Saturday, February 2, 2019

What's up with TriUtah??

With a year now under his belt, we thought it was time to catch up with TriUtah's exceptional Race Director, Mr. Brogg Sterrett.

Overall, participation at local triathlons was up significantly last year... let's keep it going in 2019!

***To get up to speed on the history of TriUtah (and triathlon in general in the state), check out these prior interviews:

TriUtah II: The Aamodt Era
TriUtah III: Welcome Brogg Sterrett

You can learn more and register for any & all TriUtah races 

How would you summarize your first year at the helm of TriUtah?

This first year was a blast. It was great to be part of the endurance end of events again. I think overall it went well. There were some familiar pieces that came back like riding a bike, and there were some good lessons I was reminded of.

TriUtah makes awesome post-race recap videos

Has the Utah triathlon scene changed since you ran BBSC a decade ago, or is it more or less the same? What’s changed, if anything?

The constant I still find in the triathlon world is the passion that athletes have with their training and racing. I also still felt the kinship and overall friendliness of the athletes, that never gets old and I love that. I feel what has changed since my early days of being an RD is the participation levels. The first race we put on in 2004 had 114 people in it. When I eventually sold BBSC in 2010 that race was selling out at 900-1200 athletes and all our other tris ranged from 800-2,000 athletes. When 2013 came around it was obvious that multisport participation was starting to decline and lasted until 2016-2017. In 2018 all but one of our events saw growth over 2017. It's encouraging to see multisport participation starting to climb again.

By being in the Top 10 in participation in 2018, East Canyon, Echo, Jordanelle, and Brineman all qualified once again for the Utah Triathlon Championship Series (UTCS) in 2019. What’s your favorite thing about each of these four races?

I love the venue of East Canyon. East Canyon State Park is so beautiful and the bike is stunning too. Finishing at the park in Morgan is super slick and conducive to hanging out with your friends and family afterwards. The Echo bike course is fast and flat while being surrounded by stunning rock formations that only Utah can bring. Jordanelle is a great venue too. The venue itself is awesome and finishing in the grass field surrounded by trees makes a great gathering space for a finish and hanging out afterwards with your pals. The bike course next to the river is fun and the trail run is great too. I like the rare spectator friendly swim course at Brineman, and if you're doing the Oly or Long Course, you're in for a treat by getting on Antelope Island. The run course through Jensen Nature park is great too as other than a few manned intersections, you are completely separated from vehicles.

Many local athletes may not realize that DinoTri (June 29th in Vernal) is now under TriUtah management – how did that come to be, and what are your thoughts about this race?

Yeah, I'm stoked for this race! Dino has a great history here in UT and again is surrounded by stunning Utah landscape. Every aspect of this event has a prehistoric feel to it. Be sure to spend some extra time in Vernal and hit the dinosaur museums.

What’s your podium for the three most badass, grittiest, or simply craziest things you witnessed at your races last year?

Oh man, that's tough! I would say 1st place is watching the Challenged Athlete teams compete. Having them out at our races has a special place to me, I love getting to know them and their parents at the races. I love the time and giving back that the athletes show to compete with these kids. 2nd place would have to be the time a couple of athletes wanted water thrown on them as they ran by the aid station and the volunteers accidentally threw Gatorade on them instead. I wish I could get this one out of my head, but coming in 3rd would be the urine smell in a staffer's truck after transporting gear bags and wetsuits from East Canyon. Yes, I had to get his truck professionally cleaned afterwards.

What was the highlight and lowlight of the tri season for you from an RD perspective?

For me the highlight of the season is when we get closer to a race and people start emailing asking questions about the race. Regardless if it's a seasoned triathlete or someone new to the sport that has nerves, I love communicating with them because I know there's excitement coming from that keyboard about the race. The lowlight I think is when when we're challenged by Mother Nature. When the team spends so much time preparing and setting up for an event only to have it hit by a storm is tough. We had a massive storm roll through at Jordanelle in 2018. Of course trying to sleep during the storm while you know the race venue is getting destroyed is tough to do. So heading back out in the rain at 11pm and working overnight to get the race set back up is challenging. But this also turns into a highlight when the team pulls it together and you see everyone showing up, smiles on their faces and ready to race.

Being Utah Tri Buzz, we talk most about your open water triathlons… but what can you say about your other races? (Woman of Steel, road races, trail runs, etc)

Thanks for asking about this. Last year the Woman of Steel 50 mile relay and Porters 10k and 1/2 marathon were run under a company called Coreterra Racing. This year we have brought these back under the TriUtah banner. We also have a few more running events we added this year like the Wasatch 10k and 1/2 marathon. This event starts in the Soldier Hollow area in Midway, UT and heads through the quaint town of Midway. We also partnered with Sundance Mountain Resort to bring a 7 and 11k trail run in 2019. Editor's Note: you can check out all of TriUtah's race offerings here.

How can athletes best support our local RD’s, and why should people sign up for your races in 2019?

The best ways to support a local RD is to make sure you make room in your race calendar for local events. It's always fun to travel and do other events, but there are some great events here in UT with scenery you won't find anywhere else. Another way to support your local RD is to volunteer. It's a great way to give back to the endurance community and support the the success of a local event. I feel TriUtah has the BEST venues and courses in the state. Although the TriUtah team is super fun and laid back, we take our races seriously. We know that athletes have a limited amount of time to train and they carefully choose how to spend their hard earned money. It's our duty to give people the best races out there with the hope they see value between racing TriUtah and racing a non TriUtah event.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Yeah, I want to thank Utah Tri Buzz for supporting the local tri scene and giving RD's an opportunity to talk to athletes in a forum that we normally don't have. I want to thank the athletes that welcomed me back into the tri scene last year. I really enjoyed meeting so many cool people and seeing the same people race after race. I absolutely love connecting with them and we're excited to connect with more people this year.


Below are links to all the races in the 2019 Championship Series:

Below are links to all Challenger Races:

We started a Patreon account (link below) with the hope of raising a few bucks towards awards & swag for athletes of all abilities in our tri community. We've given out a lot over the past 2 years, but would like to continue to expand our offerings & the volume we can do.

If you enjoy Utah Tri Buzz and would like to pitch in, any amount would be greatly appreciated... (there may be something in it for you as well!)

We're also always grateful for talented people who contribute in terms of time... let us know if you'd like to be part of the Utah Tri Buzz team.

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