field of the pros who make Boulder their summer headquarters and find the August 4 date a convenient test for the big events of September and October.

All photographs © Timothy Carlson

Melissa Hauschildt set a new women’s race record of 4:04:36, closing with a race-best 1:22:38 run. Looks to be in pretty formidable shape for the Ironman 70.3 Worlds in Vegas.

Windmilling warm up before the swim.

Defending Ironman 70.3 and Ironman World Champion Leanda Cave of Great Britain stretches before the start.

Pro men charge into Boulder Reservoir.

Diving into the swim.

Charging back on land.

Mark Bowstead of New Zealand rides north past the yellow barn on Highway 36.

Joe Gambles rode 2nd fastest 2:03:25 bike split on his way to victory.

Four-time Ironman winner Bryan Rhodes of New Zealand rides past a rural pond.

Doc Amanda Stevens (she is a physician and a pro triathlete) rode 2nd best women’s bike split of 2:17:45 on her way to 3rd place.

Leanda Cave rides on her way to the 4th best women’s bike split of 2:20:35.

Melisa Hauschildt set a women’s race record bike split of 2:12:16 on her way to a decisive victory. Was the new one-loop bike course faster than the old 2-loop setup? Some say that not mixing it up with the age groupers on lap two is faster.

Greg Bennett passes early leader James Seear in the first mile of the run

Joe Gambles sealed his win with a race-fastest 1:14:30 half marathon.

Mario De Elias of Argentina duels with U.S. star Jordan Jones on the run. Jones’ prevailed, finishing 5th, 35 seconds ahead of De Elias.

Age grouper Matt Smith. who finished 26th overall and 3rd in men's 35-39 in a time of 4:12:00, runs around scenic Boulder Reservoir trail with the Flatirons in the background.

Uli Bromme of Boulder ran 1:27:36 on her way to 4th place.

Joe Gambles high fives the crowd in the finish chute on his way to a 3rd straight Boulder 70.3 victory.

Joe Gambles and runner-up Greg Bennett shake hands – 1:42 was the difference.

Offering the aerobic faithful encouragement with apocalyptic overtones.