Olympic effort displayed by locals | VailDaily.com

Olympic effort displayed by locals

Andrew Harley

The soggy weather skunk, as they say, would have nothing to do with Sunday’s showcase of athletic prowess in Avon. The 9th Annual Avon High Country Triathlon and Duathlon saw blue skies and a sunny atmosphere during its proceedings.

For many participants, the event’s general attitude was one of mutual encouragement rather than cold competition. The triathlon course began with an 800-yard swim, followed by a 14.3-mile bike ride on the roads around Bachelor Gulch and Beaver Creek and ended with a five-mile run around Nottingham Lake.

“It went well, I have to say. The course was impressive. At least, you knew where you were going, which is the big deal,” said local athlete and mother Christina Schelde. “There were no glitches. This one was for everyone to enjoy it, get through it and feel accomplished.”

Schelde was pleased with her performance, considering it was only her second triathlon. She also competed at an Xterra triathlon, but found the competitive nature of the event a little over the top.

“It was a completely different crowd. For me, being a novice, I liked that everybody supported each other (in Avon),” said Schelde. “You’d run past them, and they’d say, “Good job!’ And, you’d say, “Good job!’ It was like everybody was for everybody. But, at Xterra, it was extremely competitive. This one was still a difficult course, but in different ways.”

Nine-year local Whitney Mott, and her visiting sister Princess “Paige” Mott enjoyed themselves thoroughly.

“I feel good, not too tired. We’re having a party,” said Whitney Mott, who was proud to finish her first triathlon. “It was an awesome bike ride, everyone was really friendly and nothing too eventful happened.”

Whitney Mott finished the event with a time of 3 hours, 1 minute.

Local Mike Beltracchi said that he wasn’t tired from the race.

“I’m probably strongest at the bike, but I’m not that fast at any of them. It’s just an adventure to do it,” said Beltracchi.

Editor’s Note: The 9th Annual Avon High Country Triathlon and Duathlon’s results have not yet been reported. They are expected to run in the Vail Daily’s sports section on Tuesday.

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