Donner Lake Triathlon back for 33rd year |

Donner Lake Triathlon back for 33rd year

Staff report
Competitors in last year's Donner Lake Triathlon swim toward West End Beach on the first leg of the race. This year's triathlon takes place Saturday and Sunday.
File photo |

One of the longest-running triathlons in the country, the Donner Lake Triathlon, is set to return to West End Beach for the 33rd year this Saturday and Sunday.

The event features four races, starting with a Kids Triathlon and Sprint Triathlon on Saturday and ending with the traditional Olympic Triathlon — also called International — and Half Triathlon (half Ironman distance) on Sunday.

Last year, 19-year-old Alistair Eeckman from Berkeley and Truckee’s Kara LaPoint, then 27, claimed respective victories in the Olympic.

A couple of Bay Area athletes, meanwhile — Ritch Viola, 41, of Tiburon and Danielle Widenmann, 31, of Vacaville — won the Half Triathlon.

Santa Barbara resident Michael Smith, 49, recorded his 10th consecutive victory in the Sprint Triathlon last year, and 17-year-old Danielle Nivinski of the Sugar Bowl Academy was the top woman.

The Olympic distance sends competitors on a .9-mile swim, a 24.8-mile bike ride up Old Highway 40 to Kingvale and back, and 6.67-mile run around Donner Lake.

The Half Triathlon, which debuted last year, includes a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike and a 13.36-mile run, or twice around the lake.

The non-competitive kids race is made up of a short, fun course, while the Sprint course includes a quarter-mile swim, a 6-mile bike and a 2-mile run.

Saturday’s action begins at 7:30 a.m. with wave starts in the Sprint Triathlon.

The Olympic and Half kick off with wave starts Sunday at 7 a.m.

The band Caddywhompus will play Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

Road closures will be in effect both days on Old 40 between South Shore Drive and Sugar Bowl Road — Saturday from 7-8:30 a.m. and Sunday from 7 a.m.-1 p.m.

Registration costs vary for each race. For more information go to