Joanna Zeiger On Life After Tri

From Slowtwitch

I admit it. I lurk on the Slowtwitch forum. Phew. I am glad I got that off my chest. Of course, there are threads on training, race predictions, crashes, doping, and my favorite is anything dealing with who’s hot. Ok, maybe not so much the last one.

A common theme I’ve seen over the years is about athletes struggling with injuries and how these injuries affect their ability to keep training and racing in the sport of triathlon. Most often running is the sport that suffers, but there are people like me who have left the sport due to an inability to bike and swim (more on that later). Universally, athletes who cannot race triathlons any longer are naturally despondent and look for any way possible to make their return, even if it means engaging in strange voodoo or tribal rituals.

I suppose the reason these threads capture my attention is because I left the sport of triathlon due to injuries that render me unable to bike or swim; somehow, I can still run. I won’t bore you with all of the details of the bike accident that caused my retirement from triathlon, but the short version is that I severely battered my right rib cage with injuries ranging from broken ribs that never healed, a fractured and displaced xiphoid process (the bone at the tip of the sternum), torn intercostal muscles, and intercostal nerves that were stretched beyond their limits and are therefore permanently damaged. It has been 7 years since my last triathlon. I still miss it sometimes, the yearning to compete manifested in Ironman dreams….

READ THE FULL STORY

2017 Harvest Moon Long Course Tri Race Recap – What a Difference a Year Makes!

 

By Kirsten McCay

Wow! What a difference one year makes. The Without Limits/5430 Sports Harvest Moon Long Course Triathlon was a completely different race than it was one year ago. If you saw any pics or read any race recaps from last year (2016) you’ll have seen bikes blown down in transition, the slip and slide blowing away, and white caps in the reservoir. The wind was insane last year.

This year, however, the temperatures and weather were pretty much perfect. It was slightly chilly in the morning but about 15 minutes into the race the sun popped out from behind the clouds, warmed up the air, and then went back behind the clouds, staying there for most of the rest of the day.

Photo by Susan McNamee

These conditions made for PRs by almost every single athlete that I talked to who did the race last year. I know the race companies and race director have nothing to do with the weather, but it was a pretty perfect day and both newbies and experienced athletes both agreed that this year’s race was one of the best ever in the 18 years since the race started.

The race this year had 8 waves, including a first-timers wave which helps introduce newbies to the sport and ease them into a less intimidating and less aggressive swim start. They are also recognized for their accomplishment as there is an entire category of awards just for the first-timer. This is a positive way to introduce new triathletes into the sport. I love that Without Limits has this option in all of their races!

The swim this year was ideal. The water was calm and the buoys were easy to spot as the sun stayed mostly tucked behind the clouds. I don’t wear a Garmin, so I personally don’t know the actual distance of the swim, but I heard from several athletes after the race that the swim with a little bit short of the 2,000 m standard for the long course distance. Most measured it at about 1500 m.

Photo by Bill Plock

The bike course was also very easy thanks to partly cloudy skies, cooler temperatures, and very little wind on the course. The course is one of the fastest in Boulder, so for triathletes looking to ride a high mph average, this is a great course to test your speed on your bike. It’s also a perfect course for beginners who are doing their first half ironman distance triathlon, as the ride will leave your legs feeling a little fresher than many courses out there of the same distance.

We were also very fortunate on the run course as the temperature stayed in the low 70s. And the run being on hard-packed dirt was more gentle on the joints and muscles of the legs so again, a little easier for first timers, beginners, and those athletes wanting to test their speed. I also heard later in the day that the run course was about a half mile shorter than the standard 13.1 miles.

I spoke with 2 women after the race who used this as their first triathlon at this distance, and both were extremely happy with their experience. This race is small enough to make everyone feel included and a part of the community, but competitive enough to push even the most experienced athlete. I had a girl who I thought was in my age group blow by me on the 2nd lap of the run. I picked up my pace to try to stay with her, but couldn’t keep up. It ended up she was in the age group below me (phew) but that push helped me get to the finish line more quickly and took my mind of my hurting legs for a while!

