Graham Muir, Manic Training revive Steamboat Pentathlon with new multi-event challenge
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs resident and extreme athlete Graham Muir has made it his life to push himself and others. Most recently, that goal is manifesting in Manic Ignite, a five-event challenge for athletes of all levels.
Manic Ignite is an individual or team challenge consisting of skinning, hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing at locations across Steamboat on March 5, 6 and 7, all while raising money for LiftUp of Routt County.
“It’s something to look forward to and a way to bring the community together without being together. It’s fun,” said Manic volunteer Michelle Geib. “The whole point is to go out and have a good time and raise money for LiftUp, which is such a good cause within our community.”
Participants can tackle the long or short courses by themselves, with a partner or a team, making the event accessible to outdoorsy people of all abilities.
The courses all have the same locations but different distances. Course details and registration can be found at bikereg.com/manic-ignite.
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Muir’s gym was already called Manic Training, but he named the event Manic Ignite hoping it would spark something in each participant.
“He wanted to name the event ’ignite’ to try to get people fired up and have something to look forward to,” Geib said.
Muir was a frequent participant in the Steamboat Pentathlon when he first moved to the Yampa Valley. The Pentathlon was a one-day winter challenge put on by the city of Steamboat Springs at Emerald Mountain and consisted of five events.
Manic Training used to compete as a gym community, along with many other multi-talented Steamboat athletes.
Muir first started competing in the Pentathlon on a team, which is why he wanted to make Manic Ignite so accessible. He only had to take part in a fraction of the day, which he appreciated since he hadn’t yet learned to skate ski. He eventually competed as a duo and then solo. He hopes Manic Ignite can get beginners, as he once was, started in the sporting world, but also cater to the more extreme competitors who have missed having events.
After 27 years, the Pentathlon was canceled in 2018. Ever since, there’s been a bit of a hole in the winter event lineup. In a year in which many events have taken hard hits, Muir is resurrecting the beloved event with a new name.
“We were trying to figure out an event to do and that seemed the natural progression to throw the pentathlon style into it, because all those events, we do anyway,” Muir said. “Everybody’s out doing those in everyday life anyway.”
Participants get a bag of locally-donated prizes and can purchase shirts with five stick figures completing the five events.
The event hasn’t even begun yet, but Muir is already feeling satisfied by the amount of people who have been motivated by the idea of competing.
“I’m getting phone calls from people who are trying to figure out how to go about it. We’re trying to help them out,” Muir said. “People are interacting with each other, trying to figure stuff out, getting together and having conversations rather than staring at text messages. I’m just trying to get as many people involved as I can.”
To reach Shelby Reardon, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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