JB Tobin’s Breakaway Athletic Events Company Thriving in Ft. Collins

Bill Plock

JB Tobin started Breakaway Athletic Events in 2018 and has built a nice group of multisport and running events in Northern Colorado. Last year with very few triathlons, Larimer county granted JB permission to hold his events that culminated with Last Call Triathlon at Boyd Lake in late September. There, the infamous Iron Nun, a.k.a. Sister Madonna Buder traveled from Oregon to do this race along with some hopeful para olympians from Colorado Springs. (303 story here: https://303triathlon.com/sister-madonna-para-triathletes-hola-and-chilton-bring-the-house-down-at-last-call-triathlon-in-loveland/)

The Last Call Triathlon was Epic, which just happens to be the name of Breakaway’s first triathlon of the season, Epic Mini in Ft. Collins on May 30th. This is a great opening season event and particularly attractive with its pool swim for new triathletes. More info go here: https://breakawayathleticevents.com/epic-mini-triathlon/

Sister Madonna and JB Tobin

We decided to catch up with JB and learn more about his company and what’s happening in 2021

  1. Talk about the original vision and where’s it at today and what is new in 2021? 

We’ve always been focused on unique events that are beginner friendly, supportive and inviting. Our original vision was to bring more races to the northern Colorado area (especially for the sport of triathlon) and to date we’ve achieved that with two new triathlon events that the community has really embraced – The Epic Mini Tri & The Last Call Tri.

For 2021 we added a brand new spring time running event that just took place on April 18th. The NoCo Half Marathon & 10K. Traditional distances done on a non traditional course. Boyd Lake State Park played host to this race and we had athletes able to run on the vehicle roads, pedestrian pathways and two unique off road sections with one hitting the beach a little bit! It was a great morning that was well received by everyone that came out. We look forward to growing it next year.

303’s Rich Soares with vegetarian breakfast at the Epic Mini

2. What have you learned, loved and maybe not loved over the past three years?

I’ve learned that as a Race Director I have to trust myself a bit more when it comes to planning & prep for a race. At times I tend to over think and over stress on details which end up being minuet on race day. I’ve loved stepping up my graphic design game and coming up with some really fun medals. 

3. 2020 was a challenging year, obviously, tell us how you navigated it and what your learned.

I put in a lot of hard work alongside a great community with Larimer County, the Colorado State Parks (and their rangers) and the City of Fort Collins to make magic happen. Race days came down to approval based on logical information and strong communication between myself and the permitting agencies and venues. It was a win without a doubt. 

The Last Call Tri in September of 2020 at Boyd Lake was great. It was one of (if not the only) open water triathlon in the entire Front Range for the season. We had lots of athletes race with us including the Iron Nun, local Air Force Cadets and the USA Para-Olympic athletes. It was electric all around as 303 Triathlon had described it at the time.

4. Talk about the community of Ft. Collins and Northern Colorado and how they work with you to succeed

The athlete community in Ft Collins and Northern Colorado are very supportive. They always embrace a good event with positive attitudes and great feedback. It’s been awesome to connect with them more and more over the past two years as events grow in the area.

5. What long term fun events are you considering in the next few years if anything? 

For 2022 there’s another multisport event in the works. Without sharing too much, think small course route with lots of speed and very high energy. If all goes to plan it will be right here in NOCO ☺

6. What do you feel makes Breakaway Athletic Events special and unique? 

This is a tough one to answer. There are a bunch of things I think that make Breakaway unique. I’ll bullet point them below.

  • 100% plant based aid stations & post race meals
  • Unique race distances
  • A great team of staff members
  • Our attention to detail (even if we don’t bring them all to light on race days)
  • The smiles and high fives 

Ft. Collins Epic Warrior Triathlon, First Front Range Triathlon Went Well

By Bill Plock

Ft. Collins: About 150 athletes participated in the past weekends, Epic Warrior triathlon in Ft. Collins. Complete with small wave starts in the pool as athletes lined up in social distant cues and finishing with athletes waiting in spaced out lines for freshly made vegan hotcakes and hash, the Epic Warrior triathlon seemingly was a huge success. And a welcome chance to re-connect with the triathlon community in a safe and responsible way.