There were a record number of Aqua-bikers at the race and this is the only Colorado race that includes a long course duathlon as an option!

There were 116 women, 218 men, 19 duathletes, 79 aqua bikers, and 17 relays who finished the race this year.

This was my 6th year racing the Harvest Moon Triathlon. I love that it’s in Boulder now and I love what Without Limits has done with the race. I will DEFINITELY be back next year! Hope to see you there!

Mark on Monday: Face Your Fears

By Mark Cathcart

A discussion about dealing with events, challenges, unexpected problems, and most importantly, those challenges life throws at you during the race season.

When I first agreed the schedule of articles with Dana for my 303 Column, Face your fears seemed like a good end of season challenge, little did I know what challenges would lay ahead of me.

In terms of fears, no matter what you are afraid of, someone else is probably more afraid but will get over it. That’s what makes a champion, looking fear in the “eyes” and fbeating it. That’s your challenge, take something triathlon or sport related that is really different, something you didn’t think you could do, something you were afraid of and do it!

For me this year it will be very different, after 18-years of triathlon, I’m planning to make the start line at the Without Limits Oktoberfest Triathlon. Last time I was at the Union Reservoir for the Outdoor Divas triathlon, to support my partner Kate in her race, I had a full-blown heart attack and was taken away post-race in an Ambulance (3).

I’ve seen people take on and achieve much bigger challenges. A club colleague of mine in the UK, was training for Team GB, when she was hit and paralyzed from the waist down. Just a year later, Paula Craig was the first Team GB Para-triathlete at the ITU Worlds in Cancun in 2002. You don’t have to look far to see incredible stories. I was amazed to see the progress that BBSC Endurance Sports Craig Towler had already made after losing both his legs after being hit by a driver while out training. (1).

I’ve stood at the start line for many races, both open water, with high waves, and frenetic pool based triathlons and heard people expressing grave concerns about their ability to start, much less finish.

To this day I can remember a race in the UK in 2006, pool swim, all the competitors lined up down the side of the pool waiting for the start. The pool was crazy, arms thrashing everywhere, there were as many as 6-people per lane, the noise was crazy, there were almost waves as the water crashed against the sides.

The guy next to me was, like me, 6ft tall, and he was having serious doubts about the swim. I told him it would be fine. He wasn’t convinced. I pointed out that while racking my bike I’d spotted a prosthetic arm in transition. He looked puzzled. We scanned the line of swimmers and couldn’t see the “owner”. It turned out to be the first ever triathlon for Claire Cunningham (nee Bishop). Claire is a medal winning and Champion paratriathlete for Team GB now and just 5’6” tall.

How must Claire have felt that day?

There is nothing special about these athletes. They don’t have a superpower, they take the challenges and setbacks and find a way of getting past them.

Most of us don’t face triathlon with anything like those challenges. Whatever you decide to do over the next few months, tackle something that challenges you, something that proves you are still alive. No matter if that is taking on a greater distance than you thought possible; going faster and placing higher than you think you can; getting out and becoming the hill climber; the cyclocross athlete and more.

Each of these “fears” can be broken down and divided into constituent parts; each of those parts you can find a way to address. As Claire says on her website “Nothing is impossible, you can find a way”. (*2) Create goals for each part, after you’ve achieved those goals, start combining the parts and setting new goals.

Look for help from coaches, books and videos. With not much of a racing season left, why not pick a fear and set about facing it before next season?

Me, I’ll be working the mount/dismount line for the upcoming 5430 Harvest Moon race, and then I’ll be doing everything I can to start, and finish the Oktoberfest triathlon in a few weeks.

