Event organizers expect Craig Duathlon to grow

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Apart from being a success, Jim Gregoire, Trapper Fitness manager, said one thing stood out during Sunday’s Craig Duathlon.

“The food was outstanding,” he said. “I’ve been competing since I was 16, and I’m 63 now, and I can say that that was the best food I’ve ever had after a race.

“The (Golden) Cavvy pulled it off.”

But, before lunch was served, Gregoire said the first Craig Duathlon, which is part of the Steamboat Springs Running Series, made the grade.

“I would give it a seven and a half or eight out of 10,” he said. “I thought for our first time out, it was pretty good. I think everyone enjoyed the course.”

Gregoire helped to bring the event, which is the only running series event in Craig, to Moffat County.

The duathlon, which featured a 5K run around Loudy-Simpson Park, then a 30K bike ride along the power plant loop before ending in another 5K run at Loudy-Simpson, required months of logistical planning, Gregoire said.

“When you plan a race with multiple events, it gets hard,” he said. “There are several different challenges, but the first and foremost is safety.

“You want everyone to have fun, but you need to make sure that they will be safe on

the road.”

Next year, Gregoire said he hopes the event garners enough repeat athletes and new faces to push towards 100 competitors.

“When you include the teams, we had almost 40 people this year,” he said. “I would like to see it get up to 100 people, but we’d probably have to put a cap on at 100. I think it might get a little congested.”

If the event grows the way Gregoire expects it to, one thing won’t change.

“I don’t like swimming long distances,” he said. “I like duathlons, because when you are running or on a bike, you get to look around and pick up some of the scenery.

“You don’t get that when you are swimming.”

Before the duathlon could even start, Gregoire said he was worried about the condition of the trail, as the Yampa River had left a portion too wet to run.

But, with the help of Todd Trapp, Moffat County High School cross country and track coach, Gregoire said they were able to get the course in race shape.

Runners had to run a shortened version of the course twice, instead of the full loop once, like Gregoire had planned.

Next year, he expects the entire cross country track to be open, Gregoire said.

“We’re already jotting down notes on what to do next year,” he said.

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