Steamboat Triathlon makes splash Sunday
August 13, 2017
In a word, Sunday's Steamboat Triathlon Olympic distance champion, Eric Kenney, could have summed up the course as "deceptive."
The only word to describe his own performance was "dominating."
A sold-out field of more than 400 athletes dove into the Steamboat Triathlon on Sunday as the event returned for its 12th dip into Lake Catamount and running and biking tour through the surrounding countryside.
The event drew about 150 more racers than last year, and none were faster than Kenney, a Boulder-based triathlete who won the event for the second time.
"It's always tough up here," he said. "It's a very deceptively hard course. For us on the Front Range, it's a little higher in elevation."
The day consisted of several events, triathlons of sprint and Olympic distances and an aquabike competition (a triathlon without the running.) The sprinters went 0.41 miles in the water, 12.4 on the bike and 3.1 in their running shoes. The Olympic distance doubled those marks, to 0.93 miles swimming, 24.8 riding and 6.2 running. The bike section of the course took riders in along River Road toward Steamboat, then back out again. The run then wrapped around Lake Catamount.
It was that swing toward the city that made for the toughest stretch in Kenney's eyes.
"River Road has a lot of false flats, and some of those hills looks small, but you get half way up it, and you're stalling,” he said. “The run is a challenging course, too."
Kenney finished the course in 1 hour, 59 minutes, 13 seconds. Emmanuel Iodice was second at 2:04:20 and Eric Garber third in 2:09:27.
Kenney had the fastest time of the day in both the swim and the bike, then was fourth in the run, allowing a comfortable margin of victory.
On the women's side, Emma-Kate Lidbury had an equally dominating performance. She won in 2:10:42. She nearly matched Kenney in the water and beat every other racer there, regardless of gender.
She kept up that pace in the bike, as well, beating all but Kenney back to the transition station. She lost some ground in the run but still finished fifth, overall, and, by nearly six minutes, first in the women's division.
Kelly Emich was second at 2:16:30 and Krstyn Tobey third at 2:18:24.
Steamboat's local contingent just missed a podium after a strong performance from Andrew Wilhelm. She finished fourth in 2:21:14. She was especially strong in the swim — where she had the fourth-best time of the day and the second-best among the women — and the run, where she was second in the women.
Among other local competitors, Joy Rasmussen ended up 14th, and Adrienne Rivera was 19th. A team from Old Town Hot Springs, meanwhile, won the women's relay in 2:27:49.