AUBURN — Last weekend Downtown Auburn’s Central Square was transformed into a hub of physical activity for close to 400 athletes. The Auburn Triathlon, a test of physical strength transitioned and finished downtown continuing the city’s legacy of being the Endurance Capital of the World. Colorful finish line towers and tunnels lined with banners directed runners to the long-awaited finish line. Vendors offered all types of health and fitness equipment, nutrition foods and other sports-related products from pop-up shelters that lined High Street.
On Sunday several distances were available to athletes. The toughest was the Half Triathlon which consisted of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run. The Olympic Triathlon distance was a 0.09-mile lake swim, a 24.8-mile bike ride and a 6.2-mile run. The Sprint Triathlon distance enticed everyday athletes in good shape to try a triathlon. Its distance included a 0.03-mile swim, an 8-mile bike ride and a 2.6-mile run. For those athletes that don’t like to run Aqua Bike Triathlons were available consisting of a 1.2-mile swim and then a 56-mile bike ride. On Saturday at 10 a.m. as the event kicked off a family fun run was offered for all levels of fitness and ages sponsored by The Auburn Recreation District and Ropers Jewelry.
All of the triathlons began at Folsom Lake at Rattlesnake Bar with the swim. The bike rides were all a little different depending on the distances but went from Folsom Lake along Auburn Folsom Road in Loomis, then through the Newcastle and Ophir areas. The run course took athletes through Downtown Auburn and into the American River Canyon. At Central Square the tri-athletes transitioned from bikes to their running gear for the final stage of their event. Residents, families and friends could get a good look and offer encouragement to the athletes as they took to the streets. “New this year are the course and venue changes, our goal is to get the community involved, “said co-promoter Colleen Conners-Pace. “Auburn is the Endurance Capital of the World and we want to embrace this.”
The event has been staged in the Auburn area for 16 years over various courses. This year Tahoe Peak Endurance partnered with USAP Events as co-promoters and some course changes were made to bring the action into Auburn’s urban areas. Streets were blocked off partially with cones throughout the downtown areas and volunteers helped with traffic control.