Event Details

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where:
Lake San Antonio, Monterey County, CA

when:
May 04, 2014 (last date)

start time:
09:00:00

races:
Half Marathon, Half Ironman, Olympic, Sprint

how to enter:
Open to All

course types:
Bike - Road Run - Road Swim - Lake

Incorrect info?

more info:
Official Website


Nitty Gritty Details

Enough Aid Stations:
yes
Good for First Timers:
yes
Enough Porta Potties:
yes

Cool Schwag:
yes
Course Marked Clearly:
yes
Spectator Friendly:
yes

Good Expo:
yes
Good Photography:
yes
Traffic on Course:
yes

18 Reviews for AVIA Wildflower Triathlons Festival

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Mike
Livermore, CA

1st Olympic and Wildflower didn't disappoint. Was told that it was a must do, and I agree. Great crowds and a tough course. The camping ads a whole new wrinkle not found at most triathlons. Awesome event

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Chris
San Francisco, CA

It was another great day to race, weather was perfect, little wind, no excuses. My goal was to take the race out hard and hang on. I was in the 15th wave (9:45) so I was able to take my time to get ready. Walked to the ramp and relaxed as the waves ahead of me took off, then watch the college athletes come out of the swim. Again great energy from the crowd.

The water felt great to warm-up, as I toed the line to start it felt great to be back at Wildflower. Being a swimmer I took off to get ahead of my wave. The swim was challenging for me this year, as with others I found out. It was choppy, and I felt out of breath throughout the swim. I veered off course and had a race official point me in the direction to go...ouch. I came out of the water 2nd (I think) and proceeded up the ramp. My time was slower than expected but throughout the weekend many swim times were slow so no worries.

Transition was fine and proceeded up Lynch Hill. The ride is very challenging for an Olympic race, 1200 feet of climbing in 24 miles. However the ride was great. Very little wind, was able to ride with another rider (killed me up hills but I caught him on every flat) and felt fairly strong the entire way. Coming down that last hill was great. I had been passed by 1 athlete in my age group but I caught another so I was in a good position off the bike. The only issue I had was keeping nutrition down, but no race is perfect so just kept up my pace and hoped the run would settle the stomach and I wouldn't bonk on the run.

At Wildflower getting off the bike to the run is always an adventure for me even. I never know how my running legs will respond. Ran out with the athlete from my age group I had rode in with and settled into a pace that I thought I could hold for 10K, I passed him at the 1/2 mile mark and ran scared from then on. Wildflower run is always a beast, I can never get into a proper flow, the hills and heat kill me every time. At the 7K mark I knew I was hanging on for dear life. As I crested Lynch hill, I was toast. I couldn't run down the hill as my quads/IT bands were fried. I was passed by two athletes in my age group in the last 1/4 mile, ending up 5th in my age group, 33rd overall, 2:18.58. It wasn't a perfect race and didn't meet all my goals but it was the best I could do on that day.

What a great day for the house and the club. Gino, Nick, Allison, Thalia, Lauren were awesome! Also, during the race I had many "Go SF TRI!!" cheers, as I was wearing my gear for the fist time. I was told I was frothing at the mouth at one point in the run so my apologies if I didn't respond well :) All in all the weekend was a blast and I look forward to more races and events as a SF Tri member.

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leslie
oakland, CA

I love this triathlon. Everyone camps here, so everyone goes to watch the triathlons because there isn't much else to do! Since everyone's watching, it's great for the participants because there's lots of encouragement from strangers. There is a really tough hill in the 5th mile of the run for the olympic course, and I was dying, and I was thinking about walking. But some stranger woman just begged me not to stop and reminded me of how close I was. She was right! I crested the hill and it was all downhill from there. I was so thankful for her encouragement, and everyone else who cheered me on throughout the race. It's the little things like that that make it one of the most special triathlons out there.

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Mike
San Francisco, CA

Easily the most challenging race around. Tough course, often harsh weather conditions, camping at distance from the start/finnish, lot's of crowds to keep you company in long lines. Well organized and a great weekend. It's the Woodstock of Triathlon.
I've done long course multiple times. It's the only race I ever brag about even though I regularly post much slower times than usual. You finnish this and you can be proud regardless of your time.

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Brianna
San Francisco, CA

This race was so fun and everything I wanted it to be- and more!

My first Half Ironman distance... and it was a tough one! The weather was ideal and I finished a lot earlier than I anticipated.

Camping was a blast and the support out there for the race is unbelievable. Everyone just has a really great time! Looking forward to next year.

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Kathryn
Fresno, CA

Amazing race. Beautiful course. Awesome expo. Huge crowds to cheer you on.

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matt
Moraga, CA

This is a fun triathlon. Very different as you camp or RV ahead of time. But large and joyous.

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Kevin
San Francisco, CA

A great experience, challenging course, great festival atmosphere, fun camping experience, warm lake

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Steven
New York, NY

This Western US classic is a brutally honest test of your early season fitness. The course is very tough, but fair and a lot of fun. Despite a difficult head/cross wind for most of the bike course, I really enjoyed the bike portion. It was pretty, fast at points, and featured a wide range of terrain. The run portion of this race is no joke: there are some spectacular uphills with very difficult grades. One complaint is that the path upon which most of the run course takes place is uneven and at angles at a lot of points which makes the footwork tricky when you are tired. The run through the camping area is a wonderful mental lift after 6 miles in the hills. The "pit" in the final 4 miles is simply sinister: and out and back/down and up run on the hot road. The support for this race is wonderful: the Cal Poly student volunteers are enthusiastic and supportive the whole way.

The only real rub of this race (aside from it completely kicking my butt) is the cost. The race entry is north of $250 if you don't get in early, and you are hit with a $70 per night car fee on the way into the state park, which was an unknown and unwelcome surprise. The money obviously goes to go use, but I wouldn't mind spending less money to sleep on the ground.

