Alexander, Blatchford Magnificent in Malaysia
Continuing with his winning ways, part-time Boulderite Craig Alexander dominated the IRONMAN 70.3 Putrajaya field with a winning time of 3:55:22. Thanks to his fastest run split of the day, 1:17:32, Crowie kept the rest of the field chasing his blistering pace, beating the second place finisher by over three minutes.
Just as speedy, Australia’s Liz Blatchford, a summer regular in Boulder, finished second in the women’s field in 4:26:04. Thanks to a solid day in all three disciplines, the blazing Blatchford gave herself a 10-minute cushion from the third place finisher. Looks like Ms. Blatchford is off to another successful season!
Going Back to Cali, Cali, Cali
Many of our Colorado pros went back to IRONMAN 70.3 California, one of the season’s most popular and growing early season races, and encountered some stiff competition. On the women’s side, Ellie Salthouse, who finished fifth after a brilliant race, ended up being disqualified for going too fast down a hill with an enforced speed limit. The Aussie posted on her Facebook page that “it was a heartbreaking moment, to say the least,” but we know she’ll be back in full force soon. Also having a great day was Alicia Kaye, who finished sixth on the day in 4:25:50, and Mary Beth Ellis who finished eighth in 4:29:49.
On the men’s side, Andy Potts led the way for the Colorado men, finishing fourth in 3:54:44, turning in his usual speedy swim, 23:32, and still having his run legs under him to put in a zippy time of 1:15:19. The young Aussie, Sam Appleton, was a factor all day thanks to a solid swim in 23:42 and bike of 2:10:51, helping him finish in 3:57:35. Fellow Aussie and Boulderite Joe Gambles was back in action for 2016, finishing 14th on the day in 4:04:54. We’re happy to see Gambles back in the Centennial State. Finally, starting his first full year as a pro was Boulder’s Colin Laughery, who finished 29th on the day in 4:25:49. Great effort, guys!
Get to Know BOCO GEAR
When you drive through Boulder, Colorado, the “training mecca” for triathletes and runners, you will most likely see some pretty creative and one-of-a-kind hats gleaming from an athlete’s head. Thanks to BOCO Gear founder, and president, Kay Martin, athletes can now choose from an enormous line of trendy, yet functional, headgear for both training and racing. We chatted with Kay to find out about the magic behind BOCO’s innovative headgear that has grabbed the attention of major brands and athletes alike.
What inspired you to create BOCO Gear?
I started BOCO gear because I saw a huge opportunity to infuse innovative headwear and fashion trends into the custom headwear endurance space. While I could see great innovation going on in custom cycling and triathlon kits, the custom headwear category was stale and super dated.
What are your clients usually looking for when it comes to training and racing?
Our typical customer is looking for unique and stylish headwear and designs for their team, event, retail store, or for their brand. The teams are looking to us to match their team kits to their headwear with more options such as hats, visors, trucker hats, beanies, and race belts. Retail stores love that we co-brand with them and design unique headwear options for their store year round. Most of the specialty stores also host a variety of events throughout the year and we do a lot of event business for retailers. We tend to do really well with regionalized designs and taking advantage of being able to customize for each particular store whether it’s with a skyline, state flag, or nuances that the store is known for.
Does BOCO actually create the designs or can your customers come in with a vision and work with your team on the final product?
We like to say we work with everyone to deliver on their vision, but yes, we actually do the majority of the designs you have seen. That being said, we do work with customers that have their own designers who can whip up designs on our templates. It’s mostly our brand partners, but we are happy to send over templates for clients to design their headwear onto our templates. In most cases, we will do a first round of design and the customer will normally make a few tweaks before we finalize for production.
What’s the most interesting hat design you personally liked creating?
One area where BOCO shines is that we have become a pretty well-known source for pros, pro teams, and, heck, just about anyone that comes to us to solve a problem or tackle an interesting prototype. In being open and flexible, we have learned that we can actually change the market overnight through innovative design and styling. The “most interesting” hat we have designed, hands down, would be pro triathlete Tim Don’s cut out hat and visor. He came to us looking for a hat with cut outs for his sunglasses as he tends to wear his hat and visors super low on his face and needed to cut the sides off the bill of our hats to accommodate his shades. He took existing hats, hacked away at them and we sent these hats to our factory. After a whole lot of coaxing our factory to duplicate these, they sent back protos that Tim now uses to train and race. At the time, I wasn’t so sure, but “The Don” is a whole lot cooler than I am and we are proud that we could make him a product that lets him focus on being a rock star athlete. We could not be happier that people believe in our product and trust us enough to ask.
What is your most popular selling item currently and what do you like about the product?
The most popular selling item currently is our technical trucker hat collection. What I like about the technical trucker hat is that we created the category and that it’s changing the landscape of the triathlon and endurance run category. I love that we were able to take a dumb-dumb style and turn it into a highly functional, really good looking hat you can wear when training or racing. As a traditional hat wearer, you always look like a dork wearing your performance hat for anything other than your run or race, but now you have a functional hat that you can wear before, during, and after a race that is on trend, looks good, and doesn’t saturate your head while you work out. I also love how creative these are becoming and our customers are just killing it by raising the bar of what we can and cannot do.
What do you think of the trucker hat obsession in racing right now?
Of course, I think it’s awesome! A BOCO technical trucker hat is so comfortable as well as functional. We designed the BOCO trucker so that you can put ice and water in them during your long distance events to keep you feeling cool. They are made with just the right depth so that you can wear your sunglasses and your hat won’t slam your glasses into your ears. They are lightweight, breathable, and wick sweat. Plus, the designs are super fun and tend to match your kits or give a bold shout out to your sponsors, and they look as great at the finish line during since they don’t saturate with sweat.