Los Angeles Triathlon Club
Race Report
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Club Member: Danielle Moody
Race: June Lake Triathlon
Distance: Olympic
Race Date: 07/11/09
Submit Date: 07/23/09

The June Lake Triathlon lived up to its claim as “the most difficult race in the most beautiful place.” The altitude (8,000 feet) made this a very challenging location for my first Olympic distance event. The event is very well organized with plenty of staff and volunteers providing security and support. According to one June Lake resident, the wind created more chop than usual for the swim portion. Not having previous swims at June Lake to compare it to, I figured it was normal and was glad that most of my pre-race swimming had been in open water at various Tri Club ocean swims. I swallowed my fair share of lake water, and was relieved that it wasn’t salty and that there was no surf to negotiate on entry and exit. The bike course, after a short climb up from the June Lake Swim Beach transition area, starts out smooth and fast with gradual descents and a mild incline or two as it follows the scenic June Lake loop for about 15 miles. There is a mandatory foot-down stop prior to the north junction with highway 395. The course heads 6 miles south to the junction with highway 158 at the southern end of the June Lake loop. I always associate “south” with “descent,” but this portion of the bike course travels uphill… mostly gradual, but uphill nonetheless. Near the end, a steep ½ mile incline along 158 makes the descent back to June Lake Swim Beach and the transition area all the sweeter. The 6-mile run is about equally split between trail and pavement. The route starts with about ½ mile up a wide trail to a section of pavement (mostly descending on the way out and mostly ascending on the way back) for about a mile and a half. Next, it heads onto a four-wheel drive trail that soon becomes the infamous ¼-mile of steep single track, which I’m told every participant has to walk up at some point. Then it levels out for about a mile or so, before descending about another mile, some of which descends as steeply as the single-track ascent at the beginning. Next, it’s back on the pavement to close the loop and head back down the wide dirt trail to the starting point at June Lake Swim Beach. The trail portions were very well marked. I did not see other runners on the trail, but each time that I began to wonder if I was still on the right trail, I would see a bright orange ribbon confirming I was on track. Kudos go to event organizers and volunteers for providing aid stations at every mile of this challenging run.

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