Second-year race Clackamas Cove Triathlon is expecting 400 participants for its sprint and Olympic-distance race in Oregon City, Ore., on June 22. The biggest draw for the event is the swim in Clackamas Cove, says marketing manager Jilliane Bandstra. During the race, athletes swim through a natural spillway, which features clean and calm water (and beaver and salmon sightings are possible!). Race director Patrick Bolan came up with the idea for the race when a weekly Wednesday night swim in Clackamas Cove (an old quarry along the Clackamas River), publicized through the Portland Tri Club, quickly grew to 40 triathletes every week. Because the cove still hosts regular swims, it gives local participants the chance to practice swimming on the course—a major plus for triathlon newbies apprehensive about the swim.
Bolan, who lives in Oregon City, makes sure the race has a local feel and showcases the area. In addition to the swim, the out-and-back bike course on Clackamas River Road features recently paved roads, rolling hills and only slight elevation gain to the turn-around. The run course passes through downtown Oregon City, crosses a scenic bridge and includes a historic stair climb out of downtown. Bolan worked with local businesses as well as the Portland Tri Club to give the race a community feel. “We heard that many people who participated last year were excited to see a triathlon in their own area of town,” Bandstra says.
Bolan also made the race accessible to both beginners and seasoned triathletes: While the race participants are split between the two, almost one-third of participants had less than one year of triathlon experience last year. “It is really exciting for us to be part of encouraging new racers to join the sport,” Bandstra says. To further that goal, the triathlon is offering 50 percent off the registration fee for anyone 18 years old or younger.
What: Clackamas Cove Triathlon
Where: Oregon City, Ore.
When: June 22, 2014
Distance: Sprint (900-meter swim, 12-mile bike, 3.1-mile run) and Olympic (1.5K swim, 24-mile bike, 6.2-mile run)