Without Limits Productions hosts first triathlon in Stagecoach
The inaugural Stagecoach Gravel Triathlon, hosted by Without Limits Productions, took off early Sunday, July 31, beginning with a half-mile swim taking participants around three buoys in the Stagecoach Reservoir and back where they started just off of Routt County Road 14.
From there, athletes took off their wetsuits and hopped on their bikes for a 16-mile road and gravel bike ride around the reservoir. They started and finished in the same location and immediately began the grueling 4-mile run that took them on a gravel path around the lake.
Spectators began to gather around the finish line just an hour and a half after the start of the race to watch the competitors complete their runs. It did not take long for the race winner, Andrew Kumler, to pop out from around a lake-side thicket and make his final sprint to the finish.
Kumler, of Boulder Racing, concluded his triathlon in a time of 1:34:30, finishing just three seconds before Matt Smith in second place.
Kumler took some time to catch his breath, grab a snack and hang out with his dog before the award ceremonies, and knew he would be feeling sore Monday morning.
“I’m pretty beat up,” Kumler said. “That was a gorgeous race. The bike was super tough and then the run was beautiful, but I’m a little speechless at the moment.”
Being the first triathlon held at Stagecoach Reservoir, many of the athletes were excited to see what challenges the new race would present.
Matt Begeman, a member of Without Limits’ staff, was proud of the race they put on and is looking forward to making it an annual thing.
“We had the Steamboat Lake Triathlon last weekend and it’s kind of a nice set up for equipment as well as participants to have back-to-back races in Steamboat and their two reservoirs and lakes that allow us to have a swim. It’s a great venue with good people and good surroundings,” Begeman said.
While participants came from all over, several locals took to the start line as well.
Jeff Grove of Steamboat was the winner of the Men’s 45-49 year old division, finishing sixth overall in the triathlon.
Grove was the very first swimmer out of the water in an unprecedented 10:49 swim time. He was the only athlete in the race to complete the swim in under 11 minutes.
Grove enjoyed being able to compete so close to home and take in the beauty of an area that is near and dear to his heart.
“It’s nice to wake up in your own bed and just roll out and do a triathlon in a beautiful place like Stagecoach for sure,” Grove said. “It always feels great to have one done and in the books.”
Grove stressed the difficulty of the running portion, explaining that the heat can really get to you especially when the sun comes out from behind some clouds.
He completed his triathlon with a time of 1:42:04, nearly two full minutes in front of the next competitor in the Men’s 45-49 division.
Keeping mentally tough and aware is one of the key aspects to performing at a high level in a triathlon.
Kumler kept up with the front of the pack through the swim and bike portions and saved up enough in his tank to be the fastest on foot and differentiate himself from the rest of the top racers.
“You just gotta race your own race. There’s gonna be people around you and they’re passing you or you’re passing them and you just gotta know your own limits and what you’re capable of,” Kumler said.
To reach Tom Skulski, call 970-871-4240, email tskulski@SteamboatPilot.com.
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