2019 will be the last IRONMAN Boulder

By Bill Plock

The champion of Sunday’s race will be the last champion for the foreseeable future of a full-distance IRONMAN race in Boulder. For us at 303 Endurance Network, parent of 303Triathlon, it’s been an amazing 6 years of covering and racing this race.

The first race director of IRONMAN Boulder, Dave Christen shared his thoughts saying, “IRONMAN Boulder has been such a great event because of the people who raced it and those amazing volunteers who put the race on. Between Dan, Tim, and myself as the different Race Directors of the event for the 6 years, we all agree we have only played a very small role. The City of Boulder, Boulder County, and Colorado State Patrol, all hosted a world class event in a world class city. We are excited about the changes in the IRONMAN calendar as we are seeing athletes gravitating towards new experiences and new host communities. Boulder will always be in the IRONMAN calendar in some form and we are are proud of the athletes who raced one of the most beautiful and challenging courses in the series. I personally want to say thank you to everyone who played a role in the event and for those that provided such honest and constructive feedback over the years. I wanted it to be a race dictated by the athletes and I can say we did that. Congratulations to everyone who has and will conqour this race! “

Sunday’s race should be iconic with three former champions racing the men’s and women’s pro field and Boulder native pros Sam Long, Colin Laughery and Danielle Mack competing.

For us at 303Triathlon, this race has been our “Super Bowl” and covering it with the iconic Boulder creek path “flux capacitor” run course, the downtown finish line, and the amazing support of so many local triathletes made the atmosphere simply electric.

No doubt the race had declined in popularity and there are many possible reasons for that. When you look at the national landscape and see the decline in participation in some long standing races and the increase in participation in new venues, it seems to support how athletes do like different choices. Some races will be returning to their origins such as St. George and Penticton. So who knows, maybe a return to Boulder is possible someday.

A few of our favorite stories from over the years:

Colorado Triathlon, is this the next big race, or maybe it already is?

Five years ago the Colorado Triathlon by Without Limits had 430 athletes check in and now over 800 athletes started–and Eric Kenney won the first sprint distance race in 2015 and won again yesterday–only 1 min slower than 2015–way to age Eric–or not! Some things change, some things don’t!

First timer sprint men and women’s waves

This past weekend kicked off the outdoor triathlon season at the Colorado Triathlon which featured sprint and olympic distances, along with a duathlon and aqua bike and relay teams. The week leading up to yesterdays race was filled with questions of the water temperature and the temptation to switch to a duathlon. But somehow, in typical fashion, the water warmed up just enough and the atmosphere was electric at the Boulder Reservoir.

First timer Maria Giordano

Most impressive besides conquering the 62 degree water, was the finish line conquer by more than 100 people who had never raced a triathlon before. This race continues to grow and competitors ranged in ages from 14 to 80. There was even a podium for the first-timer categories.

Eric Kenney won the men’s sprint race and Tim Hola took the olympic distance. Lindsay Knast and Steph Popelor were the women’s champs. First timer’s Christian Moden and Maria Giordano stood on top of the podium for the sprint distance and Julien Schaller and Katherine Kerr won the Olympic distance.

First timer, Shannon Simpson said afterwards, “I was impressed at how welcoming the triathlon community is and the feel of the race is “chill” and “fun” and has strong sense of community. When race director Lance Panigutti told us before the race, “that we will get everyone through the day,” I just felt like I wouldn’t’ be left behind.”

Lance’s motto found on the finisher medals, “collect moments, not things” seems to have permeated the atmosphere well!

For more race pictures, go to our Facebook page album HERE

Loveland Lake to Lake Tri, more women than men, few reasons why.

By Kirsten Smith

Last week I learned that the local favorite Loveland Lake to Lake triathlon in Loveland, Colorado has more female participants that male. This is not surprising to me but is very rare in the world of triathlon where most races (other than women specific races) are around 75% male and 25% female.

I have done the Lake to Lake triathlon several times, including the inaugural race in 2001. At that time, there weren’t very many races in Colorado, other than Denver and Boulder, so it was very exciting that there was a local race to Northern Colorado where I was living at the time.

I am a triathlon coach and work with many beginner female triathletes. When going over race options for locals, the Lake to Lake is one I often recommend. Now that I have this new info about the number of women who participate, I’m excited to share it as many of my newbie women triathletes. I reached out to the community of local female triathletes to find out the appeal. Here are some of my findings…

For starters, many love Loveland’s friendly, small-town community and the local charities the race supports.

They also mentioned the “welcoming” and “fun” aspects of the race and one of the best finishing picnics in the sport. Several liked the “organization” of the race and since it is smaller and “not in Boulder” it is less intimidating. Also noted was the warmer water temp in Lake Loveland and the park like atmosphere and grassy transitions feels very welcoming and calm. The run winds through the local neighborhood and around the lake and finishes passing the bronze statues in the park.

