Swim: The swim course looks to be just awesome. First of all, swimming in the Res is pretty much ideal. The water is calm, clear and the temps should be just right for a sleeveless wetsuit (maybe a little warm, but water certainly won't be cold by Aug). I personally don't care for salt water swims because of the taste and detrimental side effects from swallowing any small amount, so I am thrilled that it's a freshwater swim!
I can't say for sure about the direction of the swim course and the sun, but it looks like we should be ok as far as sighting goes - maybe some slight blindness starting out. At some races at the Res, swimming directly into the sun can be a HUGE problem for sighting. The course is counter-clockwise, which is opposite from the Boulder 70.3, but it still ends at the same spot on the sandy beach area.
Going into T1, just keep in mind there is a slight "hill" of sand that you have to run up to get to transition. It's nothing too hard, but coming out of the water after a long swim makes it somewhat challenging.
Once you make the left onto CO 8, that's when you turn off from the 70.3 route. This is also where they recently changed the course to eliminate the Carter Lake section. There is still come climbing in those miles (~33-40), but things are manageable until you reach the halfway point on Colorado Blvd. There is a pretty long, hard climb here- be ready. After that, take the time to really fuel and hydrate - you better be prepared for miles 67-87! This stretch is almost entirely uphill - nothing too steep, but it seems like a never ending part of the course because this is also where the wind could become a factor. It's all country road - nothing out there. You are exposed to the heat and wind, and the uphill can really get to you mentally if you are not prepared for it. Justin and I do not look forward to this part of the course! Others might not think it's that big of a challenge, but those are also the miles of an Ironman that can sometimes be the hardest to push through mentally.
A break finally comes around mile 88 - enjoy those descents! Mile 95-101 will be tough. Not only are they are the end of the course, but when you turn onto 79th, you are met with one hell of a mile! You'll climb 200ft in just one mile, at 4-15% grades. Any other day, this might not be so bad (I've ridden it several times for practice), but after 100mi in the saddle, this will be a tough challenge!! You will quickly run out of gears, so just make sure you are overly comfortable shifting. When you make it to the top, I would suggest giving your legs a break & celebrating during the steep (fun!) descent over the next mile. The climbing isn't over!
After you turn onto Jay, the next 6mi or so (~102-108) will be mostly uphill - not steep, but again, at the end of a 112mi ride, this can be tough! Once you turn onto 26th/Folsom, you've finally made it to the home stretch! Since you will be near Pearl St. and downtown Boulder, hopefully the crowds will cheer you on those last few miles!
T2 will be at Boulder High School - I can't say for sure about the specifics, but since it's near the heart of downtown Boulder, I'm hoping it will be a fun place to start out on the run! One concern that might come into play: hot pavement!
Starting out, you will head east on the path first. A nice downhill start for the first couple miles! Once you turn onto Skunk Creek Trail and head south, there will be a slight uphill for about .8mi. Things level off, then you'll hit the downhill on your way back north after making the u-turn. Then you're back on the Boulder Creek Path - some more downhill as you head east and make your way to Pearl Pkwy. You will have to run over an overpass before turning east on Pearl, but it's a short climb and shouldn't be too bad. Once you hit Pearl, more downhill!
After the turn-around on Pearl, the next 6mi or so - all the way until the western-most part of the course where you u-turn - are pretty much all uphill! Not very many steep parts of the trail, but the long, steady climb isn't easy. But, the path is very scenic and I actually enjoy those miles; you are right next to the creek. Plus, those miles are closest to downtown, so there should be a ton of support out there! Once you reach the turnaround point, it will be a downhill finish to complete the first loop!
A few notes about the run. The course is 99% paved, unlike the Boulder 70.3 run course, which is mostly gravel trail. It will probably be super hot until the sun goes down - if you think you might be out past 8:30-9pm (sunset), be prepared for cooler weather just in case. Yes, the course might be crowded, but just remember that we are all anxious to finish and are running the best we can. Be courteous when you pass and when you are being passed!