On a typical August morning in Santa Barbara you probably wouldn’t see a crowd of about 1,400 people running and jumping into the ocean near East Beach.
But there they were, braving the cold water and crossing the finish line Saturday and Sunday during the 2017 Santa Barbara Triathlon. The swimming, cycling and running event drew athletes of all ages, along with their cheering supporters at the finish line at the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion and Bath House.
The triathlon, presented by Montecito Bank & Trust, benefited the Parks & Recreation Community Foundation, an organization dedicated to enhancing parks, recreation programs and open space in Santa Barbara.
“It was a successful weekend,” said Joe Coito, the founder of the Santa Barbara Triathlon. “The Parent – Child Sprint division is my favorite wave. The kids and parents do the event together and cross the finish line together.
“It’s the culmination of the entire weekend. It’s something special to see.”
The training hours paid off for Jacob Ford, a Fountain Valley resident who finished first in Saturday’s long-course men’s 35-39 age division with a time of 2:58:02. It was his sixth time to participate in the Santa Barbara Triathlon.
“I have six of these,” he said, pointing to his blue and white first place plaque. “It’s important to remember to have fun and constantly train seven days a week.”
Matthew Organista of Carpinteria won the overall title in the triathlon’s co-ed sprint course Sunday. He completed the 500-yard ocean swim, the six-mile bike ride and the two-mile run in 35 minutes and 57 seconds.
Ashley Grossman finished first in the women’s-only sprint with a time of 47:09.
Chris Braden, a Dos Pueblos High School alumnus who splits his time between Santa Barbara and Boulder, Colo., was the overall victor in Saturday’s long-course race out of more than 300 athletes. His winning time over the one-mile swim, 34-mile bike ride and 10-mile run was 2:44:58.
Braden, 27, won the 2016 triathlon’s long-course race with a record-setting time of 2:40:39. It was his first time to compete in the annual Santa Barbara event.
Click here for the complete results of the 2017 Santa Barbara Triathlon.
— Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.