For nearly four decades, triathletes from throughout California and across the US have headed to the ocean to compete in the Newport Beach Triathlon. The event, steeped in history, has been a constant as the sport of triathlon has evolved over the decades; and, on Sunday 12 November, it’s back for its 39th year.
The Newport Beach Triathlon was established in 1978 and was originally called the ‘Ancient Mariner & Rusty Pelican Human Race Triathlon’. The event and the course have changed over the years with the growth of the city and the sport. In 2017, introducing a new run course in the Back Bay of Newport Beach, the race is back on the calendar once again in what will be a culminating event on the Southern California triathlon calendar this season.
In 1978, the race was launched primarily as a relay event but did have an ‘Ironman’ competition for a small amount of people who did all three disciplines. “In 1978, we started with a mass start bike, followed by a run, and a swim finish,” said Jack Caress, CEO of Pacific Sports, the long-established event owner and producer. “There was a short run up the beach to the finish line. We were cutting new territory with the sport and it was several years later that we went to the now more traditional swim, bike, and run format.
“Having a mass bike start was probably not the best idea – but it was definitely exciting.”
In 2017, the event needed to solve some issues with its swim course that postponed the original event date. A resolution was reached that will bring the race to fruition on 12 November, and keep the 39-year-old tradition alive.
“We have a long history of racing in Southern California in the month of November and the conditions should be ideal,” said Caress. “The water is still warm through November and we like the date immediately following the return to Pacific Standard Time and an early sunrise.”
The course along the Newport Beach Back Bay has offered an accessible area for both participants and spectators to enjoy. The event’s host hotel, the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach, is immediately adjacent to the race site and allows participants the ability to roll-out-of-bed to the starting line. The Hyatt also hosts the pre-event Expo on Saturday 11 November . Convenient parking at the Newport Dunes and a short walk to the Back Bay Bistro for post-triathlon food and beverage also expands the location for the Newport Beach Triathlon.
A release from Pacific Sports notes that, as a long-standing event in the area, the Newport Beach Triathlon has strong support from local businesses and organizations in the community. This year is seen as no exception – with a host of local partners and sponsors from the surrounding area and beyond.
The Hoag Hospital and Hoag Orthopedic Institute are the Official Medical Sponsor of the Newport Beach Triathlon in 2017. Additionally, the Newport Beach Triathlon supports the UC Irvine Men’s and Women’s Rowing Program as the Official Charity. Other sponsors and partners include Avila’s El Ranchito, which will be offering prizes of complimentary dinners to all the event award winners, as well as special prizes to all Youth Triathlon participants.
California-based retailer Triathlon LAB will offer bike support for triathletes at the event, and gift cards to all award winners. ROKA, the official swim sponsor, provides custom Newport Beach Triathlon swim caps for all participants. Arts And Letters Signs & Graphics is the event branding and design partner. ACTIVE Network will also continue as the event’s technology partner, and Arrowhead Water is once again the official water of the triathlon. Pacific Sports notes that a host of other sponsors and vendors will be supporting the Newport Beach Triathlon in 2017.