Joanna Zeiger and other triathletes overcome lack of training sites to post personal triumphs |

Joanna Zeiger and other triathletes overcome lack of training sites to post personal triumphs

Thanks to Boulder’s Alan Villavicencio, a multisport training facility in Boulder is in the planning stages.

In May, the Boulder City Council agreed to study the merits of the proposed Boulder Multisport Training Center, a $100 million project.

“There’s a current need in Boulder which is unmet,” said Villavicencio, a neurosurgeon and triathlete who finished second in the men’s 40- to 44-year-old amateur division Sunday at the Boulder Peak Triathlon.

“The pools, cycling facilities and tracks are completely inadequate for the level of athleticism and competitiveness that there is in Boulder.”

The facility alongside U.S. 36 would feature a 50-meter outdoor pool, a 25-meter indoor pool and an outdoor track, in addition to a sports medicine facility. Short-term housing would be available for people who want to train for weeks at a time.

It’s a facility that athletes such as Joanna Zeiger could have utilized during her training for the triathlon. Last year on the same course, Zeiger was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance after suffering an asthma attack during the 6.2-mile run. Then in November at the Ironman World Championships 70.3, Zeiger, 40, crashed while reaching for a water bottle, breaking her collarbone and a few ribs.

Despite the long rehab, Zeiger won the women’s pro division in 2 hours, 10 minutes.

“This is a day of triumph,” Zeiger said. “It’s been a very long recovery, and obviously my fitness isn’t where I normally like it. But it was a good day.”

Timothy O’Donnell won the men’s pro event for the second straight year. He eclipsed last year’s time by 32 seconds, finishing in 1 hour, 54 minutes. Tim Reed was second, 3 minutes, 24 seconds back.

“I felt unbelievably strong,” O’Donnell said. “I was really happy that I was about to put my stamp on the race on my bike and finish feeling good.”

It helps that O’Donnell lives 2 1/2 miles from the Boulder Reservoir and practiced the bike course leading up to the event. But his Navy background provides more of an explanation for the 29-year-old’s success. He is a six-time Armed Forces champion and left the Navy at the end of 2008 to become a professional triathlete. He finished last season with five professional wins in his first year.

“His success is the product of a lot of hard work, dedication and discipline,” said Cliff English, O’Donnell’s coach and friend. “Whenever you see a lot of success in this event, that shows that someone has been working.”

For more on this story, please visit The DenverPost Online.

Posted on: July 12, 2010
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