Orendorff Second at Triathlon Nationals

by | Oct 1, 2003 | News Articles

October, 2003 Fit to be Tied Column

From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi


Orendorff Second at Triathlon Nationals

What a month it has been for Michael Orendorff, Pueblo’s premier triathlete!

First, as noted here last month, he was seventh overall in the entire field and won his age division at the off-road True Grit Triathlon in Ridgway on Sept. 7. Although it was a tough race, Mike did this triathlon as a training aid and to experience something new, since he normally doesn’t do off-road events and the race location has many intrinsic values.

Next came the USA Triathlon Age Group World Championships Qualifier on Sept. 20 in Menomonie, WI. Over an extremely challenging Olympic-distance (1.5K swim, 40K bike and 10K run) course, Orendorff placed third in his age division with a time of 2 hours and 21 minutes despite incurring a two-minute penalty for making a wrong turn on the run course.

It was a nice early birthday present for Mike since he turned 52 two days later. More importantly, that finish qualified him for the International Triathlon Union world championships to be held in Queensland, New Zealand in December.

The big capper came this past weekend at the USA Triathlon National Age Group Championships in Shreveport, LA. Despite being in the second-last wave when the winds had kicked up, he sped to a 2:08 overall time on the Olympic-distance course and captured second among 57 triathletes in his age division, just a second behind the winner in his division.

Saying Mike finished second doesn’t do justice to the battle he waged with division-winning Jim Bruskewitz, resident of Madison, WI and a multiple times national and world age-division champion. The two raced shoulder to shoulder for the majority of the run before Mike had to tuck in behind Bruskewitz in order to cross a chip-recording mat on a narrow stretch of path about 150 yards from the finish.

Orendorff has dominated his age division in local and state triathlon circles for many years. He also is no stranger to triathlon world competition, having competed in Perth, Australia a couple of years ago.

For a myriad of reasons, Mike has decided to skip the world competition in New Zealand and instead hopes to compete in “worlds” in 2004 when it is held in Madeira, Portugal.


Because completing any marathon is a notable athletic achievement, I try to at least mention those from this area who complete the 26.2-mile distance, regardless of their finishing times. The problem is that, since Pueblo no longer has a marathon of its own, area runners travel all over the country to compete in them and it’s tough to nail down their results.

But I’ve learned of these recent accomplishments:

  • This past weekend, Amy Braune, 30, of Pueblo did the Portland (OR) Marathon in 4:07. Meanwhile, Pueblo’s Nick Leyva, 49, finished the St. George (UT) Marathon in 4:07 and fellow Puebloans Marijane Martinez, 51, and training partner Diane Lopez, 45, ran the same marathon together and finished in 4:18. It was Diane’s first marathon.
  • In September, Marv Bradley, 64, of Canon City and Cheryl Cook-McCoy, 59, finished the Lewis & Clark Marathon in Bozeman, MT. Marv won his age division with a 4:44 time while Cheryl finished in 6:20. Marv has completed eight marathons this year while Cheryl has done six.
  • Also in September, Sam McClure, 50, of Canon City finished the Montana Marathon in Billings in 4:17, his fourth marathon this year. The previous month, he ran a 4:14 in the Silver State (NV) Marathon. Sam is trying to run a marathon in every state, a quest that Bradley completed last year.

If you complete a marathon somewhere, please e-mail the information to me at the address listed at the end of this column.

  • Rich Hadley, 47, of Florence won his age division of the Grand Prix Series Half-Marathon in Colorado Springs with a 1:24:48 time.


  • Gerald Puls, 76 years young, continues to compete wherever he can. Gerald won his age division at the Glenwood Springs (the 14th time he has finished that race) and the Salida Tenderfoot triathlons. Gerald notes that, as of Sept. 21, he had won eight gold medals and a silver medal this year, with the silver coming in the Buffalo Springs Half-Ironman in Lubbock, TX.
  • Kenneth Price, 60, of Pueblo West won his age division at the Fall Frenzy sprint triathlon in Parker last month. He completed the 500-yard swim, 12-mile bike and 3-mile run in 1:37:06.
  • Correction: Since the competition makes it quite difficult to place in your age division in a duathlon, we should get the name correct when someone from Pueblo does so. Hence, in the Aspen High Country Duathlon that was held Aug. 23, it actually was Mike Shipe, 49, of Pueblo who placed third in the 45-49 age division in 1:32:08. The duathlon included a 17-mile bike and a 4-mile run.

Upcoming Area Races

  • Oct. 11 – Soaring Eagles Run/Walk, 5K, 8 a.m., CSU-P campus (489-2605).
  • Oct. 18 – Main Street Mosey, 5K run/walk, 8 a.m., Cañon City (275-1578).
  • Oct. 25 – Harvest Poker Run (Prediction Series race), 5M, 5 p.m., Lovell Park in Pueblo West (564-9303).
  • Nov. 22 – Atalanta Women’s Run, 5K run/walk, 9 a.m., City Park (549-2236).
  • Nov. 29 – Temple Canyon Run (Prediction Series race), 4M, 9 a.m., Cañon City (784-6514).
  • Dec. 7 – Rock Canyon Half-Marathon, 13.1M, 9 a.m., City Park (564-9303).

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

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