Another tri

Success of previous triathlons at Highline Lake brings third event to Grand Valley

Cyclists cruise down the hill during the bike portion of a recent Highline Hustle Sprint Triathlon. The success of the event, along with the Desert’s Edge Olympic triathlon, have led to another triathlon coming to the valley.

The HITS Triathlon, which will be at Highline Lake on May 18-19, boasts five separate distances, to draw a variety of athletes.

Highline Lake State Park will have a full and half triathlon in addition to a sprint and Olympic triathlon in 2013.

HITS Triathlon Series will host a third triathlon event at Highline on May 18–19.

The state park already hosts the city of Grand Junction sprint triathlon on June 8 and the Desert’s Edge Olympic triathlon on Oct. 5.

“We’re becoming a popular spot for a number of events,” Highline Lake Park Manager Alan Martinez said. “I think it’s the Grand Valley.”

The HITS Triathlon Grand Junction is one of 10 scheduled in the series by the new HITS organization, formed a little more than a year a go.

“I’ve heard so many things about how beautiful it is,” HITS race director Mark Wilson said. “(Grand Junction triathlete) Jeff Recker is helping me out. He said once you get over the mountains, there’s a different feel there. It makes sense. The course is not excruciatingly difficult, but the run will be challenging because it’s bumpy.”

The HITS Triathlon Series includes five separate triathlon distance races.

There is the full triathlon (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run), half (1.2 swim, 56 bike, 13.1 run), sprint (750-meter swim, 12.4-mile bike, 3.1-mile run), Olympic (1,500-meter swim, 24.8-mile bike, 6.2-mile run) and open (100-meter swim, 3-mile bike, 1-mile run).

“What we hope to achieve is bring multiple levels to one event,” Wilson said. “When a person is involved, he or she usually asks for others to come. Our tagline is there is a distance for everyone. They can all be there and support each other no matter what the distance.”

Registration is open online at, and anyone who registers now can get a 75 percent discount off the regular price. For example, a full triathlon is $600, but would cost $150 up to four months prior to the event.

Registration will be 50 percent off three to four months in advance and 25 percent off two to three months in advance.

HITS will take registrations up to the day of the event.

Race organizers are looking for volunteers as well and will contribute up to $2,000 to a nonprofit group with 100 or more volunteers.

Wilson hopes for more than 1,000 participants for the event.

HITS started after Wilson was training organization President and CEO Tom Struzzieri.

“He started training for triathlons,” Wilson said. “He introduced others to it and decided to start his own triathlon company.”


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