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Tri-the-Rim Triathlon rallies FLC's amateur athletes

Participants in 2011's triathlon take the corner from the EBH parking lot onto Rim Drive for the biking portion of the race.

Participants in 2011's triathlon round the corner from the EBH parking lot onto Rim Drive for the biking portion of the race.

The Tri-the-Rim Triathlon is one of Fort Lewis College's longest-running -- and swimming and biking -- traditions, annually saluting and testing FLC's formidable athletic spirit. For a quarter century, it has also been bringing together the on- and off-campus athletic communities to share their passion for challenging themselves -- and for having fun doing it.

The sprint triathlon includes a 500-yard swim, an 11-mile bike ride, and a 5K run, embodying and embracing the Fort Lewis College and Durango attitudes of enjoying the area's beauty in active, friendly ways.

The 24th annual staging of the competition will be April 15, on the FLC campus. Some 160 competitors participate each year, about 25 percent of whom are FLC students, staff, and faculty.

Tri-the-Rim isn't just for the competitors, though. The triathlon begins and ends at the Dale Rea Clocktower, and is held in the Aquatic Center and along Rim Drive, encircling campus. Spectators are welcome, and there are also opportunities for volunteer race attendants.

This year marks 25 years since Tri-the-Rim started, but the race was not held one year because of campus road work. Visiting Instructor in Marketing and Faculty Athletics Representative Steve Stovall remembers that year a decade ago, because he worried it would break his string of Tri-the-Rim races.

That Spring, though, Exercise Science instructor Melissa Knight-Maloney taught a triathlon class, for which the final exam was an abbreviated version of the Tri-the-Rim. "She was gracious enough to let me participate in the final exam," Stovall laughs, keeping his record intact.

Stovall is still a familiar sight to all on campus, running nearly every day, preparing for his 16th Tri-the-Rim in a row -- including the year the race wasn't held--and inspiring his students and peers to unleash their inner amateur athletes.

“I love seeing other students and staff and faculty training during the winter for the event. It makes me feel like we're a team," says Stovall. ”And that's why Tri-the-Rim is a great event for FLC. Because most of us aren’t competing against each other, we are all supporting one another as we all compete against the course."

The 24th Annual Tri-the-Rim Triathlon is Sunday, April 15. Pre-registration is required: $85 team / $42 single participant / $37 FLC faculty, staff, or student. Free for spectators. For more information visit the Tri-the-Rim homepage, email, or call 970-247-7220.

Volunteers receive a Tri-the-Rim t-shirt and a race-day continental breakfast. For more information visit the Tri-the-Rim volunteer webpage, email, or call 970-247-6538.

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