Action County: Bob Cottrell
Bob Cottrell has a passion for running that he wants to share with young people. To that end, the Summit Cove triathlete is starting up a running club for kids that will meet on a bi-weekly basis beginning Tuesday.”I’ve always wanted to do this and wondered if I had the time, but something came along that made it really easy,” Cottrell said during an interview on Thursday. “There’s a group called Kids Running America.”Local youngsters in the national program will work toward running 25.2 cumulative miles prior to the Denver Marathon, Oct. 14. On the eve of the race, Cottrell will accompany his club members to Denver where they will run one final mile prior to attending a celebration.Cottrell, who is active in both the local trail running and mountain biking series as well as the Xterra triathlon series, will ask participants to log two miles per week in pursuit of their ultimate goal.”Kids and distance sports don’t always go hand and hand,” Cottrell explained. “They don’t entirely get it, so you don’t want to bore them to death. I’ll probably have some relays on some nights and maybe play ultimate Frisbee another time. If they play ultimate Frisbee for a half hour, I know they’ve run a mile.”
Cottrell said he’s gotten 12 “yeses” so far.”I would love to have a few dozen kids,” he said. “(Running 26.2 miles) is doable for them in increments like this.”The club will meet at Summit Cove Elementary School. Cottrell can be reached at email@example.com for more info, and to learn about the national program, visit http://www.kidsrunningamerica.org.Who is Bob Cottrell?
Cottrell, a father of two, grew up in New Jersey where he took a liking to both football and track. At Yale, the local title company owner played on three consecutive Ivy League championship teams (1979-81). The former fullback went into the legal field and was a practicing attorney in Newark, NJ, when he decided on a major lifestyle change about 15 years ago.”My wife and I came out here on a little bit of a lark,” Cottrell recalled. “She had gone to the University of Colorado and one of her friends was getting married in Aspen. We made a trip out and it was just magical. I said, ‘Why don’t we just move here?'” Bob and Dana Cottrell were not yet married at the time.”We had just met,” he said. “It was like a love-at-first-sight sort of thing.”A few years after settling in Summit, Cottrell developed an interest in triathlons. The longtime runner and cyclist picked up swimming about a decade ago.
“That was no small feat,” he said. “I’m proud of myself for having done that because it came with some fear, particularly the first time I did a lake swim.”Now a regular fish, Cottrell has his sights set on the Xterra National Championship, Sept. 30 at Incline Village, Nev. In order to qualify, he must finish among the top four 45-49-year-old men in the Mountain Region. Cottrell won his age group at the Patanella’s King of the Hill in New Jersey in May and took sixth at the Buffalo Creek (Colorado) contest in June.”It may be very tough,” he said regarding his chances of competing at nationals. “My age group is just ridiculous. I don’t know where these athletes come from, but they’re such high achievers.”Cottrell, who accompanied his daughter Grace, 11, and son Ben, 9, to a triathlon for kids Saturday on the Front Range, explained what he likes about the combination of swimming, biking and running.”You get to not beat up your body in just one discipline,” he said. “You’ve got to work on all those disciplines, but at the same time, it gives you a break. … I also like the little personal battles, the drama that plays out in your head. Going into them you get nervousness butterflies and maybe the anxiety that it’s going to hurt. But when you get halfway or even a quarter of the way through the race, that’s gone. Then you finish the darn thing and you’re meeting buddies out at the post race party with some beer.”
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