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.
As soon as my race season ended last year with another, but most
memorable, IRONMAN Arizona finish, I thought to myself, what's next?
It's always - rest, recover and then TRAIN FOR WILDFLOWER! It's one of
those races you can't just show up to "have fun" or have a "catered
training day." Are those types of races out there? Sure, but Wildflower
isn't that race and that’s what makes it perfect for people like us,
triathletes. It's the bucket list race of all bucket list races. It's
one of those you have to start frantically training for WAY too soon in
the season because you don't want to suffer. Suffer you will, but the
race, the race experience, the venue and the people will make it all
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.
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.
Over the past couple weeks I’ve had the pleasure of talking to some of
my favorite people in the sport of triathlon. After receiving
confirmation that both Jesse Thomas and Heather Jackson were returning
to defend their titles I immediately called Bob Babbitt (an industry
leader, Wildflower participant for more years that I can recall and dear
friend) to set up a podcast so we could announce their return in a fun
fashion. Joining Bob as co-host of the podcast was Paul Huddle
(Wildflower champion in 1991).