  1. https://www.rhone.com/blogs/collective/my-story-by-craig-towler
  2. http://clare-cunningham.co.uk/about-me/
  3. I can’t thank Gaby and the EMT’s at Rapid Response Paramedic Services, the Mountain View Fire emergency crew, especially Carlos who, coincidentally volunteered with me at Ironman Bouler 2016; Dr Paik and everyone at Longmont Unit Hospital enough. Really!
Mark Cathcart took up triathlon in the late 90’s to get fit for adventure racing, which to this day he has never done, and has since taken part in 170+ events. His pragmatic approach to training, racing, and life have lead in from being the Chairman of one of the bigger UK Triathlon clubs 15-years ago; British Triathlon volunteer of the year; a sometime race organizer; The organizer and ride leader for Austin Texas award winning Jack and Adams triathlon shop; doing sometime Sports Management for development and professional triathletes; he has attended all the Triathlon Business International, and Triathlon America conferences, where he usually asks the questions others won’t; moved to Colorado in 2016 and is a co-owner of Boulder Bodyworker

Weekend Preview: Harvest Moon

Triathlon Events

Saturday September 16th

 

Littlefoot Triathlon 

Lakewood


Q&A with Rachel Joyce: Women for Tri Fundraiser

Westminster


USAT Ultra Distance National Championships

Oklahoma City, OK


Sunday September 17th

 

5430 LC Triathlon (formerly Harvest Moon)

Boulder



Cycling Events

Thursday September 14th

 

USA Cycling Collegiate Track National Championships

Indianapolis, Ind


Friday September 15th

 

Pedal the Plains

Kersey, Keensburg, Brush


USA Cycling Collegiate Track National Championships

Indianapolis, Ind


Saturday September 16th

 

Blue Sky Cup CX

Longmont


Banana Belt MTB Race

Salida


Ride for Rhinos with Paul Sherwin

Denver


Trek Dirt Series Camp

Fruita


Tour de Vineyards

Palisade


Pedal the Plains

Kersey, Keensburg, Brush


USA Cycling Collegiate Track National Championships

Indianapolis, Ind


Sunday September 17th

 

Lucky Pie GP

Northglenn


Colorado League Race #2  – North Conference

Steamboat Springs


DUST2: Sunlight Camp Soaring

Pagosa Springs


Monarch Crest Crank

Salida


Rocky Mountain Enduro Series Race #4

Moab, Ut


Trek Dirt Series Camp

Fruita


Tour de Vineyards

Palidase


Pedal the Plains

Kersey, Keensburg, Brush

Pacing the Cage: Making the Most of Your Taper Week

By Will Murray

Originally published by USA Triathlon – reprinted with permission

It’s the week before your race and you feel like a caged tiger. While you still have workouts that are short and crisp to stay sharp, your training volume is vastly reduced. All of a sudden you have a lot more time on your hands. How do you make the most of this extra time during your taper period to have your best race day experience?

Training makes you fit; practice makes you fast.
When was the last time you practiced your transitions? Everybody talks about the free speed you can obtain with clean transitions, but that speed only comes with practice. For T2, bike-to-run transition, try this:

  1. Set up a bike trainer and your T2 transition area.
  2. Hop on your bike, yes with your helmet and sunglasses and cycling shoes, ride for two minutes.
  3. Do your transition — changing helmet for ball cap, changing shoes and putting on race belt. Then run 400 meters.
  4. Capture your time for the transition, from the instant you stop pedaling to your first step.
  5. Repeat six to eight transitions until you get your transition time down to less than 10 seconds.

For T1, your swim-to-bike transition:

  1. When you do open water swims, practice running out of the water for 100 meters, then jog back to the water.
  2. Practice your exit of the water five or six times to get the feel of snapping from a horizontal position to vertical and trying to run.
  3. If you can run out of the pool without incurring the (unwanted) attention of the lifeguard, give this a try.
  4. Practice your bike mounts and dismounts at least six or eight times.

“Baseball is 90 percent mental. The other half is physical.” – Yogi Berra
Your taper week is a great time to practice your mental skills.

