Auburn World's Toughest Half Ironman

by Ron Salvatori
(Sacramento, CA, USA)

Auburn World's Toughest Half Ironman

Location & Country:
Auburn, CA, USA


The Race Course:


The swim is open water in Folsom Lake. It is counter-clockwise, with chilly to mild temperatures in the morning. There is a mandatory 10 minute warm-up period to prevent cold starts.


The bike is a very challenging hill course through Auburn along Interstate 80. There are lots of out-of-the-saddle moments on this course. Do not expect to PR on this course.

The run is on mixed trail and road. There are three loops of 1 mile of flat, 1 mile of gradual descent (120'), 1.25 mile of mostly flat, 1 mile of gradual climb (120').

This is a two transition area race. T1 can get crowded and there is a little run from the swim out. T2 is wide open with room to hang out after the race.

Overall Organisation And Atmosphere Of Race

Easy-going atmosphere with very little sponsorship pressure. Smaller field, usually in the 700 range. The elevation and scenery of this event make it a great warm up to an Ironman or 70.3 qualifying event.

Top Tips For Other Triathletes:

Ride to T1 (6 miles) to warm up, it's mostly downhill, no stress about leaving a car, etc. Road bike is preferred with the amount of climbing involved. Use clip-ons for flat recoveries.

Overall Would I Recommend This Race?


My Race Story:

I've done this race three years in a row and look forward to it every year. It's an early season race and challenges all three sports and sets the tone for your season. I've worked hard on hill climbing on the bike and now need to work on the same on the run. Do not go into this race under-trained.

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