Three Grand County triathletes traveled to Moab to compete in the Moab Triathlon Festival May 14. There were several racing options; on-road Olympic distance triathlon and an off-road XTERRA sanctioned triathlon.
Kim Bunning of Tabernash and Karen Bloomfield of Granby raced the road Olympic distance. Debby Sullivan of Fraser raced the Xterra triathlon.
Xterra Moab Triathlon is a 1,500-meter swim in Ken's Lake, a 16-mile mountain bike on the world-famous Steelbender trail, and a two-loop 10K run.
The Moab Road Olympic Triathlon is a 1,500-meter swim in Ken's Lake, a 40K road bike, and ending with 10K run to Faux Falls.
Kim Bunning placed first in her age group, 40-44.
"My swim was horrible, and the bike was twelve miles of uphill climbing, then the run was a tough trail run. But it was a fun day."
I asked how her training went this spring despite the snow and cold. "The weather has been such a bummer. I am grateful for the (Grand Park Community) Recreation Center. The altitude in Grand County is a both a blessing and a curse since it makes it hard to train sometimes, but everything seems easier in 'flat land' races. I'm training for Boise 70.3 in June so I used this race as part of that training." Kim's training includes swimming three times per week, biking three times per week, and running three times per week.
Kim's other races this season include Steamboat Triathlon in August, LOTOJA (bike event) in September, and Grand County trail races including the Middle Park Half Marathon in Granby in July and the XTERRA trail run at Snow Mountain Ranch.
Debby Sullivan placed first in her age group.
"The Friday before the race I pre-rode the course and was surprised at how technical it was for an Xterra, but I do like more technical courses. Ken's Lake was cold, 58 degrees, and then 2.5 miles from the finish I rolled my ankle all the way over and fell in a heap and re-injured my ankle."
Debby ran through the pain and ended up winning her age group and placing 9th overall.
"It has been hard to train this spring and I am really fed up with the snow. I have spent hours on my trainer and am ready to get outside. I know that my bike would be better if I would have been able to actually ride a little bit more."
Check out Debby's race reports on her blog: www.dsulli.blogspot.com.
Karen Bloomfield placed 2nd in her age group despite the same training and racing problems Kim and Debby had.
"The water was cold, the road bike was harder than I expected with a but the trail run was the best part: sand, slick rock, single track even a very skinny plank across a river."
She says that that training has been hard this spring but her saving grace is the Grand Park Community Recreation Center.
"I've been swimming, running on the treadmill, and doing spin class at the Rec all spring. As a triathlete living it Grand County, training takes over your life as you try to juggle work, family, and the need to train every day."
Like most athletes in the county, Karen has been driving to Denver all spring to get rides in for training; or getting out of Colorado entirely. "Spring break in Florida was a highlight this spring, running on the beach every day without gloves and a hat."
Karen's next race is the Boise 70.3 in June with training partner Kim Bunning and is still debating about the Steamboat Olympic distance triathlon in August.