Malibu Triathlon Returns to Zuma Beach After Year on Hold

MALIBU, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 25: Athletes compete at the Super League Triathlon, 2XU Malibu age group Olympic distance triathlon on September 25, 2021 in Zuma beach, California. 

Triathletes of all levels, including more than a handful of Malibuites, swam, biked and ran in the Malibu Triathlon last weekend. 

The two-day spectacle brought thousands of athletes together to Zuma Beach to compete in high-level and Olympic-distance races, along with the event’s shorter, classic-distance race, and raise money for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.  

Last year, the Malibu Triathlon was held virtually and without a specific location because of the worldwide health emergency. 

For the first time, the iconic event included USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships, which were ordinally set for April in Arizona, but postponed and moved to Malibu because of the coronavirus pandemic. It also included the finale of the Super League Triathlon (SLT) Championship Series, a four-event series that featured races in London, Munich and Jersey (United Kingdom ) throughout the month of September, culminating in the Malibu race.

Great Britain’s Alex Yee, a silver medalist at the Tokyo Olympics, won the men’s division of the SLT against more than 40 of the globe’s fastest triathletes on the first day of the triathlon, Sept. 25, with a time of 44 minutes and 49 seconds.

Flora Duffy of Bermuda, who won gold at the Tokyo games, won the women’s division race in 48:26.

Martin Van Riel finished in second place in the men’s division with a time of 45:21. Vasco Vilaca’s 45:15 placed him third. Georgia Taylor-Brown, a 2020 Olympic silver medalist, finished second in the women’s division with a time of 48:29, while 2020 Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Katie Zaferes finished third with a time of 48:59.

Yee finished the SLT’s season atop the leaderboard on the men’s side, and Taylor Brown topped the women’s division. 

The SLT, which acquired the Malibu Triathlon in December 2020, had its participants swim 300 meters in the Pacific Ocean, bike 4 kilometers on Pacific Coast Highway, and run 1.6 kilometers. The athletes had a short break between the events in order to catch their breath and reset their equipment. 

On the first day of the event, UC Berkeley’s Bear Schickel won the men’s USA Triathlon Collegiate Club National Championships title and UC San Diego’s Marissa Saenger won the women’s national title. 

Schickel’s time of 1:55:18 won him the Malibu Triathlon’s Olympic distance race that featured a 1,500-meter swim, 41-kilometer bike ride and 10-kilometer run. 

Saenger, a triathlon newbie with a strong background in cross country and track and field, captured the national title with a time of 2:10:51. Her time in the 10K run—31:24—was three minutes faster than anyone else in the field. She was the Olympic distance race’s fastest finishing women. 

Parker University’s Garrett Mayeaux finished second among men in the Olympic race with a time of 1:55:25 and Ryan Lund, also of Cal Berkeley, finished third with a time of 1:56:09. 

Cal Berkeley’s Kathryn Kennedy’s time of 2:11:23 placed her second in the women’s division and two-time Paralympic medalist Grace Norman, who won a silver medal in the women’s PTS5 category at the Paralympic Games in Toyoko in August, finished third with a time of 2:14:03, while representing Cedar University.

The classic distance race featured over 1,500 individuals and relay teams completing a 0.5-mile ocean swim, 17-mile bike ride and 4-mile run. It was held the second day of the Malibu Triathlon.

According to results found on the triathlon’s website, over 70 people who participated in the Olympic or classic race listed themselves as from Malibu including running coach and marathoner Bec Wilcock who was the fastest finishing individual woman in the classic event. Her time of 1:37:56 was only outpaced by 10 relay teams.