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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

1st Annual ECOSLO Triathlon is in the can!

The weather was perfect: clear skies, only a hint of a breeze, clear water, and temps in the low 70s. For Morro Bay, it doesn't get more perfect than that. The day before, a lot of registrants were hesitant about the swim in the bay, only to pop out after it and declare, "That wasn't so bad." By the end of the day, their comments escalated to "that was awesome!"

The first annual ECOSLO Olympic Distance triathlon generated a fair amount of money for the San Luis Obispo-based organization, which is great because many events are happy to break even their first year. We had about 200 participants and far more spectators in and out throughout the day not just because of supportive family and friends but because of the tourist-friendly location of the event. Many volunteers signed on to help the day before hailed from places like Indiana and Texas because they thought the event's venue looked cool and they wanted to do more than lay on the beach on this idyllic June Sunday.

Participants started the race, in waves of fifty, by swimming 1.5 km in a slack tide out toward the channel's entrance to the ocean, around the smiley-faced bouys and back to the shores. Water was in the low fifties and Morro Bay's harbor patrol mandated wetsuits for the swimmers, but none looked worse for wear after - more like energized! They got through the transition area, filled up on Heed and Hammer Gels and headed out on a 40 km classic local ride that took them down Highway 1, through the local community college and out into the rolling, rural hills of San Luis Obispo. Foothill Cyclery provided race aid to the cyclists and even placed volunteers in their support van. Once they were back, they headed back out again to finish the race - jogging along the famous Morro Bay beaches for 10k. The beach run took them over hardpacked sand and rocky shores to an aid station turnaround and back to the finish, greeted by the lovely ladies of FRS with recovery drinks and smiles.

Our overall winner was professional and local triathlete Van McCarty, coming in at 2:18:32. Behind him were Scott Smith (in 2:21:04) and Anthony Barton (2:24:22). Overall women winners were Christine Bare (2:42:59) followed by Kim Schollenberger (2:46:22) and Mary Kelly Dakin (2:48:40). Winners were awarded prizes by supporters Smith Sunglasses, Xterra Wetsuits, Voler, and more. All division placers were awarded an etched glass stein and a Morro Bay Triathlon bike jersey by Voler.
When it was all said and done, participants and spectators were invited back to the beer garden for some refreshing Sierra Nevada pale ale.

Overall the race went great and we're sure to be back next year! In the meantime, watch for us on June 19 & 20th when All Out Events hosts a second installment of the Central Coast Adventure Challenge: a grueling 24 hour Coast to Crest race and an accessibly fun 2-4 hour sprint!

Photos courtesy of All Out Events' Kristin McNamara and ECOSLO's Clint Slaughter.

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