Family-oriented Tri-Glenwood returns on Sunday
On Sunday, the Tri-Glenwood Triathlon makes its 27th showing on the streets of Glenwood Springs.
Many of the more than 300 participants signed up are race regulars.
“For the people who continue to come back year after year, they say the volunteers make all the difference,” Tri-Glenwood organizer Cindy Lundin said. “It’s truly the best ‘first-ever’ race in the state.”
Sunday’s sprint triathlon starts with a swim in the warm waters of the Hot Springs Lodge pool. From there, competitors hop on their bikes and head west to Canyon Creek and back for a 15-mile bike ride. Then it’s a five-mile run along Glenwood’s river trail and Midland Avenue before finishing at the Seventh Street esplanade.
The field of 310 participants includes 29 teams. The first wave goes in the water at 6:30 a.m. They are allowed 25 minutes to finish before the next heat starts.
The sixth and final heat consists of swimmers who project their time to be less than 15 minutes for 825 meters.
“The competition is quite serious in all the heats, but the last heat is a blur of arms and water as they fly up and down the seventh lengths of the pool,” Lundin said.
Competitors vary from first-time triathletes to seasoned veterans.
Local six-time overall winner Charlie Wertheim, who holds the course record of 1 hour, 17 minutes, 27 seconds, will have returning competition from Dave Weidemann (holds record for fastest bike leg), Mark Bauer, Jeffrey Hulett, John Turtle, Kevin Bax, Rich Kiser and Troy Freese (eight of the top 15 men from 2010).
The top women returning from 2010 are Heidi Vosbeck, Jennifer Hamilton, Heather Meacham, Helen McQueeney, Christina McClard, Lily Thorsen and McKenzie Hill.
Vosbeck, last year’s second-place finisher, turned 50 this year. McQueeney turned 60 this year and finished eighth last year.
“She’s tougher than ever this year, and healthy,” Lundin said of the ageless McQueeney.
Thorsen, just 16, is on the opposite end of the age spectrum. She placed 12th in 2010.
“This sport is one that a person can do well at any age,” Lundin said.
The local Roaring Fork Triathlon team, a local group of triathletes coached by Nancy Reinisch and Judy Norton-Hayes, will also have a large contingent competing on Sunday.
Some other notable participants include:
• Ernie’s Triathletes, a family team that makes the trip to Glenwood Springs for the triathlon every year.
• This year’s youngest participant is 15-year-old Logan Hulett. Hulett’s dad, Jeffrey, is a Tri-Glenwood vet. According to Lundin, he’ll be tackling his 24th Tri-Glenwood Triathlon. Jeffrey’s wife, Malou Van Eijk, is also signed up.
• Two of this year’s oldest competitors are two 74-year-old men: local Joel Sherman and Denver’s Harvey Hoogstrate.
• Glenwood Springs High School football coach Rocky Whitworth and his wife, Mary, are among the competitors signed up.
• Retired fire chief Daryl Queen is racing his first-ever triathlon. His daughter, Jenny, has completed several Tri-Glenwoods.
• Couples Renee and Salvatore Rocco from Glenwood Springs are racing, as are Joan and David McGavock.
“I’m struck, as always, that this is a family event,” Lundin said. “Many of our racers are husband and wives who challenge each other to stay in shape. When their children turn 15, they frequently join the family activities. It is exciting to see the family teams, which include parents, kids and sometimes grandparents.”
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