Ready, Set, Go: The Malibu Nautica Triathlon Returns to Town this Weekend

Judging by the hundreds of runners, swimmers and cyclists practicing near Malibu’s Zuma Beach last weekend, it wasn’t hard to guess that the annual Malibu Nautica Triathlon by Equinox was right around the corner.

At the event, which will take place this weekend, thousands of triathletes from around the country—including 25 corporate teams, professional and novice athletes, Hollywood celebrities and challenged athletes—come together to participate in the sport of triathlon while supporting the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Among them is Malibu native Rachel Gray, a member of the Netflix corporate team, which has 55 employees in the triathlon.

 

While many athletes elect to do all three events of the triathlon—swimming, biking and running—there’s also an option for forming a relay team. Gray has elected to do that, and is on a team with two of her colleagues. She will do the running portion, another teammate will do the swimming and a third will do the bicycling.

Aside from training with work groups, Gray also gets in shape for running the triathlon by jogging with her dog. 

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“You get together with people from work and have that camaraderie, and the energy is phenomenal,” Gray said. “People from all different companies compete and have teams. It’s a good cause and a great team builder.”

While individuals participate in the triathlon for many reasons—often to test their own endurance and athletic abilities as individuals or against the other competitors—Gray is in the race primarily to raise money for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

She described how all of the triathlon participants were invited to a special dinner and presentation at CHLA a few months ago. After dinner, the crowd was broken up into small groups, each led by a researcher, and taken on a tour of the research facilities. 

“They’re doing pediatric cancer research, and we got to go to the cancer research labs and see what they do. It’s a really important cause to donate to,” Gray said in a phone interview with The Malibu Times. “It was very impactful to my life because I pass by the Children’s Hospital on my way to work every day.

“I like the fact that the money I raise is going to a very specific place where researchers can come up with new and innovative ways to cure child cancer; like immunotherapy—using your own immune system to fight cancer,” she continued. “It’s really important to make a difference in someone’s life and save lives.”

The Herbalife International Distance Race will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16, at 7 a.m., with participants doing a 1.5K swim, a 40K bike ride and a 10k run. The Classic Distance Race, which Gray will participate in, will be held on Sunday, Sept. 17, beginning at 7 a.m. and consisting of three legs: a half-mile swim, 17-mile bike ride and a four-mile run.

Spectators can watch from anywhere along the courses, but bleachers will be located at lifeguard Tower 14 as well as the finish line. Other festivities throughout the weekend include an “expo section” of booths selling various products, sand castle demonstrations, a “Fun Zone” for kids, the Nautica Kid’s Run and Tot Trot, a Children’s Hospital Los Angeles presentation and a Celebrity Division Awards Ceremony.

Gray shared that she also has a more personal reason to run for cancer: Her older brother, Scott W. Wells, died after a two-year battle with colon cancer in 2012 at the age of 35.

“I’m running in his honor, even though he wasn’t a child,” she said. “It’s close to my heart and something I value.”

Triathlon athletes raise money for CHLA through individual accounts on Crowd Rise. Anyone interested in donating to CHLA through Rachel Gray’s site can visit crowdrise.com/netflix2/fundraiser/rachelgray11.

 

For more information and a complete schedule of this weekend’s events, visit nauticamalibutri.com.

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