Kimo Seymour’s all about endurance

Kimo Seymour competes in the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race. Courtesy Athlinks

LOUISVILLE — Kimo Seymour has completed 116 endurance races, from Ironman triathlons to the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race, which adds up to a grand total of 6,943.3 miles raced on foot, bike and in the water. These stats and others, including personal records, race results and even a list of rival athletes, can all be found on Seymour’s Athlinks profile. Athlinks is a database and social media platform for competitive endurance athletes, where race participants can search and register for races, view race results and track progress.

Seymour is the president of Athlinks, a division of Life Time, Inc., based in Louisville, which encompasses Life Time’s athletic events, media and technology businesses.

“Life Time’s mission — or tag line, if you will — is ‘the healthy way of life,’” said Seymour. “Life Time as a company has really embraced this vision.”

Life Time operates more than 130 health clubs around the country, including six in Colorado. The clubs serve approximately 2 million members nationwide and the company is opening new clubs at a rate of about one per month, said Seymour. The Athlinks umbrella covers the company’s 29-plus race events, the world’s largest race timing and registration platform and the results database.

Seymour was an endurance athlete before he was in the business of organizing endurance races. He’s competed in 11 Ironman triathlons, six of which were Ironman World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. His career course intersected with his race course about a decade ago.

“I had been in real estate development for about 15 years and in about the mid-2000s I felt like the market was getting a little bit too hot,” said Seymour. “I basically sold all of my projects and downsized my business so when 2008 came, I was in a good position to take some time off. A friend asked me if I would help him sell his events business, but instead of selling it I said, how about I buy it? … Eventually I was approached by Life Time’s CEO to just sell (the events business) and come to work for Life Time.”

One of Seymour’s first big decisions after joining the Life Time team was where to establish a headquarters, or center of gravity, as he described it, for the company’s media and events division (Life Time’s corporate headquarters is in Minneapolis). Seymour and his colleagues conducted a national search for a home base and settled on the Boulder area.

Colorado is also home to one of Life Time’s most renowned events, the Leadville Race Series. The series features two signature races, a mountain bike race and a running race, both called the Leadville Trail 100. The races start and end in the small old mining town of Leadville. Each summer, endurance athletes come from around the world come to tackle the rugged terrain and high altitude. Seymour is one of them. Last year he completed his 11th Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race. There’s nothing like the Leadville Series, he said.

“I think what makes it special is — it’s hard to describe — it’s certainly the experience, the challenge, the town, the setting, everything about that event … and then of course the demand greatly exceeds the capacity, which makes it more intriguing for people, the challenge of getting in is part of it,” said Seymour.

There’s also a feeling of comradery, and of being part of something, together, with the other participants that makes the Leadville Series unique.

“There’s more of a family of people who are involved with Leadville, rather than just participants,” said Seymour. “It really feels like you’re part of something special, more than just competing in a really hard endurance event.”

As he looks out at the course ahead, Seymour said he sees the endurance events industry as a whole trending away from road races and moving more toward dirt races. Road races, both running and road biking, he said, have plateaued in terms of participation, but the demand for dirt races, like the Leadville Series and it’s qualifying events, regularly exceeds the capacity. Regardless of what the future holds for the industry, Seymour is confident in his company’s ability to weather ups and downs, and to enjoy the ride along the way.

“We’re in it for the long haul,” said Seymour. “We like to say we’re 25 years into a 100-year plan. Every day I tell my team, if you can’t see a connection between what you’re doing every day and helping someone live a happier, healthier life, then you’ve got to question what you’re doing every day because that’s really our mission. I mean, we’re fortunate enough to help a lot of people — you know, hundreds of thousands at our events, millions of people using our technology platform — live a happier, healthier life. We’re really lucky.”

Kimo Seymour competes in the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race. Courtesy Athlinks

LOUISVILLE — Kimo Seymour has completed 116 endurance races, from Ironman triathlons to the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race, which adds up to a grand total of 6,943.3 miles raced on foot, bike and in the water. These stats and others, including personal records, race results and even a list of rival athletes, can all be found on Seymour’s Athlinks profile. Athlinks is a database and social media platform for competitive endurance athletes, where race participants can search and register for races, view race results and track progress.

Seymour is the president of Athlinks, a division of Life Time, Inc., based in Louisville, which encompasses Life Time’s athletic events, media and technology businesses.

“Life Time’s mission — or tag line, if you will — is ‘the healthy way of life,’” said Seymour. “Life Time as a company has really embraced this vision.”

Life Time operates more than 130 health clubs around the country, including six in Colorado. The clubs serve approximately 2 million members nationwide and the company is opening new clubs at a rate of about one per month, said Seymour. The Athlinks umbrella covers the company’s 29-plus race events, the world’s largest race timing and registration platform and the results database.

Seymour was an endurance athlete before he…