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Iconic Malibu Triathlon in Jeopardy

And how to break through a running slump

Good morning everyone,

I had a great race weekend at Ironman 70.3 Michigan. The course was beautiful and I had my best bike/run ever which was good enough for 5th overall in a very competitive field 🤪

Another highlight of my weekend was spending time with a fellow triathlete, Dean “The Machine” Harper. Dean was the winner of the first-ever Wildflower Triathlon and a mainstay of the professional circuit in the early 1980s and is now the coach of the University of California Berkeley Triathlon Club. I had a blast hanging out and swapping racing war stories. It was another reminder of just how incredible the triathlon community is!

Here’s to more awesome connections through this sport.

In today’s edition:

  • 🌴 Iconic Malibu Triathlon could be cancelled,

  • 🏃‍♀️ Tips for breaking through a running slump,

  • 🤩 And why do celebrities love triathlon?

Thanks for being here.

-Matt Sharpe, newsletter editor

Headshot of Matt Sharpe

Have a triathlete in your life who can't stop swimming, biking, or running? Fire this off to them. Forwarded from a friend? Sign-up for free. 


Iconic Malibu Triathlon Could be Cancelled

Malibu Triathlon - Facebook

What is it: According to an article in the Malibu Times the upcoming 38th edition of the Malibu Triathlon could be cancelled unless an alternative race course is approved in time.

Historic race: In it’s 38 years the Malibu Triathlon has seen more than its fair share of history, and with its proximity to Hollywood it definitely has the title of the triathlon with the most celebrities per capita (more on that later).

  • It also has a heavy philanthropic arm having raised over 17 million dollars for pediatric cancer research.

  • In 2020, Super League Triathlon purchased the race, and its Malibu leg is still scheduled to be held on September 30.

Historic rains: Due to the historic rains this winter in California, a critical section of the bike course, an underpass at Zuma Creek, has been flooded and closed since March.

From the Malibu Triathlon organizers:

  • On August 28th Los Angeles County Beaches and Harbors determined that the underpass could not be used as standing water has become home to the Tidewater Goby which is protected by the Endangered Species Act.

  • They have been working with local officials and proposed an alternate race route as a comprehensive appeal to the City of Malibu.

According to the City of Malibu:

  • A previous race course plan which did not use the underpass was not approved at the time of the required Malibu Municipal Code noticing.

  • The Malibu Planning Commission will consider the appeal and determine whether the event will take place on September 30, and October 1.

Crunch time: An appeal will be held at 6:30 PM PST on September 18 (last night).


🏃‍♀️ Running breakthrough: Have you been trying to improve your run but just can’t seem to get to that next level? You may need to add some more specific training to the program. Check out this video of ways to bust through a running performance plateau. [GTN]

🥕 Veggie power: Our parents always told us to eat our veggies, and now The Tempo is as well! Check out this list of top veggies for endurance athletes. Not going to lie, we did not know purple cauliflower was a thing! [TrainingPeaks]

👏 Incredible journey: Pro triathlete Renee Kiley used to be an overweight, pack-a-day smoker. Now, she’s smoking course records and Ironman podiums. She sat down with the crew at Endurance Icons to talk about her incredible triathlon journey. [Endurance Icons]


Celebrities, They’re Just Like Us! (Also Triathletes)

Jennifer Lopez competing at the Malibu Triathlon - Triathlete

What is it: As reported by Politico back in June, former U.S. Presidential candidate, and current U.S. Secretary of Transportation, “Mayor” Pete Buttigieg had signed up for Ironman 70.3 Michigan.

  • Even with a busy White House schedule, Buttigieg was able to complete Sunday’s event in a respectable time of 6:31:02.

Celebrity spotting: As a mass participation sport triathlon has seen its fair share of celebrity sightings over the years. Comedy icon and Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams was a prolific triathlete. According to Slowtwitch, he was a longtime holder of the course record in the celebrity category at the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon before he sadly passed away.

  • Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Lopez, Zac Efron, and America Ferrera are some of the Hollywood stars who’ve taken on triathlon.

  • Celebrity chef, Gordon Ramsey, and Super Bowl-winning wide receiver Heinz Ward have taken it a step further by both competing at the Ironman World Championships in Kona.

  • Former F1 driver Jenson Button was an avid triathlete who, ironically, was once disqualified for speeding. 

  • And in a case of truly living up to one’s name, Melanie Chisholm otherwise known as Sporty Spice has competed in numerous triathlons.

Ground zero: If you’re looking to do some triathlon celebrity spotting of your own, your best bet is the annual Malibu Triathlon. Due to its proximity just west of Hollywood, this event always features high-profile competitors.

  • It also has a strong philanthropic component as the event typically raises money for the pediatric cancer research program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

  • The event has raised more than $17 million dollars for the program!

But if you read our story above, you know there might not be any celebrity spottings this year 😬

Have you ever spotted a celeb at a triathlon?

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🏁 Goa-head: India’s only Ironman-branded event, Ironman 70.3 Goa will be kicking off once again this October. The event will feature athletes from over 30 countries. [Sport Star]

💪 Incredible Ashley: Ashley Norton knows it doesn’t totally make sense. But the Seattle-based triathlete is still pushing to become the first athlete with multiple sclerosis and a pacemaker to complete the Ironman World Championships in Kona. [Seattle Times]

🦀 Cambridge continues: This weekend’s swim portion of Ironman Maryland may have been modified, but what isn’t going away is the race itself. The race will continue to be hosted in Cambridge through 2028. [Triathlon Magazine Canada]


Not sure how they calculated this, but interesting nonetheless. At what speed is it not worth pedaling downhill? According to this Reel, 60km/h or 37mph. So if you’re speeding downhill, maybe give those legs a breather.


After last week’s article on training technology and the implications of AI, we asked you if you use wearable technologies.

Reader: I don't hate technology; I just don't think it needs to know everything about me. If I could find a non-smartwatch that could track my swim distance then I would embrace it.

Reader: 2 years ago I bought a new watch because some new (workout) features looked interesting. In the end, I used them once or twice. :) In training, all I need is: pace (gps), heart rate, and stopwatch, everything else is a distraction. I don't even use guided workouts (custom or other) anymore. Battery life is a huge plus. Hmm, strongly considering going back to Suunto.

Reader: No watches while swimming, power meter only on bike trainer, bike computer with cadence and HR outdoors very basic running watch with HR and pace.

Reader: While tech can be fun, I found myself becoming a slave to the numbers and losing the pure joy of just doing the sports. I don’t care if I achieve a PB on every outing or not. The focus on being fit, healthy and enjoying a good day out doesn’t require the elite level tech information available and, in my opinion, the freedom from tech enhances enjoyment of the sport!

Reader: I have a Garmin 945. Some of the parameters I find useful while training for in training/ racing feedback (HR, power), some just interesting that I might look at after (lots of the run parameters, sleep parameters) and some I don’t bother with (respiratory rate…)


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