||June Lake Triathlon
This is a storied race that attracted many pros back in the day. Deena Kastor is from around here. June Lake Triathlon disappeared for a while, but Race Director Ilana Levin of the High Sierra Triathlon Club has brought it back. There were under 200 racers in its first year back. June Lake (Switzerland of the Sierras) is a beautiful setting within 20 miles of Mammoth Lakes. I went for the weekend and so did a few other tri club members like Michael Avon and Chris Rosien. These guys had tough races (olympic), but they finished strong! I think there were a few others from our club: good to see you!
If you weren't there, do yourself a favor and try to go next year if you can swing it. I have raced at Taupo, New Zealand and I think this lake is clearer! I have raced Wildflower and this is like that but shorter (sprint and olympic). Think Wildflower with altitude! No IM-sanctioned attitude/rip-offs! This has the feel of "old school" triathlon but it is also an official USAT event so it counts. (Don't get me wrong, every race counts). Unlike the race directors at Ironman France and Ironman Malaysia, this race director will get back to you right away to answer any questions you might have. She might call you on the phone if you by accident got registered as a 7-year-old, by mistake, as I did. Point is, she noticed.
It is worth it for the scenery, the race is extremely well organized, the course is well marked and challenging, it is a USAT-sanctioned event, they have a pre-race dinner that overlooks Mono Lake at the gateway to Yosemite with fabulous food (beats even the Baja half pre-race dinner) and if you like to eat they serve a catered gourmet (mint edamamme hummus!) brunch after the race free for athletes. There was a breakfast and a local guided hike the day after the race. This is good destination for married people with families and single people. It is so much fun. Unbelievable.
I paid $85 for my entry with our tri club discount, but I have never seen so much value for an entry. They had a local artist design a Patagonia race shirt that even those who are "over" the t-shirt aspect of racing will wear as their favorite shirt from their favorite race! Also, all prizes were pieces of art (and I got 3rd!) by local artists so special.
The only problem is that this race really raises the bar and will make all other races look bad! It is at 8500 feet and you will feel that no matter what your fitness base. It is fun if you have a Polar Power meter on your bike and you watch the numbers (including altitude). It is fun to breath hard on a down hill. There were all levels of racers and really it was a great race environment. The course is challenging and beautiful and if you want me to tell you more about it I am happy to go on and on about it even more than I have, but for the record, the lake is not that cold, the bike is beautiful and not that windy (compared to IM South Africa wind standards) and the run is hard for everyone.