Lake San Antonio is now 96% empty, making Wildflower even more unique than before. Because the California drought has caused the lake to creep 2.2 miles away from the original swim start, the format is now 1.2 mile swim, 2.2 mile run, 56 mile bike, 10.9 mile run.
This image superimposes a photo of the boat ramp where the Swim leg started in the 2009 Triathlon with the same location this year.
We camped out the night before the race, atop a hill overlooking the puddle that would serve as the swim venue. This would have been a super convenient location were it not for the multiple transition areas. Race morning required some maneuvering as I dropped off my bike and second pair of run shoes across the park at the "Real" transition, and then deposited my first pair of run shoes and my wetsuit bag on the boat ramp that served as "T1a"
The lake temperature was announced as 73 degrees, which was downright toasty once you got moving! The water was murky, but overall the swim was smooth.
I was excited to knock off a few of the run miles early in the race while my legs were still fresh, but before you start the 2.2 mile T1 run, you have to first ascend the world's longest boat ramp. Steep and seemingly endless, T1a was lined with spectators, cheering on the turtle race of soggy runners who were, of course, too proud to walk this early in the day.