A contingent of North Platte fitness athletes made their presence felt at the 70.3-mile IRONMAN Triathlon on Saturday in Boulder, Colorado.
The Mid-Nebraska Performance triathlon team brought 29 competitors to the event, winning the Division V team competition by a wide margin, compiling 16,772.8 points, while the next closest team scored 9,461.7.
Longtime local fitness athlete, Boulder veteran and triathlon coach Bobby Korkow began the group, but credits several factors for the growth of the local fitness scene. Among the biggest catalysts has been the Platte River Fitness Series, which began in 2004. The group’s mission, according to their website, is centered on building a community of people who are engaged in physical activity, who work to make healthy lifestyle choices and who believe in the power of a challenge to help them in all areas of life.
The grueling Boulder course begins with a 1.2-mile swim, followed by a 56-mile bicycle course at 5,201 feet elevation and concludes with a 13.1-mile run at 5,206 feet. While that sounds daunting to most, Korkow says getting past the initial mental hurdle is the first step.
“At the start a lot of people get focused on the distance and think there’s no way they can do it. Once they take the leap of faith, sign up, start training and break down the distances, it becomes more manageable and they start to gain confidence,” he said. “The main thing I try to stress is that everyone is capable. Consistency in training is the biggest thing.”
Another harbinger of the group’s growth is its inclusive atmosphere, according to Korkow.
“We’re all-inclusive and it’s a big family thing that everyone can be involved in and enjoy,” he said. “There were lots of people in Boulder who were blown away by the size of our group and that we’re all from North Platte. We had a lot of people thinking we were from Grand Island or east. It shows how the community here has grown.”
For more information, visit the Platte River Fitness Series – Triathlon and Races Facebook page.