“Wildflower represents the soul of triathlon, the feeling, environment, and community that best represents the sport. I’m so excited to come back to this race and reconnect with the people involved, and the course itself,” said Jesse Thomas, professional triathlete and six-time defending Wildflower Long Course Champion. “It’s hard for me to understate the importance of Wildflower in the launch and development of my career. I literally wouldn’t have the opportunities I have today as a professional without this race.” Come join Jesse at this years start line of the Wildflower Triathlons. Here are your options triathlon to race this year:
LONG COURSE 1.2 MILE SWIM, 55 MI BIKE, 13.1 MI RUN
The Wildflower Long Course Triathlons is an iconic event in the sport. Many triathletes proclaim it to be the best triathlon in the United States. Since 1983 the event has hosted most of the biggest names in the sport. It starts with a 1.2 mile swim in the lake at 65-68 F. The bike course is a 56 mile ride through the hills, valleys, and fields of wildflowers. The rolling hills are hard on your legs and when you get to “Nasty Grade” (mile 40) makes them burn even more. The down hills will give you white knuckles until you get back to the park and the transition area. The run is 13.1 miles along the lake, creek and through the back country of Long Valley. It returns through the Redonda Vista and Lupine Meadows campgrounds. On San Antonio Drive runner proceed down to the “Pit” (mile 10) then turn-around and head back to Lynch Road for the last leg wobbling downhill to the finish line. The weather plays a big part of the strategy as it is unpredictable from year to year.
OLYMPIC DISTANCE 1.5K SWIM, 40K BIKE, 10K RUN
In the tradition of Wildflower being one of the most challenging events in the world, the Olympic Distance Triathlon lives up to the reputation. Collegiate, age group, relay teams and triathlon clubs love the challenge. The 2 km swim is a counter clockwise swim around buoys in 65-68 F water. It can be smooth or choppy depending on the weather. The bike course a 40 km out and back course starting right out of the transition area up Lynch Hill before any flats. The rolling on San Antonio Drive and Interlake Road seem to have many more up hills than down hills to the turn-around at the 20 Km. When you turn around ride back you are sure that they turn the hills around and they are all uphill again. When you get back into the park you get to go down Lynch Hill and having to use your breaks. The run is along the shoreline to Harris Creek campgrounds and the on San Antonio Drive uphill again. You get a steep grade down Lynch Hill to the finish line. There is nothing better than completing the Wildflower Experience.
OFF ROAD SPRINT OR ON ROAD SPRINT - BOTH AVAILABLE
An Off Road Sprint Distance Triathlon for those who want to get on mountain bike the trails in the back country. The event starts with a 1.4 mile swim followed by a 10 mile off-road bike course along the lake, through the hills and campgrounds. The run is 1 mile out and 1 mile back along Shoreline Drive. This event is perfect for the person who wants to go Off Road but still be part of the Wildflower Experience.
The On Road Sprint Triathlon is a challenging experience for the novice or short distance triathlete. The swim is a 500 meter counter clockwise swim. The bike course goes up Lynch Hill and out San Antonio Drive and Interlake Road to the turn-around at 10K. The hills are rolling and county roads are scenic. You then head back on the same course back down Lynch Hill and to the transition area. The run is a 5K run along the lake and past “Beach City” where the Cal Poly volunteers stay at night. Like all the Wildflower courses this one is tough, but satisfying when you finish. Just being part of the Wildflower Experience is worth every extra heartbeat.