  1. Write out your race plan. On paper (or electrons). Include your pacing plan and your fueling and hydration schedule.
  2. Include mental elements in your race plan. Study the course map and course profile to identify specific locations where you will need extra motivation. For example, at two-thirds of the way through the run course, many athletes lose focus and start dwelling on how tired they feel. You might think of two or three people who you know have your best interest at heart. Think of what they would say to motivate you that would really help lift you. Place them along the course map in your mind’s eye and hear what they would say as you see yourself hitting that point.
  3. Rehearse the race in your mind. For specific instructions on how to do this, read “Two Minutes to a Better Workout.”
  4. Prepare for the worst. Ask yourself, “What could go wrong?” Mentally travel through the race, from setting up your transition area to the finish line, and test for things that might go astray. What if I drop a bottle? Make a plan. What if I start to chafe? Make a plan. Being prepared is the best way to put worry away.

Test your gear.
I recently heard an athlete lament that the electronic shifter battery on his bike died during the race, turning his bike into a single-speed. He had not charged the battery in two months. Don’t be him. Go over your bike carefully or take it to the shop. Especially check your tires and shifters. Lube your chain. Clean up your bike.

Do a dress rehearsal, literally. If you haven’t done a swim in your wetsuit in a while, take it to the pool or open water and swim a little. Do a short bike-run brick in your race kit. Practice placing your anti-chafing remedy. Test the drink that the aid stations will be handing out to get used to the taste.

Plan to sleep.
Make plans to get a good night’s sleep the night before the night before the race. Many athletes have trouble sleeping the night before the race, so if you do find yourself staring at the ceiling, use that time well. During your waking period, rehearse again the race you want to have tomorrow. Make a movie, full color, with sound and scents and sensations, of the race going as well as it can. See yourself having a great race, start to finish. If this doesn’t put you back to sleep, then you will put your mind in the right frame for the next morning.

Taper week gives you a lot more time to focus on those things that will help you have a great day for your race. In addition to pacing like a caged tiger, you can also practice those skills that will make your race day smooth, efficient and fulfilling.

Will Murray is a USA Triathlon Level I Certified Coach and the mental skills coach for d3multisport.com. He is co-author of “The Four Pillars of Triathlon: Vital Mental Conditioning for Endurance Athletes.”

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the practices of USA Triathlon. Before starting any new diet or exercise program, you should check with your physician and/or coach.

Butterfield’s Orderly Results: Tyler Scores Another Step Up At Ironman 70.3 Worlds

September 12, 2017 – Professional triathlete Tyler Butterfield logged another world-class performance to score seventh place at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship on Sunday in Chattanooga, Tennessee, his best 70.3 World Championship finish to date. The result marked Butterfield’s steady progression through the top ten at the championship event, having finished ninth in 2013,, eighth in 2015, and now seventh in 2017, and bodes well for his fitness in the final five-week lead into the Ironman World Championship on October 14th in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. His corresponding Kona finishes in those years were his best to date—seventh in 2013 and fifth in 2015—showing a pattern of success when tackling the 70.3 Championship prior to the Ironman World Championship, his primary focus for several years now.

Butterfield clocked 25:20 in the 1.2-mile swim, emerging with the main group of men containing all the key contenders outside of swim leaders Ben Kanute, the eventual second- place finisher, and Javier Gomez, prolific triathlon champion and silver medalist at the Olympic Games, who went on to win.

Ten men—including Butterfield and Ironman world record holder Tim Don—rode in the chase pack, with hard-charging Sebastian Kienle, a two-time victor at the race, coming from behind. Entering T2, Butterfield was in third; within 30 seconds a flurry of six other top rivals flew in and out of transition and quickly sorted themselves out on the road ahead, with Butterfield now running in sixth. Gomez, known for his spectacular run speed, made quick work from further back in the field to knock off every forward challenger and claim the world title. Butterfield held steady and strong, and ultimately crossed the line in seventh with a 1:17:32 half marathon and 3:56:22 finish time.

