Revenge or triathlon? a tough choice for locals |

Revenge or triathlon? a tough choice for locals

Jason Starr

SUMMIT COUNTY – It’s a busy sports weekend on Summit’s east side, and some of the county’s best endurance athletes had a choice to make: Montezuma’s Revenge or Keystone’s terra.

Time-wise, the two don’t overlap. The Revenge, a 24-hour mountain bike race, ends at 4 p.m. today. The terra takes place Sunday morning. But doing both was not an option – an unfortunate scheduling conflict for a few local athletes.

Jari Kirkland of Breckenridge finished third for women in the Revenge last year. She also did well enough on the terra tour to make the world championships in Hawaii.

She found out in February that she wouldn’t be able to do both this year, but it took her until early July to commit to terra.

“It was really hard,” Kirkland said of the decision. “I’d love to do Montezuma’s Revenge again, but I want to get invited to (terra) world’s.”

Although she qualified for world’s last year, travel complications after Sept. 11 kept her from making the trip to Hawaii. Her motivation to secure another world’s spot, and this year, take advantage of it, was the main reason for her choosing terra this weekend.

“It’s more of an accomplishment to do a 24-hour race than the terra, but I’d rather go pro and go to world’s,” Kirkland said. “I might go cheer people on (at the Revenge), but it’s really hard to go out and cheer people doing something you want to do.

“I can’t wait to do it again in the next couple years,” she added.

Another Breckenridge athlete, Monique Merrill, chose the terra this weekend over the Revenge. Merrill holds the course record for women at the Revenge but had a verbal agreement with her sponsor, Tokyo Joes, to do the terra.

“If Montezuma’s Revenge was a week away, I’d probably do it,” Merrill said. “It’s in my hometown, so it’s a bummer I can’t be there. I’ll definitely be doing it again.”

Merrill was the overall women’s points champion on the terra tour last year, rewarded for her consistent, not dominant, season. But this summer, Merrill is focusing on multi-sport adventure races that last anywhere from 15 hours to four days. She should finish the terra in about two hours, so it will be a change of pace.

“I’m more fit for Montezuma’s Revenge, but I’m just tired right now,” she said. “I’m quite happy that I’ll just be doing a two-hour race. It’s kind of a nice break.”

terra’s one-kilometer swim, 26K mountain bike and 10K trial run – a nice break? Perhaps when compared to biking 150 miles and gaining a combined 25,000 feet in elevation in the 24 hours of Montezuma.

Jason Starr can be reached at (970) 668-3998 Ext. 231 or at

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