Donner Lake Triathlon to run as scheduled
As of Tuesday, cancellation of Sunday’s 27th annual Donner Lake Triathlon due to poor air quality was “extremely unlikely,” but not out of the question, race officials said.
“We’re kind of holding tight right now. At this point we’re going forward with it, but if the smoke is bad we’re not going to put anybody in harm’s way,” said Dave Miramontes, president of Change of Pace, an event management company that puts on the Donner Lake Triathlon.
“There’s always a possibility (of cancellation),” Miramontes continued. “We’re sending out our confirmations right now to all the registered athletes, telling them to keep posted and check the Web site. … The last thing I want to do is cancel an event. I don’t think I’ve ever canceled an event.”
Despite the unhealthy air quality the past two weeks ” caused by a large number of fires burning in Northern California ” Miramontes said registration, for the most part, seems on par with past Donner Lake Triathlons.
“(The poor air quality) is scaring some people, but I don’t know what’s scaring them more, the gas prices or the smoke,” Miramontes said jokingly. Plus, he added, it’s tough to gauge the size of the field prior to the event because people can register on race day.
The 100-mile Western States Endurance Run from Squaw Valley to Auburn, which was scheduled for June 27 and 28, was canceled because of heavy smoke as well as the threat of fire near the trail.
Miramontes noted that locally, Air Quality Index (AQI) figures tend to read lowest in the morning hours and spike in the evenings. The Donner Lake Triathlon kicks off at 7 a.m., when air quality typically is near its best.
According to a table on the race Web site that shows measurements of particulate matter in the air, levels at the Truckee Fire Station peaked on June 24 at 296 micrograms per cubic meter ” near the upper end of the “very unhealthy” category on the AQI chart. On Saturday levels rose to 204 micrograms per cubic meter, according to the table, but by 7 a.m. on Monday the number had dropped to 77, which is “moderate” on the AQI.
Volunteers are still needed for tasks at the Donner Lake Triathlon, including post-race food prep, T-shirt hand-out and kayak help on the lake. If interested contact Dave Miramontes at 757-2012, ext. 13.