They lived only 2 miles from a point on the Boulder 70.3 bike course and their house was a 30 second walk to the community pool. Conner and I rode the course a couple days prior to the event and i tried to swim (since i kind of skipped that part of training the past two and half weeks) a few times before the race. Running was gorgeous, as you just had to look up at the Rockies to find the little inspiration you might need to keep going. Another aspect of Boulder/Longmont was the bike lanes and overall friendliness of drivers and people in the community to athletes sharing the roads. I have never felt safer cycling.
The race for me was going to be interesting because i knew the swim was going to be tough. Swimming is generally the last thing to acclimate to altitude of the three disciplines. Not to mention i only had 2 weeks at 5-6,000 feet and needed another 7 days or so to feel like i could breathe efficiently for the bike and run. None the less I came out of the water in 28 mins looking for my head which was floating around somewhere in the thin air. On to the bike it took around 10 miles for my legs to stop burning and finally get into a rhythm. I rode the whole first half of the race by myself at 275 avg watts. Funny thing though, when i came around for the second lap of the bike course, my avg speed went up, despite my drop in avg watts as i weaved around all the age group athletes. I have always believed for slower swimmers that racing amongst the age groupers is an advantage as you can use them as "carrots" and to "slip stream" through the field n the bike. I came off the bike in 20th place and within the first 10k had picked up 6 places to move into 14th, which is where i would stay for the rest of the race. A top ten run split and a final time of 4:05.50 was good enough to call it my best 70.3 effort. (i had previously raced to a 4:01 at 70.3 Worlds in Florida in 2010, but that was a draft fest , despite all efforts to not draft on the bike, and a much easier course at sea level).
The best part of the day was hearing the cheers of friends and family along the course and having the opportunity to share the experience with them. Also, the chocolate chip cookies and brownies that Annnie made, Thanks!!