This is the kind of story we tell each other over a beer. It’s a triathlon classic from the wooly early days of the sport, when the world was just waking up to the notion of triathlon, and even folks in the business were learning as they went. It was on-the-job training for everyone,...Read More
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Where Are They Now?
There cannot be a list of female triathlon pioneers without the name of Colleen Cannon figuring up near the very top – not unlike the way she figured in the top-ten standings of major Olympic-distance races for the better part of the 1980s and early 90s.
Like so many early triathletes, Cannon was a national level competitive swimmer in college before moving into multisport. She was a fixture on the Bud Light USTS from 1982-1992, winning the Coke Red Jersey in 1987 and the USTS Series Championship at Hilton Head Island, SC in 1988. She was a USAT (at the time “Tri-Fed”) national sprint-distance champion the following year. With little in the way of ultra-distance aspirations, Cannon was happy to let others contend at the Ironman in Kona, although her resume included a victory at the Nice Triathlon in France and multiple appearances at the Horney Toad long-distance tri in San Diego.
It is impossible to describe or visualize Cannon without a genuinely happy smile on her face. Few pro triathletes seemed to enjoy the multisport environment with greater enthusiasm – an attitude she has carried over into her post-competitive career as the founder of the Boulder-based Women’s Quest Inc., a company that organizes adventure-based retreats in exotic locations for women designed to “spark your senses, revitalize your body, and soothe your soul.”
Women’s Quest is based on everything I learned about living well while I was an athlete,” Cannon said. She emphasized that athletic ability and prior athletic experience are not requirements for her Vision Quest clients. “Basically,” she said, we pretty much play.”