By Suzanne Sneed
ISSUE #10, April/May 2001 – The dream started in 1997 when Dana Duthie was watching his daughter do the IRONMAN in Hawaii. “Seeing all those 60 and 70 year old guys walking around looking like Greek gods made me want to suck up my gut just to stay on the same side of the street,” he said. Not that Dana had completely slacked off since his fighter pilot days. He’d been doing some mountain biking and other activities to keep his 50+ year old body in shape. As he took on the idea of doing a triathlon himself, he found that motivation was the hard part. He needed some peer pressure or organization to give him the help he needed (not to mention swimming lessons.) Living near Colorado Springs, with the headquarters of the sport (USA Triathlon) and the Olympic Training Center nearby, Dana took notice that there was not an organized triathlon club around. With the help of a few friends, the Pikes Peak Triathlon Club was formed in May 2000.
Fondly called P2TC, the Club has grown to over 130 members. Up until now most members have competed as individuals in just about every triathlon around. There are many age-group competitors who consistently see their names in the top ranks. The club is now looking forward to competing more on a team/club level. Dana uses the Mad Dogs of St. Petersburg, FL as an example of where he would like to see P2TC go. “They are a huge club that takes over every event they compete in. They have a good time, do organized training and socializing, and succeed.” Not to say that beginners are not welcome in the P2 Tri Club. Just the opposite – the club members understand that it’s the new people in the sport who need the group support the most. There are many training events that incorporate all levels of skill. Last year the club hosted two trial event s at the Air Force Academy. They were a great introduction for those who have never competed. This year the club also wants to focus on the female contingent and support participation in events like the Danskin Women’s Triathlon, which benefits breast cancer research.
This winter the club members have the opportunity to take training/conditioning instruction from the 2000 Olympic Triathlon coach, Michelle Blessing. She, along with Dave Dornaus, Assistant Olympic Swim Coach, have set up tiered training programs for athletes of all abilities, with camps and clinics to be offered through the year. Other training activities include running clinics sponsored by Colorado Running Company, one of the club’s sponsors; and informal runs, bikes and swims conducted by the club’s members. Each summer groups go to Chatfield Reservoir and practice open water swimming and transition training.
Long-range goals for the club include sponsoring the sport in local high schools to get some in-state competition going that could eventually end up competing in the high school championships in California. There are also hopes to sponsor and run a major race. With the help of sponsors like Voler (who printed the bike jerseys), Axio (the designers of the P2TC logo and shirt design), Rudy Project (who gives great deals on awesome glasses), Mammoth Multisports & Cyclery (who caters to the triathlete), and Colorado Running Company, the club is off to a great start. There are also fun and social activities to round out the training. There have been biking/lunches, running/breakfasts, a Hash Run, a Thanksgiving Pie Trot, Christmas party, pre and post-competition parties and BBQs, and group outings like the premier of the triathlon movie in Denver.
The P2 Tri Club has regular meetings the first Monday of each month. There are speakers on training, health, fitness testing, etc. The January meeting incorporated a flat repair clinic with members bringing their tires along for practice. Meetings are normally held in the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs at 7:00 PM. For more information, contact Dana Duthie at 719-481-2337, e-mail him at email@example.com, or visit their website at www.pikespeaktriclub.org, where you will have access to a great race calendar and links to other important sites.
The P2 Tri Club members and officers welcome you to attend a meeting, or join them at an event. Living in the triathlon Mecca, their goal is to make a mark in the sport of triathlon. And let’s not forget the final goal: Change the name of Pikes Peak to P2!