Being on June 22, the timing of this race is great for families. It’s early enough in the summer that it’s after school gets out but before most summer vacations. It gives moms enough training time while school is still in session but before the business of the summer sets in.

Both the Sprint and Olympic distance bike courses are very safe and scenic and away from a lot of the local traffic. As a new mom, I am concerned more about my safety than before I had my baby. It’s more of a priority for me to be around to see her grow up! Numerous women I spoke with, who did the race for the first time, did it on recommendation from a friend! They heard “good things” about the race as a whole. Women tend to share their experiences with other women (both good and bad) so this doesn’t surprise me at all as a main reason why women choose do this race!!

There is a Sprint distance, an Olympic distance, and an Aquabike. There are age group, Athena, Clydesdale, and Relay categories. I hope to see you all out there this year!

St. George, Great day to race, adding a full-distance next year

(Liz West)

This weekend St. George offered perfect race weather and a successful day for many Coloradan’s. Boulder’s Sam Long finished 5th overall in a race where the top five men finished within three minutes of each other. 303’s Kenny Withrow has some wonderful race day photos found here: http://bitly.ws/3V2q

But some other big news from St. George seems to be the future of the venue. It was announced last week that it will hosts the 2021 70.3 World Championship and the full-distance race will return in 2020 and rotate with other cities (to be named later) back to St. George in 2023. The full distance races will also be the North American Championship which is currently at Ironman Texas.

The idea of rotating full-distance Ironman’s in addition to adding a full in the mid-west will offer many options for triathletes in the coming years. It will be interesting to see how this impacts current race venues.

If you want to hear a recent interview with Sam Long preparing for the race season, check it out here on Mile High Endurance Podcast: http://traffic.libsyn.com/milehightripodcast/172_-_Going_Long_with_Sam_Long.mp3

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

Colorado State Women’s Triathlon sweeps podium!

By USA Triathlon

TEMPE, Arizona — Colorado State University’s Hayley Belles, Meghan Smith and Katrina Lems earned the first podium sweep in USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships history on Saturday afternoon in Tempe, Arizona. The Rams dominated the women’s Olympic-distance race, while Queens University of Charlotte was unstoppable in the men’s race, led by individual champion Jack Felix.

About 1,200 collegiate athletes from more than 100 club teams competed in the marquee event of Collegiate Club Nationals weekend. The Olympic-distance course was centered at Tempe Beach Park and featured a 1,500-meter swim, 41-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run. 

Rachel Zilinskas of the University of Minnesota had the top women’s swim of the day, exiting the water in 19 minutes, 2 seconds. The University of Florida’s Nicole Stafford was not far behind though, overtaking the Minnesota athlete in transition. 

Full article courtesy of USA Triathlon, read here: Article Link


Fun multisport options in No. Colo this summer…

Happy Spring fellow athletes! Last time you heard from us, we introduced ourselves and talked a bit about what helps to set our race events apart from others (more on that here: https://303triathlon.com/meet-a-new-triathlon-race-company/). Now we’re back to share a bit about some exciting new developments and more details about our upcoming races and events!
We have been making strides in our goal to involve local businesses and organizations, as mentioned in our last article, with our most recent partnership with MP Multisport for our inaugural race season. MP Multisport will provide individualized coaching and nutrition options to help meet the needs of our athletes. This may be especially beneficial for those who are trying their hand at a triathlon for the very first time, such as at our beginner-friendly Epic Mini Tri (more info below). To find out more about MP Multisport’s impact in the endurance training community, as well as services they provide, check out mpmultisport.com.
Now onto the fun we’re going to have in 2019 with our race events! Here’s some info on our upcoming events over the next few months: 


-The Epic Mini Triathlon – Fort Collins 5-26-19The 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. It’s a great beginner-friendly triathlon, or a great tune-up for seasoned triathletes. A 450 meter pool swim, 10 mile bike and 2 mile run coupled with a family friendly and supportive atmosphere will make this race a blast. 


-The Dirty Duo Off Road Ride & Run – Lory State Park – 7-27-19Time to get dirty! The Dirty Duo Off Road Ride & Run is a challenging event on the trails of Lory State Park. No age groups and no gender groups! Similar in course layout to the popular Lory Xterra Triathlon, this bike then run race ditches the swim for a “LeMans style” start. When the gun goes off (or in this case an air horn), athletes will run 100 meters to their bikes in transition. Fast flat sections, tight technical turns, challenging climbs and soaring views of Horsetooth Reservoir. This race will challenge your legs with the climbs but keep you motivated the whole way with some truly breathtaking views & sights.


-Boyd Lake Bash Multisport Festival – Loveland – 9-7-19Escape 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 September weather and 10 races to choose from all in the same morning…yes TEN, including a Youth Splash & Dash! It’s outdoor physical fun for the whole family! The entire race takes place within the state park. Did we mention on-site camping options and a beer garden at the finish line? Yup! 