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David
San Francisco, CA

Wildflower is a great venue. I have raced all of the distances, from the MTB, right up to the Half IM (not on the same weekend...yet) and each time I have always enjoyed myself.

It's an opportunity to get away from the city, enjoy camping and the comradery of other athletes.

While both the olympic and half IM are very challenging courses, I recommend this race to anyone and everyone.

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David
brooklyn, NY

An amazing race for a first-timer, though the run was brutal until the last mile. But there were enormous crowds, friendly athletes, and awesome aid stations along the way. Just make sure to get there early so you're not constantly hauling all of your crap up and over the mountain in between the race start and the overflow camping sections. And bring stuff to do at night, as there's not much organized after 7 pm.

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Damon
San Francisco, CA

Sure, the run is tough and the heat can be oppressive, but I hear too much about how hilly the bike is. This is just not true, IMHO. There is a climb very early and a climb late (Nasty Grade), but the meat of this course is extremely flat. Be prepared for a long time in aerobars just hammering. There are also significant downhills to recover on. This year the wind did not seem to be as big an issue in years past, but can clearly add to the "culture" of the course. My time here was 15 minutes longer than expected, and that was due to climbing the final ascent really slowly, but I think that reflects my fitness more that the difficulty of this course.

Easily the toughest part of this race is getting from the transition area back to the campsites! I was sweating more on that ascent than during the race :) Also, this year there was no (zero) swag. Not cool...I do recognize that this is a tough economy for retail companies but still disappointing. (I hope the offenders are reading this...)

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Tim
Danville, CA

Wildflower is an event I will attend every season! The race is well organized and the SLO college students do a great job with the volunteering. Look out for the 'sunburn' water station halfway throught the run...
If you have never done the race, find a way to sign up.

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Geoff
San Mateo, CA

Simply put: why can't all races be this well organized and produced?

First off, I was thrilled that Tri-cal did not require you to pick up your packet the nite before. Although in all respects, their expo would be worth visiting the day before. That being said, i did not want to drive 3 hours to the middle of nowhere just to pick up the race numbers.

Lodging: I opted not to camp as i had done back in my college days. I've grown soft in my years=). Instead we stayed at King City which is the closest city to NorCal before you turn on the rural roads. It is about an hour ride which was perfect to allow me to digest my breakfast and absorb my coffee.

Parking: There is plenty of parking, but it is quite a walk. About a mile down hill to the transition are. Didn't bug me before the race but it definitely hurt afterwards trekking up!

Packet pick up: Easy and painless at 7:15am.

Transition area: Adequate room for each athlete with their preassigned racking. Lots of volunteers for body marking and plenty of port-o-potties. Also plenty of water, gatorade, gels, waterbottles available.

Race Start: Timely and organized. I like the fact that the race organizers really understand the anxiousness of the racers. They kept reminding us that if we forgot our goggles, they had plenty by the water, and if we lost our cap, no worries. They went out of their way to ensure our nerves were at ease.

Race: Water was choppier and colder than i was expecting. I completely went anaerobic for a few minutes, but that was my fault. You could hear the crowd cheering you into the swim finish which was awesome! The bike was good course with good traffic control. moderate hills as expected but also good long aero sections. The transitions area was well guided and volunteers were great. The run was challenging, but doable. I actually ran my best 10k ever at 39:30.

Support and Volunteers: The water and aid stations were plentiful and well stocked. The volunteers were great in handing out water and gels as needed and asking if you wanted to be sprayed (i don't)

Fans: the fans were great! Even the college students cheering on their schools cheered on others as they passed with incredible enthusiasm.

Post-Race Schwag: free food afterwards was okay..not too much stuff, but a $9 huge turkey leg hit the spot. plenty of other foods for sale as well. Nice shirt design and nice free bag this year too.

Overall, another great experience with Wildflower and a 12th place age group finish.

Future race tips:
1. Stay overnite in King City for "luxury" or camp with an air mattress.
2. make sure you have everything you need from the car cuz you don't want to go back. Bring a backpack or bucket for all your stuff.
3. Swim: warm up a good 5-10 mins as the water is chillier and choppier than expected for a lake.
4. Bike: Start in the small chain ring for Lynch hill. You only need about 1-1.5 bottles of water. There are water stations on the bike course.
5. Run: Get your legs acclimated for miles 1-2. High turnover and cadence for the hill at 3. RACE HOME!!!
6. If you need some salt, get the turkey leg.

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Brett
San Francisco, CA

Long Course Review

This is an awesome race, but not for the casual triathlete. Multiple day camping is required, so a lot of gear is necessary, as well as preparation for a hot or cold day. This year it was supposed to rain all weekend, but what did we have, sun all day both days!

The run is the hardest part of this race, with many hills on trails. The run is supported very well by the college students and other groups running aid stations, and all the spectators just about push you along for the second half of the race.

I knock one star off the course review because I have a Pro friend, and a club friend who were cut on their foot from glass on their way out of the swim.

I recommend it to anyone who puts their time in to training. It could be very harsh if under-prepared. Do the Olympic if this is your first time.

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Jeremiah
San Francisco, CA

First time at Wildflower, first triathlon ever. It is super hard, but that's why we do it. The course is looped, which is quite rare for the distance. Crowd is non-existent on the ride, but pretty great on the run.

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Jeremiah
San Francisco, CA

One of the most challenging yet thoroughly enjoyable races I've ever seen. The bike and run are rather hilly, and the weather can change a lot during the day. Very well organized and attended.

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Jeremiah
San Francisco, CA

This year was the fastest in a long time. Weather was absolutely perfect! Can't wait for next year!

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People Who Have Done This Race
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