A fierce field (again) at Tri-Glenwood Triathlon | PostIndependent.com

A fierce field (again) at Tri-Glenwood Triathlon

Joelle Milholm
Special to the Post Independent

Being the first to cross the finish line in Sunday’s Tri-Glenwood Triathlon will not be an easy task. With eight of the top-10 finishers from last year’s men’s race and five top 10 from the women’s race back in action again this year, the Tri-Glenwood will be a tough competition.

“It is really exciting. All of the eight (men) that finished in the top 10 should do it again and the women should be interesting,” said Cindy Lundin, director of the Tri-Glenwood. “It will all be a matter of who has the best race on Sunday.”

In the men’s event, there will also be eight previous overall winners, but Glenwood Springs resident and former Tri-Glenwood director, Charlie Wertheim, will once again be the favorite. He will be aiming for his fifth-straight title and sixth overall. Earlier this year, Wertheim, who works for the Post Independent as a copy editor, took first at the Avon High Country Triathlon and third at the Aspen High Country Triathlon.

“He’s our local and he is having a great year,” Lundin said.

One competitor who Wertheim, 42, has not had to face during his current streak is 42-year-old Paul Quere. The Fort Collins resident won the Tri-Glenwood in 1993-95 but hasn’t raced in the event since.

Wertheim holds the course record after finishing in 1:17:27 in 2002.

Scott Marr, 34, took second in last year’s contest and could also provide a valiant fight for the fastest time, according to Lundin.

Sopris Elementary Principal Howard Jay has raced in 20 of the Tri-Glenwood’s 21 years of existence and set the fastest swim record of 10:15 in 1998.

The women’s competition should be just as exciting, with last year’s winner, 38-year-old Leslie Fotopulos of Littleton, defending her crown.

“Leslie Fotopulos won last year and Susan Griffin-Kaklikian (50) could click in. Both have won the overall Tri-Glenwood in the past and it should be a very interesting race.”

Ninety percent of this year’s male and female participants have raced in the Tri-Glenwood before. The race possesses many qualities that keeps competitors, especially the top-finishers, coming back for more.

“It is a fun race, just enough to be challenging, not long, but not a sprint,” Lundin said. “It has great atmosphere, weather, a warm pool instead of a cold lake and excellent volunteers, most of which have been at their points for 19-20 years.”

The triathlon will be an 825-meter swim, followed by a 15-mile bicycle ride and a 5-mile run.

There will be a total of 380 individuals and 38 teams participating. Both all-time highs for the event, according to Lundin. The first wave of swimmers will take off in the swim portion at the Hot Springs Pool at 6 a.m.

The bike portion will take riders from the pool parking area down Interstate 70 to Canyon Creek and back to the parking area. The run will finish at Seventh Street in front of the train station.

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