The Donner Lake Triathlon is held at West End Beach on Donner Lake in Truckee California.
Truckee is one of those places that if you don’t already you want to live. Noted by the editors of National Geographic Adventure as one of the world’s top ski towns Truckee also offers those who love the mountains and outdoors with endless summer adventure opportunities.
Donner Lake is 2.7 miles long and 1/2 mile wide. The water is clear and clean with a maximum depth of 328 feet. West End Beach operated by the Truckee Donner Recreation and Parks District serves as the main venue. A sandy beach with majestic views of the surrounding Sierra await you.
Swim: The HALF swim course is one 1.2 mile lap in Donner Lake. Two left turns. Corners are marked by large buoys and support (kayaks/SUP/boats) are along the course to ensure your safety. The average water temperature of Donner Lake in July is 64-69 degrees. Wetsuits are optional.
Bike: The bike course takes place on Old Highway 40. The entire course is paved.
The Half bike course is 56 miles. The course continues 4 miles past the Olympic turnaround point. From the far end of the course, near Cisco Grove, you will ride a 12 mile out and back section. Once you reach the far end of the course the second time you head back to the transition area. Cyclists start their ride with a climb up to the top of Donner Pass (about 1125’). This portion, first and last 4 miles, of the bike course is closed to all vehicular traffic (except emergency vehicles). Upon reaching the pass you will have a great view of Donner Lake and the Truckee Valley. You continue westbound along Old Highway 40, passing Sugar Bowl and Donner Ski Ranch, cabins, ponds and other wonderful scenery. This portion of the course is relatively flat with small rolling hills. Upon reaching I-80, you will cross over the freeway and continue past Kingvale, and towards Cisco Grove. This portion of the course is surrounded by trees and you can often glimpse the South Yuba River. The turn-a-round point will include an aid station where you can toss your water bottle in exchange for a new one (either filled with water or fluid replacement). The course concludes with a curvy and speedy descent down Scenic Old Highway 40 where we remind you to use extreme caution.
The Foot Down Bike Stop: Whether you are competing in the Sprint, Olympic, or Half distance, you will be required to perform a foot down stop at the bottom of the descent, before continuing on to re-enter the transition area. A foot down stop means one of your feet comes out of your bike clips (or off your pedal) and rests on the ground in a designated spot while your bike is at a complete stop for a minimum of 3 seconds. The reason for the foot down stop is a purely a safety issue. Should the foot down not be enforced, we would be cleaning up cyclists’ carnage as they attempted (unsuccessfully) to make the 130 degree turn back into the transtion area at 45 mph. Everyone has to do the foot down stop so there is no advantage/disadvantage for anyone. Failure to comply will result in a DQ and there are absolutely no exceptions.
Mount/Dismount Area: At the Donner Lake Triathlon, you are not permitted to ride your bike in the transition area. There is a mount and dismount area outside of the bike start/bike finish tents.
The Half run course is two laps of the Olympic course for a total of 13.36 miles. After completing the first lap the course comes through the main venue near the finish line. This is a great spot to gather some energy from the crowd and a great place for your friends and family to view the event.
Bike Aid Stations
There are two Bike Aid Stations with the following:
Run Aid Stations
There are ten Run Aid Stations with the following: