Triathlon director backs out

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— The Steamboat Springs Triathlon will be under new management in 2009.

Boulder race director Barry Siff had managed the triathlon since 2005.

Siff's company, 5430 Sports, organizes triathlons and other sporting events in the region.

"We decided not to continue the triathlon this year up in Steamboat," Siff said Wednesday. "It's disappointing, I know, to a lot of people as well as to us, but it wasn't moving in the right direction, so we decided to move on and hold another race elsewhere."

Joy Rasmussen, a member of the Steamboat Triathlon Board of Directors, said the change would allow for a more local-focused event this year.

After the 2008 race, the board raised several concerns with Siff that eventually led to his decision to opt out of the 2009 race, Rasmussen said.

In a letter to Siff, the board said it was hoping for three main changes: to create a philanthropic aspect of the race that would benefit just the local community; to work to ensure the race's future in the crowded Steamboat sports scene; and to improve the care for volunteers.

With a local organizer and more emphasis and help from local sponsors, Rasmussen is confident those concerns will be addressed in this summer's race.

"We want the triathlon to give something back to the community," she said. "Events like the Steamboat Marathon benefit the community in so many different ways. We want to model the triathlon after that."

The 2009 triathlon is set for Aug. 30.

Like last year's race, there will be room for 600 competitors. The race will return to Lake Catamount, and registration will begin in the next few weeks.

"We're going to keep all the things the same this year," Rasmussen said. "We expect the race to sell out again."

- To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 871-4253 or e-mail HYPERLINK "mailto:jreichenberger@steamboatpilot.com" jreichenberger@steamboatpilot.com

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