Lava to Downata 

Big weather, big fun at Idaho's first off-road triathlon

Wild weather, cows, great food and hot springs at the start and the finish combined to make the inaugural Lava to Downata Off-Road Triathlon a truly memorable event. This was the first traditional off-road triathlon offered in Idaho (featuring a swim, mountain bike, trail run format). The event was round three of the 2004 Motion Potion Wild Rockies Mountain Series, sponsored by MBT Footwear, KNIN Television, Idaho Chiropractic, Mt. West Bank, Boise Weekly, Bandanna Running, Sushi on the Spot, PowerBar, Trek, K2, Lava Hot Springs and Downata Hot Springs.

Starting at one of the most popular resorts in the region, Lava Hot Springs, the event brought out teams and individuals from as far away as Portland, Oregon. The race started with a 500-meter swim in the Lava pool, with the fastest recorded leg turned in by Boise's Remy Turner, (a quick 7:02). Then the skies opened up with a pounding, refreshing rainstorm, the first of many during the event. A special short course triathlon for kids under 17 was run during the adult swim and featured some great racing among the younger crowd. The kids swam 200 yards, biked six miles and ran two miles, much of it in the pouring rain. Idaho Falls 14-year-old Quinn Depperschmidt was never headed to win the event in the quick time of 43:34, but the younger kids, including Austin Boyd, Ty Anderson, Ty Eggimann and Jesse Taysom, fought from the start to race for class wins in the younger age divisions.

The 17-mile mountain bike portion of the adult triathlon started at noon with staggered starts based on swim times. Pocatello's Randy Anderson hammered out an incredible time of 58:36 topping the rest of the field by several minutes as he headed through the mountains toward Downata Hot Springs on a combination of paved and dirt roads that climbed up and over Smith Canyon summit. Anderson had built up a lead of several minutes as he blazed into the transition area near Downey, but a rolling, seven-mile run to Downata still remained, and Pocatello's Andy Hall blasted out a 58:06 run to take his team to the overall event win as well as the team class win. Both Hall and Anderson suffered a setback when errant cows ate the course markers on a twisty, singletrack trail portion of the run, costing both of them (and many others) precious time as they searched for the right route. Anderson hung on to finish second overall and win the men's 40-49 class and the overall event individual honors. The over-30 crowd continued to excel, with Pocatello's Josie Magee taking the top individual female honors and winning the women's 30-39 division.

As runners streamed into the finish, the weather oscillated between warm and sunny and rainy and cold. Fortunately Downata was the perfect place to finish the event, just like Lava was the perfect place to start it. As soon as racers finished they were encouraged to soak in the 100-degree water at Downata, and enjoy the terrific racer lunch served by the Downey Chamber.

The famous Dead Chicken Award—given to the last-place finisher—was won by Pocatello's Krista Batts who braved some horrendous weather and took over four hours to complete the event. But Batts finished and walked away with an armload of prizes as a result. The next round of the 2004 Motion Potion Wild Rockies Series is the 12th annual Revenge of the Single Track, held near the Magic Mountain Ski Resort near Twin Falls on June 12. A mountain bike race, trail run/walk and duathlon will be offered. For more information go to www.wildrockies.com.

LAVA TO DOWANTA OFF-ROAD TRIATHLON OVERALL RESULTS

1. Jane Chipman/Matt Steen/Andy Hall, Pocatello

2. Randy Anderson, Pocatello

3. Remy Turner/Allen Steckmest/Morgan Arritola, Boise

4. Mark Caspersich, Boise

5. Matt Lewis, Pocatello

6. Dean Rose, Pocatello

7. Tim Inch, Ketchum

8. Dave Jordan, Blackfoot

9. Al Kacin, Elko, NV

10. Po Huang, Boise

11. Patrick Charlton, Inkom

12. Anna Cleverly/Geoff Howell, Bountiful, UT

13. Tim Tracy, Boise

14. Curtis Crothers, Portland, OR

15. Brandon Gunter, Pocatello

16. Josie Magee, Pocatello

17. Brandi Clark, Pocatello

18. Michael Bennett, Garden City

19. Dick Newson, Sandy, UT

20. Janie Radinovih/Kim Mahaffey, Baker City, OR

21. Dan Griffith, Pocatello

22. Rob Boyd, Pocatello

23. Kent Hawkins, Pocatello

24. Sierra Saldate/Robert Eggimann/Michelle Halford, Pocatello

25. Amanda Jones, Preston

26. Cheryl Charlton, Inkom

27. Marv White, Pocatello

28. Kathy Hatch, Ketchum

29. Mike Welch, Pocatello

30. Todd Anderson, Chubbuck

31. Stan Christensen, Pocatello

32. Chris Keeley, Meridian

33. Hoyt Michener, Boise

34. John Weeks, Boise

35. Amanda DeShazo, Boise

KIDS TRIATHLON

1. Q. Depperschmidt, Idaho Falls

2. Austin Boyd, Pocatello

3. Ty Anderson, Chubbuck

4. Ty Eggimann, Pocatello

5. Jesse Taysom, Pocatello

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