A Rad Winter Triathlon Destination: 70.3 Indian Wells La Quinta

Coachella Valley proved to be an ideal winter triathlon destination, with a picturesque desert backdrop and beautiful conditions. Despite some chilly water (that’s the winter part!), 2,300 athletes representing 37 countries and 47 states completed 1.2 miles of swimming in Lake Cahuilla. Then they took on a flat, single-loop, 56-mile bike course through La Quinta and Indian Wells down the area’s rural roads with spectacular views of the surrounding Santa Rosa Mountains. They finished with a two-loop, 13.1-mile run that began at the famous Indian Wells Tennis Gardens and traversed much of the Indian Wells Golf Resort before returning to the Tennis Garden for a grand finish.

In the pro race, Lionel Sanders (CAN) took the win in a time of 3:45:59, while Chelsea Sodaro (USA) captured the women’s title with a time of 4:14:29 in her first 70.3 appearance.

Enjoy the gorgeous photos from Donald Miralle below. The 2019 event is set for Sunday, Dec. 15.

IRONMAN 70.3 - Indian Wells La Quinta
A magnificent sunrise covers Lake Cahuilla as the athletes and staff prepare to take off. Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images for Ironman
IRONMAN 70.3 - Indian Wells La Quinta
The field of professional athletes take off on the 1.2-mile swim course through Lake Cahuilla. Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images for Ironman
IRONMAN 70.3 - Indian Wells La Quinta
Immersed in the rising sun, this athlete reaches for a swim stroke while on the 1.2-mile swim course in Lake Cahuilla. Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images for Ironman
IRONMAN 70.3 - Indian Wells La Quinta
Athletes cycle beneath the towering palms trees and mountains lining the bike course. Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images for Ironman
IRONMAN 70.3 - Indian Wells La Quinta
Athletes bike past miles of towering palms trees lining the 56-mile bike course. Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images for Ironman
IRONMAN 70.3 - Indian Wells La Quinta
Lionel Sanders leads the field as he cycles past the palm tree farms that line the 56-mile bike course. Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images for Ironman
IRONMAN 70.3 - Indian Wells La Quinta
An athlete climbs the hill to exit Lake Cahuilla. Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images for Ironman
IRONMAN 70.3 - Indian Wells La Quinta
Athletes embark on the 13.1-mile run course beneath the skyline of the snow capped San Jacinto Mountains. Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images for Ironman
IRONMAN 70.3 - Indian Wells La Quinta
An athletes pauses to re-hydrate while on the run course. Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images for Ironman
IRONMAN 70.3 - Indian Wells La Quinta
Athletes traverse over to the Indian Wells Golf Resort while on the 13.1-mile run course. Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images for Ironman
IRONMAN 70.3 - Indian Wells La Quinta
Athletes round the first loop inside the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images for Ironman
IRONMAN 70.3 - Indian Wells La Quinta
Lionel Sanders took the top honors with a finishing time of 3:45:59. Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images for Ironman
IRONMAN 70.3 - Indian Wells La Quinta
Overall winner Lionel Sanders embraces second-place finisher Joe Gambles in a congratulatory hug at the finish. Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images for Ironman
IRONMAN 70.3 - Indian Wells La Quinta
Chelsea Sodaro (USA) captured the women’s title with a time of 4:14:29. Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images for Ironman
IRONMAN 70.3 - Indian Wells La Quinta
With the stunning Mountains in the background, this athlete sprints down the finish line chute to complete the race. Photo: Donald Miralle/Getty Images for Ironman