Boulder Sunset Duathlon 2018 Race Report

RACE DATE: August 25th, 2018

RACE Website:

I have a massive backlog of race reports, it's looking less and less likely I'll be racing anytime in the future, so I figured I'd start with the latest and work backwards.

I was originally, and optimistically signed up for the Olympic Distance Triathlon. This relied on two things.

  1. Being able to maintain my motivation and training
  2. My ongoing heart condition

Turns out, neither of them held-up. My training tailed off over the summer; and I'd had an abnormal (heart) treadmill test 10-days before the race. As a result of the test, the cadiologist rather that being unenthusiastic about my continued racing, point blank forbid any further swimming. Apparently I'm just too big to rescue from even a pool in the event of a cardiac issue, and drowning isn't a great way to go.

Fortunately, rather than DNS, I switched to the duathlon. The race format was 5k run/17-mile bike/5k run. I actually like duathlons as a race format, even though I don't enjoy running that much.

The run and bike segments are the same pretty much as those used for all the other sprint races at Boulder Reservoir. So that's good and also gives me some benchmarks to perform again.


With Kare racing as well, and with a wave start approximately than 45-minutes before mine, we had to be out at the Res' early. At packet pickup the day before, I'd officially transferred to the duathlon, but kept the same race number. Racking was in with my age group for the tri. I briefly re-assured the guy next to me I wasn't racing him, and left.

After watching Kate start in a massive swim wave, I did a slow jog back to the car, dropped off my top, and used the run back to transition as a proper warm-up.  Given BBSC have a fairly relaxed approach to transition, "Athletes only", I was able to drop the key fob into Kates bike bag, zipped it up and wet to the end of the aisle and waited. Ashley came by, then women from Kates wave started to come into transition. Kate was through a few minutes back, and after she'd left on the bike, I left transition.


The field was much bigger than expected. I had figured maybe 30 people, it turned out there were 29 females, and some 40 Men. Competitors based on what they were wearing were 2/3 experienced, 1/3 newbies.

Duathlon start

I lined up near the back, both because I knew I'd be slow, and to better pace myself., over all the 5k went well, I started to fade after about mile-2, which was to be expected, I'd done ok, on the way into transition I decided to take a bathroom break and also to lean to remove my run shoes.

Importantly, I was able to keep my heart rate fairly even, although it peaked a few times at the mid 160's, the average for the run was 145, right about were I'd expected it.

Heart rate for RUN 1

5k run stats: Official time 32:05, 2nd slowest mens time. My run pace was 10:21. Fastest 5k time was an awesome 13:16. Average HR 145 bpm, Max HR 164 bpm


I did a resonable transition, given the bathroom break, and soon settled into the bike. On the way out of the Res' I was surprised to catch a glimpse of Kate on her way back in.

T2 stats: 2:33

In the first mile of the bike.

The course is a gentle but noticeable climb out of 51st St, along Jay Rd, and then up I-36, and from the point on 36 where the course starts to level out at 7-miles, it's mostly a hammerfest. While the course was pretty busy with the tail end of the Olympic distance bike and most of the duathlon competitors, once I'd turned off on Neva RD, I was surprisingly alone.

I pushed on as best I could, working hard to keep speed above 20MPH. It was only just before N 63rd street that I passed two other competitors, sailed aroud the right turn where the competition merges with the fast Olympic distance triathlon. 

I tried to maintain a decent pace to the end of the bike course, but started to slow on the return on the Diagonal. Finally on the turn onto 51st, I went as fast as I could back to transition, with a cautious but well executed running dismount.

17.3 Mile Bike Stats:  Official time: 56:11, 25th male. Average speed 18.4MPH, Max Speed 36.9. Average HR 141, Max HR 153


I had a clean transition, and ran out holding my water bottle, unlike a triathlon where I'd typically run out holding and trying to put my race belt on, I'd already put this on before the start!

On the second run, my heart rate alert (160bpm) went off quite a few times. I've conditioned myself to come to a complete stop, let it return to where it should be, and then restart running. It drops pretty quickly, and the Cardiologist says the extra beats are likely to be my additional PVC/PVD in action, as at the time it happens, I don't feel any pain, no breathlessness or any other indication there is a problem. You can see this on the chart below, circled.

As much as I tried, I just couldn't pass the two duathlon women just ahead of me, and pushed through to the finish line.


5K Run Stats:  Official time 38:38. Slowest male 2nd 5k. Average HR 141 bpm, Max HR 173bpm.


Overall I have to say I did again enjoy the duathlon. Heading out on the bike is an entirely different feeling than in a triathlon. Overall my bike speed was down, compared to other races over the same course, although my RUN 1 was in the ballpark for my run performances.

We went almost straight from the finish line to the award ceremony, where I was surprised to learn I got 3rd in the Male 60-69 age group. Turns out 2nd place was almost 30-minutes faster, but hey you've got a be in it to win it.

If this does turn out to be my last multisport race, that's a decent way to end.

The 60-69 Age Group Podium

OVERALL STATS: Finish time 2:10:12, 35th man, 55th overall, 3rd of 6 in age group.

Garmin data for race.


3rd place plus finishers meddle


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