If you’re not a professional, getting paid a significant amount of money to do your sport, you need to generally chill out — enjoy yourself. That’s what I felt like telling everyone at the start of this race. Lance Panigutti, godfather of Withoutlimits, wasn’t at this race because he was kicking off the Cyclocross season in Boulder. And in his absence, people got huffy. Lance has a way of calming the crowds. He’s got a sense of humor that sort of puts people in their place. He reminds them that they got up early to have fun. But also, he gives very clear directions. He keeps his cool under pressure and quickly fixes things that go wrong. Like I said, Lance wasn’t at this event.
So, the swim was twice as long as it was supposed to be (1,500 yards instead of 800), in fairly choppy water. Boaters were clearly awake and soaking up one of the last summer weekends of the year. The bike was a little chaotic, a little short, with a lot of turn arounds, and endless jarring seams in the road. And the run was more like 3.5 miles instead of a 5K. All said, the water temperature was amazing (probably 74-degrees) with no need for a wetsuit. The bike course was fun and different (aka not a loop around Boulder Rez). And the run was a nice mixture of gravel and pavement, over bridges and next to the lake. Who can really complain?!
The finish featured kombucha and other recovery beverages, along with a pancake breakfast and fruit. Runner’s Roost Fort Collins was on hand, selling discounted shoes and sunglasses. There was a beer garden, people giving massage, and on-the-spot printable results. I did miss having the traditional Withoutlimits slip-and-slide finish, but it probably would have been a lot with so many races going on.
Some people were put off that transition didn’t reopen until 10:30am (well after most had finished their race), but it gave the chance to relax, refuel, and enjoy the morning. My husband and I biked the 5 miles to and from the lake, and would certainly do this one again as it’s practically in our backyard. Keep your cool, Loveland — it’s just a race.