By Bill Plock
Colorado has more athletes competing at the Ironman World Championships in Kona than any state but California. Why? It’s not coincidence. We all know countless pros reside in Colorado… but, with pros at the top, what is the pyramid of athletes built on? It’s built on Colorado’s history of seeking the best outdoor experience possible and sharing it with the world. Decades before triathlon was even a word, innovators in the ski, camping, hiking and clothing industries flocked to our mountains to pursue their passions and set up shop.
Pursuing our passion in Colorado is simply in our blood, in our water, and on our bikes; this drive propels our hearts and feet to move and be stronger and faster. But it’s also a vital part of the economic engine. According to the Outdoor Industry Association (located in Boulder), $646 billion are pumped into the national economy every year making it larger than the pharmaceutical and automobile industries.
Colorado has a vibrant and healthy outdoor industry with $13.2 billion in consumer spending here and producing $4.2 billion in wages and adding $994 million in tax revenue. The sector employs 125,000 people statewide. All of this fosters innovation and more importantly fuels our passion in every way.
We have generations of triathletes and cyclists. It’s what gave birth to 303cycling.com and 303triathlon.com many years ago.
Says publisher and editor-in-chief Dana Willet, “We are honored to bring news, events and personal stories to Colorado, and the world. This next week our focus is bringing readers all the happenings in Kona – We are so excited for our third year of Kona coverage, and second year of the Road to Kona series.”
“The Road to Kona” series was born last year on 303Triathlon to help celebrate this passion and recognize the hard work and dedication it takes to get there.
Craig David of Audi Boulder and I were simply brainstorming on how showcase their sponsorship of three time World Champion Mirinda Carfrae when we realized, looking at how many Coloradoans compete in Kona, that there is so much more to the story and how we need to celebrate this crazy passion for triathlons in Colorado.
Why does Audi Boulder care so much you might ask? Here is what Craig said:
The Road to Kona series means getting excited about the World Championship of Triathlon! But really, it means getting excited for so many hometown athletes, rooting for them, watching them, and seeing them reach their potential. It’s the spirit of the sport, to keep challenging yourself…that’s what we love to see unfold.
D3 coaching, led by Mike Ricci of Boulder, has eight athletes competing in Kona. Pictured here at Audi Boulder are three local athletes competing: Greg Lindquist, Sarah Peltier and Brian Lambert.
Boulder and Colorado are clearly one of the main hubs of triathlon with so many manufacturers, service providers, coaches and athletes. “The road to Kona” this year includes 52 Colorado Athletes competing in Kona.
Once again Audi Boulder is helping sponsor 303Triathlon to bring the news and action to you. Rudy Project, Roka, Couer Sports, Training Peaks, Endurance House Westminster, Boulder Bodyworker, D3 Multisport, MacPer4mance, and Newton Running all pitched in to help.