It appears the first two triathlons happening in Colorado will be in Eagle at the LG Tri on July 11th (more on this event in another article) and the Epic Warrior Triathlon on July 18th. Both will feature a pool swim.
With each county controlling the size of group gatherings or asking for variances from statewide mandates, Eagle and Larimer counties have approved these two events.
In the past 10 days or so there’s been a big flurry of good news and approvals with both Larimer County and the City of Fort Collins according to race director JB Tobin of Breakaway Athletic Events.
Not familiar with Epic Warrior Triathlon? JB says, “We combined The Epic Mini Triathlon (original race date was 5-31-20) and the Warrior Women Triathlon and are calling it the “Epic Warrior Triathlon”.
With the approvals came additional distancing precautions, extra athlete guidelines, volunteer & staff guidelines, packet pickup, and awards changes. There’s a host of tweaks and updates to the entire morning that should make everyone feel safe and comfortable taking part in the event.
Tobin adds, “One thing we think athletes will really like is the ultra roomy transition area, maybe the “roomiest transition ever?”
An equally fun part of this story is by being the first triathlon on the front range, the community support will be unprecedented. Lance Panigutti from Without Limits will be working the event and says, “I’m just excited to see everyone!”
Peggy Shockley, director of Loveland’s Lake to Lake Triathlon will be racing in the event (and likely volunteering when she’s done) and Lisa Sinclair from Green Events will be helping out as a volunteer on race morning.
Currently the race is about 75% sold out, so if you want to race, now would be the time to sign up! They are limited to 200 people.There will be no race day registrations allowed.
The Epic Mini Triathlon was created to fill a need: a lack of road triathlons anywhere in Fort Collins! Being set in such a vibrant athletic & outdoor city this event feels right at home to athletes at any level.
The short distance (450 meter pool swim | 10 mile 2.5 loop bike | 2 mile run) is very beginner friendly but also short enough to allow seasoned triathlete’s a chance to test their speed-skills limits.
The 50 meter pool at Edora Pool & Ice Center (yes, EPIC) provides some of the best swimming in the city. Athletes will start in whatever time wave they are most comfortable, chosen during registration, and snake their way through 9 lengths before hopping out and heading to transition just 50 feet away. The best part – no wetsuit!
The bike course is a fun 2.5 laps that has less than 300 ft of total elevation gain. No mega hills to climb and no lengthy course routes to memorize. Wide lane shoulders, lots of cones and plenty of volunteers help create a great bike experience.
The power line trail is closed just for us during this race. The out and back loops keeps athletes off of any public roads and allows for TONS of high fives from your fellow athletes along the way.
Watch this video to check out a bike/run course preview:
Lots of smiles, high fives and pancake breakfast options at the finish line! Not to mention some fun sponsors & vendors.
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.
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”.