“I wasn’t able to put in my usual attacks on the bike. It was hard enough just being there! Racing at this level gets more and more competitive every year. I looked around and everyone in the group was a world title holder, world record holder, or at least someone who has won a lot of races. You can’t just get away from these guys whenever you like,” said Butterfield.

“I also wanted to wait and test my run,” he continued. “I wanted to really get a feel for my run fitness in advance of Kona—something you can’t fully gauge outside of a race environment. I haven’t had the opportunity to get in the run training I’d like for a number of years—partly because of injury, but now, looking back, also because of where we lived.”

For more information please visit Butterfieldracing.com

Since the family’s move from their mountain home to a farm in rural Boulder County, Butterfield has been able to run straight out the door, rather than spend time driving to and from town. Living at a lower altitude (5,600 feet, as opposed to 7,400 feet) has also allowed him to cope with a higher workload. Additionally, he has found that the convenience of being able to go home between sessions has helped his recovery.

“I was a little disappointed with my run, considering the training I’ve had. It was solid, but nothing special. Really, I should be running only a little slower than that for an entire marathon if I want to be in the mix in Kona,” said Butterfield, who averaged 5:55 minute miles in Sunday’s race. “I’m not sure if I was still a little tired from the training. I certainly gave this race the respect it deserves and came in tapered, but I think I may have carried in a bit too much long-term fatigue. I’m hoping I can get in the remaining training I need in the next five weeks, as well as shake some of the residual tiredness from my Kona overload. It’s kind of hard to do both at once—get fitter and fresher—but I’ll try.”

Butterfield indeed appears to be on track for another impressive race on the Big Island, as evidenced by a steady pattern of improving results. His 2017 regular season performances started with fourth at Ironman 70.3 Dubai, then third at the Ironman North American Championship, followed by second at Ironman 70.3 Monterrey, and finally a win at Ironman 70.3 Raleigh. This pattern of improvement also shows in his Ironman 70.3 World Championship progression—ninth in 2013, eighth in 2015, and seventh in 2017—and in his Kona performances, where he finished seventh in 2013 and fifth in 2015.

“I guess I like to keep my results orderly,” joked Butterfield. “In all seriousness, I do like the steady progress upward. It’s rewarding to see the results of all the hard work, as my entire family sacrifices year-round to help me be the best I can be. Hopefully with the focused training I’ve had so far and the time remaining, I can continue to improve all the way into Kona.”

Butterfield now heads back home to Colorado for his final Kona training block, with five short weeks remaining until the Ironman World Championship.

Weekend Preview: It’s Still Summer in Fruita

Triathlon Events

Friday September 8th

 

Desert’s Edge Triathlon Festival

Fruita


Saturday September 9th

 

XTERRA Fruita

Fruita


IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships: Women’s Race

Chattanooga, TN


Desert’s Edge Triathlon Festival

Fruita

 


Sunday September 10th

 

Horsetooth Open Water Swim

Ft. Collins


IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships: Men’s Race

Chattanooga, TN


Desert’s Edge Triathlon Festival

Fruita



Cycling Events

Thursday Septembr 7th

 

BVV Thursday Night Racing

Erie


Ladies Only: Intro to CX Info Night

Golden


Saturday September 9th

 

Golden GiddyUp

Golden


Rocky Mountain Enduro Series – Race #3

Steamboat Springs


Nederland X

Nederland


Cougar Slayer

Nederland


13th Annual Vapor Trail 125

Salida


First Aide for Mountain Bikers

Golden


SMC Fall Classic

Summit County


Lee Likes Bikes Level 1 MTB Skills Clinic

Boulder


Lee Likes Bikes Level 2 MTB Skills Clinic

Boulder


Sunday September 10th

 