Says JB Tobin, head of Breakaway Athletic Events, “we just wanted everyone to be able to relax and have fun. We had planned for so many great events this year, so it was nice to have had at least one of them! Thanks everyone who came out to participate!”

Of note, the transition area looked a lot different than normal with half the bikes per bike rack, port-o-potties spread out differently and athletes wore masks setting up their transition spot and waiting in spaced out lines to enter the pool for their wave start. Each wave was fairly small and athletes entered the water about 10 seconds apart to minimize being near each other. As one group would get about halfway into their swim, the next wave would be brought in and cued up.

At the awards ceremony the podium wasn’t really used but all the top finishers were recognized as athletes and spectators stayed very spread out in the grass at the Edora Center in Ft. Collins.

To see the results for the entire race go here: http://racingunderground.racetecresults.com/results.aspx?CId=16436&RId=338

Dirty Duo race, something Different!

This race is a bit different: All athletes start 150 meters from the start line (LeMans start) and run to their bike; AND there are no age or gender groups, pretty cool!

Lory State Park, just west of Fort Collins, boasts some of the best trails, views and surroundings for outdoor enthusiasts and athletes. The “Dirty Duo” Off Road Ride & Run puts athletes right in the center of those surroundings for an all out multisport race!

Athletes start 150 meters from the transition area in what’s called a LeMans start. When the horn goes off they’ll sprint to their bikes and take off! Racers can go as easy or hard as they’d like in this first section to attack for position.

Once on the bikes this unique 11.25 mile two loop course will challenge their legs and keep them inspired as they climb to see epic views of Horsetooth Reservoir. There are two loops down Lodgepole Rd which is flat, open and fast. This gives faster riders a chance to pass other athletes before getting back onto the tight & technical single track trails.

As riders blaze into transition they’ll start to climb again almost immediately once they leave on the 4 mile run. The run course is technical, twisty and offers great scenery just like the bike course.

This race has NO age groups, NO gender groups and a small athlete capacity of just 100 racers. The course promises soaring skies and some awesome trail terrain that will leave smiling and dirty by the end.

We created an event like this to connect athletes with a “grassroots” type of race experience. There’s no formal sanctioning, no formal age/gender rankings and it’s essentially you vs you on the mountain trails.

Fort Collins is a short 10 minute drive east. The area boasts some of the best local breweries around, bike friendly paths at every turn and a ton of activities all within minutes of iconic downtown – also known as “Old Town”. Don’t take our word for it – make a weekend out of this event and plan to get a little extra sight seeing done after your cleaned up from the mountain 🙂

Ft. Collins Triathlon, May 26th, pool swim, great way to kick off the season.

By Breakaway Athletic Events

Fort Collins has been in need of a good road triathlon for years now. The Epic Mini fills that void. It’s a short distance course just shy of a sprint distance triathlon, making it fun and unique.

The name says it all! The “EPIC MINI” Triathlon. Taking place at a central venue located in Fort Collins Colorado, this race packs a punch of fun into a short course.

Beginners will feel comfortable and not intimidated for a variety of reasons. There are no long and grueling distances for each of the swim, bike & run splits. The overall course has very little elevation gain so there’s no chance you’ll need to “walk” up a huge hill. It’s a pool based swim so no wetsuits or big bodies of open water to fear.

Seasoned athletes aren’t left out either. This short course is great as a season “warm up” race, “rust buster” or an all out time trial to really test your gear and physical limits by pushing yourself. Flat & fast will make you want to push hard for your season ahead.

The Swim: Edora Pool is an absolutely great venue featuring a 50 meter pool and bleacher seating for spectators. The snake swim will feature wide lanes that allow for athlete passing when needed. Easy line sighting and a low pressure environment start this race off right.

The Bike: 10 miles as 2.5 loops around some very scenic spots in Fort Collins. You’ll have front range mountain views while coming down Timberline Ave and enjoy scenic private lake flybys at the corner of Drake & Lemay. We’ve dedicated an entire lane to cyclists for this race to ensure athlete’s safety and room to pass.

