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!

2017 Loveland Lake-to-Lake Triathlon Race Preview

By Kirsten Smith

The Loveland Lake to Lake Triathlon is one of Northern Colorado’s oldest and most popular triathlons. It started as an Olympic distance tri with less than 500 mostly local participants in 2002 and has grown over the past 15 years into an Olympic distance tri, a sprint distance tri, an aqua bike, a relay, and the USA Triathlon Regional Championships attracting almost 1,000 athletes from all over the US.

The mission of the Loveland Lake to Lake Triathlon is to provide triathlon enthusiasts with a safe and enjoyable event in which to compete, regardless of their competitive level. It promotes the triathlon sport and the opportunity to give back to the community.

The race director Peggy Shockley is a triathlete herself, so she knows first-hand how to create a race that the athletes will enjoy.

I did this race for the first time in 2003 and have done it several times since. One thing that is unique to this race is the bike course. It’s changed a little over the years, but has always been about 30 miles instead of the typical 25 for an Olympic distance race and the ride goes up to Horsetooth Mountain Park and skirts the south end of the Horsetooth Reservoir so the ride is also challenging and beautiful. If cycling is your strength, this is the course for you!

The race takes place at the Loveland High School and North Lake Park beach area. The transition area is at Owens Field on the south side of Loveland High School.

The swim for the Olympic distance is 1500 meters and for the sprint 750 meters. Both swims start at the swim beach and go counter-clockwise in a rectangle. The Olympic rectangle is twice as long. There are 4 waves for the swim, each starting 4 minutes apart.

The run from the swim back to the transition is longer than your typical transition for a smaller race and is slightly uphill BUT is on grass so it’s soft on your feet and by the time you get to your bike, your feet are clean from the sand on the beach! Bonus!

The Olympic distance bike course in general is uphill the first half and downhill the second half. There are three pretty steep climbs from miles 7-10, 11-14, and 15-16. Other than that, there are quite a few rollers, not many flat sections on this bike course! In the past there have been some strong winds coming back into Loveland and the day (late June) has been known to really heat up on the second half of the ride. My suggestion to anyone local doing this race for the first time is to ride the course in advance. The full course map with turn-by-turn directions in on the Loveland Lake to Lake website. The sprint bike course is basically a rectangle tour on the main streets of Loveland toward Fort Collins and back.

The run course starts through the park, winds through some neighborhoods, and ends up about a mile around the lake before you turn around and come back the way you came, finishing back up at the park near the amphitheater. The sprint run goes the opposite way through the Sculpture Garden and then back to the park at the lake, both races finishing in the same place.

This race always has great course support full of volunteers and spectators, especially at the finish line. This is a family friendly race because of the beach and park area where kids and families can hang out during the race. This race is known for its post-race meals, awards, after-race party, and popsicles. And it definitely still has a local flavor where you run into all the athletes from the local Northern Colorado triathlon community!

I’ll be doing the Olympic distance this year so I hope to see you out there on June 24th. There are still a few spots available to get registered today!

Lake to Lake swim course revision:

Athletes have requested a CLOCKWISE swim course, you’ve asked, and we’ll respond. The Sprint Course will no longer be in a separate area of the lake.

LOVELAND LAKE TO LAKE
is the USA Triathlon Regional Championship
event for Olympic, Sprint and Aquabike

See calendar event