RaceGrader - Authentic Race Reviews - Swim, Bike, Run

Review of Los Angeles Triathlon Championship and Tri Express Series #3 by

Posted by: on June, 9 2013

I have done a handful of the LA Tri Events at Bonelli Park. This last one, was the best so far. They are really “stepping up” their game and producing a high quality event. This race series has been around forever and is known as the “oldest triathlon series” in the world.
Pre Race: My suggestion is to get there early. There can always be a bit of traffic entering into Bonelli Park because of the limited ways to get there. But the race begins at a very tri-friendly time of 8am! There is no pre-race packet pick up. You get all your stuff the day of the race. They don’t have any “pre assigned” bib numbers which really helps speed things along. You just get the number that is sitting on top of the stack, a timing chip, a shirt, goodie bag and your off to set up your transition. Super easy.
Course: Overall I gave this race an “A” but the course I had to give a “B”. Two main reasons: First, because they offer a “sprint” and “olympic” distance option, there is a merging of the two races. It gets a bit crowded at the end of the swim and on the first lap of the bike. It’s not super crowded but you do get some congestion. Second, the bike course is bumpy. Leave your performance tires at home. I saw at least 4 people with performance tires changing flats on the side of the road. Course tips… the swim start is off the beach and is in a very wide area. You can start off to the side and find an open lane right away. The water is a very pleasant 71-72 degrees. The bike course is 3 loops…be ready for some hills! There is very little “flat” on the bike course. But you are always rewarded after a climb with a nice downhill. Especially going down Via Verde road. When you’re heading down Via Verde try to carry some speed as you pass under the freeway. You begin a slow ascent right away and you can really make up some time if you plan ahead. I’d also tell you to use caution at the entrance back into the park. The express riders are done after one lap and there can be some confusion at that point. If you’re doing the championship distance, stay far left and clear of the “exit ramp” and you should be fine. The Run… I loved that they had mile markers on the run. A lot of times you don’t find that in a triathlon. They also had aid stations at least every mile with volunteers passing out water. The run course is also not flat. For the championship distance, you’re gonna mostly spend the 6.2 miles either going up or down. The course overall is challenging and fun.
Post Race: The post race festivities at an LA Tri Series event are great. It has a very cool triathlon “vibe” with a lot of people sticking around with their club teams or hitting up the vendors. Grab a seat on the grass with a view of the lake and soak it all in. For this event, they decided to give finisher medals to everyone. GREAT idea!! Everyone loves getting a medal!
Overall: I give the LA Tri Series a solid “A”. Fun, challenging course with a great triathlon vibe. I highly recommend checking out the LA Tri Series in 2014!