Active City Spotlight: Triathlete's Guide to Denver

The altitude is a mile above sea level. The flatlands are to the east, the mountains are to the west. The weather is beautiful.

There's a lot to like if you're a triathlete in Denver. Many pro triathletes call nearby Boulder, Colorado, home. Denver offers many of the same advantages. It is a popular town for triathletes, as its great races and great facilities attest to.

We've covered running in Denver and cycling in Denver elsewhere. Here, we explore the best places to swim in Denver, the best triathlons to sign up for and the best multi-sport stores to visit.

Places to Swim

Obviously, open water swim has a somewhat short window in Colorado, but many Denver-area triathletes flock to the Gravel Pond at Chatfield State Park in Littleton to get open-water workouts in during the summer.

The catch? You need to be a member of the Colorado Masters Swimming Association to gain access to the pond. Once you're in, open-water swimming is allowed on Monday and Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. The pond is 900 meters across and is a well-known spot among Denver triathletes.

More: Acclimating to Altitude Before a Race

Other places to go:

  • Mile High Multisport sponsors open water swimming at Grant Ranch in Lakewood. The sessions take place from May through August.
  • The University of Denver has a nice indoor long-course pool for year-round swimming. It is located right off I-25.

Races to Remember

The Denver Triathlon is a point-to-point course (with remote transitions) from Sloan's Lake toward downtown. The run takes place mostly on the South Platte River Trail and the Cherry Creek River Trail.

The race takes place annually in September.

Other races:

  • The Longmont Triathlon north of Denver is the longest-running tri in Colorado, having started in 1981. The sprint course has a pool swim, a 12-mile bike and a 5K run.
  • TriRock Colorado takes place in July at Aurora Reservoir. Like the Rock 'N' Roll marathon series, the TriRock courses have live music scattered throughout.
  • The My Way or the Tri Way race in August is a unique event—the 750-meter swim, 20K bike and 3.5-mile run are pretty normal, but the twist is that you can choose the order in which you complete each leg. The race takes place in Aurora.

Triathlon Stores to Check Out

TriBella (1060 Bannack Street) is an interesting business in that it caters to female triathletes. In addition to offering female-specific triathlon gear and apparel, it also has its own triathlon team and hosts a number of clinics.

More stores to check out:

  • Colorado Multisport (2480 Canyon Boulevard in Boulder) is worth the extra drive if you're in Denver. The store, while focusing more on cycling and swimming, nonetheless is preferred among the many elite triathletes in Boulder.

One Last Tip

Speaking of Boulder, the college town about an hour from Denver is truly considered one of the best triathlon towns in America. Many pros spend at least part of the year there, and the town hosts several great triathlons, including Ironman Boulder, Ironman 70.3 Boulder, Boulder Peak and the Boulder Sprint.

More: Active City Spotlight: Boulder

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