In the wake of last year’s deadly Montecito mudslides in Southern California, the Santa Barbara Triathlon was forced to cancel the 2018 event. Race Director Joe Coito has now announced that the Santa Barbara Triathlon will be back for 2019 — ‘with some exciting upgrades as well as several new corporate sponsors’.
With renovations on the historic Cabrillo Bath House underway, the organizers have relocated the finish and expo areas. “We’re extremely excited about the new configuration,” Joe Coito said. “We believe the new layout lends itself to a more intimate, comfortable and convenient experience for our participants and spectators.
“Additionally, road and bridge improvements implemented since the mudslides will create a safer environment for our cyclists.”
Proving that #MontecitoStrong is more than a hashtag, the triathlon’s organizers note that they have been overwhelmed by a spike in community support. Local and national US companies signing on to offer financial, product and volunteer resources include: Montecito Bank & Trust, LinkedIn, Clif Bar, BMW of Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara Independent.
“Producing an event of this nature takes a village,” Coito explained. “In a time when many independently operated endurance events are adjusting to increased competition and consolidation, corporate partners are key. Our sponsors have infused this event with new participants, energy and ideas. It’s refreshing and encouraging to see so many companies recognizing the benefits these events can have for their employees and their branding.”
The Santa Barbara Triathlon is also giving back to the community that supports it so wholeheartedly. Since its debut in 1981, this single event has raised more than a half million dollars for local charities including the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara, Girls Inc, Partners in Education and the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.
What began as a small showcase for elite athletes has grown into a multi-event weekend that brings out thousands of participants and spectators each year. In addition to the traditional long course, options include separate women-only and co-ed sprints as well as parent-child, duathlon and aquabike divisions.
Athletes have recognised the event’s temperate climate, scenery and operations; while kids’ beach activities, food, entertainment and a three-day sports expo combine to make the Santa Barbara Triathlon a ‘fun and welcoming venue the whole family can enjoy’.