Danielle Kehoe celebrates with spectators after winning the women’s division during the Boulder Ironman on Sunday, Aug. 3, in Boulder. Kehoe finished
Danielle Kehoe celebrates with spectators after winning the women's division during the Boulder Ironman on Sunday, Aug. 3, in Boulder. Kehoe finished and then ran back out to fans to celebrate. Jeremy Papasso/ Camera (Jeremy Papasso)

It took a while for Boulder to finally get a full Ironman race, but the city proved on Sunday that it can put on quite an event.

Following the inaugural Ironman Boulder, the city and community got great reviews.

"Every Ironman has its own personality, but Boulder had a special personality," said Mike Reilly, the Voice of Ironman who announces many of the big Ironman races around the world. "It's the triathlon Mecca in this area and the knowledge of the spectators and the athletes was just immense, and the passion was immense.

"I'd put it up there as one of the top ones in the world, for a first year event, which is an amazing thing."

Organizers said that there are usually some snags with a first-year event, but those snags seemed to be few and far between in Boulder.

"I don't think anybody from the outside looking in would have noticed it was a first-year event," race director Dave Christen said. "The team executed at a really high-level. Volunteers were really well organized."

As for the 140.6-mile course, many athletes came away knowing they had tackled a beast.

"I thought it was so much harder (than other Ironman courses)," said Christine Hammond, who was third in the women's pro race. Boulder was her ninth Ironman.

In particular, the 112-mile bike course was a significant challenge for many of the athletes. The term "false flat" was used a lot to describe the bike course, as athletes were surprised by the slight inclines along the way.


"It seemed like the bike course really destroyed people," Hammond said. "There were pro women laying in ditches, people walking (their bikes). You don't see that at every race with a pro field. It was a tough bike course. I think they did a great job picking it out. I think just a lot of people overbiked because they didn't think it was that hard and then it really showed on the run.

"That run course was pretty tough, too, because you were always just going up and down."

Although many athletes interviewed thought the course was tough, nobody was complaining about it being unfair.

"It's an Ironman ... It's always going to feel tough in the moment," Christen said.

Looking ahead to 2015, Christen said the course is sure to change a bit, especially as the area continues to recover and rebuild from the 2013 flood.

"I think in 2015 we're going to look at some of the opportunities that are available once those roads are back to normal, once those trails are back to normal," Christen said. "Plus, there's so many great things to showcase in Boulder that we should try some new things."

While there may be some changes for next year, this year certainly left a mark on the organizers and athletes.

"The town really embraced it, which is awesome," Hammond said.

Contact BuffZone.com Writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or on Twitter: @BrianHowell33.