Avon High Country Triathlon and Duathlon turns 9
AVON – Since its inception, the Avon High Country Triathlon and Duathlon has been a race with a proclivity for change. Version 9.0, which starts out from the Avon Recreation Center pool at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, is no exception to the evolutionary trend, as race officials have relocated the running section of Eagle County’s lone triathlon to the new pedestrian bike path which runs along the Eagle River in Avon. “We love this new course,” Fradie Aber, special events planner for the town of Avon said. “It really accesses a lot of beautiful portions of the area. With each year, the course becomes more beautiful.”There’s already a possibility that there will be a course change next year, too.One of the survey questions that registrants for this year’s race have been asked is whether they would like to swim in Nottingham Lake in 2005 or whether they prefer to say indoors in the pool at the rec center.For now, though, entrants for this year’s triathlon can expect an 800-yard swim in the pool, followed by a challenging 14.3-mile bike ride through the Bachelor Gulch and Beaver Creek communities followed, by a 5-mile run around Nottingham Park and then along the Eagle River pedestrian path before finishing back up at Nottingham Park.Duathletes get the same challenge, minus the swimming leg. “It’s just enough distance in each discipline to be able to power through it,” Aber said.Last year’s fastest female finisher, Lisa Gonzales-Gile of Aspen, is looking forward to coming back to Avon, as well as getting back to competing after taking a short hiatus midsummer to fight off a bout of pneumonia.”Right now I’m training to run the New York City Marathon, and I use the triathlon to help me set a goal,” Gonzales-Gile said. “Also, it’s a lot of fun. I’m 46 years old now, and at my age you have to listen to your body a little more. If you can get the cardio work on a bike or in a pool without beating your legs up by running so much, you can hopefully avoid injury. I enjoy all three things.”Triathletes and duathletes can register online at Active.com through Friday, or at the rec center through Saturday. Mandatory packet pick-up is Saturday. All entrants will receive an event goody bag, including Pearl Izumi bike socks, goggles, swim cap and entry to the catered postrace party in Nottingham Park. Awards will be given to the top-three male/female finishers in their respective age groups as well as the top male, female and coed teams. There is also a free get-to-know-the course bike tour of the bike route today at 4 p.m., starting out from the rec center. The tour will be led by rec center fitness director John Curutchet. For more information call the Avon Recreation Center at 748-4060.