IM Boulder was such a neat experience for me. Not only was it my first IM to participate in, I’d never even been to an Ironman branded race before. After a week’s vacation in southern Colorado, we headed to Boulder for a weekend of Ironman fun.
Got into town at about noon and had lunch at this amazing place called Zeal. We would learn through the weekend that Boulder had tons of healthy food options, but this meal was so good. Unfortunately I ate it all before thinking to document. I had the Miso Bowl, here’s the official description:
wild mushroom medley, greens, asparagus, tomato, eggplant, thai peanut sauce, on rice.
It was healthy, it had spice, it was so good.
After that we headed over to Ironman Village at Boulder High School. We perused the expo, completed athlete check-in and just took in the Ironman experience.
From there we checked into our hotel and went out to drive the bike course. In the weeks leading up to the race, I’d seen various accounts of the bike course and was anxious to see for myself. Driving the course did a lot to calm my nerves. The hills at Legend 100 in Kansas seemed far more intimidating. Also along the stop, we went to Mary’s Market in Hygiene. It’s a cute little market that was right along the course that we decided would be perfect for spectating. This was another thing I really loved about Boulder. This market truly caters to cyclists: from the bike racks in the yard to the quick portable healthy snacks to the Scratch Labs fountain drinks. Why don’t more places do things like this? There are so many people trying to lead more active lifestyles, if more markets and convenience stores could support that I think they would see increased business.
Friday night we met my parents and sister for another great dinner, then enjoyed the Pearl Street Mall. In downtown Boulder, they have a few blocks in the middle of the city that are closed to traffic. Filled with shops, people and street entertainers, there was plenty there to keep us busy.
Saturday morning was the Ironkids race. All
week month long, my kids had been arguing about who was going to win this mile race between the two of them. After a 4 mile fun-run at the beginning of the month, it was apparent that their running paces were getting faster and were pretty close to one another.
The youngest kids ran first in a .25 mile race. It was completely adorable, some kids barely able to walk being helped along by their parents. Next it was time for the older kids to run a mile. Two of the sports greatest athletes were on hand to encourage the kids, help them warm up and even award their medals at the end.
We had watched the Kona broadcast on tv, so my kids had seen Marinda Carfrae before, but didn’t know as much about Amanda Stevens. My takeaway was how humble, kind and inspriring they both were. And like I told my kids, how many other sports can you say you’ve met a world champion in!?!?
Though my kids were excited about meeting them, I had my own fangirl moment as well.
Although the fangirl moments were fun, the real point of the day was the kids race. My son, age 9, had worked his was to the front of a very large crowd, toeing the starting line ahead of his sister. He loves to take off fast and see how long he can hold on, while my daughter prefers to pass people as she goes.
After this, the course left the track and we couldn’t see the progress until they returned to the track for the final 100 m. Myself, along with all the other anxious parents waited, hoping to catch a picture of their kids as they ran by to the finish. Out of the huge number of kids, I was shocked when I saw both of my grey shirts racing one another at the end.
It was a very close race, they were within a couple seconds of one another and both ran their fastest mile ever that day. We were all so proud of them.
The rest of Saturday was spent preparing all of my bags and dropping them off at the appropriate locations. It seems like that shouldn’t take that much time. I was amazed how it was truly an Ironman weekend and took a very good part of the day Saturday. Word to the wise, make sure you start this process early, it will take longer than you expect. The bike drop-off was out of town at the Boulder Reservoir. It included a very long walk. Had I realized this, I would not have worn flip flops. As we waited until the heat of the afternoon, we were all a little crabby through this process, it was a long, hot walk.
After that we headed back into town where my family attended a meeting that day as they were volunteering on the run course at an aid station the next day and I dropped off my run bag at the High School track, again a pretty long walk.
Saturday was capped off with a pasta dinner and what should have been an early bed time, but the nerves and excitement kept me up til probably 10:30. Next up, race day!!!