Athletes gear up for Beaver Lake Triathlon

August 16, 2011

By Anna Marum

An athlete speeds around a corner on West Beaver Lake Drive Southeast, at the beginning of the 13.8-mile cycling leg of the 2010 Beaver Lake Triathlon. By Christopher Huber

Local triathletes and others from around the Puget Sound will soon be at it again. The 18th annual Beaver Lake Triathlon will return Saturday, Aug. 20.

The race, which will begin, transition and end at Beaver Lake Park, will include a quarter-mile swim, a 13.8-mile bike and a 4.3-mile run.

The swim portion of the race will be in Beaver Lake. The bike route will take competitors northeast over Duthie Hill Road, which offers views of the Cascade Mountain Range, Mount Si and the Snoqualmie Valley. Bikers will then head east on Redmond-Fall City Road and back up the plateau along a 2-mile hill. The run will take participants through hills that circle Beaver Lake and finally to the finish line.
Longtime triathlon participant Collin Clark lives on Beaver Lake and has participated in the race nearly every year since he and his family moved to the area in 2005.

If you go

Beaver Lake Triathlon

  • 7:45 a.m. Aug. 20
  • Beaver Lake Park, 25101 S.E. 24th St.
  • $82 for individuals, less for teams
  • Learn more and register at

Past BLT Champions

Jason Houck, male
Kara Nielsen, female
Gregory Gallagher, male
Johnna Koenig, female
Adam Jensen, male
Audrey Baldessari, female
Ben Bigglestone, male
Audrey Baldessari, female
Michael Gordon, male
Cynthia Krass, female
Steven Nicholls, male
Alyson Littman, female
Jake Bartholomy, male
Heather Griffith, female
Michael Blue, male
Chris Farias, female
Michael Blue, male
Deborah Taylor, female
Kevin Krizek, male
Heather Griffith, female

Clark said he competes primarily for fun, but the race also helps keep him in shape and gives him a sense of accomplishment. His favorite part of the triathlon is the sense of community he gets, he said.

“It’s really fun to run a race that goes the course of the neighborhood,” he said.

Because he lives on Beaver Lake, when Clark competes in the triathlon, he gets to see his family cheer him on multiple times during the course of the race.

Clark said he is more comfortable with the swimming and running portion of the race, so his favorite moment of the course is during the cycling portion, when his bike crests the final stair-step of the grueling hill. He said that knowing the worst is over and it’s almost literally downhill from that point is a big relief.

“It’s a good feeling,” he said. “I know I can finish the run after that.”

He said he sees himself continuing to participate in the triathlon.

“I hope to compete in it every year going forward,” he said. “I can imagine doing it well into my 50s, as long as the race goes on.”

Race Director Sharon Freechtle said the triathlon is a fun event for people of all levels of experience.

“It’s a really good atmosphere,” she said.

Freechtle said she is expecting about 500 athletes to participate in this year’s race. On average, the course takes a little more than two hours to complete, she said.

Individuals, teams and families of all ages can register online through noon Aug. 18. After that, participants can register from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 19 at Pacific Bicycle on Northeast Eighth Street. Registration will not be available the day of the race.

Freechtle was confident the Beaver Lake Triathlon will continue to be popular among community members for years to come.

“It seems to be something everyone wants to keep around,” she said. “I think it’ll stay strong for quite a bit longer.”

Intern Anna Marum can be reached at Comment at

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