Ride the Rockies to Test Even the Serious Cyclists

by | Jun 1, 2004 | News Articles

June, 2004 Fit to be Tied Column

From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi


Ride the Rockies to Test Even the Serious Cyclists

The Ride the Rockies isn’t exactly for the novice cyclist.

Consider that this year’s 19th annual tour that begins this Sunday will cover 431 Colorado miles and cross three mountain passes as well as Trail Ridge Road. It will average 72 miles a day and include 100-mile and 98-mile days.

It’s taxing enough that even serious, veteran cyclists realize they need to train consistently to be prepared for the week-long grind. That includes Tomas Duran,a Pueblo dentist who has ample Ride the Rockies experience from having ridden it for several years since 1997, including last year.

To get a little extra edge this year, Duran joined Pikes Peak Velo, a Colorado Springs-based cycling club. Duran’s reason for such an affiliation was to do some regular bicycle racing for the first time.

“I’ve never done much of that before so I figured this might help me (in the Ride the Rockies) this year,” Duran pointed out. “I’ve been putting a lot of hours in the saddle and it feels good.”

He will be riding the tour with Jim Cordova of Pueblo West and Hector Leyba of Florence plus two other riders from Fountain-Fort Carson High School. Other local cyclists in this year’s tour are Puebloans Timothy McNamara, Brian Robinson and Alton Warren.

They are fortunate to have Tomas’ wife, Betty, serve as their personal sag vehicle at times even though that service is provided by the tour. The main order of business for Betty each day, though, will be to get in her daily run and drive to the next stopping point to await the group.

A total of 2,000 cyclists were selected by lottery for the Ride the Rockies that will start in Boulder and finish in Idaho Springs. Daily stops will be made in Estes Park (minus the bulldozer), Granby, Steamboat Springs and Frisco.

Passes to traverse include the 12,183-foot peak at Trail Ridge Road, Gore Pass (9,527 feet), Rabbit Ears Pass (9,426 feet) and Loveland Pass (11,992 feet). The 100-mile day will be Tuesday when the cylists will travel from Granby to Steamboat Springs. The shortest day will be the 49-mile final day from Frisco to Idaho Springs.

All that might sound grueling, but not to Duran.

“I just think it’s fun and I always enjoy doing it,” he noted.


Chris Borton and Jill Montera led a contingent of runners with local ties who ran the beautiful Garden of the Gods 10-Mile Run course last Sunday. The 28-year-old Borton, former South High standout who now lives in Golden, was the 10th overall male finisher in 1:00:22. Montera, 37, of Pueblo West, was 16th in the women’s field with a 1:15:49 time. The Garden is the first leg of the Triple Crown of Running. The other legs are the Summer Roundup 12K on July 11 and either the Pikes Peak Ascent on Aug. 21 or the ascent portion of the round-trip Marathon the following day. The fields for both the Ascent and Marathon are filled and officially closed.


Cañon City marathoners continue their assault on the 26.2-mile distance. During the past month, Sam McClure, 54, ran a 4:16:31 in the Brookings (South Dakota) Marathon on May 15, and Marv Bradley, 65, completed both the Wyoming Marathon (5:26:06) on May 30 and the Taos (New Mexico) Marathon (4:01:21) where he was first in his age division.

Karl Tameler’s first marathon in 22 years of running was a positive experience as he sped to a 4:12:02 time in the Fort Collins OldTown marathon on May 11 just a month before his 40th birthday.


Several area triathletes of a wide range of ages had outstanding performances last weekend. In the very hilly Triple Trekker Triathlon in Colorado Springs, Emily Borrego of Pueblo was the second overall female finisher and won the 35-39 age division. She sped to an overall time of 1:12:40 for the 525-yard swim, 12-mile bike and 5K run course. Robin Krueger of Pueblo was the fifth overall female in 1:17:12. George Dallam, assistant professor of exercise science at Colorado State University – Pueblo, was the third overall male and first in the 40-44 division with his impressive 1:02:37 time. Sisters Molly and Carrie Hadley of Rye both completed their first triathlons there and won medals, with Carrie taking first in the 20-24 age division in 1:28:07 and Molly placing third in the 14-19 bracket in 1:39:25.

In the Rattlesnake Triathlon at the Aurora Reservoir, Michael Orendorff, 52, and Gerald Puls, 77, won their age divisions. Orendorff also was 11th overall with a time of 1:17:04 over the course that included an 750-meter open-water swim, 15-mile bike leg and 4-mile run.

Upcoming Area Races

  • June 26 – Little Run on the Prairie, 5K run/2K walk, 7:30 a.m., Lovell Park in Pueblo West (547-3725).
  • July 3 – Run for the Summit, 5K, 7:30 a.m., Lovell Park in Pueblo Park in Pueblo West (547-4125).
  • July 10 – Women’s Distance Festival, 5K run/walk, 7:30 a.m., City Park (561-3343).
  • July 17 – Pioneer Run, 5K run/walk, 7 a.m., /Colorado City (676-3353.
  • July 31 – Moonlight Madness Run (Prediction Series race) 5M, 8 p.m., 3685 Verde Rd. (561-3343).
  • Aug. 7 – Belmont Butt Buster (Prediction Series race), 5M, 7:30 a.m., 1318 Horseshoe Drive (542-5148).
  • Aug. 21 – Watermelon Day Run, 10K, 7 a.m., Rocky Ford (719-254-7723).
  • Aug. 28 – Tunnel Drive Run (Prediction Series race), 5M, 7:30 a.m. Cañon City (784-6514).

On the Net

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