Buffalo Bicycle Classic

Boulder


Shimano Series CX: Harlow Platts

Boulder


Colorado League Race #2: South Conference

Leadville


Colorado League Race #2: North Conference

Steamboat Springs


Rocky Mountain Enduro Series – Race #3

Steamboat Springs


Avista Women’s Weekly Ride

Louisville


13th Annual Vapor Trail 125

Salida


Golden GiddyUp

Golden

Friday Fun: The Ten Different Types of Open Water Swimmers

By Patricia Dixon

The Ten Different Types of Open Water Swimmers

1. Flamingos – The athletes just trying to get ready for their swim, whether wearing a wetsuit or not, they are the ones you see standing out in the water, hands clasped in front of them, bending over while having one leg lifted and standing on the other

2. Turtles – Those of us who do not have a mission, we have one speed – slow and steady. Our only mission is to swim as far as we can within the allotted time.

3. Seal pups – Beginner Open Water swimmers, they like to hang out near the shore line, go back and forth up and down the shoreline. You will also see the seal pups get out of the water a lot and jump on shore and then jump back in.

4. Jelly Fish – These types of swimmers will swim to the buoys and then float around them, sometimes just hang out by them for long period of time until you go to swim past the buoy and they jump out right at you. Like trying to sting you, then they will continue on to the next buoy.

5. The Seals – these types of swimmers are normally wearing a wetsuit, they may or may not see you, but they will swim right up on top of you as if you were a rock or iceberg.

6. The Sharks – Yep, they are out there. They are aggressive swimmers, they don’t care who is out there, if you are in their way, they will ram right into you.

7. Otters – This group of swimmers, they are cute to watch, they love to just have fun, they hang out with their friends, and they are very supportive of each other and will wait for each other to hit their meeting spot. They will laugh and giggle together and enjoy the morning swim.

8. Minnows – Otherwise known as the toe ticklers. These swimmers will swim up to you, and then tickle your toes non-stop until you move out of their path.

9. School of Fish – These swimmers will swim in a group, much like a school of fish. The one problem with this group, they all rely on the front swimmer to lead them, so if the front swimmer takes a wrong turn, they all follow.

10. Dolphin (Want to be) – Yep, I said want to be… These groups of swimmers are built of amazing athletes (Pros and Elites.) They are fast and they are strong. Watching them swim is just amazing; it’s like watching a pod of Dolphins. The one thing they are missing that Dolphins do well is being agile. The group of swimmers does not know how to change directions quickly to miss obstacles in their path, but instead, they just freight train whoever/whatever is in their path. You really don’t know what hit you until the Pod has completely swam over you and you are able to catch your breath and get your vision back.

Triathlon: DON’T DOUBT THAT YOU BELONG

WRITTEN BY: WILL MURRAY

Shared with permission from D3 Multisport

You look around and see all these superior athletes surrounding you. At the pool, you notice ripped swimmers as they saunter across the deck, slip into the water and motor back and forth at speeds such that you can’t imagine how they are doing that. On the bike, you are tooling along at a crisp pace, and some other cyclist eases by, seemingly without effort, gives you a little nod, and turns into a steadily decreasing shape until becoming a tiny dot disappearing over the horizon. During your run, same thing: you get passed by a couple of young women who are having an in-depth conversation about their physics exam or some term paper coming up.

But the conversation you are having with yourself is not about what they are talking about. You are asking yourself one question that, at that moment, seems like the most important thing of all: “Do I even belong here?” The conversation with yourself continues: “Everybody around here is fast, and they look so fit and they have really nice kits and fancy bikes and the latest swim equipment. I’m just a normal person. I don’t fit in. I don’t belong here.”

And maybe you are right, but it doesn’t matter and here’s why. You are not here for them. You are here for you. Here are three steps for transforming this doubt that you belong, into something useful and powerful and even motivating.

