Children help their mother finish at a San Diego Triathlon Classic.

By JT Lyons

The San Diego Triathlon Classic first emerged on the scene in 2009 and continues to grow in popularity. The next event in September promises more fun for both participants and volunteers, while giving back to our community by fundraising for Crohn’s disease and colitis.

The triathlon was designed so that racers could be cheered on by the community, with the courses in highly-visible areas. Friends and family can park their lawn chairs nearby and get an unobstructed view of all the hardworking, inspiring contestants.

With over 6,400 contestants having participated in the three-event series, there is no doubt each and every one felt the excitement and support of a massive crowd.

JT Lyons

There are two options for the race. The sprint course offers a 750-meter swim, 22-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run. Or, the tougher Olympic course presents a 1,500-meter swim, 40-kilometer bike and 10-kilometer run.

The race begins with the swim portion in the canal next to Liberty Station, where viewers crowd the sidelines, giving motivating whoops, screams and hollers. Next, participants hop on their cycles to complete a bike course around Point Loma. The final push is the run through NTC Park at Liberty Station where the finish line is a festival celebration.

Spectators are encouraged to bring props to enhance the experience of the racers because each second they are giving it their all. Viewers have alternate seating options at the bleachers where they can see a wider range of the participants’ journey from above.

Volunteers don’t have to be part of the race to be a part of the fun. Friends, family, and community organizations are all invited to volunteer at the event. A lot of preparation, setup and breakdown is needed. My company, Moment Bicycles, holds a sports and fitness expo the day before the race. Volunteers are rewarded with T-shirts and goody bags as thanks for all their generous support. If locals want to lend support but don’t quite have the time, business promotion opportunities are available through event sponsorship as well.

For those having considered participating in the triathlon but are a bit intimidated—don’t worry—there’s a training program available through Team Challenge Tri with the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America. Trainees receive the full gamut of preparation twice a week so they can successfully complete the triathlon. Training is available outside of San Diego as well, so participants don’t have to travel as far to train.

The race both feels good and does good. Aside from the physical training, participants work on nutrition and injury prevention, all while raising funds for fighting against Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

The San Diego Triathlon Classic is a must-see event. With spectators cheering on a loved one or contestants pushing through the event, there is no shortage of adrenaline-pumping excitement. Joining the fun is easy. Participants can register online now for this year’s event on Sept. 8 and 9.

JT Lyons grew up riding the canyons of San Diego on his single-speed Huffy. Some time in between falling in love with his Huffy and the 200-plus triathlons he’s competed in, he founded Moment Bicycles and created the San Diego Triathlon Classic