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Outdoor Adventures: Grand County fall turns fitness-filled

Kristen LodgeOutdoor AdventuresSeptember 22, 2010
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Kim Bunning moved back to Grand County this year after living three years away from Colorado and missing it every day. Now that she is back, she has been competing in many of the fitness-filled festivals promoted by the Winter Park & Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce. This month there are multiple events planned throughout the county, enticing local athletes and visitors to swim, bike and run. There is a new trail running series this year – Run the Ranches – entailing four trail runs at ranches in Grand County: Drowsy Water Ranch, Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Snow Mountain Ranch and Granby Ranch. Kim ran the Devil’s Thumb trail run: “I’ve really enjoyed doing as many of the local events as I can this summer.” And there have been so many fun, new events this year. Kim volunteered at the Kids for Kids Trialthalon and recently rode the Crooked Roubaix, an epic 90-mile ride through Grand County consisting of 5,000 feet of climbing with 60 of the miles on dirt. “It was one of the toughest bike rides I’ve ever done,” she said. “But the scenery was spectacular and it was just a really cool event. I think more Grand County locals might get involved if they had a team option since it’s such a long ride”. Other events inlcuded in this fitness-filled fall included a mountain cross series, “Grand Cross,” leading up to this weekend’s duathlon at the Fraser Recreation Center on Sunday: The Fraser Valley Fall Duathlon 2010. The race starts with a 2-mile run, followed by a 15-mile bike ride and ends with another 2-mile run. Kim will be racing the duathlon. She only started training for all three sports while living in Boise last year. She joined the Boise Tri Club, and then competed in the Boise 70.3; a half Ironman distance event. “The Boise 70.3 is a really big deal,” she said. “The entire community really gets involved and they shut down the entire downtown for the finish line. Participating in the Boise 70.3 and being part of the Boise Tri Club had a huge impact on why I got hooked on triathlons”Kim will be participating in Sunday’s duathlon and is using the event to help prepare for a December marathon. Her training plan includes biking (road and mountain biking) on her days off from running. She also participates in the Fraser Recreation Center’s Master Swim program. She says that having coaches and workout partners helped her get hooked while living in Boise. Now that there is a master swim class in Fraser she will continue training through the winter: “I like not having to plan my swim workouts. I just show up and do what the coach says … or at least try to do what he says. Knowing that others will be wondering where you are if you miss a workout helps keep me motivated too.”Kim admits that she was never much of an athlete before the triathlon bug caught her:”Now I’m more fit now than I’ve ever been in my life. And I’m in my forties. Having coaches and teammates who encourage and support you in your training makes a huge difference. And, of course, the friendly competition between your lane mates, running partners, riding partners, doesn’t hurt either. Sometimes multi-sport athletes do workouts that just seem crazy so it’s nice to have the camaraderie of a team to help get you through the madness.”


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