IronEdge triathlon team has strong weekend in Fruita

Austin Colbert
IronEdge Triathlon team members

— Steamboat Springs resident Dan Hohs didn’t have much experience racing mountain bikes before Saturday’s XTERRA Fruita Triathlon. Actually, he didn’t have much experience on a mountain bike at all.

“This is my 10th time mountain biking, so I really went out to do the XTERRA for fun,” Hohs said. “With the weekend being a triathlon festival I just thought this would be a perfect way to end the triathlon season and have fun and go out and try to do something I’ve never done before, which is race an off-road triathlon and also do back to back races in one weekend.”

The Deserts Edge Triathlon Festival in Fruita this weekend was a two-day event featuring a combination of races. Saturday’s XTERRA triathlon was followed by Sunday’s Olympic and sprint distance road triathlons. Hohs, despite having never raced a mountain bike, took ninth overall in the XTERRA triathlon, which replaces road bikes with mountain bikes and road running with trail running.

He followed this by taking fourth overall in the Olympic distance triathlon. His combined times for the two races was enough for him to win the overall Gecko Man Award, presented to the top competitor from the two days.

“I was biting my fingernails waiting for them to hear who won the Gecko Man,” Hohs said, “because I actually camped out next to the guy that I had beat in the off-road triathlon and he won the on-road. So we were both in there wondering what our combined times were and I actually beat him by only 27 seconds.”

Hohs, part of the IronEdge Triathlon team coached by Steamboat’s Heather Gollnick, wasn’t the only member of the team to find success during the weekend in Fruita. Gollnick, who is preparing for the World Triathlon Championships next weekend in Chicago, was the top overall female in the Olympic distance race, finishing only a spot behind Hohs.

“As you get older, you don’t take the overall win as often when I was younger. So it felt great,” said Gollnick, 45. “I felt really good just because this is my last big, hard effort before the run in Chicago. It felt really good, so that’s a nice confidence boost going into next weekend.”

Also competing from IronEdge was Robyn Jankoski, who took second in the 50 to 54 age group in the sprint race, and Marti Irish, who took first in the 65 to 69 age group of that same race. Matt Hall was first in the 35 to 39 age group of the Olympic distance race, and Hadley Nylen third overall female in the XTERRA race.

“It was a really nice way to wrap up the season and see we all got better this season and faster,” Hohs said. “It’s fun to be a part of a team that progresses as the seasons go on.”

To reach Austin Colbert, call 970-871-4204, email or follow him on Twitter @Austin_Colbert

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