Triathlon royalty to speak at Steamboat event

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— With dozens hitting the water every week in the Bald Eagle Lake Open Water Swim Series, hundreds expected Sunday in North Routt for the Steamboat Lake Sprint Triathlon and even more looking down the road to August’s Steamboat Triathlon at Lake Catamount, it’s definitely prime time for those three-sport athletes.

They’ll be able to dig a little inspiration from one of the sport's best sources, too. Scott Tinley, a two-time Ironman World Championships winner and a member of the Triathlon and Ironman halls of fame, will speak at 5 p.m. Tuesday at SmartWool. Attendees then will have the chance to take a bicycle ride with the world-class athlete.

“Local triathletes really consider him to be someone legendary,” said Joy Rasmussen, one of the event’s organizers, an Ironman finisher and a local triathlon coach and advocate.

Tinley has earned that status for good reason. He won the granddaddy of Ironman races twice, in 1982 and 1985, and was one of a group of competitors who helped drive the sport from obscurity into the American mainstream.

He raced in more than 400 triathlons before he retired in 2000 and won nearly 25 percent of them.

Now, he’s a speaker and an author who’s penned five books.

The event is sponsored by Smartwool, Honey Stinger, McCreight Progressive Dentistry and Rasmussen. It's open to the public.

“Part of it is driven by the media, more attention on the sport capturing people’s imagination,” Tinley said about triathlons’ growth, one of the evening’s topics. “The sport is bringing people in from other sports’ cultures, and the more people who get involved, the more momentum it gets and the faster it grows.”

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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