Santa Rosa, California
This race is fun but for many reasons, I would not do this race. If your selections are limited and you want to do a full in California, this is the only one. But personally, after volunteering in 2018, I would not do this race. First, this is a split transition race that is terribly positioned and separated by nearly 45 miles (I’m not sure of the exact mileage, but it’s ridiculous). Next, the transition area location for T1. Transition one is located at the top of a boat ramp. I long half mile plus boat ramp. Which is cool if you’re not running up it after a 2.4 mile swim. Then, you have the bike course. The bike course is on not so great road, but also the shade on the course mixed with bad roads makes the sighting for the road not so great with sunglasses on. Then you have the, in my opinion at least, a quite dangerous downhill right out of T1. This is a long decent that athletes can gain a large amount of speed on, but also lose control if they are inexperienced. Next, transition 2, this is a cluster fuck. You heard me right. I volunteered here and the large amount of shouting, phone calls, no walkie talkies, extra volunteers standing around made it impossible to create the best athlete experience. Athletes hand off their bike, then walk/run more than a .25 mile to their bag in their bike shoes, on pavement. Get their bag, then head into the changing tent. Below is the current layout with my suggestions. If, you need medical attention, you had to go all the way to the other end of the transition area with NO QUICK EGRESS. This was beyond me on why the race officials laid this out this way. Below my suggestion makes it more streamlined, better experience and provides MORE volunteers in the right places without volunteers standing around with their thumb up their butt like there was in 2018. I feel like there is a lot to improve up on this venue and with the other options on the circuit, I would pick other races. While the run course is very spectator friendly with loops, there are many dead spots with no support, so athletes, be ready for some demons to come out to play if you’re not comfortable in your own mind.
Would I do this race? Nope.