Wildflower is an Iconic triathlon event in triathlon that is on many triathletes short list of ‘to do” races. Diamondback Bicycles / Wattie Ink athlete Dusty Nabor offers some advice to ensure you’re getting the most out of your own personal Wildflower experience:
1. Savor the Venue.
Wildflower is held at the beautiful Lake San Antonio Resort and Marina in San Luis Obispo County just outside of Paso Robles, Ca. The venue is basically tailor made for a triathlon. The campground is HUGE and has everything you need for overnight lodging. The expo area offers unique ways to engage with the product suppliers who create the fantastic triathlon equipment we all rely on. The Wattie Ink Team will be kicking it at the Diamondback Expo playing with our new Serios bikes, getting them dialed. The lake itself is stunning, and even with last year’s low water levels it provided one of the best swim venues in all of triathlon. The bike leg of the Long Course race is a single loop permanently marked for the event with the most gorgeous scenery imaginable. The run course winds its way throughout the campgrounds insuring there’s never a moment alone. Simply put, the venue is so good; you almost never realize how challenging the terrain really is….almost.
Some decades ago, standing on the deck of the UCSD pool after a
rigorous master’s swim workout, I overheard two college students.
“There are a lot of very fit athletes here.”
“Yeah, but not many healthy ones.”
conversation intrigued me. What did they mean? What was the difference
between fitness and health and where did I fit on that continuum? Some
weeks later, I surmised, the claim was in reference to the dozens of
world class triathletes who constituted the noon-time workout. And the
reference inferred that as you move into the upper echelons of elite
multisport and gain a superior level of fitness, you necessarily
sacrifice basic health.
If this was the case, I wondered if there were to be costs to my
colleagues and I as we chased titles around the globe, training
excessively without the modern benefit of technology-based bio
information. Was our desire to win through performance causing us to
lose through the sacrifice of simple health? The answer(s) to those
questions were to come much later when age, illness, time, and tide had
washed over us.
As any human being who’s read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
knows, you shouldn’t ever be without your towel. Any self-respecting
Wildflower Triathlon veteran knows that the same holds true for life at
the Woodstock of Tri, along with a few more essential items. Below
you’ll find a quick top ten of must-have/must-do items and actions to
make your life easier at Lake San Antonio.
Book/Chair. There is very little in the way of cellular coverage in the
park, and one of the joys of this race is disconnecting from the
digital world for a few days. Bring a book you’ve been meaning to claw
through, and a comfortable folding chair in which to read it.
2. French Press. There is also not much in the way of coffee around
the park, and what there is usually requires a long walk to retrieve it.
Bring a French press so mornings are a little more civilized.
Open water swimming can be exhilarating, liberating, and a little scary.
I’ve competed in over 200 open water swim races and triathlons,
volunteered as a safety paddler at a number of triathlons, and
instructed junior lifeguards for nearly a decade. I’ve learned that
with proper preparation, anyone who can swim can swim in open water.
The three most important things to do to prepare for open water swimming
are: 1) swim in open water; 2) swim in open water; and 3) swim in open
I’ve already put a couple of plugs out on the social media channels,
but wanted to make it “official” for all the craziest ass of my fans
that I am in fact headed back to Wildflower this year - along with
fellow Bend-ite, 3-time defending champ, and overall awesomeness,
To me, this race obviously means a lot. It was my first win, the
first time I felt legitimized as a pro, the devastating surprise end of
my season on a roll, and probably my most shocking performance ever in a
But to be perfectly honest, I’m not heading back to Wildflower
because I want to “defend” or continue a streak or anything like that.
Sure, I would like to do those things, but that’s not the reason I’m
headed back. I’m headed back because I love it, for a lot of reasons.
All of which I’ve talked about many times before.