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— In preparation for its premier event of the summer, Mountain Sports Magazine is holding a mini-triathlon clinic and mountain bike time trials this weekend.

The publication's Aug. 17 triathlon is approaching, and Dennis Ketterman said these two opportunities enable those interested in participating in that event at Lake Catamount to fine-tune their skills and even learn some pointers before the actual competition.

Kirsten Ames, a former national and world champion triathlete, is the instructor for the mini-clinic on Saturday at Catamount Ranch & Club.

"She is a perpetual gym rat," Ketterman said.

The clinic put on by Women's Mountain Adventure will begin at 9 a.m. and run until about 1 p.m. Registration forms are available at mountainsports.com or by calling Ames at 879-3376 or 846-9171 or by calling Mo Valenta at 879-6367.

As the name suggests, the clinic will be a smaller version of the actual event. Those registered will swim a quarter-mile, bike 5.6 miles and run around 1.5 miles, and one need not be a member at Catamount to participate.

The cost is $15.

Ames said her interest in triathlons began in a race with distances similar to what women will encounter on Saturday. The clinic will have a relaxed atmosphere and will be geared toward the beginner, but all women are encouraged to come.

"We want this to give women some experience and get them over the butterflies of competing in triathlons," Ames said. "Any experience in triathlons is helpful. It's very short. It's about the same distances I did in my first race, and I was hooked."

Entrance fees are also $15 for ADVENTURE SCAPES members and $20 for non-members for Friday's second run of the mountain bike time trials.

Four divisions are available for each gender, and participants will race against the clock only. Steamboat resident Tom Bedell posted an 18:54 last weekend as the time for this weekend's male competitors to shoot for.

Ketterman encourages women to enter this weekend's event because no woman raced in the previous run.

The trials will begin at 2 p.m. at the Gondola Square entrance and run until 6 p.m. The course is a 3.5-mile loop up Right-O-Way, to Thunderhead lift, to the Yoo Hoo single track and back to the finish line at the base of the Gondola.

Awards will be presented for the best time in each division for men and women.

A portion of all entry fees goes towards Advocates Against Battering and Abuse, a nonprofit agency that assists victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other related crimes.

For complete details, call 879-8339 or log onto the magazine's Web site at www.mountainsports.com. Those interested can register on the site or on Friday beginning at 1 p.m. in Gondola Square.

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