Burst Triathlon turns 3

Annual July 4 holiday event will take place around Parque de Vida

Jake Yackle, 11, rounds a corner in the bicycle portion of the 2011 Cortez Burst Triathlon on his way to winning the 6-10 kids class. Yackle will compete in the 11-14 youth class on July 4 in this year’s triathlon. Enlargephoto

Photo courtesy of Kevin Yackle

Jake Yackle, 11, rounds a corner in the bicycle portion of the 2011 Cortez Burst Triathlon on his way to winning the 6-10 kids class. Yackle will compete in the 11-14 youth class on July 4 in this year’s triathlon.

Colorado is known for healthy living.

With endless outdoor activities available to the public, Cortez is no exception to outdoor recreation.

The third annual Cortez Burst Triathlon returns July 4, to Parque de Vida. An Independence Day athletic extravaganza, this year’s triathlon is expected to have more than 100 competitors. Some people will be in Cortez to win. Some will lose and many will simply have fun.

“It’s the best place in the world to try a triathlon. A nice place to start,” said Rayna Hale, 54, who came up with the idea of the triathlon. “It’s an entry level triathlon. It’s about you. You’re racing yourself. Set your own goal. It’s your own race and then take it wherever you want to go after that.”

Adults and children can race, while adult teams of two to three people are also allowed. A new feature is the high school team challenge, which is a coed contingent of three students. Individuals can participate in the open class, and the over age 50 and 70 classes.

Adults (15-older) will swim, bike and run 500 meters, 16 miles and three miles. Youths 11-14 will swim 300 meters, bike three miles and run 1.5 miles. Kids 6-10 swim 100 meters, and bike and run one mile apiece.

All the swimming is done at the Cortez Outdoor Pool. The rest of the course for biking and running is at or near Parque de Vida.

The triathlon, which earned its name from the fireworks “burst” in the park that takes place at night, begins at 7 a.m.

“Our plan is to make this a big holiday event,” said Hale, who will compete on a team. “People come into town to celebrate the Fourth of July. We’re hoping 20 years from now, it will be a bigger and better holiday event.”

Health promotion of fitness living is important. The nonprofit Cortez Friends of Recreation co-sponsor the event with the Cortez Recreation Center. Cortez Friends of Recreation, in which Hale is the board president, is an endowment fund that was created with money left over from building the Cortez Rec. Center in January 2004.

Cortez Friends of Recreation help provide scholarships for rec center membership to low-income people. About $20,000 in free membership passes have been donated since the rec center opened.

“It’s awesome for the whole family to come,” said Sensa Wolcott, Cortez Burst Triathlon director. “The parents can do their race and we’re going to wait to do the kids after the parents are done. It’s a fun way for a whole family to get into it.”

One of the individual racers will be Cortez Parks and Recreation director Dean Palmquist. He is happy to compete in and be associated with the Cortez Burst Triathlon.

“I think it’s one of those pieces that encourages a healthy community,” Palmquist said. “Whether it’s younger children to adults, this is just one more piece of that. Even during the winter months, you have people training in the rec center for this event. It’s about showcasing our facilities and this gives us an opportunity to do that.”

Triathletes will wear ankle timers recorded by Milliseconds Sports Timing with results logged into a computer.

People can register at www.active.com and find more information on www.corteztri.com.

PRICING (before Wednesday, June 20): Individual adults, $50; adult team, $100; individual youth or child, $20; youth or kids team, $40; and, high school team, $75.

Prices will increase after June 20.

Reach Bobby Abplanalp at bobbya@cortezjournal.com.

Jake Yackle runs on the half-mile Cortez Burst Triathlon course in Parque de Vida last Fourth of July. Yackle won the 2011 6-10 kids class and will compete in this year’s 11-14 youth class on July 4. Enlargephoto

Photo courtesy of Kevin Yackle

Jake Yackle runs on the half-mile Cortez Burst Triathlon course in Parque de Vida last Fourth of July. Yackle won the 2011 6-10 kids class and will compete in this year’s 11-14 youth class on July 4.