The Run: 2 miles out and back on the Power Line Trail just for our athletes. No potholes, traffic or other potential course hazards on this pristine run route. 

Race Day Expectations & The Local Experience: Coming down the finish line chute will have you smiling and high fiving as you cross the line. Our local vendors & sponsors are helping to create a great race exerience by having booths set up to meet & greet on race day as well as free swag for every athlete that registers to race. We’ll have a coffee/espresso truck available on site, provided by Buzzthru, and a fun vegan-friendly pancake breakfast spread for athletes, by our local charity Athlete’s In Tandem. We always strive to be as eco-friendly as possible, so we will be utilizing compostable cups, plates and forks and encouraging athletes to use their refillable water bottles for the bike leg vs additional plastic refill bottles. The course will be well marked with direction signs, volunteers, Fort Collins Police Services and Breakaway staff members. Athlete safety and an overall positive experience is our goal!

Fort Collins boasts some of the best local breweries around, bike friendly paths at every turn (the Spring Creek Trail is next to the run course) and a ton of activities all within minutes of iconic downtown – also known as “Old Town”. Don’t take our word for it – make a weekend out of this event and plan to get a little extra sight seeing done!

Don’t miss out!! To register or get more info visit https://breakawayathleticevents.com/epic-mini-triathlon

Carter Lake Crusher



Soaring skies, amazing views & lush forest cover – The “CARTER LAKE CRUSHER” Triathlon. Carter Lake provides some of the best camping, water activities and beautiful surroundings the front-range foothills has to offer. Triathlon is now on that list as well!

Sitting just west of Loveland and southwest of Fort Collins, this close-to-home triathlon will have a big destination feel and a unique race course to match. Make a weekend out of this event and plan to get a little extra sight seeing done with on-site camping options!


Event details and registration here

Meet a new triathlon race company

Breakaway Athletic Events | www.BREAKAWAYATHLETICEVENTS.com

What led you to create Breakaway?
I’ve been a serial entrepreneur for nearly 15 years and a triathlete for ten. Throughout this time, I’ve completed multiple triathlons and run races including everything from a sprint to a full distance and 5k’s to a marathon – even some fun half-marathon trail races. I’ve been involved in the race world in a variety of roles, including as an athlete, a “pro” spectator (my wife gets much more credit there), a volunteer & as a staff member helping to organize and execute race days. There’s a high energy, such excitement and anticipation in the air and sense of accomplishment that comes with these races. But I felt there was a lack of multisport events in the northern Colorado area, specifically in and around Fort Collins. This realization, combined with my passion for these sports, led to the creation of Breakaway Athletic Events.

How is Breakaway different?
I think one characteristic that sets us apart is that we are athletes first. We’ve experienced race days, the adrenaline, the passion for and pursuit of a podium finish. I know what frustrates me on race morning and also what motivates me. Our goal is to use this insight and knowledge to enhance the overall athlete experience. We’re doing this by paying attention to the details and all the race aspects we’ve found bothersome over the years. For example, our events will be as eco-friendly as possible. This means occasionally ditching the traditional aid station model and having athletes focus on reusing their bike water bottles (vs hundreds of half used plastic water refill bottles). Another example, is that our athlete meals will be plant-based. Why? It’s super healthy, less harsh on the planet and much better in terms of food safety. In addition, our clearly marked and detailed course maps and layouts allow for awesome spectator fun and support for athletes as the athletes pass spectator areas multiple times throughout their race, not just once or twice all day. These are just a few of the many examples we are implementing. Our primary goals are strong community support through local businesses & sponsors and an awesome athlete experience with attention to race details, safety & spectator fun .

What specific races will you have?
We are working to shed the mold of traditional event creators by creating more unique races. We’re always working to create races that fill a space that might not have existed before. One example of this is our Epic Mini Triathlon in Fort Collins. We haven’t had any road triathlons in Fort Collins for years. This short distance race has a well laid out course, highly organized transition area & fun beginner-friendly pool swim. It’s intimate and inviting, something that can be tough to find at the larger scale events.

