Bass Lake Triathlon Saturday

May 29, 2013 

The Third Annual Bass Lake Classic Triathlon starts at 7:30 a.m. Saturday on the beach in front of Ducey's on the Lake in the Pines Village.

The Olympic race features a 1,500 meter swim, 40K bike and 10K run while the Sprint event is a 500 meter swim, 20K bike and 5K run.

Last year's winner of the Olympic event was Taylor Thomas in 2:15.11. Andrea Samansky won the women's division (10th overall) in 2:35.11. Nearly 200 athletes competed in the race.

The Sprint race, with 180 competitors, was won by Nathan Oreizi, 18, in 1:02.57. Chelsey Wilgenburg, 22, won the women's race (15th overall) in 1:21.01.

Relay teams compete in both the Olympic and Sprint races.

The third race of the day is a 5K Run/Walk for adults and children five to 18. Nearly 70 participated last year. Ramon Valdez and Corina Leavitt won the boys and girls divisions in the 5K last year. The race starts at 7:30 a.m. in the Pines Village and all profits from the 5K benefit the Mountain Area Ski School, Children's Museum of the Sierra and the Yosemite High School Athletic Department.

Registration forms for the 5K can be picked-up at Bass Lake Realty or the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau on Highway 41 in Oakhurst. Registration fees are $35 for adults and $10 for youth.

Race Director Jonathan Grinder, owner of Tucson Racing, said earlier this week that registration was nearing 700, after having 500 compete in 2012 and 300 in 2011.

Bass Lake has a long history in the sport of Triathlon. The lake served as the site for the first ever Bud Light United States Triathlon Association national championships in the sport in 1983 and again in 1984. In those years, the top triathlets in the country came to Bass lake including six-time Hawaii Ironman winner Dave Scott, two-time Ironman winner Scott Tinley, Scott Molina, Mark Montgomery and the sport's leading women including the Puntos twins, Anne Dandoy and Julie Moss.

The race continued in to the 1990s until the producer retired. The event was revived in 2011 by the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau and Tucson Racing and still offers a challenging course.

"Bass Lake really is a great location for a race," Grinder said. "Newcomers to the sport have loved coming here while triathlon veterans known the history here and have enjoyed coming back. It's the community support, combined with the scenic beauty of the area, that has helped give the Bass Lake Classic Triathlon the quick resurgence that it has enjoyed. "

On Friday, a carb-loading pasta dinner is served 5-7 p.m. ($17 per person) and the Michelob Ultra Awards Banquet and Party is held at the Pines Marina 4-9 p.m. Saturday ($18 per person). Both meals are open to the public.

Motorists are reminded that traffic control will be in effect Saturday from 7 a.m. to Noon on Roads 432, 222 and 274.

Details: (559) 683-INFO, basslaketri.com.

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