Xterra Aspen Valley Triathlon launches new era
The Aspen Times
When the first Xterra Aspen Valley Triathlon launches Saturday, a new era of off-road triathlons will begin in Colorado.
The Xterra event, including a swim, mountain bike ride and trail run, will be the first staged in Colorado totally on private land.
“We started looking for a triathlon location in 2008, 2009,” said Lance Panigutti, race director and co-owner of Without Limits Productions, the company that will stage the Xterra event Saturday. “Aspen is one of my favorite ski resorts, but for three years we looked and we couldn’t find a thing that would work.”
Then, Panigutti’s telephone rang.
“Ace Lane called, described his property and asked if we might hold the race on his property,” Panigutti said. “We drove straight up there.”
He said there was a foot of snow on the ground but they spent hours and hours exploring the property, including Kodiak Ski Lake.
Panigutti said they reached a conclusion: “There’s not a better venue for us.”
He said there is a network of trails on the property for mountain biking and running.
The trails, he said, are superbly designed.
“I think it was just a perfect storm,” he said of the opportunity to stage at the Ace Lane property and offer a unique swim in the temperature-controlled lake. The property is located across Highway 82 from Whole Foods.
“That is such a unique swim for us,” Panigutti said.
His company announced the Xterra Aspen Valley Triathlon at the Ace Lane Property in April.
“It sold out at 250 athletes, making it the fastest sellout in Colorado history for an Xterra triathlon,” Panigutti said.
The field will include major representation from Boulder, Colorado Springs and the Denver area.
Thirteen Aspen athletes are entered along with eight from Snowmass Village and others from Woody Creek, Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs.
Competitors will have limited exposure to the course prior to the race, adding to the unique aspect of the Xterra Aspen Valley Triathlon, Panigutti said.
He said spectators are invited to watch the event Saturday morning; no dogs allowed.
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Aspen again is led by senior Christian Kelly at No. 1 singles and Alex Mosher at No. 2 singles. The pair held down those same spots last season, when the Skiers finished sixth overall.