The L.A. Triathlon Is Back!

After a three year absence, the City of Angels has its triathlon back.

Photo: Photo: Nils Nilsen

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Race organizers announced last Thursday that Los Angeles would once again be hosting an Olympic-distance triathlon that weaves through a large swath of the sprawling city on June 2, 2019. Sponsored by Herbalife and named the Herbalife24 Triathlon Los Angeles, the event will closely mirror the point-to-point course from the 2013-and-earlier versions of the L.A. Triathlon—not the similarly named 2014 and 2015 editions that took place on a looped course in nearby Torrance.

Though the final course is still waiting to be finalized, racers can expect the return of the traditional open-water ocean swim off the shores of Venice Beach, a ride into downtown L.A. on a familiar and mostly rolling point-to-point course, and a run on what appears to be a revamped, but mostly flat, run route. The point-to-point course will have many of the logistical requirements of the pre-2014 version with a pre-race T2 drop off and post-race shuttles back to Venice Beach.

“[Challenges included] designing a course that traverses the city of the beach to downtown within minimal impact as possible to the seven million residents on a Sunday morning,” says race director Brennan Lindner. “Selecting a date was also a challenge. With two NFL teams, two NBA teams, two college football teams, and one NHL team it was a challenge to select a date that did not conflict with regular season or playoffs.”

Race officials confirmed that one big difference between the previous editions and this latest version is it will no longer be managed by Pacific Sports, LLC, the brand responsible for the L.A. Triathlon’s recent history. Southern California triathletes will likely remember Pacific Sports’ final race at the helm of the L.A. Triathlon when the race was abruptly cancelled days before the event in 2016, marking the end of a 15-year run. (Pacific Sports still operates the Cleveland Triathlon.) The 2019 Herbalife24 Triathlon Los Angeles will be managed by Brennan Lindner from Generic Events, the company that organizes XTERRA events in Southern California, among many others.

The latest iteration will also include a $24,000 pro prize purse with 25 pros and feature racers like 2016 Hawaii Ironman runner-up Heather Jackson—race officials confirmed. It will also support the Union Rescue Mission, an L.A.-based charity whose goal is to lessen the impact of homelessness in downtown Los Angeles. In addition to the traditional Olympic-distance event, there will be an international aquabike (1.5K swim, 40K bike), a sprint-distance triathlon (750m/22K/5K), and a 5K run/walk.

“[L.A. is an ideal spot for this race as it was] chosen to host the Olympic Games in 2028 and is home to 11 major league professional sports teams,” says Lindner. “[It will] be a celebration of what makes Los Angeles unique: immaculate weather, beaches, healthy living, entertainment, and diverse cultures.”

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