Carbondale Rec hosts its first winter triathlon on Saturday, Jan. 19 |

Carbondale Rec hosts its first winter triathlon on Saturday, Jan. 19

Kyle Mills
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Margaret Donnely with Carbondale Recreation Department takes a lap on the fat tire bike course in preparation of Saturday’s Full Moon Tri at the Carbondale rodeo grounds.
Kyle Mills / Post Independent


What: Full Moon Winter Triathlon

Where: Rodeo grounds, Carbondale

When: 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 (registration 3-4 p.m.)

Cost: $30 in advance / $35 at the rodeo grounds

When Margaret Donnelly started working at the Carbondale Parks and Recreation Department three years ago, she had an idea.

“It’s been something I have been thinking about … we finally have the time and a plan,” said Donnelly, who works as health and wellness coordinator for Carbondale Parks and Rec.

After years of planning and partnering with Aloha Mountain Cyclery and Independence Run and Hike, the first Full Moon Winter Triathlon will get underway at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday at the rodeo grounds just east of town, under the full moon.

“I always thought it would be fun to do a winter triathlon,” Donnelly said. “It brings together all the outdoor adventures, and spirit of the valley.”

With help from coworkers and town of Carbondale employees, Donnelly has designed a closed course that uses the Rio Grande Trail and the rodeo grounds to highlight some of the public spaces the area has to offer.

“It’s a chance to enjoy the area we live in, with the activities we like,” Donnelly said.

She added that the event will give people a chance to embrace events they might not be good at in a safe environment.

The triathlon will consist of 5-kilometer run, 5K cross-country ski (classic or skate), and a 5K fat tire bike ride.

The Yaktrax-aided run will start on the Rio Grande Trail bike path across from the rodeo grounds.

The route will take runners down the trail toward Carbondale to a turnaround point at 2.5K, and back to the rodeo grounds.

Competitors will transition from the run to the cross-country skiing, heading toward Catherine’s Store Bridge on the trail 2.5 kilometers out and then back.

“The course is long, but it’s not that challenging because of the grade,” Donnelly added. “You get a little bit of uphill and some downhill.”

The final leg will be the fat tire bike ride over the 0.8-mile course around the rodeo grounds that was built for the event.

“They will do four laps around an amazing trail around the rodeo grounds,” Donnelly said.

Donnelly designed the course so none of the trails will cross, and participants won’t have to worry about running into each other during the different legs of the event.

The race can be done by individuals or teams of three, depending on your fitness ability and experience with each discipline.

“I workout regularly at the recreation center, and I’ve been hearing the buzz about it,” Carbondale resident and cross-country skiing enthusiast Terri Ritchie said.

Ritchie talked a few friends into entering the new Carbondale event.

“This event sounded like it was friendly for all levels,” Ritchie added. “I’m looking forward to exercising with friends and getting outdoors, being a part of the community event.”

All entrants must provide their own equipment; Donnelly said that Aloha Mountain Cyclery and Independence Run and Hike can direct interested individuals to places that have rentals in the vicinity.

Participants in the fat tire bike leg of the race will need to bring helmets and lights for their bikes for safety.

Interested parties can register the day of the event, with registration from 3 to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

It is $30 if participants pre-register by 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18 and $35 at the event on Saturday.

For more information and to register visit

“It’s just a good way to get the community together and have good community spirit,” Donnelly added. “We want people to come out and have a good time, and enjoy the outside.”

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