Thousands hit Zuma Beach for Malibu Triathlon 

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Over 5,000 people competed in the 38th edition of the Malibu Triathlon at Zuma Beach last weekend. Photos by Samantha Bravo/TMT.

Winners crossed the finish lines despite heavy rain that poured Saturday morning

Over 5,000 people competed in the 38th edition of the Malibu Triathlon at Zuma Beach last weekend — days after the two-day endurance spectacle was on the precipice of cancellation.

The charity race raised over $1 million for the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles’ Pediatric Cancer Research Program and featured professional triathletes from across the globe, celebrities, and weekend warriors swimming in the Pacific Ocean, biking on Pacific Coast Highway, and running along the Zuma Beach shore.

However, the participants did not pedal their bicycles down the underpass at Zuma Beach, a key component of the race’s bicycle route in past years. 

The section of roadway was closed due to flooding caused by heavy rains earlier this year and presence of an endangered fish, the tidewater goby. The Triathlon’s organizers modified the bike route, but the race was nearly called off because the organizers didn’t have a temporary use permit for the event. Five days before the two-day endurance event’s start date, the Malibu City Council approved the TUP. 

That allowed the starting pistol to go off on Sept. 30.

The Triathlon held the Olympic distance race — a 1.5-kilometer swim, 40-kilometer bike ride, and 10-kilometer run — on the first day and the Classic distance race — a 0.5-mile swim, 17-mile bike ride, and 4-mile run — the next day. 

Mark Feuerstein and his son Frisco won the male relay team in 1 hour, 13 minutes, and 13 seconds. Anna Hutchinson was the top finishing woman in 1:28:15.

The Triathlon’s first day also included the third version of the Super League Triathlon Malibu, a competition in the Super League Triathlon’s Championship Series, which brought professional endurance race professionals to Malibu. The SLT sponsored the Triathlon this year. The SLT Malibu race consisted of a 300-meter one-lap swim, 3.6-kilometer three-lap bike race, and 1.6-kilometer two-lap run. 

New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde won the SLT Malibu’s men’s competition. France’s Leo Bergere placed second and Matt Hauser of Australia placed third. South Africa’s Henri Schoeman was fourth and Portugal’s Vasco Vilaca finished fifth. 

In an SLT news release, Wilde said, “It was really nice to put together a race that I know I’m capable of and I’m stoked to do it here in Malibu.” 

French triathlete Cassandre Beaugrand won the women’s SLT event. Her countrymate, Emma Lombardi, placed second and Luxembourg’s Jeanne Lehair placed third. In fourth place was Beth Potter of Great Britain. American Katie Zafares finished fifth. 

The victory was Beaugrand’s first of the 2023 Championship Series. She had some difficulty at the start of the race.

“I’m not used to swimming in these waves and I was sick during the first choppy swim of the day,” Beaugrand said of swimming off the coast of Zuma. “It was also a technical bike leg, but it was good work today.” 

The triathlon celebrity division competition on the second day included participants such as Ben Higgins, Chase Crawford, Daniela Ruah, Diplo, and Timothy Olyphant. Their course included a 0.5-mile swim, 9.6-mile bike ride and 4-mile run. 

Crawford, star of the Amazon Prime series “The Boys,” won the celebrity division. He questioned why someone wouldn’t want to participate in the Triathlon. 

“It’s a great morning here,” Crawford said the last day of the event. “You get to have fun with your friends and take part in friendly competition while changing the lives of so many children.”