-Colorado Ocean Walker Swim Challenge – Fort Collins/Loveland, 9-11 and 9-12 (training camps in Fort Collins) & 9-14 (swim race in Loveland) 2019Fear no swim! The Colorado Ocean Walker Swim Challenge is a highly focused training camp series & open water race event. You will swim more efficiently, be more confident in open water and see quicker swim splits. Join us for a full two-day training camp to learn the Ocean Walker swim technique. At the end of the week there will be an open water swim event to put your new skills and confidence to the test!The 2-day training camp and the subsequent open water swim race can be registered for separately. You are NOT required to attend the training camp in order to participate in the open water swim race and you do NOT have to do the swim race if you’re only interested in the training camp – pick and choose what works for you, sign up for one or both!
These races are filling up, so don’t hesitate to register! Click the link below to read more race details, register, get more info about each of our events or sign up to volunteer and get discounted registration at a future event. Thanks for reading more about Breakaway Athletic Events. We look forward to seeing you on the pavement!
https://breakawayathleticevents.com/races
And stay tuned for our upcoming Spotlight Series over the next few weeks, where we will be sharing more exciting news and talk more in depth on each of these events.——————

Tri Boulder Race Preview

By Kirsten McCay

The 5th Annual Tri Boulder Sprint and Olympic Distance Triathlon is coming up and you don’t want to miss this race! This is a perfect tune-up race for the Boulder 70.3 which takes place in the same area 2 weeks later.

Compete in one of the fastest growing triathlons in Boulder. Swim in the beautiful Boulder Rez which is in the mid-70s right now, I swam in it with no wetsuit last weekend and it was perfect! Bike some of the smoothest (yay) and fastest (double yay) roads in Boulder. And run on the scenic dam trail which is a mostly flat and all packed dirt road. BBSC is a tri-friendly, professional race company that offers gender specific t-shirts, finisher medals, age group awards, Clydesdale and Athena categories, relays, race day child care, free entry into the reservoir, post-race food, and more.

This year I am doing the Olympic distance race and have already spent time on both courses and wanted to share with you what you are in for when you decide to do either of the races this year on July 23rd. I’m using the Olympic as a training race for USAT Age Group Nationals on August 12th. Either distance would be great for that or as mentioned above a tune-up race for Boulder 70.3 on August 6th.

SWIM: Currently the water in the reservoir is about 74 degrees. This is a great temperature that is warm enough for you to swim without a wetsuit if you don’t have one, but isn’t too warm to legally allow wetsuits if you are relying on that to help your swim time. The sprint course is a 750 meter clock-wise rectangle and the Olympic just doubles the distance out and back from the shore. There will be large buoys at each turn and small buoys for sighting. The swim is a wave start for safety and ease for beginner swimmers. Typically there are less than 100 people per wave.

BIKE: The bike course for the sprint is typically called the “Neva loop” and is basically a large loop around the NW part of Boulder. The sprint course is 17 miles, a little longer than the usual sprint distance, so if you are a cyclist, this race is for you! After leaving Reservoir Road, there is a very gradual climb for about 3 miles and then a fast rolling downhill for the next 10 miles. Once you are back on the Diagonal, it is another very slight incline for about 2 miles and then basically downhill (other than 2 short hills on the road back to the res) to the finish. The Olympic starts and ends the same way with a couple extra miles of slight incline rewarding us with several additional miles of declines! YAHOO!

RUN: The run for the sprint is primarily on dirt road and is a simple out and back around the res along the dam. There is a hill immediately when you leave transition, just remember it will be downhill on the way back when you need it the most. The Olympic is also an out and back, it just passes the sprint turn-around and goes an additional 1.55 miles slightly inclining to the 10K turn-around which will be fast for the return home to the finish line.

A great way to practice the swim and run is the Boulder Stroke & Stride which is a swim/run series held at the res every Thursday night. This will get you used to open water swimming, running up the beach, and that first hill on the run.

If you get to the Stroke & Stride, stop by and say “HI” to me at the “chip handout” table!!

And I hope to see you all out there on the 23rd.

303Radio Interviews Boulder Peak Tri Pro Champions, RD Panigutti, Siff

Cam Dye

Paula Findlay

Lindsey Jerdonek

Lindsey Jerdonek

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

303Radio Interviews Boulder Peak Pros Cam Dye, Justin Metzler, Kaisa Sali

303Radio’s Rich Soares chatted with a few of the Pros toeing the line tomorrow morning – take a listen!
Cam Dye reflects on his long history with the Boulder Peak.  Having raced the Boulder Peak at age 15 and later winning as a professional in 2013, Cam knows the course and how to race it.
70.3 specialist, Justin Metzler talks about his first time racing the Boulder Peak, the quality pro field, and how it fits into his 2017 race schedule.
Pro Triathlete Kaisa Sali talks about her preparation for the Boulder Peak, working with Coach Siri Lindley, racing at altitude and “sisu” – (Finnish for “digging deep”)