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Super League Snaked by Duplicitous Director?

Malibu Triathlon's former owner hijacks permit? Plus fast food for recovery, and nutrition portions

Good morning everyone,

Well, I had a great season-ending weekend at Ironman 70.3 Indian Wells. It was a solid result as I finished 10th overall in the pro race, and I’m still processing some of the takeaways and lessons learned that I’ll elaborate further in Friday’s edition.

One thing is for sure, these races aren’t getting any less competitive!

In today’s edition:

  • 🐍 Super League Triathlon snaked by duplicitous director.

  • 🧃 Is it more efficient to fuel in big gulps, or small sips?

  • 🍔 And is junk food better than no food when it comes to recovery?

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. 


Malibu Director Derails Super League Triathlon Expansion?

What is it: Super League Triathlon (SLT) - the dynamic triathlon start-up - has been in the midst of a major US expansion with the recent purchases of the Chicago, New York City, and Malibu Triathlons.

But, as reported by Triathlon Magazine Canada, the former owner and race director of the Malibu Triathlon, Michael Epstein appears to have applied, and may be receiving, the only triathlon-hosting permit available from the city of Malibu.

  • If Epstein receives the permit, that would mean Super League would not be allowed to host a race in the City of Malibu - effectively killing their race and high-priced investment that they originally bought from Epstein.

Background: In March 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Super League purchased the Malibu Triathlon from Michael Epstein and his company, Michael Epstein Sports Productions (MESP).

  • 2021 saw Malibu added to the SLT Championship Series for the first time.

  • This year’s edition of Super League’s Malibu Triathlon helped raise a record $1.25 million for Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, which was almost canceled due to the presence of an endangered fish on the race course.

Political position: An email from Epstein to previous Malibu participants informed them that his newly formed entity, the Zuma Foundation, submitted a proposal to the City of Malibu’s Road Race Committee.

  • The committee unanimously recommended that the Zuma Foundation would receive the only permit to host a Triathlon in Malibu.

  • In the email, Epstein also mentioned that the City and the Zuma Foundation have prepared a tentative five-year hosting agreement.

In an email to former racers, Super League Triathlon CEO Michael D’hulst pointed out that, “returning a permit to [Epstein] who sold it for commercial gains raises ethical concerns…this option disregards our ongoing commitment to reviving the event post-COVID, the efforts done in fundraising, and our positive community impact.

What’s next: On December 11th the Malibu City Council will meet to discuss amongst other items, whether to grant final approval for Epstein’s five-year plan.

Tempo’s take: As an athlete who has competed in Super League events, I can personally attest to the quality of the races, the athletic-centric philosophy, and the genuine love of the sport that Michael D’hulst and his Super League team possess. At the height of the pandemic, when there was no racing and no opportunities, Super League continued to pay its athletes with no hesitation.

  • Epstein, on the other hand, appears to have sold his race and then turned around and created an entirely new entity that would destroy Super League’s recent hard work and hefty investment.

Something odd: The website for the Nautica Malibu Triathlon - Epstein’s original race - seems to have been recently resurrected. It is loaded with SEO-targeted blog posts authored by someone named Tiffany, no last name given. The posts appear to be very generic, with content like:

It’s certainly odd timing given the story that’s unfolding…

Do you think the permit should be awarded to Super League?

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🥤 Big gulp gains: Is it better to guzzle down big volumes of your racing and training nutrition? Or take frequent but smaller doses. Well, scientists actually studied this, and not going to lie, we were very surprised by the answer. [My Sports Science]

🎙️ Jonny on the spot: Jonny Brownlee is a three-time Olympic medalist who has been at the top of the sport for his lengthy career. But recent setbacks have had him questioning his place in elite racing, and what he can do to get back to the top. [Super League Triathlon]

🏃 How to Tri: There are loads of guides out there to becoming a triathlete and some are…not great! But this How-To from the New York Times is actually super in-depth and worth a read - especially if you’re new to the sport! [New York Times]

🍔 Junk food recovery: You’ve just finished a really great workout, but you’ve forgotten your recovery food at home. 😱 You could just not eat anything, or, maybe go to that fast food place down the street. So what is better for recovery, junk food or no food? [GTN]


Big savings are still available for the Real Triathlon Squad’s January training camp in Cozumel, Mexico. Contact [email protected] for more details.

Because sipping ice in your drink after a great day of training is wayyyy better than slipping on ice during your run!*

*Sponsored listing


Texas extension: Memorial Hermann and Ironman have agreed to a multi-year extension of their partnership for Ironman Texas. [Woodlands Online]

British Triathlon: Beth Potter, Alex Yee, Kate Waugh, and Jonny Brownlee highlight the 2024 British Triathlon World Class programme. [British Triathlon]

Xterra 2024: The 2024 Xterra World tour features exciting new destinations including Costa Rica, Morocco, and Columbia. [Endurance.biz]

Champion Chara: Former Boston Bruins captain Zdeno Chara skated to victory in his division at this weekend’s Clash Daytona triathlon. We wouldn’t want to meet him at the first buoy! [PRNewswire]

Irish achievement: Aichlinn O’Reilly became the first Irish Triathlete to break eight hours for the Ironman. He achieved this incredible accomplishment at last weekend’s Ironman Western Australia. [Irish Times]

German legends: It was a bittersweet celebration at the Sailfish Night as German triathlon legends were celebrated for the final time of their professional careers.


Ironman 70.3 Indian Wells

It was a true Viking pillage of the Coachella Valley as Norway’s Casper Stornes and Solveig Løvseth won the men’s and women’s races in Indian Wells.

  • Americans Marc Dubrick and Sam Long kept the home crowd excited with second and third respectively in the men’s race.

  • Tamara Jewitt (CAN) finished second for the second year in a row as Jackie Hering (USA) rounded out the podium in third.

Ironman Western Australia

Fenella Langridge (GBR) took the women’s title, and Daniel Baekkegard (DEN) took the win in the men’s race.

  • Lisa Norden (SWE) followed closely in second as Lotte Wilms (NED) crossed in third.

  • A pair of Aussies Matt Burton and Nic Thompson took the final podium spots.


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