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Posted: January 15, 2007

Triathlon: Triathletes Brave the Cold

Nearly 100 Athletes Complete the 5430 Winter Triathlon at Devil’s Thumb

BOULDER, CO (January 14, 2007) – Cold weather did not stop nearly 100 athletes from competing in Sunday’s 5430 Winter Triathlon at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, CO. Brian Smith of Gunnison , CO and Heather Best of Fairbanks , AK won top honors in the race. The 5K run, 7.5K mountain bike, and 8K Nordic ski event was the first of 2 winter triathlons scheduled this season at Devil’s Thumb. The only major impact of the weather was a shortening of the bike course (from a scheduled 10K) due to a combination of the cold and the “softness” of the course. All 3 legs of the race were run on the beautiful ski trails of the Ranch.

Smith’s time of 1:13:47 was just 2:49 faster than second place pro triathlete, Peter Valentyik of Boulder , CO . Valentyik took the lead on the mountain bike, and was first onto the ski course; however, a problem with his ski poles caused him to stop, and Smith took over from there. “Even if I didn’t have a problem, Brian would have won,” conceded Valentyik. The female champion, Heather Best, dominated the women with a time of 1:40:56, 10 minutes ahead of runner-up, Katie Lindquist of Steamboat Springs , CO . “I knew my biking would be strong, as I do a lot of biking on snow in Fairbanks ; however, I am really just an average skier,” said Best after the race.

Both Best and Smith will be returning for the February 4 “USA Triathlon Winter National Championship,” which will also serve as a qualifier for the International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships in Flassin, Italy on March 3, 2007. The top 3 male and female finishers in the Championship will split $2,000 in prize money, as well as receive a travel stipend from USA Triathlon to represent the United States at the World Championship.

For more information on winter triathlon and the February 4 event, as well as complete results, visit

1. Brian Smith, 32, Gunnison , CO 1:13:47
2. Peter Valentyik, 39, Boulder , CO 1:16:36
3. Josiah Middaugh, 29, Vail, CO 1:17:36

RESULTS – Female
1. Heather Best, 30, Fairbanks , AK 1:40:56
2. Katie Lindquist, 42, Steamboat Springs, CO 1:50:25
3. Sarah Keller, 41, Billings , MT 1:59:23

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