Breakaway Athletic Events combines unique racing events with an attention to detail that’s second to none. Creating an awesome athlete experience is what we’re all about. As athletes ourselves we’ve experienced a lot along the way. Racing, volunteering and working at everything from sprint to full distance triathlons, marathons, half-marathons, xterra-offroad races and cycle only events – we’ve seen it all. We know what works, what doesn’t and what it really takes create a simply awesome race day for our athletes, spectators and volunteers.
Formed in 2018 with the goal of bringing unique race events to the Fort Collins and surrounding areas of Colorado, our combined 20+ years of experience will have you smiling from start to finish of every event.
The Breakaway Team
JB Tobin – Owner & Race Director: JB started out in the sport of triathlon over a decade ago. After watching his brother complete a long course race in Rhode Island, he himself decided to sign up and give it a try. Fast forward to five years later and moving to Colorado was in the works. Soon after settling here in Ft Collins, JB re-kindled his passion for training and racing. After becoming more and more involved in the community and culture of triathlon here in Northern Colorado, he decided to form Breakaway in 2018 realizing that the immediate areas have a lack of race support. “I want to inspire athletes to try something new, something unique and something they may even be a little afraid of at one of our races.”
Tim Hruby – Course Director & Race Day Logistics: Tim started running roughly 5 years ago. He was a get off the couch half marathoner until a friend suggested he try the Copper Mountain 50K Ultra. He hasn’t looked back since. He really enjoys biking and swimming but rarely swims anymore due to spending most of his free time getting lost in the woods on trails or meandering forever on a pavement run with his legs. Tim’s first “long ride” was in a group setting a number of years back with some of the other team members here. He was brave enough to go the distance on an old beaten up purple mountain bike that wasn’t clip-in-pedal equipped. Struggling to keep up with everyone on the flats, the hills are where he shined. He hasn’t stopped riding since. Tim’s real passion though is of course trail running. He’s our go to “muscle” for a number of things but easily holds a sub 7 minute mile pace for distances that make most cringe.
Hayley Belles – Volunteer Director: Hayley recently graduated from CSU with a Masters in Public Health and is working through figuring out what’s next for her professionally long term. She has always been an athlete and grew up running and swimming. She ran track in college for four years at Georgia Tech and loved it. She was a distance runner and constantly struggled to keep mileage up and stay injury free. Moving to Colorado for graduate school she missed having a team. On a whim she decided to join the triathlon club. She was shocked by how much she fell in love with the sport of triathlon and how great of a fit it was for her. Hayley was welcomed by the tri community here and has felt really at home ever since. She began racing in 2019 as a professional and is now competing in the pro field at 70.3® races. She can’t wait to see what 2020 will bring! Hayley is also a wife, cat and dog mom, and avid reader. “I can’t wait to see athletes of all skill levels at the starting line of Breakaway races this year”.
Dennis Vanderheiden- Media & Photography: Dennis did his very first triathlon “old school” with a clunky 10 speed borrowed from his dad and a pair of Speedos. While he had a good time he’d surely say “you’re probably glad you weren’t there!” It took awhile but he found a purpose beyond individual achievements. When he founded Athletes in Tandem in 2008, with a mission to provide the thrill of competitive sport to every athlete with a disability who imagines running, swimming or biking in individual events or triathlons, he had no idea the purpose he was looking for would grow beyond the sport of triathlon. Helping others achieve membership in the community of recreational mainstream sports is the ”why” and his purpose. Dennis is happy to help Breakaway with his enjoyment of photography and help capture the experience of athletes competing in events that bring them fulfillment.
Michael Belles – Course Director & Resident MC: Michael is a strong member in the business community here in Ft Collins and an avid athlete “buddy” to his wife Hayley. On race day, he’s all business but also all smiles. You’ll often find him running, hiking, riding, hanging with the doggo, snapping social media pics for Hayley and doing an assortment of other things that keep him buzzing. On race days with Breakaway he brings a great electric energy to our team and tackles every task with a fearless sense of commitment. If you’re chuckling during the awards ceremony it’s likely due to Michael being on point for our athletes.
Josh Terwoord – Course Designer & Ideas Man: Josh has been an endurance athlete for most of his life, starting out as a distance runner over 20 years ago. In 2007, the triathlon bug bit him and he gradually honed his skills over the years and raced his first full Ironman® in 2011. That incredible race redefined what he thought was possible for him as an athlete and he ended up racing in the pro field from 2016-2018. He’s also managed to make triathlon a part of his career, and he’s now rounding out his 6th year working for an Ironman® partner in the tri “industry” – Tri-Bike Transport. He generally works from home here in Fort Collins (where you’ll also commonly find him mountain biking), but he can also be found at events across the US and sometimes overseas several times per year. Josh sees himself as a welcoming ambassador for the sport and looks forward to having a positive impact on athlete experiences through Breakaway Athletic Events. If you hear “ON YOUR LEFT” on race day, it just might be him.
Sara Anne Tompkins – Local Community Relations: Sara got her PhD in Social Psychology from CSU in 2006 then did post doc in Health Psychology from CU Boulder in 2008. She became passionate about health and athletics in college as a scholarship NCAA athlete (crew, UCF). She moved to CO and had 3 children (Aspen (10); Madison (10); Jude (7)) and reignited her passion for athletics and challenging herself physically when her youngest son was 2 years old. She saw an article about a mom with 3 young children who did triathlons and thought, “I can do that” – so she did! She started doing triathlons in 2016 and has competed in some really amazing events, met some awesome friends, challenged herself physically and mentally, and has shown her children that they can do anything they put their minds to. “I am excited for Breakaway to organize events for all members of our community to get more involved in athletics and understand that anyone can be an athlete, live a healthy life and enjoy all Colorado has to offer.”