Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Bruce Warren

Laughery takes 8th in Ironman Boulder


Courtesy Photo Niwot High grad Colin Laughery finished eighth in the pro competition at the Boulder Ironman June 11.

Gunbarrel resident and Niwot High grad Colin Laughery spent nine hours last Sunday doing what he loves - swimming, biking and running. And he’s a pro at it. For his efforts, he earned an eighth-place finish and $1750 in prize money for his performance in the Ironman Boulder June 11.

Weeks after suffering an injury in a training crash that Laughery first thought would keep him out of the race, he rebounded to post a top-10 finish, coming in with a total time of 8:58.45. “It’s my highest finish,” Laughery said, and it’s my first time making real money.

Laughery has been competing as a pro for the past couple of years, finishing ninth, 12th and 15th in the 17 triathlons he has competed in. “If I can do four to six of these a year, I’ll be fine,” he said.

Boulder has hosted a full Ironman before in August, but this year it was moved to June, with a half Ironman slated for August in Boulder. Laughery estimates that it will take him three to four weeks to recover from the effects of the grueling race, but he should be ready to go at the next Ironman in Lake Placid coming up in six weeks.

Although he was a swimmer in high school, the swimming leg was the most difficult part of the Boulder race. “I started swimming tons in January, and had a great race in Texas mid-April, but I struggle in a wetsuit,” he explained. The water temperature in Boulder was 69.8 degrees, which meant it was just cold enough to require wetsuits. “I overheated and had a pretty slow swim,” he said. “It hikes your heart rate up pretty high.”

Laughery noted that the race organizers changed the bike course this year after a fatality last year, and everything worked well for him on the 114-mile course, which felt safer. Entering the run, he was in 11th place.

He described the running segment as one of the hardest he’s ever done. “The run course in Boulder is 95 percent on the Boulder Creek path,” Laughery said. “Running on concrete, up and down, turning right and left, the fatigue really adds up.” He described the usual times for the running segment in the 2:45 to 2:55 range for pro athletes, but the winner on Sunday posted a time of 2:53. Laughery had a run time of 3:13.30, which put him seventh amont the pro runners.

Laughery, who graduated from NHS in 2001, is now 34, and enjoying every minute of his athletic career. “I don’t’ think it will ever get old,” he said. Growing up he was most interested in baseball and swimming, and his grandmother worked for the Houston Astros. As an adult, he began competing in triathlons as an amateur, then became a pro after finding that he was well suited to the sport. “This quenches my desire to be a professional athlete.”


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