It's known as the "Woodstock of triathlon." I would wager that participants in the original Woodstock were less concerned with compression wear and electrolyte balance. But with thousands of people flocking to one campground for a weekend full of racing, Wildflower triathlon definitely has its own unique vibe, and that's why I find myself returning there year after year. You can test yourself with the long course, commonly regarded as the toughest half-Ironman distance race in the country. I've practiced the swim and bike portions of this course, but I've heard it's the run that's the true challenge. It's an extremely hilly trail run, which I picture being like running a half marathon through a fairy tale-esque Dark Forest. (I have constructed this image in my head based on my friends' post-race stories, so there may be some slight exaggeration at play here.) I personally always race the Olympic course, which is challenging in its own right. The swim, which is in a lake, is actually one of my favorite race swims due to the lack of surf and the straightforward course layout. Out of transition, you're biking up a mile-long hill, which is just the beginning of a very hilly course. The race caps off with a 10k run, which is partially paved and partially trail. Or, if your ideal race lasts an hour or less, there's also a mountain bike course you could try your hand at. No matter which race you go for, Wildflower always promises a unique experience. Although I personally have never witnessed any of the streaking or nearly nude aid stations, I have heard they exist. And there's nothing quite like camping with several thousand of your closest friends. So if you happen to find yourself at Lake San Antonio next weekend, come pull up a chair at my campfire, make yourself a s'more, and tell me all about your epic race.


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