Thursday, October 20, 2016

Tour de Flatirons - Stage 5

Here's some advice for any local outdoor athletes: don't enter the Tour de Flatirons if you're looking to feel good about your fitness. This event isn't for the casual. Since I moved back to Boulder in 1994 my motto has been "Move to Boulder and be humble." Now I'd tack on: "and stay away from the Tour." Unless, at least, your ego doesn't bruise easily.

The Tour has grown considerably in the past few years and this year's final stage was the biggest ever with thirty-six starters. The growth in the field seems to have been heavily weighted toward speedy. While age and an excess of ice cream is inexorably increasing my times, it isn't doing it nearly as fast as the field is causing me to slip to the rear.
Record-breaking Matthias Messner!
Matthias finished off his clean sweep of the Tour with his fifth victory, the first time every stage has been swept. He also ended by breaking Dave Mackey's 33:17 12-year-old record on the Third Flatiron when he finished in 32:56. Congratulations to Matthias on an absolutely incredible season.

Dylan finished with his best effort ever in the Tour, matching Dave's previous time. Cordis finally lived up to his amazing potential and made the podium for the first time. David Glennon, for the first time, fully unleashed his phenomenal running ability, going out hard and immediately separating himself and Matthias from the field. He got swallowed up by just three scramblers on the face and finish in fourth place. Stefan, still the holder of the unsupported Third Flatiron record and a Tour legend, finished in fifth.

We never had an all-star rigging team for this stage. Internationally renowned athletes Anton Krupicka and Joe Grant, along with Jon, did a fabulous job rigging four very independent lines. It was the best rigging we've ever had. Mauricio was high on the third shooting photos, Jeff Valliere was shooting video and Darren's dad was doing the same. Stuart Paul, injured in stage 3, was out shooting some amazing photos as well. Sheri shot the finishing photos.

Alas, I had my comeuppance, big time. My main rivals, Danny, Buzz, and Willie, all hit the face before me and then just stretched out their lead. My only advantage in the previous stages was intimate knowledge of complex courses. Here there were no secrets and pure fitness won out. I actually ran pretty well and have no excuses. They are simply faster than I am. In fact, twenty scramblers were faster than I am. When I ran my first ever scrambling race on the Third Flatiron back in 1999, the field was small, the field was slow, and I won. Since then I've gotten faster, but I and other Minions have also recruited the fastest scramblers I could find. I love what we've built here.

Thanks to everyone that competed, rigged, and documented the best Tour de Flatirons ever. At least until next year.
The entire 2016 Tour. Left to right: stage 4, stage 3, stage 1, stage 5, stage 2.


Buzz said...

Well done Bill! The terrain and people are world class, but it is the tone that you as the leader have set that created what we all enjoy: a commitment to skills, safety, hard competition, camaraderie, and graciousness. Thank you.

Gayla Wright said...

Congratulations to all. Bill, you certainly know how to get people together and compete. Weather seems to have cooperated too.
Tour de Flatirons completed for another year. Loved reading all five stages. The NaƱa