Half Moon Bay Triathlon

Hundreds earned bragging rights for finishing the Half Moon Bay Triathlon on Sunday. Events were centered around Pillar Point Harbor.

Locals glad to be on course

On Sunday, hundreds of athletes gathered at Pillar Point Harbor in the early hours of the morning to compete in the annual Half Moon Bay Triathlon. Spirits were high and the anticipation was palpable at this, the first such triathlon since the pandemic.

Triathlons consist of three elements: a swim, a run, and a bike ride. Athletes could choose between the Sprint or the Olympic course, with the Sprint being roughly half the distance of the Olympic course.

“This is my first triathlon since COVID,” said Half Moon Bay resident Thomas DeMeo. “I’m so excited to be back after a two-year break … I actually signed up for the event yesterday. I didn’t even train.”

For some, it was their first time competing in a triathlon. Rick Lee, a Pacifica resident and first-timer to the Half Moon Bay Triathlon, ran the race with his family. “I competed with my 15-year-old granddaughter; she was the runner. She got a girlfriend of hers that is on the water polo team to do the swim and I did the ride.

“The best part of the experience was having my family out here,” he said. “My son and grandson did the whole triathlon. They both did well, and our team did well.”

As participants crossed the finish line and handed over their timing chips, they were treated to fresh fruit and bagels, granola, burritos and free beer from the Bare Bottle Brewery. The Sea Hugger Foundation was the named charity organization for this year’s event.

“We’ve got 120 volunteers working this event today,” said Ryan Coelho, race director. “The logistics ultimately were the biggest challenge. We had 10 different departments working this event and roughly 850 participants.”

The competition attracted athletes of all ages and athletic prowess participating amid the unique beauty of the San Mateo County coast. The course ranged from a run along the Coastal Trail, a swim in the Outer Harbor and a bike ride that took participants all the way to North Main in Montara and down into Half Moon Bay.

“The swim was the hardest part,” said Kenzie Ferguson. “I wasn’t expecting it to be so hard, but the sea otters cheering me on in the water was a lot of fun.”

Amy Outman, Half Moon Bay resident and winner of her age division, said, “The camaraderie is my favorite part of the event. I love seeing people I know and having it be in the community that I live in.” 

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