Step 1. Revisit and write down (yes on paper with a pencil or your favorite pen) your reasons for doing your sport. Your reasons and drives for training and racing may be about maintaining your fitness and health, or your body shape. It may be to relieve the tensions of normal life. It may be to knock off a life goal, check off a bucket list item or just see whether you can actually do this. Or it may be to win your age group, to grab a personal record or qualify for some championship race. Whatever the reasons, as many as they are, as big or tiny as they might seem, write them down (all of them) and take a look at them. This isn’t about all those other people, those swimmers and cyclists and runners. This is for you, and they don’t really figure into all this.

Step 2. Pay attention to the actual actions of those around you. When you pay close attention to all these seal-sleek swimmers and speedy cyclists and fluid runners, how do they treat you? You might be tempted to evaluate what you think they think of you, rather than what they are actually doing. When you look for it, you may notice that they are actually behaving toward you in a very supportive way. Notice the little looks of approval, the “nice-work” statements, the little acknowledgements that you are out there training and racing. That you are one of them, that they acknowledge you.

Step 3. Acknowledge other athletes. You could wait around hoping someone will give you a thumbs-up, or a knowing nod or a “good job.” Or… you could initiate those things. See another athlete on a run or a ride or at the pool? Give a little nod of approval. Encounter another triathlete at the gym (yes, you can tell who they are)? Tell them, “Nice work.” Be genuine, be brief. But instigate the continuing culture or letting everyone know that everyone belongs.

There will be strange responses, no doubt. Some athletes are shy. Some are absorbed in their training session and don’t even see you. No problem. You belong, and so do all the other athletes. Help create the culture of belonging. Because you do. We all do.

Mental Skills Expert Will Murray often hears triathletes saying that the sport is at least 50% mental and 50% physical, but I’ve come to notice that they spend very little (if any) time doing mental training. Fortunately, it’s easy and fast to train-up your mind to help you achieve your triathlon goals. I’ve been lucky enough to bring these mental conditioning techniques to first-time athletes and Olympians, kids and seniors, triathletes who want to finish the race and those who are gunning to win.

Desert’s Edge Triathlon Festival

Your Next Triathlon Road Trip – The Desert’s Edge Triathlon Festival

There is a great triathlon opportunity still on the horizon, not on the front-range, but instead in Grand Junction. Itching to try some roads and trails. Maybe a little road trip?

Gather up your family or a group of friends and head west for the Desert’s Edge Triathlon Festival located at Highline State Park near Fruita, CO on September 8-10, 2017.

This unique festival offers XTERRA, Sprint and Olympic options for your choosing plus lakeside camping for the whole gang. Once you’ve raced, let the adventure continue with world-class mountain biking, road riding, hiking, climbing, SUP, rafting or wine tasting.

Just feel like relaxing after your race? Take a drive over the Colorado National Monument with the family then grab pizza at the infamous Hot Tomato or hit downtown Grand Junction for brews and other great dining options. You’ll even have the chance to get the last of the mouth-watering Palisade peaches, a refreshing reward for all that activity.

For a complete guide on all the activities available in the Grand Valley, visit http://www.visitgrandjunction.com/.

Triathletes may choose between an XTERRA Tri on Saturday or your choice of Sprint or Olympic distance road tri’s on Sunday. Camping is available on-site at Highline State Park for $30 per night. Sites are just 100 yards from the transition and the start/finish areas. If camping isn’t your thing, there are a number of hotels in the Fruita area, just a 15 minute drive from the race site.

About the Races

The XTERRA Fruita Triathlon starts off with a 600 meter swim, a 50 meter run on the beach and another 600 meter swim in the waters of Highline Lake. Then you’re off on a 13 mile ride on a course that mixes single and double track. And finally, you’ll finish off with a scenic and interesting 4.5 mile run. The XTERRA Sprint is also available, offering a 600m swim, 7.5 mile ride and 2.8 mile run.

This is the 6th year for the Sprint & Olympic triathlons, taking place on Sunday. Both races feature some of the best road courses you will find in Colorado.
For course maps, race schedules and registration info, visit https://www.itsyourrace.com/event.aspx?id=8482