Highest Tri in the World – 106 West – “still has faint heartbeat”

Early this morning, various news sources, including 9News and the Summit Daily, reported this year’s 106 West Triathlon had  been cancelled.

Human Movement, owned by Powder Corp (sic), decided to cancel the race and focus on events closer to Copper Mountain, 9News reported.

However, 303’s Bill Plock pulled out his reporter’s notebook and asked some questions, revealing there is more to the story…

By Bill Plock

For ten years Jeff Suffolk, president of Louisville’s Human Movement, worked on bringing the 106Degree Triathlon to life in 2016. It was an epic event. (Full review below.) From being the first time humans could legally swim in Dillon Reservoir to being the highest altitude triathlon in the world, the 106 offered something unique.

But, according to Jeff, it’s not dead yet: “It has a faint heartbeat,” he told me this afternoon. The realities are a few very vocal people influenced officials to want to reroute the bike course and confine it to the Reservoir roads and trails.  Jeff said, “Yes, we could’ve had a three loop bike course, but that would simply take all the ‘epic-ness’ out of it.” Jeff went on to praise local officials who last year went out of their way to make the bike course very free of any traffic and with plenty of room for racers.

Human Movement was purchased in 2015 by Powdr, the owners of Copper Mountain and many other resort properties. The strategic vision is for Human Movement to focus on races and events that enhance the experience of their resorts. Events such as obstacle mud races and ninja courses, the kinds of events Human Movement also produces.

The 106 being in Summit county surely had some reach into the Copper Mountain community, but with its indirect impact, the race really needed to remain epic to afford the expense of keeping it going, and when the bike loop was dramatically changed it made it hard to continue with the same model.

Jeff said they could still pull it off this year, but because it looks bleak, he decided to refund money to athletes so they could shore up the race schedules and not be left in limbo wondering. “If it does indeed happen, it will probably be sort of last minute from a training perspective, and I just didn’t think that was fair,” says Jeff.

So stay tuned, crazier things have happened, the highest triathlon in the world may happen again someday!

106 Degree West Tri: Highest Tri in the World Recap

 

 

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