Photo by Eyes Wide Open Images

Mel Hauschildt blogs about her first race of the US season. After having to pull out of Challenge Cairns with a suspected stress fracture, Hauschildt has been left sidelined, and only managing some light jogs of 15-20mins, and none over 7kms. She is still waiting for the all clear to get stuck back into some serious running, but is working hard on the other twi disciplines. NB. She still pulls off a 37min 10km run with limited run training!


Boulder Peak 5150 – 1.5km/42km/10km

Each race I start I try to swim as best I can, bike as best I can and do what I have to do on the run to win. That sometimes needs to be to run as best I can. But sometimes I have the luxury of putting on the brakes a little and enjoying it. Today, however, my plan was to swim better than I’ve EVER swam before, bike better than I’ve EVER biked before and get off with a lead going into the run. Because today I couldn’t rely on my run. For once I had no idea what I was capable of and this scared me.

For starters I knew I was up against an Olympian. Laura Bennett was on the start line with me. 4th at the 2008 Olympics and off to her second at the end of the month. And Laura can swim. Well, that’s an understatement. I was expecting she’d put 3 minutes into me. As for the bike – I thought I could pull back 2 minutes. If this went to plan I’d still be 1 minute down. 1 minute usually wouldn’t phase me but today it will. (I’ve had an injury that has stopped me running for two months. In the last four weeks I’ve done a long run of 7km and haven’t been able to do anything above jogging pace).

Putting all the stats together – I’ve got a tough race on my hands.

As the siren goes I start off as fast as I can… The Boulder reservoir is very clam and flat. We swim straight out keeping the buoys on our right, a right turn for only about 100m then right again and straight back. Simple. But also marked out brilliantly. Plenty of buoys to sight keeping me swimming in a straight line. After about 100m Laura is so far in the distance I can’t even see her. Another couple of girls are out of sight as well. And I’m
swimming in no man’s land. I felt I had a really strong swim though and emerged out of the water in 5th place (2:57 down on the leader).

We had a reasonably long transition which I was thankful for. I still haven’t managed to get the whole face down swimming, straight into standing up thing down pat yet and I was dizzy right up until I got to my bike.

Out on the bike course I had moved into third place quite early and then was on a mission to chase down
the leader. This was a tough bike course – from transition its a gradual climb, about 2% gradient right up until Lee Hill Drive, about 8km in. Then it turns into a 12% climb up Old Stage Rd. I moved into second place just before the climb which lasts about 2km before we take a steep decent. Luckily I’d ridden the course before and knew where to brake as I hit 82km/hr on my way down. From here it’s a long gradual decent for almost 12km. Being a bit lighter than most of my competitors I didn’t let up on the descent, knowing their extra weight will
bring more speed. A couple of times I was spinning out of gears so I jumped forward onto my aeros, tucked down low and tried to put as much of my weight on the front on my bike.

The rest of the course was nice smooth roads, rolling hills and then a very slight climb almost right back to transition. I’ve ridden this course many times and a lot of the time I’ve had my garmin permanently on the gradient to see exactly what the roads are doing. I don’t use power. I don’t use a HR monitor. All I use is speed. And here in Boulder the roads are very deceiving. You’ll swear your on a flat road and you see your
speed dropping. Little do you know your climbing at a gradient of 2%. Other times you’ll be cruising along in the high 40’s not even trying thinking to yourself “I must be feeling good today” but your actually riding down a 1%

I come into T2. I’m listening attentively to hear how far I am down. 1min 15sec. I made up 1:59 on Laura. But lost another 13 seconds in transitions.

I rack my bike, throw on my Adidas runners and run out with my Rudy project visor, number belt and gel. This time I don’t bolt out of transition though… I know I have to run conservatively for the first half so that I can at least make it home. If I feel good at half way I can pick it up. I didn’t feel great. I ran 36:58 to take home second place.

I am content with my race. I had a decent swim. I biked the fastest by almost 2 minutes and I’m happy with
breaking 37min given the limited run prep I’ve had.

I’d like to send out a big congrats to Laura for her superb race and good luck at the Olympics next month. And well done to all the rest of my competitors. Boulder Peak 5150 is no easy race. Also, thanks to all the race organizers, officials, sponsors and volunteers. What a great race in an awesome location!


– Keep up to date with Mel’s progress on her website:



Swim Bike Run Total
Laura Bennet 0:19:40 1:08:07 0:36:34 2:06:20
Melissa Hauschildt 0:22:37 1:06:08 0:36:58 2:07:55
Jillian Petersen 0:21:23 1:08:57 0:40:48 2:13:27
Amanda Lovato 0:24:28 1:08:31 0:39:05 2:14:12
Jennifer Tetrick 0:23:21 1:09:53 0:40:20 2:16:16
Erika Erickson 0:22:23 1:12:43 0:40:19 2:17:44
Jeani Seymour 0:24:15 1:12:59 0:38:37 2:18:06
Megan Riepma 0:24:26 1:16:34 0:42:24 2:25:50
Amanda Hahn 0:22:25 1:24:05 0:41:56 2:30:34

About The Author

Stef Hanson. Chief.

Chief and founder of WITSUP

Serious about what I do, but don’t take myself too seriously

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2 Responses

  1. Jo Coombe

    It’s great to read how measured Mel is with her analysis of the race and how she has broken each part down. I’m surprised about no HRM or power though, surely she trains with them?


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