Today is the Gold Nugget Triathlon, and oh what a day! The snow has melted, it’s sunshiney and gorgeous (although still a tiny bit chilly at 44 degrees), and maybe, just maybe our summer is finally beginning.
The Gold Nugget is the longest running all female triathlon in the country. It was founded in 1986 by Judy Sedwick and Dianne Barnette, both of whom I feel fortunate to have grown up knowing. Beth Bragg wrote a lovely article about the history of the Gold Nugget last year: Big race had a small start. It’s a great read if you’re interested in learning more about the race!
The event has become so so popular that getting in is a competition itself – people get up early to make sure they have a spot amongst the 1,500 racers and if you miss the window, you’ll be out of luck until next year!
I’ve participated in the race four times – the last time was a few years ago on the USKH team (that’s us in the photo!). It was always a lot of fun, and everyone is incredibly supportive – people cheer for you the whole way, even when they pass you (or when you pass them!). The race spans all skill levels, from the elite racers to ladies just out for a good time. Inevitably, someone will be in the locker room doing her hair and make-up after the swim. For others, participating is a huge personal milestone, and the first race of many to come. Here’s a great example: 70-year-old triathlete comes full circle at Gold Nugget.
Randomly, there’s an informal, all-male shadow event called the “golden nut” – I’ve only ever heard rumors of its existence – where it happens, when it happens, I have no idea. I don’t even know if it’s truly a triathlon. But, it’s fun that there’s a spin-off event, regardless!
This is such a fantastic event for Anchorage – I’m proud that our community is so supportive of the Gold Nugget and that there are so many participants.
Congratulations to all the racers today!