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Sprint triathlon coming to Lake Nighthorse

Lake Nighthorse, southwest of Durango, will be the site of a sprint triathlon on Sept. 11.
Event first of its kind at the lake

The inaugural Lake Nighthorse sprint triathlon will take place at the local lake on Sept.11.

While sprint triathlons are the shortest standardized distance for triathlons, race director David Rakita said this one will still be tough.

“This is about as challenging of a course that you can get in a sprint triathlon,” Rakita said. “People can really feel like they accomplished something by completing this race.”

The triathlon will start with a 750-meter triangular swim in the lake, beginning at the swim beach.

The athletes will then transition on to their bikes for a 20-kilometer ride, featuring 800 feet of climbing, along County Road 210, County Road 141 and then back.

After that, the competitors will run a 5K to the dam and back.

“It’s definitely challenging as a sprint distance,” Rakita said. “A lake swim is the next level of challenge for triathlons. And the bike probably has more climbing than Shalona Hill.”

The event will be electronically timed with chips.

Athletes also have the option to do the triathlon in relay teams of two or three people. Relays will begin in the mass start with everyone else, but after the swim they’ll hand the chip to the bicyclist, who will then pedal the course before handing the chip to the runner for the final leg.

The event has 41 participants registered, and there are still spots available for athletes looking to push their limits. People can register for the race and find more information at the Durango Tri Club’s website, https://thedriven.net/event-registration/site.race_reg/eid/39707134589.

Rakita said its starting as a small event, but that Lake Nighthorse has the potential for any length of triathlon. “We’ll see how it grows,” he said.

The park will also remain open to the public during the race.

Rakita added that Four Corners River Sports helped them recruit volunteer kayaks for the swim portion, for both guidance and safety. And also that cooperation from Durango’s parks and recreation department has been “really good.”

Awards will be given to the first-place finisher in each age group. Participants will also receive a T-shirt.