Will multi-sport events return to area?
Is Pueblo West ready to return to Prime Time endurance sports competition?
Once the home of such beloved favorites as the Drag’n On In and Ordinary Mortals triathlons as well as the Y-Bi Classic Duathlon, Pueblo West just may be ripe for a return to those glory days of competition.
The furnace may have been stoked by a fabulous 100+ turnout at a low-key 3K fun run held at Golden Guardian Park as part of this summer’s Fourth of July celebration. Not to mention that Pueblo West is a hotbed of athletic activity, boasts several fitness centers and is considering building a recreation center.
Pueblo West officials have initiated discussions with the Southern Colorado Runners about expanding the July 4 Snapon Fitness/United Way Run to an out-and-back 5K that would incorporate Liberty Point but still maintain its low-key charm with no T-shirts and no frills but with awards. They also mentioned possibly starting a new multi-sport event of some kind there.
This is all preliminary talk now. But seeds have to be planted some time if they’re going to sprout. And the local area is crying for multi-sport events since the Y-Bi and Ordinary Mortals were discontinued a couple of years ago. An open-water swim venue at Lake Pueblo could attract triathletes from throughout the state.
Perhaps they could hook up with the group associated with Pueblo’s Almighty Muscle retail shop that has been planning a Solar Soak Triathlon next summer. That event would start in Lake Pueblo, bike to the university and run to the Riverwalk.
Several Pueblo-area runners are in the chase for top-three age-division finishes in the Triple Crown of Running that will conclude this weekend with the Pikes Peak Ascent on Saturday and the round-trip marathon the following day. Carol Kinzy currently leads the 60-64 division by a slim 31-second margin and Robin Krueger is second in the 35-39 bracket. In fourth place in their respective divisions are Peggy Oreskovich (45-49) and Diane Lopez (50-54), while Emily Batson (30-34), Paula McCabe (35-39) and Robert Palermo (Penrose, 45-49) are fifth. McCabe, however, will miss the final race while competing in a triathlon. The Triple Crown also includes the previously held Garden of the Gods 10-Mile Run and the Summer Roundup 12K.
The Prediction Series normally held at Tunnel Drive in Canon City in August has been moved to the river trail system there on Aug. 23 because of more ample parking and past problems with Tunnel Drive course closures. Race officials plan to use a GPS device to get the course as close as possible to five miles.
Classic, State Games wrapup
The weekend of Aug. 26-27 saw a healthy number of endurance participants testing their athletic prowess in Colorado Springs. On Aug. 26, the fast Colorado Springs Classic 10K had 646 finishers while the State Games of the West triathlon drew another 229. The following day, there were 169 runners in the State Games 5K and another 20 in an open-water swim in Prospect Lake. And this doesn’t even count the others who were competing in the indoor swim and outdoor track and field State Games competitions.
There were many notable endurance sports performances from the State Games, perhaps highlighted by 15-year-old Pueblo West High School’s Jordan Montera finishing third overall in the entire field with a time of 17:48 in the 5K run. Right behind him in fourth place was Aaron Levinson, 19, of Pueblo West in 18:16. In addition, Pueblo’s Mark Gurule was the first master runner (over 40) in a time of 20:08. Kudos also to Pueblo’s Christopher Rizzo, 26, for winning his age division in 22:16 and to Pueblo’s Nathan Fernandez, 32, for placing third in his age division with a speedy 20:57 time. Montera came back a few weeks later to place second overall in the Woodland Park Mayor’s Cup 10K with a time of 40:49.
There were splendid local performances in the State Games triathlon that included a 750-meter swim, 13-mile bike and 5K run. CSU-Pueblo professor George Dallam, 49, of Colorado Springs won his age division with a fast 1:12:42 time while Robin Krueger topped all Puebloans by recording a 1:24:43 time for third in her age group. Puebloan Ashley Samek, 24, took second in her age in 1:35:30. Donald Moore, 40, in just his second year of triathlon competition, took first place in the Clydesdale competition with a time of 1:31:07, which was seven minutes faster than his time on the identical course in the Prospect Lake Triathlon last year. Moore uses a super-strong swim leg to set the tone of his races. This summer, he also has done well in several other triathlons including an Xterra in Pennsylvania and in the Boulder Peak Tri.
While a Pueblo triathlete or two can be expected to go out of the area to compete in either the Aspen or Rattlesnake (Aurora) on Aug. 16, many more will again make the Labor Day weekend special by participating in the 11th annual Trenderfoot Tri in Salida on Aug. 30. This event includes a 1,000-meter swim in the somewhat-cooled-down Hot Springs Aquatic Center pool followed by a 40K bike and 10K run. It’s a nice yet challenging course with good support and a hearty lunch afterward under the outdoor tent during the awards ceremony.
The third annual Pueblo’s Ride of Kids, a benefit ride for the Pueblo Child Advocacy Center, will take place Sept. 28 on the smooth and traffic-free road to the Transportation Test Center. It will start and finish at the Loaf ‘n Jug Headquarters at 442 Keeler Parkway at the airport industrial park, and the 38-mile out-and-back course allows bikers to travel any lesser distance desired. The ride includes SAG support, rest stops and a lunch on site afterward. Entry forms can be printed from the Southern Colorado Runners website.
• Aug. 23 – Canon City River Run (Prediction Series race), 5M, 7:30 a.m., Canon City (784-6514).
• Sept. 7 – (tentative) South Shore Adventure Run (Prediction Series race), 8.3M, South Shore of Pueblo Reservoir (543-2052).
• Sept. 21 – Hot to Trot, 5K run, 2M walk and Kiddie K, 8 a.m., 217. South Union Ave. (251-3189).
• Sept. 28 – Pueblo Bike Ride for Kids, 38M, 8:30 a.m., Airport Industrial Park (583-6332).
• Oct. 25 – Harvest Run (Prediction Series), 5M, 5 p.m., Lovell Park in Pueblo West (564-9303).
• Nov. 8 – Atalanta Women’s Run, 5K run/walk, 8 a.m., City Park (564-9303.
Send comments and fitness information to Gary Franchi via e-mail at email@example.com.