Steamboat Triathlon to return Sunday |

Steamboat Triathlon to return Sunday

Local organizers still trying to fill remaining registration spots in 6th annual event

— Joy Rasmussen said the days are crazy but the process is streamlined.

"It's always a little wild, following up on all the details," she said, burning through one of the final days before she directs the Steamboat Triathlon for the second year.

The triathlon returns to Steamboat Springs with an 8 a.m. start Sunday, back to its Lake Catamount headquarters for its sixth consecutive summer and the second since Rasmussen led the way for local organizers to take over the event.

That switch turned the event from one that regularly hit its 650-racer cap to one that last year fell about 100 shy of the limit, but organizers said they're happy as they fly toward the end of Year 2.

"It's going fantastic," said Mark Satkiewicz, a member of the triathlon's board of directors. "Joy really has been the primary leader in this. The second time around is always easier."

Leadership for Rasmussen has meant hunting for athletes for the event everywhere imaginable. The current load of about 460 registrants is expected to be bolstered a little by race-day walk-up participants, but discounts for the registration fees were made available even in weeks immediately before the event.

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The result — both of the switch to local leadership and the tireless recruitment efforts — has been a much-improved product, especially for Steamboat athletes.

"We always have great relationships with our sponsors. Every one of those guys renewed for this year," said Satkiewicz, whose company SmartWool is one of the event's largest donors. "We were even able to pick up new sponsors, so that has all been really, really good."

On the course, athletes can expect to find a race similar to the one they pounded out the past five years. It will start with a three-quarter-mile swim through Lake Catamount and wrap up with a 4-mile run on Routt County Road 18C. The day's only difference will come in the 22.4-mile bike ride that makes up the middle part of the race. A slightly altered course will send riders down C.R. 14 instead of Colorado Highway 131 on their way to River Road and a turnaround point in Steamboat.

"That will be a big advantage to riders," Rasmussen said. "It's a more enjoyable ride."

Other changes include the addition of prizes for the fastest stage times, another effort Rasmussen pushed through to attract competitors.

More changes could be on tap for next year, when Rasmussen said she hopes to bump the race up to Olympic distance — a generally small increase in distances — and have the Steamboat Triathlon serve as a regional championship.

That's all in the future, however, and for now, she's simply focused on producing another edition of one of Steamboat Springs' most popular athletic events.

"Joy's just done great," Sat­kiewicz said. "Without her, the race would struggle. She has really committed to it and put together a great team. Even though it's a smaller race, there's a lot that goes in to have it executed well.

"It's a great local race. There are a lot of people from outside Routt County that come just to compete, but the local community gets really excited, as well. Everyone's ready to have a fun time on Sunday."

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