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World Champion Triathlete amongst us!

By Kim Arline, September 2014

Michael Orendorff of Pueblo became a world champion triathlete on Friday, August 29th 2014 placing first in his age group at the ITU World Sprint Distance championship in Edmonton, Canada.  This was incredible achievement considering the injury he sustained earlier in the season.

  • July 26th: Orendorff fell and dislocated his shoulder not once, not twice but three times in the Aspen Xterra triathlon on July 26th.  He was awarded a bottle of home brew for being the muddiest, bloodiest finisher with the worst injury. 
  • August 9-10th:  Two weeks later he was at USAT Age Group Nationals and told Kim Arline in the transition zone he wasn’t sure he could pull his wetsuit over his shoulder let alone race.  He could, he did and went on to place 3rd in his age group for Olympic Distance race out of 155 in his age group!  He “doubled” the following day by also competing in the Spring Distance race and came in 1st in the 60-64 year old age group becoming a National Champion again.  Both races qualify him for the 2015 Team USA for the ITU World Championship in Chicago next year. 
  • August 29th:  Three weeks later Michael won the ITU World Sprint Championship he qualified for at 2013 Nationals in Milwaukee. 
  • September 7th:  He had one week to rest, recover and travel to the opposite side of Canada for the World Championship Ironman 70.3 in Mount Tremblant near Toronto.  He qualified for this race at St. George Ironman 70.3 this past spring placing 1st in his age group.  He finished a very challenging 1/2 Ironman course with a bike course with 24% grades and cobblestone streets to run in 4:58:30 placing 2nd in his age group!  SoCoT2 member, Dr. Laurel Wright, also qualified and competed in Mount Tremblant Ironman 70.3 World Championship. We truly have some incredible athletes in our club!

Michael Orendorff has been a highly competitive triathlete for over 30 years competing and placing in the top few places in many national and world level championship events over the years.  He excels at both off-road triathlons (Xterra mountain bike, trail running) as well as USA Triathlon (USAT) road triathlons.  Since 2008, Orendorff has placed in the top three places at USAT National Championships and Xterra rankings and championship events all but one year.  Other highlights of his 2014 season include:

  • Xterra Rocky Mountain Xterra regionals:  1st in age group on July 20, 2014 to compete at Xterra Nationals September 20th
  • USAT road triathlon ranking based on race points: 3rd in the nation
  • Xterra off-road triathlon ranking based on race points:  1st in age group, Regional Champion

At 63 years of age, Orendorff’s race times are faster than almost all local triathletes 15-30 years younger who looks up to him for training tips and advice.  Many club members look forward to training bicycle rides with him to first, see if they can keep up and second, maybe learn a new piece of information on performance, nutrition or recovery.  He is a wealth of information for the local triathlon club athletes. 

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