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!

Race Recap: Loveland Lake to Lake Triathlon

By Kirsten McCay-Smith

WOW! In all the years I have done the Loveland Lake to Lake Triathlon, this year had BY FAR the best weather. In fact, I even got a little chilly out on the bike course!

Typically the late June race sees hot, sunny, and 90 degrees by the end of the race, and athletes are fighting for tent shade and popsicles. This year, temps only got into the low 70s and it was mostly cloudy the entire day. I even went to my car to grab my sweatshirt while waiting for awards!

Over 650 athletes lined up at the start of the 17th Loveland Lake to Lake race. There were 303 finishers in the Olympic Distance, 281 finishers in the Sprint Distance, and 29 finishers in the Aquabike.

The course saw record splits with the cooler temps and hardly any wind on the bike course.


Here are your 2017 champions:

Olympic Male: Robbie Wade 2:10.36
Olympic Female: Lindsey Knast 2:27.04
Sprint Male: Ryan Poland 1:07.35
Sprint Female: Tess Mattern 1:17.16
Aquabike Male: Thomas Birner 1:54.01
Aquabike Female: Heather Christiansen 2:02.06
You can find ALL race results HERE.

We also saw several first timers, teens, Athletes in Tandem partnerships, and other athletes with outstanding stories and triumphs. This is definitely a great race for first-timers as there are volunteers and local supporters out until the very last athlete finishes. AND plenty of post-race food for even the final finisher.

I love this race because there are so many local teams and participants. I feel like I personally knew over half the athletes racing. This event happens without fail every single year and is the only race at this venue. It is the only triathlon in Loveland, the only race in Lake Loveland, and the only triathlon that uses the beautiful and challenging Horsetooth Reservoir as part of its bike course.

The Race Director since inception, Peggy Shockley, was seen all day making sure the race ran smoothly (and it did) and making sure the athletes were happy with their race experience.

I talked with several athletes (both first timers and veterans of the race) throughout the day and out of all the feedback, the two statements I heard most were “the post-race food is amazing” – it was catered by local Fort Collins health food restaurant “Rainbow”- and “the feel during this race is very friendly and supportive.” Both absolutely true AND have been this was every single year since the race began.

From packet pick up the day before through awards and clean up race day, there are so many helpful, friendly, and passionate members of the local Northern Colorado community ready and willing to lend a hand wherever it was needed to make the entire race experience easy, fun, and memorable.
One other positive perk of this race is the free race day photos! You can find a TON of them taken by 303 Triathlon on the Lake to Lake facebook page and more official finishing photos HERE.

Personally I had a great race. I met my goals of a fast run, a strong finish, and a fun morning with 650 of my best friends! If I am in town, I always make this race a part of my June racing schedule. You can stay updated on next year’s race on the Loveland Lake to Lake website.

See you at the lake in 2018!