Justin Hurd Boise 70.3 Race Report

By USA Triathlon | June 18, 2009, 6:26 p.m. (ET)

Boise 70.3 Race Report

June 13, 2009

This is my first trip to Idaho, and I have to say I’m surprised by the lack of trees. I don’t know where I got the idea that Idaho was more wooded, but Boise reminds me of a less rocky, greener Nevada. I was fortunate enough to arrange schedules so Erin could join me for this trip. It is great to have my number one groupie out on the race course yelling at me to pick it up. It must have worked because I had the fastest half marathon split of the day – a 1:13:23.

The race had a couple of unique features that were new to me: first being a 2 p.m. start and second being an overall net downhill. The other point-to-point races I have done have been net uphill on the bike. The swim took place at Lucky Peaks reservoir about 15 or so miles out of town, 300 feet higher than T1. The weather had been very unsettled all weekend, and I was really hoping that the swim might be cancelled, as pool time has been minimal the last month. We had to take shuttles up to the start, which got us there early. Clouds were packing in and were looking ominous but the rain held off for the pro start. The swim kicked off without any hitches, but I felt a bit tossed around in the 10 inch afternoon wind chop. Never really able to get my rhythm, I got through the course, coming out in 31:18, including one minute of run up the boat dock to the timing mats/transition.

The bike went extremely well. I have seen some signs of good fitness in training, but I have to admit being a little surprised with the 2:09 bike split. About half of the bike course was pouring rain and windy. Riding the Zipp sub-9 and 1080 front was a little unnerving at times but definitely contributed to a great bike split. The course was rolling, with a couple of minor hills. Kudos to the volunteers and staff working the aid stations and corners, as the turns were very clearly marked, coned off, and supervised. I moved up from about 26th place to 10th on the bike before beginning a soggy 13.1 mile run.

I knew from the clock in transition that a PR was in reach if I could nail the run. I pretended that I was just running a 10k since the course consisted of two 10k loops. Mile markers seemed to be spot on, and despite sopping wet shoes, I kept the pace pretty honest at about 5:30 miles. One at a time, I picked off athletes, which kept me motivated despite a struggle to hold pace the last 5k. The last mile I knew I was top-8, and was going to break the 4 hour mark (something that’s eluded me a long time). I crossed the line in 3:57 in 5th place with the fastest bike+run combination of the day, among a stellar field including Ironman World Champions Craig Alexander and Chris Lieto.

This race definitely gave me some motivation to get in the water and find out why I am so hydronamically challenged. I had a PR swim at Wildflower (28 minutes) last month, so things aren’t too far off. Hopefully, if training continues to progress as it has, I will be a serious podium contender in this summer’s 70.3 races including the 70.3 World Champs.

Next weekend kicks off my first XTERRA (Buffalo Creek) of the season. Time to bust out the fat tires. I’m excited to get in the dirt, as I’ve been on the road a lot in the last couple months. I just got my SRM last week, and I’m STOKED to get it on my Blue Triad. Thanks to the folks who keep sending me good vibes, especially Erin, who is sitting here typing this and who is EXCEPTIONALLY fantastic. Thanks also to Lindsay and Luke for making the trek to Boise to cheer me on in the rain and chauffeur me around in their fancy new Subaru. I will be making some adjustments to the race schedule for this fall, reflecting relocation to the Boulder area next month so Erin can be closer to her job. The 70.3 races in Belgium and Germany will probably be swapped for Calgary (August 2) and Lake Stevens, WA (August 16). Stay tuned at the blogger for more awesome news. Time to get on a jet plane!!