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Donner Lake Triathlon

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Tickets $36–$251

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With a range of distances and formats available, this weekend is a true multi-sport festival. Set in the stunning surroundings of Truckee, athletes benefit from a lake swim, a scenic bike course, and a flat and fast run. Anyone who finishes will have earned the post-race festivities.

Review summary

4.7
2 Reviews
  • Course
  • Organisation
  • Atmosphere

A

Ariana M
"This was my first ever Olympic triathlon (having only done a sprint before) and..."

C

Chris S
"It would be quite hard to put on a bad event in this area as it's an amazing..."
See all reviews

How to enter the Donner Lake Triathlon

  1. Half Iron 70.3 Triathlon

    Triathlon: Swim 1.2mi, Bike 56mi, Run 13.36mi
    $181–$251
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  2. Olympic Triathlon

    Triathlon: Swim 0.9mi, Bike 24.8mi, Run 6.67mi
    $63–$176
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  3. Sprint Triathlon

    Triathlon: Swim 0.25mi, Bike 6mi, Run 2mi
    $51–$126
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  4. Half Aquabike

    Other: Swim 1.2mi, Bike 56mi
    $127–$131
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  5. Olympic Aquabike

    Other: Swim 1.5km, Bike 24mi
    $99–$111
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  6. Kids Triathlon 11-12

    Triathlon: Swim 0.2km, Bike 3km, Run 2km
    $36–$45
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  7. Kids Triathlon 9-10

    Triathlon: Swim 0.1km, Bike 3km, Run 1km
    $36–$45
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  8. Kids Triathlon 7-8

    Triathlon: Swim 0.05km, Run 2km, Run 1km
    $36–$45
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  9. Olympic Aquathlon

    Other: Swim 1.5km, Run 6.5mi
    $76–$170
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  10. Kids Triathlon Age 6 & Under

    Triathlon: Swim 0.025km, Run 1km, Run 0.5km
    $36–$45
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  11. Olympic Duathlon

    Duathlon: Run 4mi, Bike 24.8mi, Run 6.5mi
    $76–$170
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Donner Lake Triathlon training plans

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Donner Lake Triathlon routes

Half/70.3 Triathlon:

  • Swim: 1.2 mile counter-clockwise lap of Donner Lake. Average water temperature = 64-69 degrees. Wetsuits are optional.
  • Bike: 56-mile paved course on Old Highway 40. Includes a climb up Donner Pass, where you'll get great views over Donner Lake and the Truckee Valley. There is an additional 12-mile out and back section beyond the Olympic course. There is then a flat section towards Cisco Grove, where you can see the South Yuba River. To finish, the route has a speedy descent down Old Highway 40. There will be 2 supply stations on the course.
  • Transition: you must follow the foot down bike stop protocol, where you rest one of your feet on the ground on a designated spot for 3 seconds. If you to not obey this, you will be disqualified.
  • Run: 13.36 miles, doing 2 laps of the Olympic course. There will be 10 supply stations on the course.
  • Aquabike: Follows the same course as the swim and bike section.

Olympic:

  • Swim: 1500m counter-clockwise lap of Donner Lake. Average water temperature = 64-69 degrees. Wetsuits are optional.
  • Bike: 40 kilometre/24.8 mile paved course on Old Highway 40. Includes a climb up Donner Pass, where you'll get great views over Donner Lake and the Truckee Valley. There is then a flat section towards Cisco Grove, where you can see the South Yuba River. To finish, the route has a speedy descent down Old Highway 40. There will be 1 supply station on the course.
  • Transition: you must follow the foot down bike stop protocol, where you rest one of your feet on the ground on a designated spot for 3 seconds. If you to not obey this, you will be disqualified.
  • Run: 6.5 mile, 1 lap course. The route is relatively flat, heading through Donner Memorial State Park and finishing at West End Beach. There will be 5 supply stations on the course.
  • Aquabike: Follows the same course as the swim and bike section.
  • Duathlon: The first run is a 2-mile out and back course from the central venue. The bike and second run section follow the same course as the triathlon bike and run.
  • Aquathlon: Follows the same course as the swim and run section.

