2012 Central Coast California Triathlon Guide

Whether you are thinking about doing a triathlon for the first time or you are already an experienced triathlete, California’s Central Coast is a stronghold of triathlon activity every year.

With Santa Barbara having numerous opportunities to compete within short driving distances, S.B. has become a haven for triathletes and endurance athletes.

Here’s a catalogue of triathlons in the area with basic information about each one.

Have you seen our Endurance Sports Homepage? Click Here  for latest news and information for the triathlon community in Santa Barbara.


(Ordered by event date; all events within 200 miles of Santa Barbara)

Kendra Payne Memorial Triathlon
Saturday, March 31 * Campus Point, Goleta * Website

The Kendra Payne is a sprint course tri sponsored by the UCSB Triathlon Team as its main fundraiser for the year. It also benefits the Kendra Fund in honor of the late UCSB triathlete who was killed in 2006 while training. This year will feature the first-ever Kendra’s Race 5k Run. Unfortunately, last year’s event was forced to cancel in the face of extremely stormy conditions.

Wildflower Triathlon
May 4-6 * Lake San Antonio, Southern Monterey County * Website

One of the longest running triathlons in the world, the Wildflower is one of the most prestigious events around during the year. This year will be the 30th running. The race is also a Long Course World Championships Qualifier.

Tri-the-Bull Triathlon
Saturday, June 23 * Pioneer Valley H.S., Santa Maria * Website

In its fourth year, this is a sprint-course only event. Swim leg performed in assigned lanes in pool. This year’s race has been moved up on the calendar, scheduled for late June instead of last year’s August date. Plan accordingly!

Ventura Triathlon
Sunday, June 24 * Ventura Harbor, Ventura * Website

This year’s event is the 14th annual Breath of Life Ventura Triathlon. Long course is Olympic distance while short course features challenging distances: 750 yard swim, 12.7 mile bike ride, 3.1 mile run. Both distances use a fast, flat course.

Oxnard Triathlon
Canceled for 2012 * Oxnard Beach Park, Oxnard Shores * Website

Otherwise known as the Strawberry Fields Triathlon, this year’s event has been canceled. The organizers hope to find a new venue for 2013.

San Luis Obispo Triathlon
Sunday, July 22 * Sinsheimer Park, San Luis Obispo * Website

Sprint Course only. It is a 1/2 mile swim, 15.3 miles cycling, and 3.1-mile run. Swim portion is done at the SLO Swim Center in a pool. This community race is in its 33rd year.

Goleta Beach Triathlon
Sunday, July 29 * Goleta Beach, Goleta * Website

A newcomer in 2011, the Goleta Beach Tri is back in 2012. The event introduced an Olympic-distance race, a sprint course, and duathlon to the summer calendar. Benefits the Santa Barbara County Park Foundation.

Santa Barbara Triathlon
August 24-26 * East Beach, Santa Barbara * Website

The Santa Barbara Triathlon’s reputation has been built around a challenging but scenic course and a long history dating back to 1981. A full weekend of activities surround the SB Tri, including a sports expo and a parent/kids race.

Nautica Malibu Triathlon
September 15-16 * Zuma Beach, Malibu * Website

The 26th year for Malibu. This is an extremely popular triathlon. The “Classic Distance” race is remarkably already sold out for 2012. Malibu features an International-distance race on Saturday followed by the “classic distance” race on Sunday.

Carpinteria Triathlon
Sunday, September 30 * Beach State Park, Carpinteria * Website

The Carpinteria Triathlon comes late in the season and is considered fairly challenging due to its difficult bike and run courses. Both the olympic and sprint courses offer the competitor a challenging ride, although the sprint course is also very well suited for the novice triathlete. Carpinteria is a beautiful beach town on the Central Coast located between Santa Barbara and Ventura.

Morro Bay Triathlon
Sunday, October 14 * Coleman Park, Morro Bay * Website

Now in its third year, the organizers in Morro Bay have moved back this year’s race to October from June.  There is a short-course race in addition to an Olympic-Distance course. Competitors can opt to kayak swimming leg of Olympic Course. 


ITU World Triathlon San Diego
Thursday-Saturday, May 10-12 * Mission Beach, San Diego * Website

San Diego is the second stop on the ITU World Triathlon Series. It’s the only North American location of the 8-stop world tour. The event attracts the top triathletes in the world, with eight events to compete in.

2012 London Olympics
Saturday, August 4 & Tuesday, August 7 * London, England * Website

Hyde Park will welcome the world’s best triathletes for one of the most exciting and high-profile events at the London 2012 Olympic Games. The top 55 men and 55 women in the world will compete against each other on an Olympic Distance course.