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Barry Siff Hopes To Grow Triathlon In Tucson

USA Triathlon board president Barry Siff recently moved to Tucson, Ariz. from Boulder, Colo.

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USA Triathlon board president Barry Siff recently moved to Tucson, Ariz. from Boulder, Colo., and he’s hoping to energize the Old Pueblo’s triathlon scene.

At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 13, Siff is hosting a free “Try a Tri” event in Oro Valley. He has also organized two triathlons that will take place here in the spring—a sprint distance March 29 at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa, and an Olympic-distance event May 2 in Sahuarita.

In addition to his national triathlon duties, Siff, 59, in December was named to the International Triathlon Union (ITU) executive board following a vote at its 25th anniversary celebration in Avignon, France.

The Arizona Daily Star interviewed Siff last week about his decision to move to Tucson and why he thinks people can benefit from trying a triathlon.

Siff has completed 10 Ironman events and more than 50 marathons.

Following are excerpts from the interview:

When did you and your wife, Jodee, move to Tucson?

We owned eight events—basically all the major triathlons in Colorado—and we sold them to Ironman in 2009. It was the two of us running the business for years, and when we stopped we decided to spend part of the winter, on and off, in Tucson.

Last year, we just decided to stay here full-time.

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How did you choose Tucson?

It was a freezing cold day in Boulder and I was in the health club after a swimming workout. I was complaining about how cold it was and someone told me about a friend of ours who bought a condo in Phoenix for $70,000—two bedroom, two bath.

I’m not a big fan of Phoenix, but I knew someone here in Tucson—Samantha McGlone, who got second in the Ironman World Championships (and represented Canada at the 2004 Athens Olympics).

I asked her about Tucson. She told me about these condos at Starr Pass where she was living for $75,000 and we came out immediately and bought one. Now we’ve bought a house in Starr Pass. My wife literally gutted it and rebuilt it. Our home in Boulder just got sold (Dec. 26).

Most of the triathletes I know in Tucson live in the Starr Pass area. There are some amazing athletes here that this city doesn’t know about.

Outside of Tucson people think Tucson is a real triathlon haven. It has a very strong reputation. And yet it’s a very disjointed triathlon community.

It’s very different from San Diego or Boulder or Austin, which are leaders that come to mind. Tucson could get there if we got our act together a little bit better, I think.

Read more: Tucson.com