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Santa Barbara Tri Set to Return for Its 40th Anniversary

The iconic Californian race has new owners and is ready to celebrate.

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The Santa Barbara Triathlon looks set to return this summer and will be celebrating not just a return to racing, but its 40th anniversary too. The weekend-long festival of racing, which is due to take place August 28 and 29, is also under new ownership, now being run by husband and wife team Elizabeth and Gerry Rodridgues, the founder of the Tower 26 triathlon swim program.

Elizabeth said: “The Santa Barbara Tri is an iconic race and is a weekend-long celebration of all that triathlon needs right now—racing, community, sharing great experiences, seeing friends. We are really keen to get the community back out to the beach for this weekend—it’s a celebration of all that we love about our sport.” 

And while the organizers are the first to admit it has been tough getting permits in place, they are confident the event will go ahead as planned. Race entry fees will remain fixed from now until race day.

There are a myriad of distances offered to those looking to take part, with Saturday featuring the long course race (individual and relay) which involves a one-mile swim, 34-mile bike, and 10-mile run. There’s also an aquabike event, which covers the same swim and bike (without the run). On Sunday, there’s a co-ed sprint, which is open to men and women of all ages and involves a 500-yard swim, six-mile bike, and two-mile run. There’s also a women’s-only race (500-yard swim, six-mile bike, two-mile run) as well as a duathlon (one-mile beach run, six-mile bike, two-mile run). Of special note is the parent-child division, which allows children under 15 to race with a parent over a 500-yard swim, six-mile bike, and two-mile run.

The parent-child division will also return. Photo provided by Santa Barbara Triathlon.

Elizabeth said: “There’s a little bit of everything over the course of the weekend, with the Saturday racing featuring more of the hardcore racing and the Sunday being more family- and community-oriented. And we’re expecting some people to race both days, just because they love it!”

She added: “Events like the Santa Barbra Tri are a critical link in the chain—as we’ve all seen over the past year or so, without events and races things start to falter—motivation, memberships, businesses. I think athletes will be so excited to be back at this race, as, too, will the community—sharing the experience, seeing old friends, swapping war stories post-race. We really want to continue to build on the legacy of this iconic race and see it return to its former glory.”