Athletes turned out to Aurora Reservoir in Aurora, Colo. on Saturday morning for the first-ever TriRock Colorado presented by REI. The early race hours featured ideal air and water temperatures for triathlon.
Participants competed in either a sprint-distance race made up of a 500m swim, 12-mile bike and 5K run, or the Olympic-distance event made up of a 1500m swim, a 40K bike and a 10K run. The TriRock Series prides itself on unique features such as beginner-friendly details, music along the course, a red-carpet finish and a post-race meal and beer garden.
After just over an hour of racing, it was Marc Middlekauff of Denver, Colo. who crossed the finish line as the winner of the sprint race in 1:04:26. Middlekauff is in his first year of competing in triathlon and this was his third race ever. The 38-year-old was not expecting a victory today.
“It wasn’t my goal to win,” he said at the finish line. “It was kind of a surprise.”
“[The race] was very well organized,” he continued. “It’s a fantastic group of people, with great sponsors. And it was a beautiful day.”
Highlands Ranch’s Dale Syta earned second overall in 1:06:50. Denver’s Chris Dicroce rounded out the sprint podium.
“It was awesome,” Dicroce said at the finish line. “I thought it was well organized. The finish line was great with the support. I’d say this is the most well done transition area I’ve seen at any sprint triathlon. The music on the course was awesome. It got me pumped up.”
In the women’s sprint race it was Denver’s Amy Mossner Romero who was first across the finish line in 1:08:24.
“I was happy with my performance,” she said at the finish line. “I wanted to be a little faster on the run, but it’s a hot day so I’m happy with how I did.”
Second across the line for the women was Littleton’s Julianna Batizy-Morley in 1:09:29. Denver’s Alicia Caldwell made it an all age 40-plus podium, finishing in 1:11:05.
In the men’s Olympic-distance race, it was Justin Moser (first), Louis Cicchino (second) and Thomas Beac (third) earning podium spots.
The top three- women at the longer distance were Molly Smith (first), Mary Presecan (second) and Kristen Miller (third).
Former “The Bachelorette” winner Roberto Martinez traveled to Colorado to compete in the inaugural event.
“It was great,” Martinez said of the race. “There were so many great athletes out there. Colorado is known for its outdoor activities. They stay in shape around here and it shows.”
This was Martinez’s second time competing at a TriRock race. He competed in Clearwater last year.
“I think [TriRock] is great,” he said. “They support their athletes really well, which is important. It’s safe. There are people everywhere in case you have any trouble. I think most importantly it’s fun. The atmosphere is light. Triathlons are hard enough, and the environment makes it that much easier.”
The series next heads to Asbury Park, N.J. on Aug. 25. Learn more about the TriRock Series presented by REI at TriRockSeries.com.