Steamboat Lake tri moves up and on
Steamboat Springs — It’s not easy to move a race that’s become embedded in Steamboat Springs’ summer schedule, and it’s even more complicated when your calendar is as complex as that of Without Limits Productions. The Boulder-based company produces 68 events per year, from multi-day cycling stage races to open water swims, cyclocross races to triathlons, including this weekend’s Steamboat Lake Sprint Triathlon.
Shifting the date of the Steamboat Lake event was essential, however, and despite the headaches, Without Limits’ race director Lance Panigutti said moving the event forward a week was worth it.
The Steamboat Lake Triathlon will launch at 8 a.m. Sunday for its sixth year. Judging by individual finishers in official results, attendance has been up and down, from 257 in 2011, the event’s first year, to a high of 320 in 2013. In 2014, there was a drop in the number of competitors to 232 and 2015 saw another decrease to 144.
Along the way, the event butted heads with some big-time Steamboat Springs events, sharing a weekend on a regular basis with the Tour de Steamboat bicycle ride.
That’s what organizers hoped to avoid this summer by moving the triathlon up a week.
“There’s always a lot going on in Steamboat, but this year, we really avoided a lot of conflicts, which is great,” Panigutti said.
It’s not just this weekend’s race, either. Without Limits considered moving its other local triathlon, Aug. 21’s Steamboat Triathlon at Lake Catamount, but the other event that it’s long been in conflict with, the Steamboat Stinger, moved up a week.
Moving a race such as Sunday’s takes some work, Panigutti said. He reached out to the other local events then had to clear new dates with all the appropriate organizations for the roads and venues used in the race, starting with Steamboat Lake State Park officials.
“You’re working with the venue, making sure they can hold a race on a certain weekend,” he said. “You have to decide, ‘Where on the tri calendar do we want to be? What’s the best day for racers?’”
Panigutti said he’s expecting about 220 racers for this year’s event, and in-person registration is still available for anyone making a late decision. He said people can sign up at packet pickup, at Steamboat Lake State Park from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday or before the 8 a.m. start of the race Sunday.
The course includes nearly half a mile of swimming in Steamboat Lake, 12.4 miles of riding, largely on Colorado Highway 129, and 3.5 miles of running, mostly across roads and trails in and around the state park.
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