70.3 Boulder Race Report (behind the camera)

I didn’t race Boulder 70.3, but I was out there. I didn’t cross the finish line, but I was at the finish line. I ran, biked, got wet, but didn’t have a race number. I was exhausted at the end but didn’t get a medal or T-shirt, so what did I do? I took videos and pictures for 5280 Elite. It was such a blast, following Kenny, other athletes and all the girls from the Vixxen Racing Team. Cheering, taking videos and pictures and enjoying the day being all over the course. I have written several race reports, so if you have been reading them you know what goes through my mind while racing. Taking videos and pictures is very different, if you want to get a glimpse into what I did keep reading, if you just want to see the result you can scroll all the way down and watch the video.

For my regular readers you know that Kenny Withrow is the man behind 5280 Elite, a content creation website/Youtube Channel focused on mostly highlighting Colorado triathletes and cyclists. He is the one that usually does all the video and pictures. However he raced the Boulder 70.3 Triathlon, so I stepped up to help get the content for the race. I like to take pictures, as probably some of you already know, so I figured I could at least take a few shots for him. Through 303 Triathlon and 5280 Elite we were able to get a media pass. What is a media pass you ask? A media pass pretty much allows you to go wherever you want in the course, to take pictures and video of the race. Having that type of access was very cool. What was a little weird, was getting the pass. In order to get the media pass you have to go to registration, just like the athletes do, the day before the race and you go “sign up”. Even though I knew I wasn’t racing, when I got to the registration area I felt a little of the “pre-race excitement”.

Race morning

After getting up and getting everything ready I headed to the swim start. As soon as I got there I started taking some pictures. I was told that I had to be at the entrance of the res at 6:30am to see if I was going to get a motorcycle (moto). Not everyone that requests a moto gets it, so I went there hoping that I would get one, without a moto I would have had to ride my bike a lot more than I did. When I arrived to the area where the motorcycles were lining up I was immediately told that they didn’t have enough motos and that the referees were going to take them all. I was a little sad but I had prepared physiologically for the long day. Being a little skeptical, I decided to stick around until I could talk to someone from Ironman to get the official denial. Once the responsible person from Ironman got there, he asked for my name and as soon as he heard it he said: “You are the only media person with a moto.” I was so excited, at the same time a little scared, I didn’t know what I was supposed to do or tell the driver. After waiting around for what it seemed for a long time, I finally got introduced to my driver, Jeff, he showed me his bike and I explained to him that because I was following a lot of people we might be the last ones to leave T1. As soon as we got that settled, I went back to the Boulder Triathlon Club tent, where everyone was and started taking pictures and video.

Conrad Rodas MotoThe Race

It was a beautiful morning, the light was perfect as the sun wasn’t too bright, I was pretty happy with how the shots were coming out. This was the first time for me shooting both video and pictures, so I wanted to make sure that I didn’t forget anything and that I wasn’t carrying anything I didn’t need to. Being lighter would allow me to get to the places I needed to get to faster. Kenny was the first one to start, after chasing him to the start and making fun of him for forgetting his timing chip, I watched him start, then I went back to the tent to take some pictures and video of the Vixxens. Between Kenny’s wave and theirs there was a 30 minute gap. They were spread out in 3 waves but they started right after the other. After they left, I ran to T1 to see if I could still catch Kenny coming out of the water, but he had a good swim and by the time I arrived his bike was already gone. I went to the swim exit and saw all the girls come out, as soon as the last one came out of the water I ran to the moto, where Jeff was waiting. I chugged a bottle of water and headed out. My original plan went right out the window when I realized that Kenny was so far in front of the last Vixxen, so I had to come up with a new plan as I was leaving T1.

First goal was to catch Kenny, as I didn’t know if I’d see him again, so I asked Jeff to really book it, I started catching up to guys in his age group and I knew he had swam pretty fast so I was hopeful that I would catch him soon. After 5-6 miles I finally saw him. I rode next to him took some shots and video, talk to him for a second to see how he was feeling, let him go a little in front and I did it again, he looked really fast and I knew I had gotten some good shots, so I went back to find the Vixxens. Liz was the first one to ride by. It was so interesting as every time I saw her she was passing guys and seemed like she was in a group. Same thing, I would catch up to her take video and pictures, talk to her to make sure she was doing OK and then I’d turn around and look for the next Vixxen. After Liz, I saw Cat, then Lauren and finally Sasha, they were a lot closer together so taking pictures and videos of them was a little harder but at the end I was able to get some good stuff. I think my favorite conversation with one of the Vixxens was with Cat, every time I would come up to her, she would get out of the aero bars, so of course for the pictures and video it didn’t look great, so I would tell Jeff to slow down, as soon as she would get a little ahead, she would get on the aero bars again and we would repeat, this happened maybe 3 times, finally she realized that I wasn’t a referee and that I was taking pictures of her, she had the biggest smile afterwards. After I saw Sasha I wanted to see if I could catch Kenny again, so I cut the course and made it to mile 50ish of 56. I waited for about 1 minute and then I saw him fly by, I was so lucky I caught him again. I had seen at least 1 other guy in his age group go by in front, so I wanted to encourage him to try to catch him, so I got back on the moto caught up to him and cheered him on. I wanted to get all the Vixxens one more time so I went back and waited in the same spot for all of them, once I saw the last one go by, we made it back to the reservoir (T2). I thanked Jeff and I got on my road bike and went looking for them. The gap between Kenny and the girls was so much larger now. I was hoping I was still going to catch him. I rode in the opposite direction of the 2 loop course. When I saw him he was about 1 mile from the finish line. I took some video of him running, some pictures and rode pretty hard to try to get to the finish line before he would. Once I got the a grass I thought the finish like would be 100 meters away, so I left my bike on the side and started running. After 200 meters I still couldn’t see the finishing arch, so I started to look back to make sure he wasn’t catching me. Finally after a little more I saw the arch, I went into the finish area and waited. I didn’t know that I had rode so fast that when I got there I had a lot of time to dry off my sweat and setup the cameras. He crossed the finish line, fell on the ground, I laughed did a mini interview, congratulated him and headed back on the bike to catch everyone else. I ended up biking about 7 miles in total going back and forth between the course and the finish line. Once everyone had finished I was able to finally sit down, take my biking shoes off and relax a little bit. It was a long day, but such a fun one. Being able to everywhere on the course, to take pictures, videos and cheer people on was so much fun.

After the Race

So many people asked me if during the race I wanted to be out there racing and my initial response was always YES! But if I had raced, I would have never had this amazing experience. You get to experience, so many different things and you are always guessing where people are in order to go look for them, almost like a scavenger hunt. Before the race Kenny thought it’d be a good idea to document my day as I was going to be documenting theirs, so he put together a little video that shows some of my day, hope you enjoy it!

 

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