Triple threat

Locals post strong showing in triathlon

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Juan Herrera of El Paso, Texas, celebrates with his three-year-old son, Sebastian, Sunday after completing the Steamboat Springs Triathlon at Lake Catamount. Herrera, 35, finished in 2 hours and 14 minutes.

Triathlon results

TOP LOCAL FINISHERS

The top finisher from Steamboat Springs and all of Routt County was Nicole Lindstrom, 33, whose time of 1 hour, 48 minutes and 25 seconds placed her second overall among female racers.

Several other Steamboat racers finished in the top three of their age group. They are:

MEN'S 19 AND UNDER

Paul Rose, first, 1:41:41

Kyle Steitz, second, 1:48:32

MEN'S 25-29

Dan Niles, third, 1:46:03

WOMEN'S 25-29

Marin Campbell, second, 1:51:39

Julie McFadden, third, 1:55:00

WOMEN'S 35-39

Jen Kerr, third, 1:58:42

MEN'S 40-44

Rich Hager, second, 1:45:11

Paul Franklin, third, 1:46:36

MEN'S 45-49

Paul Baker, first, 1:46:03

Gardner Flanigan, third, 1:48:33

WOMEN'S 45-49

Robyn Jankoski, second, 2:16:06

WOMEN'S 50-54

Deborah Rose, first, 1:59:31

MEN'S 55-59

Hark Casner, second, 2:04:31

WOMEN'S 55-59

Marti Irish, first, 2:14:02

Dawn Obrecht, second, 2:27:08

MEN'S 60-64

Tom Nelson, third, 2:27:51

— For 18-year-old Paul Rose, the hardest part about this year's Steamboat Springs Triathlon wasn't the 37-degree temperature when the race began.

Nor was it jumping into Lake Catamount at 8 a.m. on a Sunday, or taking on the slopes of Howelsen Hill. The hardest part about the grueling event, Rose said, was getting off his bike after pumping for 20 miles, then starting a four-mile run.

"Your legs are totally set up (for biking), and full of lactic acid," said the Lowell Whiteman School senior and Steamboat resident. "The first mile of the run is really tough."

But Rose made it through, and crossed the finish line after only 1 hour and 41 minutes, a time fast enough to make him the winner of his 19-and-under age group and the fourth-fastest finisher overall. Because Rose started with the first wave of racers, he was the first person to cross the finish line near the lake's boating ramp.

Over the next three hours, more than 600 racers followed Rose to the finish, taking part in a huge, festive event that race director Barry Siff called a "spectacular" success.

"It's been a great day," Siff said. "We really lucked out with the weather."

While the chilly morning air had spectators wearing hats and jackets, conditions were ideal for racers who began with a ¾-mile swim before diving into the bike and run portions of the second annual triathlon.

Joshua Merrick of Lakewood, 25, took the overall men's title with a time of 1:34:25. Merrick's pace meant Tim Sandell of Colorado Springs again placed second in the event. Sandell, an Ironman Triathlon veteran and former member of the United States Triathlon team, also placed second last year.

"I'm fast for an old guy," a smiling Sandell, 41, said after Sunday's race.

Kim McCormack of Boulder, 37, took the overall women's title with a time of 1:48:21. McCormack had knee surgery in February.

"I haven't raced since last June," she said. "Maybe that meant I was fresh for this race mentally."

Local athlete Nicole Lindstrom, 33, took second overall among women with a time of 1:48:25, just four seconds behind McCormack.

More than 70 Steamboat residents competed individually in the race, along with members of 8 Steamboat relay teams. Many local racers finished high in their age group, fending off competitors who traveled to the event from as far as Florida and Texas. Sunday's youngest triathlete was 14-year-old Iain Miller of Fort Collins. The oldest was 64-year-old Stephen Holcomb, Sr., of Tampa, Fla.

Some competitors had energy to spare after the punishing race.

When 24-year-old Tricia Class of Vail crossed the finish line, she excitedly ran in place and pumped her arms in celebration. Last year in Steamboat, Class said, she missed third place in her age group by 20 seconds. This year, she won it, with a time of 1:54:56.

"I was determined to come back and kick (butt), and I did!" Class said. "I'm just so happy right now."

The cycling portion of the race ran along Routt County Road 18, Colo. 131, C.R. 14 and River Road, clogging traffic for a few hours Sunday morning. Colorado State Patrol Trooper Jim Copley said there were no incidents or accidents related to the race.

The weather warmed up with the competitors, many of whom took advantage of an ample buffet and free beer after the race.

Race commentator Shannon Lukens, who stood by the finish line to announce each competitor's name over loudspeakers, also kept a wry eye on the sky.

"Hey, according to my watch it's 45 degrees out here," Lukens quipped over the mic at one point. "That's balmy."

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