Yesterday in dry and hot conditions Tyler was 2nd at the Boulder 70.3 Ironman behind Andy Potts, the only other triathlete other than Tyler to have run a 1.07 half-marathon off the bike this year.
Boulder is Tyler’s adopted hometown and cheers were heard all over the course for perhaps one of the most affable triathletes on the circuit.
Tyler had an exceptional swim for him coming out a whole minute in front of the main pack (but still behind Potts and Hackett who were 1st and 3rd overall on the day), though his advantage was negated in transition as Tyler used yesterday as a dress rehearsal for Kona. This meant putting on his heart rate monitor and his jersey, which usually aren’t part of his half-ironman transitions.
After using his swim buffer to practice his Hawaii changeovers, Tyler went out onto the bike leg just in front of the main group of five with Potts and Hackett still up the road. The leading pair extended their swim gap to eventually lead off the bike with a four-minute advantage.
Although drafting is not allowed on the bike in half-ironman distance races, athletes are allowed to sit ten meters from the rider in front of them throughout the bike leg. Unusually for Tyler he was in the main group and he commented after the race `how much easier it is to ride with other people around, even when you are diligent in keeping your ten meters, it is so much easier than riding by yourself’.
Tyler quickly asserted himself as the fastest runner from the main group and by the end of lap one of two on the run, he had assured himself of at least third place with Potts taking the lead, and Hackett in second at that point.
Information from people around the course made Tyler aware he had caught exactly two minutes on Hackett after lap one, this meant it they both kept the same pace on lap two there would be a sprint finish for second and third places between Tyler and Steven Hackett.
Regrettably for Hackett he suffered severe dehydration on the second lap of the run which meant Tyler ended up catching the two minutes up to him in second place and putting another two minutes into him, allowing Tyler the luxury of being able to celebrate with his adopted home crowd in the finishing stretches of the race.
Tyler was happy both with moving up a step on the podium (he has been twice third in these races previously) and with the positive indications his performance gave for the upcoming Hawaii Ironman World Championships about his form.
Boulder 70.3 is Tyler’s last race before the World Championships, his main focus for 2010.
On September the 18th Tyler will head to Hawaii for the three weeks leading into the race (on October 9th) and stay in Hawaii until late October to compete in the X-Terra World Championships on the 24th of October in Maui.