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Tri the Boat sweeps South Routt

A rider flies toward Phippsburg on Sunday during the Tri the Boat half-Ironman distance triathlon. The race drew 140 starters for a dip in Stagecoach Reservoir, a bike ride south into the county and a run around the lake.
Joel Reichenberger

Tri the Boat Triathlon results

Half-Ironman distance

Women

1 Monica Folts 5:07:36.23

2 Caitlin Bowerman 5:47:58

3 Jenna Cruff 5:54:46.85

Men

1 Brian Folts 4:32:18.84

2 William Hafferty 4:41:23.83

3 Jose Iturbide 4:52:10.03

Olympic distance

Women

1 Monica Folts 2:27:26.13

2 Andrea Wilhelm 2:41:37.67

3 Tasha Thrasher 2:45:09.04

Men

1 Brian Folts 2:15:59.96

2 Gerard Hubbard 2:21:30.14

3 Jose Iturbide 2:23:08.79

Sprint distance

Women

1 Deb Rose 1:25:51.66

2 Dana Strode 1:28:59.25

3 Darcy Levy 1:34:19.55

Men

1 Gunnar Holmes 1:18:50.39

2 Philip Wheaton 1:19:47.99

3 Ken Darby 1:37:03.11

— For many racers, the most disheartening moment of Sunday’s Tri the Boat half-Ironman distance triathlon didn’t come sloshing through the cold water early in the morning or climbing toward the race’s highest point in the afternoon.

No, it came at the finish line — or near it, anyway.

A half-Ironman is a long and grueling race — 70.3 miles. Steamboat Springs and Routt County may be awash in triathlons this summer, but Sunday’s was the longest and toughest.



It’s so long organizers double up the courses. That means two laps on the bike, to total 56 miles, and two on the running course, to total 13.1 miles. It also means runners come in from a grueling stretch running dirt trails to the music, food and life of the finish line camp, only to have to leave again.

One woman ran through early Sunday afternoon and was greeted by a trio of loud friends, cheering her success.



“You did it!” one shouted, reaching out for a celebratory hug.

The runner sighed, but didn’t stop moving.

“I’m only half finished,” she said, heading out for another lap.

They powered through, however, nearly 150 racers swimming, riding and running their way to the finish line — across it, not just near it — on a warm June day at Stagecoach Reservoir in South Routt County.

The lap thing didn’t prove an issue for every racer, of course. Few may have been as unaffected as Brian Folts and his wife, Monica Folts, racing out of Golden.

Each won the race for their respective genders, Brian Folts on the men’s side in 4 hours, 32 minutes, 18.84 seconds, and Monica Folts on the women’s in 5:07:36.23.

Triathlon is the household hobby for the husband and wife team. They insist there are others — “way too much TV,” Brian Folts said — but their results aren’t convincing.

In addition to winning Sunday’s half-Ironman, they also each won the day prior in the Tri the Boat Olympic distance triathlon.

That made for not just two laps on the course, but three, through a span of about 30 hours.

“Usually, triathlons are in the city and crowded. Rarely do you get a lake this nice,” said Brain Folts, who also won the Tri the Boat half-Ironman race last year.

“We’re doing it more often, so you get used to it,” Monica Folts said. “You learn how to refuel.”

The repeat of the terrain, she added, is not a concern.

“It’s so gorgeous here,” she said. “When you get to the top of the climb, you just want to stand there and take it in.”

William Hafferty was second in the men’s race at 4:41:23.83, and Jose Iturbide was third in 4:52:10.03. On the women’s side, Caitlin Bowerman was second at 5:47:58.00, and Jenna Cruff was third at 5:54:46.85.

The half-Ironman race capped a weekend of triathlon in Steamboat for the Tri the Boat franchise. Saturday’s action included the Olympic distance race and a sprint triathlon.

In Heather Gollnick’s eyes, the sprint triathlon may have demonstrated the weekend’s success better than anything else.

The men’s winner there was Gunnar Holmes, only 12 years old. He finished in 1:18:50.39.

Deb Rose, 60, won on the women’s side in 1:25:51.66.

For all the dominance the Folts family showcased by winning four times in two days, Holmes and Rose were examples of the weekend’s diversity.

“That just shows you can do this at any age and be really fast,” Gollnick said. “That was just the coolest thing to see. I’ve never seen that in all my years of triathlon.”


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