Conjura signs on with Degree

Steamboat Triathlete gets free clothes, deodorant out of deal

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Emily Conjura is a running, biking and swimming advertisement.

The Steamboat Springs resident signed a sponsorship deal with Degree deodorant during the spring, entitling her to free clothes and more deodorant than the 27-year-old could ever hope to use -- even as a triathlete.

Conjura said it provides plenty of incentive to show up for events knowing a company has invested money and interest in her and her pursuit of athletic excellence.

What separates Degree, Conjura said, and why she proudly wears a swimsuit with the product's name boldly sprayed across the front is Degree is interested in sponsoring triathletes of different backgrounds with varying competitive aspirations.

"Most of these teams are about winning," Conjura said of other sponsored teams. "I don't see myself winning my age division in an Ironman race, but I definitely have the same drive as any of those racers do."

In addition to her competitions and training, Conjura squeezes in a full-time job at Colorado Mountain College on top of directing the Steamboat Springs Running Series.

It's a schedule that makes winning an Ironman, the nation's most recognizable triathlon series, difficult to imagine.

But that doesn't keep Conjura from trying. Ever since she was a little girl watching the Ironman staged in Hawaii, Conjura has wanted to be a triathlete.

She started running first, and one day, while on a treadmill, Conjura looked down at the lap swimmers and decided she had to learn how to swim as well.

She joined a master's swimming group in Steamboat and grew more comfortable in the water.

"I enjoy training," she said. "For me, master's swimming is a girls night out. I do take it seriously, but we are here to have a good time. We definitely motivate each other."

Conjura trains by herself but enjoys working out with a partner for the company and for the extra push. When she bikes, swims or runs, she always goes harder and farther when she's alongside someone else.

The drive she has to prepare and compete is exactly what Degree looks for in its athletes.

Conjura's next competition is the Boulder Peak triathlon Aug. 10. It served as her first triathlon last year and it went surprisingly well, she said.

Conjura's first Ironman race was in Wisconsin. She finished in about 12 hours and 42 minutes.

She wants to break 12 hours at her next Ironman event in Penticton, British Columbia.

Some wonder how an individual with a full-time job manages to find the hours needed to train for a triathlon -- or would want to. "It's a good question," she said. "You definitely have to focus on your weaknesses because they won't go away. That's what I've done by joining master's swimming."

Conjura is nearly 28 and her times keep improving. She said the most competitive age division in the Ironman series is for women between 30 and 34. It isn't uncommon for her to get passed by women nearly five years her senior, which leaves Conjura curious as to how much she can improve.

She undoubtedly will learn more regarding her training and what to cut back on, what her body can endure and how long it needs to recover as well as how best to navigate the course.

"I literally used to think this was impossible," she said of finishing an Ironman triathlon. "It's that allure that the impossible is possible. It was three years of my life dedicated to finishing one event in one day. I said I wasn't doing another. Five days after the Wisconsin one, I signed up for the Ironman in Canada."

Conjura plans to continue training and competitions once she starts graduate school at Denver University this fall. Her sponsorship deal with Degree lasts a year, Conjura said.

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