New Triathlon in Loveland, July 31, Q & A With Race Director Peggy Shockley

Meet Peggy Shockley. She created the Lake to Lake Triathlon in 2001 and so we wanted to “chat” with her on why she loves what she does on the eve of her new triathlon, The Lonetree Sprint Triathlon (Info HERE) on July 31st just south of Loveland (not the city Lonetree, the lake is named Lonetree).

What inspired you start the Lake to Lake triathlon?

I signed up for my first triathlon in 1982, Loveland Park n Rec was organizing it, I went down and signed the one paragraph waiver. We swam across the lake, biked out to the landfill and back, and did a run around the high school.  I was just intrigued with the sport. During the 90’s, I talked about organizing an event for several years. Finally, a friend said, “why don’t you just do it then?”  I volunteered at multi sport events, Boulder Peak~ Paul Karlsson and some of his staff were very helpful, took the leap of faith and the inaugural event was in 2001.

How would you describe what it has become versus the original vision you had for it?

I just envisioned an event that athletes, regardless of their ability level could come out and compete. We wanted to treat the athletes as competitors and guests to our event. Then venue lends itself to that goal, we feed everyone pretty well, fair amount of grass, park nearby. I think it’s comfortable for athletes to bring their family to hopefully enjoy the day and support their friends and family. The event is big enough to be competitive, but not so large it’s overwhelming for novice athletes.

What are you most proud of during the last 20 years and why?

I love that we have athletes that have competed at this event for the majority of the 20 years, it’s actually comforting to see some of those same names on the reg list over and over. I love that people bring their friends and recommend the event. In this world of facebook, instagram, twitter..etc, etc., I still believe that word of mouth can be the best advertising. We’ve tried to treat athletes, volunteers and all involved with the event fairly.

L2L has amazing volunteers, have any been with you all 20 years or a significant amount of time and why do you think they keep coming back?

The majority of our volunteer force are non-profit groups, that come out and help run the event on race day. They share in the proceeds of the event, and we ask a lot of them. Volunteers aren’t always treated well on the race course and it’s a testament to their loyalty to their organizations; which are for the most part youth organizations. Some of our groups have been involved for many years. If you’ve competed at L2L for more than a few times, it’s possible you’ve seen the same faces on the same posts for years.Nicole Bird has organized water support every year, she does an amazing job. 20 lifeguards in kayaks this year supporting the swimmers + additional paddlers and boat support.

What do love most about race directing?

I actually enjoy the logistics of organizing the event, better traffic control, great support on the water, plenty of water at the aid stations. I have to admit, I’m more comfortable in the background than the foreground. As the City grows and roads become more crowded the logistics definitely become more challenging. The race directors I know want to produce quality events and keep entry fees reasonable, but everything we do, just costs more to produce. That balance is challenging.

What else would you like people to know about L2L, you, your family or your business?

As we go into our 3rd decade, I do contemplate how many more years we’ll gather with athletes and friends and family on the last Saturday of June. Our kids have been involved with this event each and every year. One day this event will be taken over by another race director. They will have a different vision of what Lake to Lake can be, I hope it will be someone that embraces the history of the event and adds their own vision and passion to this race. I have to admit, that transfer will be emotional; I love this event and I’m proud of what we’ve done the last 21 years.

That being said, our oldest daughter Sara and I are organizing the inaugural Lone tree Sprint Triathlon. July 31st~ a cap of 300, a rural venue on the south side of Loveland. We thought it would be fun to produce a smaller event, it will have more of a grassroots feel. Hopefully introduce a few more people to this sport, it’ll be fun to test out a new venue. 

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