Patti Worsley will teach a swimming class at the pool at Wildhorse Meadows Trailhead Lodge at 8:30 a.m. Saturday aimed at helping area triathletes gear up for next month’s race.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Patti Worsley will teach a swimming class at the pool at Wildhorse Meadows Trailhead Lodge at 8:30 a.m. Saturday aimed at helping area triathletes gear up for next month’s race.

Classes aim to aid Steamboat triathletes

Annual event could expand to Olympic proportions

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If you go

All classes cost $10

Swim Techniques for Triathletes

What: A class with swim instructor Patti Worsley focused on improving in-water efficiency

When: 8:30 a.m. Saturday

Where: Wildhorse Athletic Club at Wildhorse Meadows Trailhead Lodge

Pilates and the triathlete

What: A Pilates class tailored to triathlon competitors and taught by Pamela Turner

When: 6:30 p.m. Monday

Where: Align Steamboat at 702 Oak St.

Transition clinic

What: A workshop on how to organize an athlete’s transition area and make it through in the shortest amount of time, taught by Ironman World Championship finisher Joy Rasmussen

When: 5:30 p.m. July 29

Where: Lake Catamount

Bike fit clinic for triathletes

What: A class to help athletes properly fit their road bikes to their bodies

When: To be announced, most likely the first week of August

Where: Ski Haus

E-mail info@steamboattri... with questions about the workshops

— For those registered athletes anxious about the upcoming Steamboat Triathlon, a series of classes recently announced could offer a serious sense of relief.

For all triathlon fans in the region, another announcement could offer a serious dose of excitement.

Joy Rasmussen will mastermind a series of classes leading up the annual Yampa Valley event, starting Saturday with a swimming workshop at the Wildhorse Meadows Trailhead Lodge athletic club.

At the same time, she’s working on a plan that could expand the race she helped start six years ago, in terms of annual attendance and in length. Rasmussen said she applied to have the race serve as a USA Triathlon regional championship in 2011 or 2012 for the Rocky Mountain region.

About 400 of the race’s 650 slots have been spoken for, but such a change could amp up demand.

“It would be great to get it to that level,” she said. “Steamboat would be out there on the map.”

First, the focus for organizers is a series of workshops leading up to this year’s Aug. 29 race. Each costs $10.

Swim instructor Patti Worsley will teach a swimming techniques class at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Pilates and the triathlete, taught by physical therapist Pamela Turner at Align Steamboat, is Monday. Rasmussen will teach a clinic about managing transition time July 29 at Lake Catamount, and a bicycle fitting class is tentatively scheduled for the first week of August at Ski Haus.

“Transition areas can be huge,” Rasmussen said, looking ahead to her July 29 class, which will include a race day checklist, as well as tips from her long triathlon career. “It’s always disappointing to see you lost a place or had a slower time and you could have come in faster if you had just shaved time off in the transition.”

Saturday’s class will focus on the most efficient strokes swimmers can employ.

Worsley led a similar seminar last year, and she’s learned how best to tailor her message to triathletes, many of whom don’t prioritize swimming workouts as they build toward the race.

“I’m here to perfect their styles,” Worsley said. “Triathletes usually seem to be runners or bikers, so usually it seems the weakest part is the swimming. We work on stroke and form and try to make them more efficient in the water.”

If Rasmussen’s goal to make the Steamboat race a regional championship is realized, swimming efficiency might be even more important. The length of the course would need to be expanded from its current layout to a true Olympic distance.

The change wouldn’t be huge. This year racers will swim three-fourths of a mile, bike 22.4 miles and run 4 miles. An Olympic-distance race would grow to 0.93 miles swimming, 24.8 miles biking and 6.2 miles running.

“It has been a really great event, and if we turned it to an Olympic-distance triathlon, we would have a whole different level of expectations from the athletes,” she said. “I think everyone (locally) would be up to the challenge. By the seventh year, most of the (Steamboat Springs) competitors should be able to make the change.”

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