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Hemet's 32nd annual Tinsel 'Reverse' Triathlon brings hundreds to West Valley High School


Last updated 7/17/2018 at 8:43am

Wendelien Anderson from San Diego, a top contender in the 40 to 45 age group in last year’s Hemet Tinsel Triathlon, gets her bike ready to take on the challenge in this year’s triathlon at West Valley High School. “I like the reverse triathlon here that saves the best for last,” Anderson said. The reverse triathlon in Hemet begins with a five-kilometer run, goes to bicycling next and ends with a 150-meter swim. Tony Ault photo

More than 500 triathletes and runners took on the challenge of the only “reverse” triatholon in California, as participants run, bike and swim to a victory in the 32nd annual Tinsel Triathlon Sunday, Dec. 10, at West Valley High School.

More than 500 runners and triathletes from all over Southern California take off in a five-kilometer run, the first of the three running, biking and swimming challenges in the 32nd annual Hemet Tinsel Triathlon held at West Valley High School and the surrounding streets Sunday, Dec. 10. The annual triathlon benefits the United Way. Tony Ault photo

Every runner and triathlete from ages 12 to 65 considered themselves winners by completing the challenging five –kilometer course that went up and down west Hemet Street ending in the West Valley High School swimming pool. Unlike most triathlons or Iron Man races that begin with a swim, the Tinsel Triathlon began with a 5K run and ended with a 150 meter fast-paced swim in the West Valley Olympic pool. The reverse order is ideal for the normally cooler time of the year.

The entrants were challenged to help the many nonprofits supported by the Central County United Way and other United Ways. Directing this year’s event was United Way executive Connie Hall. Hemet Mayor Linda Krupa pushed the starting horn, and San Jacinto Mayor Pro Tem Russ Utz handed out the 5K winner awards. The Hemet Fire and Police Department and many volunteers helped keep the contestants safe and directed traffic during the special event.

Entrants were completed a 5K run, a 12-mile bike ride and a 150-meter swim. The entrants could choose to compete in the entire triathlon or they could just do the 5K run.

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