I am not too certain of the origins of the name of this race which takes place east of the Rocky Mountains in Aurora, CO. Perhaps it has something to do with the rolling hills of the rural country & farm roads on which the bike course traverses. Having never raced this event I was not too sure of what to expect from the course and it was a bit more challenging than what I anticipated.
Props to Ben Hoffman (Durango, CO - 1st overall), Tim Hola (Highlands Ranch, CO - 2nd overall) and my buddy Billy Edwards (Boulder, CO - 3rd overall) for their efforts. I was 4th overall, although not within spitting range of these guys. With the temps hovering around 50 degrees, some wind and lots of cloud cover it was a chilly day of racing! I exited the water a couple minutes down from the leader, Tim Hola, and about one minute behind two other athletes. With a decent swim I was hoping to get things rolling on the bike and bridge the gap to these guys. Apparently my legs did not get the memo that it was a race as these guys opened up their lead on me. About eight or ten miles into the ride Billy came by me and politely informed me I had dropped a bottle or two. I was well aware two of my Sport Bean bottles had launched early in the race altering my fueling plan a bit. Billy rode away from me like I was standing still. Is my brake rubbing? Do I have a flat? Damn you legs! I completed the remainder of the bike with some postive self-talk and hoping the sun would come out to warm my frozen body. Onto the run I felt fairly smooth, but lacked any serious "oomph" to be a threat to the guys ahead of me. I did catch one guy early in the run who ended up with a DNF. The run course was a tricky affair as it sent us weaving, twisting and turning along a combination of trail and mostly concrete walking/bike path around the Aurora Reservoir. I found it difficult to really get into a fluid run rhythm and was glad to finally lose the "concrete" blocks attached to my legs about four miles into it. I completed my day with a 1:23 run.
A big thanks to Billy's fiance, Lara, who was our driver, cheerleader and sherpa for the race. Darrin and the crew at Racing Underground put on some very fun events with a relaxed atmosphere. They served up one of the better post-race spreads I have seen in quite some time with a hearty offerring of bar-b-q and all the fixins!
Thanks for reading and keep it smooth...