The nickname “The World’s Toughest Triathlon” was already taken. So the folks in Dillon, Colorado decided to make their own rugged triathletic challenge and called it “The Highest Triathlon in the World.” While the race starts at 9,000 feet, the bike course maxes out at 10,291 feet of altitude, offering allure enough for tough triathletes. An added feature for swim-bike-run aficionados of a spartan state of mind was the chilly swim. Lake Dillon measured at 55 degrees Fahrenheit and the temperature just a few feet below the surface was closer to 40 degrees. So 800 hardy souls signed on for a half or a quarter Ironman distance test on Saturday just a few miles from the Continental Divide.
When all the tumult and shouting subsided, Tripp Hipple of Denver won the men’s race and multiple ITU Olympic distance World Championship medalist Laura Bennett of Boulder won the women’s title at the inaugural 106 West Triathlon.
Hipple combined a men’s 2nd-fastest 28:33 swim, men’s 2nd-fastest 2:23:13 bike split and a men’s 2nd-best 1:30:40 half marathon run to finish in 4:24:59, with a 13:47 margin of victory over Tim Hola of Highlands Ranch and 15:23 over 3rd-place Matthew Britton of Loveland for an all-Colorado podium.
Bennett, who won a $200,000 check for winning the 2007 Hy-Vee Triathlon, combined an 18:27 swim (10 minutes faster than Hipple), a 2:47:30 bike split, and a 1:41:22 run to finish in 4:51:36, giving her a 16:29 margin of victory over runner-up Molly Smith of Denver and 30:15 over 3rd-place Adelaide Perr of Boulder.
106 West Triathlon
September 10, 2016
S 1.2 mi. / B 56 mi. / R 13.1 mi.
Half Distance Men
1. Tripp Hipple (Denver CO) 4:24:59
2. Tim Hola (Highlands Ranch CO) 4:38:46 *M40-44
3. Matthew Britton (Loveland CO) 4:40:22 *M30-34
4. Michael Breyer (Golden CO) 4:43:33 *M40-44
5. Steve Johnson (Longmont CO) 4:45:53 *M40-44
Half Distance Women
1. Laura Bennett (Boulder CO) 4:51:36
2. Molly Smith (USA) 5:08:05 *F35-39
3. Adelaide Perr (Boulder CO) 5:21:51 *F30-34
4. Scarlett Kaplan (Arlee MT) 5:25:34 *F18-24
5. Jill Sorensen (Dillon CO) 5:26:57 *F35-394