Our specific calendar is always available at breakawayathleticevents.com/races. But briefly, for 2019, we have seven events in the works including an off-road ride & run, the Epic Mini (mentioned above), and a great destination triathlon. We have also worked into the schedule a multisport race festival! It’s an awesome multi-race event happening at a great location. There will be music, a beer-garden and a youth series race as well so the whole family can get involved – ten races in total. We’ll announce more on new events as the details get confirmed. We’re excited about each and every one! 🙂

What is the multisport festival you mentioned above about?
The Boyd Lake Bash Multisport Festival takes place at a great venue and will include ten individual events all in one day. Sitting on the east side of Loveland and southeast of Fort Collins, this close-to-home multisport race event will have a festival feel that’s intimate, fun and mildly challenging. The course layouts make race morning packed with spectator cheering and multiple athlete flybys. Every race takes place within the park. This creates a safer and more exciting race for all of the athletes. We have a youth splash and dash series taking place that morning as well. Fun for the whole family! With ON-SITE camping options, make a weekend out of this event and plan some extra relaxation time.

Some race companies have a discounted entry or free entry program if you volunteer. Does Breakaway offer this as well?
Yes! Volunteers help make races happen. Not only can volunteers earn discounted race entry, they also get to experience a race event from a unique perspective and with much less pressure. This often leads to them having a great race of their own on that same course whenever they are ready to tackle it in future years to come.

What are the biggest challenges to organizing a new event especially in a new venue?
Any event, whether new or an annual recurrence, takes a lot of planning. I find the largest challenge to putting a new race event in place is navigating the permits process, as well as finding unique ways to promote the event on a large scale. Dreaming up a fast bike course or a wicked run challenge can be easy. But going through the permits process, which often requires a lot of paperwork and time spent waiting to hear back can be a challenge, though I do enjoy getting to connect with the local permitting agencies and area managers. After the hurdles of permitting and venue approval, it’s on to registration and thinking about ways to reach people who may be interested in our events. It’s all about getting the word out!

What do you think the future holds for Breakaway?
We’re excited for a strong first event season and plan on adding new races each year as we grow and connect with more athletes, staff & volunteers. We look forward to growing our audience and participant numbers, involving local businesses and getting youth involved in athletics and group physical activity. We hope to increase our contributions to local charity groups with each passing year and anticipate our events will help to promote our local parks and open spaces, as well.

Boyd Lake Bash Multisport Festival



Escape to the lake! The “Boyd Lake Bash” Multisport Festival will be an event you’ll look forward to all season long. Why? Beautiful mountain views, ideal weather and 10 races all in the same morning…yes TEN! Did we mention camping? Yup! There’s that too.

Sitting on the east side of Loveland and southeast of Fort Collins, this close-to-home multisport race event will have a festival feel that’s intimate, fun and mildly challenging. The course layouts make race morning packed with spectator cheering and multiple athlete flybys. With ON-SITE camping options, make a weekend out of this event and plan some extra relaxation time.

BE EARLY!! Register to race & reserve your camping slot (separately) – Spots will fill up quick.

• Triathlon
• Duathlon
• Aquabike
• Aquathon Short
• Aquathon Long
• Youth 7-10 Splash & Dash
• Youth 11-15 Splash & Dash
• 5K Run Only
• 10K Run Only
• 1/2 Marathon Run Only


Event details and registration here



The Epic Mini Triathlon

Ft. Collins


General Information

Course Info: The name says it all. The EPIC MINI Triathlon. Taking place at a central venue located in Fort Collins Colorado, this race packs a punch of fun into a short course. A short 450 meter pool swim, followed by 2.5 loops on a 10-mile bike course and an easy 2 miles on a closed path/trail for the run. BIG triathlon experience – SHORT distance fun. All of the bike course portion is on wide shoulder roads. This is a great beginner friendly race, family fun morning at transition & a good option for a season start “rust buster”.

Event details and registration here