Sprint:

  • Swim: 0.25 mile counter-clockwise lap of Donner Lake. Average water temperature = 64-69 degrees. Wetsuits are optional.
  • Bike: 6 mile route, out-and-back course on paved Old Highway 40. You head out 3 miles up Donner Summit until you turn at rainbow Bridge and head back. Total elevation gain 975ft. There is no supply station on the course, so athletes should bring their own full water bottle.
  • Transition: you must follow the foot down bike stop protocol, where you rest one of your feet on the ground on a designated spot for 3 seconds. If you to not obey this, you will be disqualified.
  • Run: 2 mile, out-and-back course on South Shore Drive. There will be 2 supply stations on the course.

Kids:

  • Swim: The swim courses are all near-shore. Average water temperature = 64-69 degrees. Wetsuits are optional.
  • Bike: Taking place on South Shore Drive, there are designated turning points for each age group.
  • Transition: there is a designated space to get on and off your bikes in the transition area.
  • Run: out-and-back course on South Shore Drive.

Event Details

What’s Included

Included with your race fee will be...

  • BBQ Lunch with beverages
  • Official T-shirts or hat from the events
  • Beer for participants aged 21+
  • Professional timing equipment
  • Access to onsite medical staff if necessary
  • A finisher's medal
  • Awards for the top three men and women in each 5-year adult age group

Bike Aid Stations:

  • Water and electrolyte drinks
  • Sunscreen
  • Vaseline

Run Aid Stations:

  • Water, electrolyte drinks, cola
  • Energy gels
  • Salty snacks (crisps and pretzels)
  • Fruit
  • Sunscreen
  • Vaseline

Race Recovery Aid Station:

  • Water, recovery drink, cola
  • Salty snacks (crisps and pretzels)
  • Fruit
Raceday Logistics

Please note that all athletes must register with photo ID. You must collect your own race packet. If you are an annual USAT member you must bring your membership card, otherwise you can pay $12 for a one-day membership.

Friday 17th July:

  • 17:00 - Packet pick-up and registration for Sprint and Kids Triathlon opens
  • 17:30 - Swimming clinic
  • 19:00 - Packet pick-up and registration for Sprint and Kids Triathlon closes

Saturday 18th July:

  • 05:45 - Sprint Transition Area opens
  • 06:50 - Sprint Transition Area opens
  • 07:00 - Sprint triathlon starts
  • 07:45 - Sprint race first finishers
  • 08:00 - Expo Opens
  • 08:30 - Packet pick-up and registration for Kids Races opens
  • 08:30 - Kids Transition Area opens
  • 09:15 - Kids 11-12yo race starts
  • 09:30 - Kids 9-10yo race starts
  • 09:45 - Kids 7-8yo race starts
  • 10:00 - Kids 6 & Under race starts
  • 10:00 - Packet pick-up and registration for Kids Races closes
  • 10:45 - Kids Races finish
  • 10:45 - Prize-giving for Sprint and Kids Races
  • 14:00 - Check-in and registration for Sunday races opens
  • 16:00 - Pre-race briefing and athlete meeting for Sunday races
  • 16:00 - Expo Closes
  • 17:00 - Check-in and registration for Sunday races closes

Sunday 19th July:

  • 05:45 - Transition area opens
  • 06:50 - Transition area closes
  • 07:00 - Half Tri/Aquabike/Aquathlon starts
  • 07:10 - Olympic Tri/Aquabike/Aquathlon starts
  • 07:20 - Duathlon starts
  • 08:00 - Alpine fresh water swim starts
  • 08:00 - Expo Opens
  • 08:15 - Cut-off time for swim section (1hrs10mins after final Half-distance wave)
  • 09:25 - First Olympic-distance finishers predicted
  • 10:30 - Prize-giving for Alpine fresh water swim
  • 11:00 - Prize-giving for Olympic-distance events
  • 11:30 - First Half-distance finishers predicted
  • 12:00 - Live music starts
  • 12:50 - Cut-off time for bike section (5hrs30mins)
  • 13:50 - Cut-off for first lap of run (6hrs30mins)
  • 14:00 - Live music finishes
  • 14:30 - Prize-giving for Half-distance events
  • 15:50 - Cut-off time for finishing run section (8hrs30mins) Race finishes
  • 16:00 - Expo Closes
    Kit List

    The average water temperature in Donner Lake is 64-69 degrees. Wetsuits are optional.

