Bikes to boots on the Range
Organizers prepare for first local duathlon
The first Snowy Range Duathlon will come to the Platte Valley on Aug. 22. Hosted by the Platte Valley Community Center (PVCC), Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce and Carbon County Visitor's Center, the race is a bike and hike/run up Kennaday Peak.
"It came about from Mitch Bangert and I talking last November about some kind of event that we could put on ... we talked about a potential triathalon, a marathon, maybe running from Saratoga to Encampment. We wanted to incorporate the Snowies somehow," Joe Elder, Executive Director of the Platte Valley Community Center, said.
According to Elder, they originally wanted to host the race up to Medicine Bow Peak, but ran into some permitting problems. At Kennaday Peak, Elder said, they have made the race more of a landmark for the Platte Valley, increased access because there is a road to the peak and moved totally off the highway.
"We wanted something that's pretty difficult but not impossible," Elder said. "You don't have to be an elite athlete to do it, but you need to be acclimated a little bit to altitude and somewhat [in decent shape. I would say the average person can do it."
"It can be an elite event if you want to do it in two hours," Elder said. "So, it offers that kind of a physical challenge for those that are really looking for that and it also offers a milder physical challenge for those that want to do it slower and have a good time."
Elder recalled that in January, the Platte Valley Chamber of Commerce had their annual meeting for which Keith Bailey was the keynote speaker. "He mentioned a few things that, in his opinion, would represent the Valley's economy or add to it, and one of them was to create a featured athletic event, some kind of a hard physical challenge, a marathon, a triathlon, something like that," Elder said.
"It's a little more involved than just a 5k," Elder said of the complicated planning process. "The details ... numbered much higher than we originally thought, as is the case with these things."
"Landon McGuire helped us add to the bike route," Elder said of route changes. "Originally we were just going to go from Lincoln Park up to the peak and back down, and have a transition in there. And then he added the Stump Hollow piece [at the end of the race] which provides a little bit of technical riding."
Elder, with PVCC, has already been getting feedback about the duathlon's distribution of running and biking. Traditionally, duathlons are niche races which typically take place on a road following a pattern run-bike-run. However, the Snowy Range Duathlon is bike-run/hike-bike. Adding Stump Hollow increased the amount of biking as requested by feedback.
In the future, according to Elder, the Snowy Range Duathlon will take place at Kennaday Peak, however they will be able to change the route if necessary according to feedback from contestants. "At this point, we want to put it on, have a good event, and hopefully grow it in the future," Elder said.