Written by Therese Williams —
OAKHURST – Excitement is building up as preparations are under way and registrations are being accepted for the sixth annual Bass Lake Yosemite Triathlon, set for Saturday, June 4.
Bass Lake is located in the Sierra National Forest about 20 minutes south of Yosemite National Park, and creates a picturesque triathlon rivaled by few. Triathletes are treated to a swim in clear mountain waters, followed by a challenging and beautiful ride around the lake and through the Sierra National Forrest to finish with a run along the glistening shores of Bass Lake.
Bass Lake has a long and rich history in the sport of triathlon. In fact, the original Bass Lake Triathlon was home to the 1983 & 1984 United States Triathlon Series (USTS) as well as the Tri-Fed National Championships and ran most years through 1998. The triathlon was brought back in 2011 by the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau — now called Visit Yosemite Madera County — and Tucson Racing, which is a professional triathlon promoter with races in Arizona, Ohio and California.
Nearly 500 athletes took part in the revived competition in 2015 and race organizers are expecting another successful event. Now in its sixth year, Bass Lake continues the tradition of the triathlon and all it entails including the pre-race pasta dinner tradition which was started in the 80s. This year’s pasta dinner, will feature a gourmet dining experience on the Gazebo Deck, at Ducey’s On the Lake.
Also, the post-race BBQ will return and there is even FREE BEER for athletes (21 and older only)! To top it all off, the Pines Bar will be serving up a special cocktail, “Gatortinis.” How can a cocktail made with Gatorade be anything but great?
The race itself will include the following options:
- Olympic Triathlon – 1500m swim, 40k bike, 5k run
- Sprint Triathlon – 500m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
- 5k Poker and Go Fish – Run/Walk for kids and adults
The Bass Lake Yosemite Triathlon is known to be a great race for beginners as well as seasoned triathlete professionals.
“Bass Lake really is a great location for a race,” says Jonathan Grinder, owner of Tucson Racing. “Newcomers to the sport have loved coming here, while triathlon veterans know the history here and have enjoyed coming back.”
“The Bass Lake Yosemite Triathlon is the best race around. Perfect for beginners or seasoned athlete,” said one competitor on the race’s Facebook page.
Along with the Triathlon, there will be a 5K Poker & Go Fish Run/Walk for adults and kids fundraiser. One hundred percent of proceeds from this event will go to local charities.
Immediately following the race this year will be the Michelob Ultra Awards Party with a bluegrass band and a BBQ lunch put on by the Bass Lake Lions Club.
“The athletes really have fun at the party, as do the community members who come out to support the racers every year,” said Grinder. All proceeds from the Bluegrass and BBQ event at the Finish Line will go to the Bass Lake Lions Club and local charities.
It’s that community support, combined with the scenic beauty of the venue itself that has helped give the Bass Lake Yosemite Triathlon the quick resurgence that it has enjoyed.
The race takes place Saturday, June 4. For more information or to register, visit www.BassLakeTri.com.
Therese Williams is the Director of Public Relations & Sales at Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau
(Photo credit Anne Starkey)