Running, Cycling and Swimming Heat Up

by | May 8, 2006 | News Articles

Fit to be Tied Column
May 8, 2006
From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi GaryFranchi

Running, Cycling and Swimming Heat Up

Ordinary Mortals Takes on a New Look
If it’s variety you like, then you’ll enjoy getting it May 20 when the 15th annual Ordinary Mortals Triathlon will be held. The biggest change will be the new venue – Pueblo County High School in place of the Pueblo Regional Center in Pueblo West. At County, the pool is deeper and the water is cooler, both elements of faster swim times. It also is a yard pool, making the 525-yard distance shorter than in previous meter-pool years. There should be a lot less vehicular traffic on the 11.6-mile bike and 3-mile run legs, too, and the bike road conditions should be smoother than McCullouch Road in Pueblo West. A nice new feature will be the use of chip timing through Summit Race Management of Denver. The Accuchip RFID timing system will provide accurate split times on each leg as well as the two transitions, easing the anxiety of new race director Victoria Herrera of the YMCA of Pueblo. With starting spots based on predicted swim times, Summit will also handle the lane and heat assignments. Those are expected to be posted on the Southern Colorado Runners’ website ( on May 17. The Ordinary Mortals returns to a one-day format this year in contrast to having it over two days – one for females and one for males. It is limited to 400 entries and, based on the number of entries received so far, should fill or come close to it. More information, including maps of the bike and run courses, is available on the Southern Colorado Runners’ web site.


You know the road racing season is heating up when runners have their choice of area races in a single weekend. That happened this past weekend when the Blossom Festival 5K was held in Cañon City on Saturday and the Cinco de Mayo the next day. The Cinco, by the way, drew 190 participants split into 83 for the 5K, 52 for the 10K and 55 for the 1.5-mile walk.
After the Survival Run 5K on May 21 at Mineral Palace Park, the calendar will get even more crowded on June 3 when runners and walkers can either stay in town to run the inaugural Spirit Fest on the Riverwalk 5K or take the short trip south to Rye for the ninth annual Run for Rio 5K.
The Spirit Fest is the start of a day-long festival that will include a pancake breakfast, live music, continuous entertainment, vendors, presentations by children, arts and crafts, and more. The Run for Rio is on a beautiful course that, for the Greenhorn area, is only slightly rolling although at a 6,900-foot altitude. It is based at Rye High School to help commemorate one of its student/athletes – Rio Martinez, who died accidentally in 1997 as he was about to enter his senior year. The race helps fund a scholarship for a Rye High student who will be entering college this fall.


Good news arrived for bicyclists last month when the Colorado State Patrol rescinded its plan to limit cycling events to 2,500 riders. The cap would have deeply hurt such events as the Elephant Rock ride in Castle Rock and the MS-150 and could have affected future triathlons that could potentially draw huge fields. Credit Bicycle Colorado for helping fuel the ban’s overturning by getting more than 10,000 signatures from cyclists that led to discussions with the State Patrol and the Colorado Department of Transportation. The result is that a number of steps will be followed to ensure greater safety for riders and motorists at such events.
The Red Canyon Century ride will be held June 10 in Cañon City, starting and finishing at the Holy Cross Abbey. There will be 25-, 50- and 104-mile categories. The 25-miler goes to Red Canyon Park and back to the Winery at the Abbey. The 50-miler will ride through Florence to Penrose and back to Cañon City. The 104-miler will continue through Florence to Wetmore, from Wetmore to Pueblo and return to Cañon City. For information, go to or call 719-429-4142.
The eighth annual Buena Vista Bike Fest century ride will take place May 20, going to Leadville and back via Turquoise Lake Road. Shorter distances available are a metric century (62 miles), a 50-miler and a 40-miler. For information go to Beulah Valley Bike or Colorado Bike Club.
An out-and-back bike tour from Regency Park to Beulah is being planned for Sept. 10 as a fund raiser for the Pueblo Child Advocacy Center. While a low-key ride, a time clock also will be used to provide accurate times for the more serious cyclists. A spaghetti meal will follow in City Park.


The annual Wingshadow 10K Open Water Swim in Fort Collins’ Horsetooth Reservoir scheduled for Aug. 12 is this year’s U.S. Masters Swimming championship for that distance. Since it has a full field of 100 participants, the 2.4-mile Wingshadow division is being moved to Carter Lake in Loveland on Aug. 5. Details are still being ironed out. Check the Wingshadow Open Water Swim webiste for updates.

Upcoming Pueblo-area races

• May 20 – Ordinary Mortals Triathlon, 525-yd swim, 12M bike, 3M run, 6:45 a.m., Pueblo County High School (543-5151).
• May 21 – Survival Run, 5K run/walk, 8 a.m. Mineral Palace Park (583-4420).
• June 3 – Run for Rio, 5K run/walk, 8 a.m., Rye High School (719-859-5136).
• June 3 – Spirit Fest on the Riverwalk, 5K, 8 a.m., HARP-South Main (671-5451).
• June 10 – Little Run on the Prairie, 5K run & 2K walk, 8:30 a.m., Lovell Park in Pueblo West (289-1411).
• June 24 – Belmont Butt Buster, 5M, 8 a.m., 1318 Horseshoe Dr. (544-1029).
• July 8 – Women’s Distance Festival, 5K run/walk, 7:30 a.m., City Park (676-7343).
• July 22 –Pioneer Day 5K, run/walk, 7 a.m, Colorado City (676-3353).

Send comments and fitness information to Gary Franchi via e-mail at