    Although there are supply stations, you should have a full water bottle attached to your bike, and some personal nutrition if necessary.

    Volunteers

    Volunteers can earn a free race registration of their own. Per hour of volunteering, you will receive $10 of Big Blue Adventure Bucks for future events. Volunteers must be aged 17 or older.

    Sign up here: https://bigblueadventure.volunteerlocal.com/volunteer/

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Are there cut-off times?
    Yes, see Raceday Logistics for times. Participants in the half-distance races must finish the swim within 1hr10mins, the bike section within 5hrs30mins, the first running lap within 6hrs30mins, and must finish the entire course within 8hrs30mins.
    Can I wear headphones?
    It is not encouraged to wear headphones, both for your own personal enjoyment of the race and for the safety of your fellow runners. Running without headphones will allow you to appreciate the race environment, build camaraderie with other runners, and hear instructions and encouragement from volunteers.
    Are dogs allowed?
    No dogs are allowed on the course. In the venue area, dogs are permitted but should be kept on a leash at all times.
    Can I purchase tickets on the day?
    If the event has not already sold out, tickets can be purchased on the day at an extra cost of $15.
    Have a question? Get answers from our team.

    Donner Lake Triathlon weather forecast

    Clear throughout the day.

    80°F
    Predicted highs
    51°F
    Predicted lows
    IconLight breeze possible, up to 6mph

    Donner Lake Triathlon reviews (2)

    4.7 out of 5 stars

    • Course
    • Organisation
    • Atmosphere
    • Did the Olympic Triathlon in 2019

      It would be quite hard to put on a bad event in this area as it's an amazing location. The lake is a great temperature for swimming, the bike course is up a pretty challenging hill but its a great ride, and the run is around the lake in one loop which is nice. Cant be helped by the organizer but the roads on the bike course are not in great condition, a lot of freeze-cracks, but apparently this is being fixed soon. Also, by the time you get to the run the temperature has really built up making it a pretty challenging combination of hot and high-altitude. Nice atmosphere after as access to lake-side for beer and bbq.
    • Did the Olympic Triathlon in 2019

      This was my first ever Olympic triathlon (having only done a sprint before) and I absolutely loved it. It’s such an amazing place for a triathlon, the lake is so beautiful, particularly with the sun rising over the mountains when you arrive. We drove from San Francisco for the weekend and it was so much fun staying in Truckee. The organisation was great, there were tents by the lake for sponsors and kit shops, seamless registration and pack pickup. I only gave it a 4 star because there was some confusion of which buoy to swim to at the start, but other than that it was great. The lake is really not cold at all, some people didn’t have wetsuits on and the water is amazingly clear. They had marshalls on paddle boards who were very helpful. The transition area was very easy, this race is a good size for a beginner. Big enough for awesome atmosphere and afterparty, but small enough to feel really looked after.

      Everyone was so friendly and people passing you on the bike would always say ‘good job’. There was a great vibe amongst the racers and lots of camaraderie. The first part of the bike course is stunning, the hills are big but so worth it for the view and the descent. Look out for cracks in the road though, there are a few but even so, I loved this bike course. I didn’t expect the run to be a little hilly, it was tough although that’s probably just because it was in the last few miles and I was ready to finish! You run 1 loop of the lake for the Olympic and 2 loops for the Half. Hats off to anyone doing the half as you run right by the finish line and past people celebrating to do your second lap.

      Not only do you get a free race photo, but you get a free burger/hotdog/veggie burger and a beer at the end. The finish line atmosphere was so great, and afterwards we just jumped straight back into the lake to cool off. I can’t recommend this race highly enough. I’ll definitely be back next year 🙌🏼

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