Local athletes working to bring triathlon to Pueblo

by | Jul 15, 2011 | News Articles

Local athletes working to bring triathlon to Pueblo

With interest in triathlons skyrocketing, two local endurance athletes are working to bring an outdoor version of the sport back to Pueblo in 2012.

Long-time Pueblo West Swim Club coach Gwen Steves and Addict2Athletes founder Rob Archuleta conducted kids and indoor versions of triathlons, respectively, this spring and have begun doing the legwork necessary to stage an Olympic-distance triathlon for adults at Lake Pueblo’s South Shore Marina in September. The swim leg would be in Boggs Creek Cove.

Steves, who is 32 and a native of Ordway, got her feet wet directing such an event when she put on an inaugural kids triathlon for the YMCA this past April with help from Kim Arline and many others. The event was similar to the national IronKids triathlons, with the three age divisions (5-8, 9-11 and 12-15) having different distances for the swim, bike and run legs.

Archuleta, 38 and a Pueblo native, staged an indoor triathlon at the Pueblo Athletic Club and drew approximately 100 individual and team competitors. His second such event will take place Aug. 26-27 at PAC.

The plan as envisioned is to stage both the kids and adult triathlons on a single weekend in September, with the kids version staying at Colorado State University-Pueblo. The adult version might retain the Ordinary Mortals Triathlon name adopted by its original founder, Mike Orendorff, who has been providing informational assistance to Steves.

Previously, the Ordinary Mortals was a sprint triathlon that was taken over by the YMCA and then dissolved after the 2006 version. Prior to that, the local chapter of the American Cancer Society staged the Drag’n On In Triathlon, an Olympic distance event, for many years at both Lake Pueblo’s North Shore Marina and the Rock Canyon swim area as well as on Pueblo West roads and trails. The YMCA also conducted a duathlon (run and bike legs) in Pueblo West for many years.

The timing to get back in the game is perfect. Pueblo has a solid local base of endurance athletes and there is tremendous interest in multi-sport events throughout Colorado. Steves and Archuleta also are interested in starting a triathlon club in Pueblo.

They are no strangers to multi-sport competition themselves. Both completed the Boulder Peak Triathlon last weekend as part of the three-race Boulder series (sprint, Olympic, Half-Ironman) they are doing this summer. Gwen also did the St. George (Utah) Ironman in May (see below), and Rob will be doing the Arizona Ironman in November after working as a volunteer at it last year. Both have swam competitively since they were kids.


The Atalanta Run/Walk for women will cease after being held the past 30+ years in November since it has been canceled for 2011, and there are no plans to restore it next year. Meanwhile, the Women’s Distance Festival, Pueblo’s other women-only race and which celebrated its 30th anniversary this year, will continue in its late June date.

The increasingly popular Rock Canyon Half-Marathon will be capped at 750 entries this year when it is held on Dec. 3.

Officials from John Neumann are considering teaming with St. Therese reps and expanding the increasingly popular Panther Run 5K by adding a 10K for its 2012 race. They also will explore other possible sites since the race may have outgrown the City Park venue. It also will consider moving the race from the spring to the fall.

Florence will showcase its Pioneer Park by hosting the Fit ‘n Fun Run/Walk 5K and 10K races there on Aug. 6.

The Liberty Point 5K Run/Walk held on the Fourth of July in Pueblo West is growing astronomically and had more than 500 registrants, including 221 on race-day morning, leading to a backup in getting everyone entered by the time the event started.


Humberto Paredes, 54, of Pueblo West qualified for the Boston Marathon by running a 3:37 time in the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on June 25.


Orendorff took first in the 60-64 age division of the Xterra off-road triathlon East regional held June 12 in Richmond, Va., to earn a berth in the national championships to be held Sept. 24 in Utah. He completed the 1.5K swim, 30K bike and 11K trail run in 3:09. Then last weekend, he returned to the roads to top 26 competitors in his age division of the Boulder Peak Triathlon in 2:25:02 over the 1.5K swim, 42K bike and 10K run.

Donald Moore, 42, of Pueblo was featured in the Greeley Tribune after winning the Clydesdale division of the Greeley Triathlon for the third consecutive year last month. His time of 1:03:01 was 69 seconds faster than he recorded last year over the course that included a 500-meter swim, 10-mike bike and 5K run.

Steves and training partner Tom Ratzlaff, 51, both completed the St. George Ironman back in May, with Gwen finishing in 13 hours and 31 minutes and Tom an hour later on a 95-degree day that had winds as high as 22 mph.


The Pueblo Child Advocacy will have its annual Ride for Kids on Oct. 2 at the Pueblo Municipal Airport industrial park and is also exploring the possibility of adding a run option or possibly even staging a duathlon either this year or in 2012.

Race Calendar

• Saturday – Mosaic Run, 5K, 8 a.m., Amazing Grace Church in Pueblo West, 250-5840.
• July 23 – Shawn’s Shuffle (Prediction Series event), 4M, 6 p.m., 1 Glenroyal Ct., Regency Park, shawn.kayaker@yahoo.com.
• Aug. 6 – Up, Down & All Around (Prediction Series event), 5M, 8 a.m., 53 Acansa Dr., Pueblo West, nina.gonzales00@yahoo.com.
• Aug. 6 – Florence Fit ‘n Fun Run/Walk, 5K & 10K, 8 a.m., 371-1148.
• Aug. 6 – Danapalooza Trail Run, 5K, 8 a.m., Canon City, 431-3472.
• Aug. 13 – Fowler Sprint Triathlon, 500-yard swim, 8.1-mile bike, 4M run, 7 a.m., Gerard Park in Fowler, 263-4053.
• Aug. 26 & 27 – PAC & A2A Indoor Triathlon, 20-minute treadmill run, 30-minute stationary bike, 10-minute swim, times assigned, 250-7805.
• Sept. 10 – Boys & Girls Club 5K Fun Run/Walk 9 a.m., Lake Minnequa, 564-0055.
• Sept.10 – Rattler Run, 5K, 8:30 a.m., Otero Junior College in La Junta, 384-6857.

Send comments and fitness information to Gary Franchi via e-mail at garyf@bresnan.net.