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HITS Triathlon Series Ready for Debut in Colorado

hitscoNorthSterlingStatePark.jpgRoughly 400 triathletes will participate in the first HITS Triathlon Series event in Sterling, Colorado this weekend. A triathlon event designed for seasoned triathletes as well as first-timers as the HITS Triathlon Series features five distances over a single weekend offering A distance for everyone!

The race was originally planned to take place in Fort Collins, CO but HITS Triathlon announced that the July 28-29 was moving 94 miles east to Sterling, CO. The decision came as result of a combination of factors, including the devastation from wildfires burning in the area, which covered large portions of the bike route planned for the Half and Full distance races.

The event at North Sterling State Park in Sterling is 110 miles northeast of Denver. The park features a large, spacious reservoir on the high plains with ample camping offered year-round. For the Sprint and Olympic races on Saturday, the bike route leaves the park on County Road 33 with the Sprint athletes turning around 6.2 miles out on County Road 39, while Olympic athletes will turn around on County Road 30, 12.4 miles out and return to the park. On Sunday, Half and Full distance athletes will travel to State Route 14 where they will enjoy 28 miles of rolling hills before returning back to the park for the finish or a second loop. Course maps and additional information can be found here.

Ellen Hart, 54, of Denver, Colorado is a Harvard graduate, lawyer, nutritionist, mother of three and accomplished triathlete. She boasts a long list of racing accolades, including a #1 USAT ranking in her age group for 2010 and 2011, a win at Kona in 2010 and four Ironman 70.3 World Championship wins. Hart is also a former first lady of Denver and was the subject of the ABC Movie of the Week, "Dying to Be Perfect: the Ellen Hart Peña Story".

James Lawrence, 35, of Lindon, Utah is using Sterling as one of the stops on his 2012 world record attempt. He will complete two full distance triathlons each month this year and hopes to raise $5 million for the Quiet Way Foundation (quietway.org) through his "Tri and Give a Dam" campaign (triandgiveadam.com). The Quiet Way Foundation is a nonprofit organization that helps to provide fresh water to people in Kenya by building dams.

Christina Schlachter, 40, of Boulder, Colorado was inspired to try triathlon in 1999 after recovering from ACL surgery and met her husband at Ironman Lake Placid three years later. Schlachter maintains that there is nothing like watching the sun rise on an early morning ride to make you realize life is too short to sit on the couch mad that your body is not a 20-year-old body anymore. She was diagnosed with skin cancer this year and will be racing the Olympic in Sterling.

HITS Deborah BattagliaDeborah Battaglia, 44, of Salt Lake City, Utah set a goal to do the entire 2012 HITS Triathlon Series at the Full distance, which includes 10 races across the country. She already boasts six first female overall titles and will continue her season all the way to the HITS Championship in Palms Springs, California this December. Both as a warm-up to the Full distance and as a way to motivate new triathletes, Battaglia also races in the Open race at each venue.

Susan Haag, 46, of Jacksonville, Florida has raced at all the HITS Triathlon Series races since Palm Springs, California in December. She has completed all the HITS Full distance races, is an Ironman, marathon runner and notorious class clown. She also competes in the HITS Open races at each venue.

Schedule of Events:
Saturday, July 28, 2012 - Race Site
• 7 am: Sprint male wave starts
• 7:03 am: Sprint female wave starts
• 7:40 am: Olympic male wave starts
• 7:43 am Olympic female wave starts
• 10 am: Sprint distance Awards Ceremony and Press Conference
• 11:30 am: Olympic distance Awards Ceremony and Press Conference
• 12:30 pm: HITS Open 1st wave starts (all males 18 & older)
• 12:40 pm: HITS Open 2nd wave starts (all females 18 & older)
• 12:50 pm: HITS Open 3rd wave starts (all children 17 & under and families)
• 2:30 pm: HITS Open Awards Ceremony

Sunday, July 29, 2012 - Race Site
• 7 am: Half and Full races start
• 2 pm: Half distance Awards Ceremony and Press Conference

Monday, July 30, 2012 - J&L Café
• 9 am: Full distance Awards Ceremony and Press Conference

For more information on the HITS Triathlon Series event in Sterling, CO visit www.hitstriathlonseries.com/sterling-co

Photo Credit: Ed Sparks
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Wildfires Force HITS Triathlon Series to Move to Sterling, CO