Tri, tri again
When the public at large thinks of spas or health clubs, they might think hot stone massages, saunas and maybe spinning classes, if they’re feeling active – not full-blown triathlons. But Kera Baggot had a vision for a tri team – and Allegria Spa helped her pull it off this summer.”I started doing tris in 2002, when I moved back to Chicago from Colorado – I thought, ‘my mountains are gone, what can I do?'” said Baggot, who works as a membership specialist at The Club at Allegria Spa. “But I felt better than I ever felt when I was competing in triathlons. So when I went to Allegria to put this team together, they really helped and got behind it. We opened it up to everyone in the community, and we’re looking to do the same thing next year, but maybe get U.S. Triathlon certified and raise money for a cause.”The Allegria Spa team ran races in Aurora, Boulder and Steamboat, and team member Tamara Donelson placed in each race in her age group. Team members train together two days a week and get limited access to Allegria’s gym facilities, but Baggot insists the benefits of joining a tri team go well beyond that.
“It’s a social sport, and it’s so much easier to get into it when you divide it up into three different activities,” she said. “Being at the race, everyone’s excited, nervous and exhilarated together, and everyone hangs out the night before and the night after to celebrate.”Baggot saw several of her team members push beyond their perceived limits at the Boulder race, a full Olympic-length triathlon.”Everyone that did that race said, ‘I’m going to suck,'” she said. “It’s intimidating – you think, did I eat right? Did I have the right breakfast? Did I train too much or not enough? But when everyone got out there, they just lit up and really did better than I think most of them thought they could.”The team fluctuated in number but averaged about 15 members, and six members participated in all three races.
“We had all levels, when it comes to experience, but that’s what makes the sport so great,” Baggot said. “I’m towards the top in running, but I’m one of the worst swimmers. Everyone had strengths and weaknesses, but when you train together you can really learn a lot and get better.”To raise awareness for the team, Baggot invites the public to join the team on a ride from the Holy Cross ranger station over to Mango’s in Red Cliff. The restaurant will have drink and food specials for participants and shuttles for those who don’t want to ride back down.”Sports can be so intimidating in teams,” Baggot said. “A lot of people think they can’t do (a triathlon), but when you have other people to meet and lean on from all kinds of athletic backgrounds, you see people of all types really breaking new ground.”And for the single guys out there, Baggot has additional incentive to sign up with her nearly all-female tri team.
“Single guys have no excuse to be single if they can join one of these teams,” she said. “I don’t know what the deal is. They’re like 80 percent women.”Know someone who works in an office by day but gets hardcore outdoors on the weekends? Does your accountant rip out mean solos as Slash in his Guns N’ Roses cover band? Can your lawyer neighbor paint masterpieces in his backyard? To nominate your own Cubicle Hero, send a brief description and contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com – we’re serious this time! Vail Daily, Vail, Colorado
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