2015 California Central Coast 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.


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

Kendra Payne Memorial Triathlon
Saturday, April 4 * 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. 

Wildflower Triathlon
May 1-3* 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. Wildflower is known for its festival like atmosphere and challenging courses. There is something for everyone.  You can do the Long Course Triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run) The Mountain Bike Triathlon (.25 mile swim, 9.7 mile mountain bike, and 2 mile run) or the Olympic Distance Triathlon (1.5k swim, 40k bike, 10k run).  Or if you want you can do the Wildflower Squared (Long and Olympic) event.

Ventura Triathlon
Sunday, June 28 * Ventura Harbor, Ventura * Website

Long course is Olympic distance while short course features challenging distances: 750 yard swim, 12.7 mile bike ride, 3.1 mile run. Fast, flat and scenic course, timing chips for all racers, post race Barbecue for all athletes, and USAT sanctioned race.

San Luis Obispo Triathlon
Sunday, July 26 * Sinsheimer Park, San Luis Obispo * Website

36th annual SLO triathlon. This short course (or sprint) triathlon consists of a 0.5 mile swim, 15 mile bike and 3.1 mile run. Participants are sent on the course in waves throughout the day.

Goleta Beach Triathlon
Sunday, July 26 * Goleta Beach, Goleta * Website

A newcomer in 2011, the Goleta Beach Tri is celebrating its fifth year in 2015. Sprint Triathlon (1/4 mile swim, 11 mile bike, 2.5 mile run. Long Course Triathlon (1 mile swim, 22 mile bike, 5 mile run). Duathlon (2.5 mile run, 22 mile bike, 2.5 mile run). AquaBike (1 mile swim, 22 mile bike). The event introduced an Olympic-distance race, a sprint course, and duathlon to the summer calendar. Medals will be issued to top finishers, and all participants will receive a commemorative Goleta Beach Triathlon T-shirt with their registration. Benefits the Santa Barbara County Park Foundation.

Santa Barbara Triathlon
August 21-23 * 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. Stick around after the event for children’s beach activities, a fabulous sports expo and convenient on-site dining.

Nautica Malibu Triathlon
September 19-20 * Zuma Beach, Malibu * Website

The Nautica Malibu Triathlon has a “Classic Distance” course on Sunday, September 20th that features a half-mile ocean swim, an 18 mile out-and-back bike course, and a 4-mile out-and-back run course. The course goes through some of the most beautiful roads in Malibu, with spectacular views of the mountains and the Pacific Ocean. There were over 5,000 athletes that participated in 2014.

Carpinteria Triathlon
Sunday, September 27 * 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, November 8 * Coleman Park, Morro Bay * Website

The Morro Bay Triathlon has incredible scenery. The swimming happens in the area’s namesake bay, the bike course rides along historic Pacific Coast Highway, and runners traverse multiple terrains including hard-packed sand, board walk, dirt roads and paved roads.