Orendorff qualifies for triathlon ‘Worlds’

by | Sep 16, 2007 | News Articles

Orendorff qualifies for triathlon ‘Worlds’

Pueblo triathlete Michael Orendorff is taking the “not older, better” adage to heart.

Because family commitments prevented him from competing in qualifiers closer to home this summer, the 56-year-old trekked to the regional qualifier in Park City, Utah last month to shoot for a spot in the International Triathlon World Championships that will be held in Vancouver in June 2008. The catch was that Orendorff had to win his age division in the Jordanelle Triathlon there on Aug. 25.

He did just that, completing the Olympic-distance course in 2 hours and 16 minutes forged on splits of 26:17 for the 1.5-kilometer swim, 1:06 for the 40K bike (22.4 mph) and 35:57 for the 10K run (6:54 per-mile pace) plus transitions.

Despite success in his races this year, Orendorff has been disappointed in his bike times caused mostly, he believes, by an extended time out of the saddle last winter along with other factors. In preparation for “Worlds,” he intends to focus more on strength-building, an aspect he feels slowed him on the bike this year.

Orendorff is no stranger to world competition, having competed in the ITU championships in Perth, Australia in 2000.


The Pueblo-Canon City corridor was represented by 16 participants in the Salida Tenderfoot triathlon and duathlon on Sept. 1, and Mark Riem of Canon City led all locals with a 2:25 triathlon time over a course that included a 1,000-meter swim, 40K bike and 10K run. Riem topped the 40-49 age division by seven minutes.


Pueblo native Danny Pate’s cycling stock continues to rise, and it’s even possible that he could be riding in the Tour de France in 2008. The 28-year-old Pate has been racing this year for the Slipstream-Chipotle professional cycling team, and he recently competed in the USA Cycling Championships in Greensville, SC. On the first day, Pate finished second in the 18.7-mile time trial in 39 minutes and 35 seconds, just one second behind winner David Zabriskie. The next day, Pate finished fifth in the 109-mile road race, just 1:29 back of first-place Levi Leipheimer, who a month earlier finished third overall in the Tour de France.

Slipstream-Chipotle recently signed several top cyclists, including Zabriskie, for its 2008 team. Pate is also on that 24-cyclist roster. If everything falls into place and the team is licensed to tour internationally and then accepted into the Tour de France, Slipstream would use its top nine riders there. If Pate is among them, he would be climbing the Pyrenees and Alps next July.

Pikes Peak

Hot weather plagued those attempting the Pikes Peak Marathon (round trip) last month, causing about 60 runners to use intravenous bags and 25 to need oxygen tanks after finishing. Four area runners were among the finishers, led by Steve Lopez, 36, of Pueblo in 7:15. Others were Gary Hermes, 43, of Pueblo West in 7:52; Jared Miller, 37, of Pueblo in 9:23; and David Cross, 44, of Canon City in 9:49. Miller was among 119 runners who did both the marathon and the Ascent the previous day (his time was 5:40).

In the Ascent, ex-South High standout Aaron Rubalcaba-Lopez, 23, won his age division and was third overall in 2:18. Others placing in their age divisions were Pueblo’s Lauren Dunsmoor, 23, first in 3:09, and Stephanie Wurtz, 25, fifth in 3:29; and Rye’s Paul Vorndam, 60, third in 3:46. Ex-Puebloan Chris Borton, 31, of Golden finished in 2:57 to place fifth in his age bracket.

The Pikes Peak Ascent (or first half of the marathon) was the last leg of the Triple Crown of Running and followed the Garden of the Gods 10-Mile Run and the Summer Roundup 12K. Rubalcaba-Lopez captured the overall Triple Crown title, and Dunsmoor and Wurtz were fourth and sixth overall, respectively, among females while Jill Montera, 40, of Pueblo West placed fourteenth. Others completing the series were Robert Palermo of Penrose, Glenn Clemons and Mark Koch of Pueblo, and Matt Sherman and Jessie Quintana of Pueblo West.


Justin Ricks, 27, of Pueblo West led local finishers in the American Discovery Trail Marathon on Labor Day with a time of 3:13. Other locals were Pueblo’s Larry Volk, 43, 3:33; and Pueblo West runners Nate Moser, 28, 4:07; and Don Hawkins, 40, 4:28. The out-and-back course was based in America the Beautiful Park in downtown Colorado Springs.


The 5K will be the distance of choice in Southern Colorado over the next few weeks.

On Sept. 23, the annual Hot to Trot will start and finish in front of the Gold Dust Saloon in the Union Avenue Historic District in conjunction with the Chili & Frijoles Festival. All runners and walkers will be treated to a free breakfast at the Gold Dust after the race.

On Oct. 6, the scene shifts to Canon City for another 5K run/walk along the Riverwalk – the Autumn River Walk and Run. This event was will start further west at the newly-expanded trail at Centennial Park near the duck pond by Fourth St.

Colorado Relay

Girls night out has taken on a new meaning for a contingent of seven Pueblo-area women who will be joined by four friends/relatives from elsewhere as they will compete as a unit Sept. 21-22 in the 10th annual Colorado Relay, a 170-mile team race from Idaho Springs to Glenwood Springs. The course traverses four mountain passes (Guinella, Keonosha, Georgia and Vail). With a team name of “Girls Gone Running,” the 11 women will run a total of 30 legs of different lengths based on terrain conditions. The local runners are Kim Arline, Jeanne Arrella, Denise Crepeau, Kim Dodds, Marian Heesaker, Terri Tibbs and her daughter Brittany Tibbs. Their designated driver will be Joan Barickman.

Race Calendar

• Sept. 23 – Hot to Trot, 5K run, 2M walk and Kiddie K, 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m., Union Avenue (251-3189).
• Oct. 6 – Autumn River Walk & Run Classic, 5K, 7-9 a.m. walk, 9 a.m. run, Centennial Park in Canon City (275-1578).
• Oct. 14 – Survivor Run, choose 5K run/walk or 20M bike ride, 8 a.m., Airport Industrial Park (947-3682).
• Oct. 20 – Harvest Run (Prediction Series race), 5M, 5 pm, Lovell Park in Pueblo West (564-9303).


• Grand Prix of Running: www.pikespeakmarathon.org
• Southern Colorado Runners: www.socorunners.org
• American Discovery Trail Marathon: www.adtmarathon.com/
• Autumn River Walk & Run Classic: www.ccrec.org/
• Colorado Relay: www.coloradorelay.com

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

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