On Saturday, August 16, a field of close to 600 first-timer, few-timer, and many-timer triathletes will be on hand to take on the third of four scheduled triathlons with the On Your Mark Events’ 27th annual Tri For Fun Triathlon Series, at Shadow Cliffs Regional Park, in Pleasanton, Calif.

Utilizing the lake and rolling hills of Shadow Cliff Park and the flat paved roads running through Pleasanton and Livermore, the Tri For Fun features a course distance of 400-yard Swim (warm, clean lake); 11-mile bike(loop course, flat streets); 3.1-mile run (rolling fire trail). The course is perfect for the newcomer as well as the seasoned triathlete. Along with the shorter (than usual tri distance) course and the safe, friendly, and non-competitive atmosphere, the Tri For Fun makes an excellent event for the numerous first-time triathletes. It’s not unusual to see a 9-year old running along side with a 78-year old.

Providing a fantastic experience for all participants is truly our main goal with the Tri-For-Fun,” says On Your Mark Events’ Co-principal Mark Aiton. “We have made so many wonderful friends through the years because of the Tri For Fun. There are now literally thousands of people who cut their triathlon teeth with the Tri For Fun, and they keep coming back, as well as take part with our other longer-distance triathlons.”

The Tri-For-Fun Series is the goal for literally hundreds of first-time triathletes each year. Many of them have been working out with Bay Area gyms, such as YMCA’s, and a number of Team in Training groups. Throughout the season series, at least 60% of all the participants will be beginners.

Why does this triathlon still thrive so well after so many years? Many participants will tell you it’s the entire the experience: the friendly and fun atmosphere, pleasant scenery, and a great course. Whether it’s the very first finisher, or the very last, everyone gets a roaring cheer at the finish line. Triathlete magazine agrees, when they once named the Tri For Fun Triathlon Series as one of the best triathlons in Northern America, a few years ago.

After the novice athletes master the first three Tri For Funs, they can meet the challenge of the final event – the Tri For Real. The final event of the series is held at the same location, but the distances have been increased to 700-yard swim, 19-mile bike, and 4-mile run. The Tri For Real is also professionally timed, giving our official results.

Many veteran triathletes say the Tri For Fun Series provides the ultimate training and practice session for longer-distance triathlons. This group is always sent out in the “first wave,” so they can jump way ahead of the less experienced. The consistent course also allows routine time-trial checks of fitness or gives an outstanding “brick” workout for the experienced triathlete. These participants use the short-course triathlons to sharpen their racing and transition techniques.

The 2014 On Your Mark Tri For Fun Series dates are June 8, July 19, and August 16. The Tri-For-Real will be held on September 14. All races will start at 7:00 a.m., at Shadow Cliffs Regional Park, 2500 Stanley Blvd., Pleasanton.

Timing Options

The three Tri For Fun triathlons are non-timed and non-competitive. A clock is provided at finish line for participants to view their personal time. Triathletes can choose to participate in this mode, or they can officially chipped-timed. Should participants choose to be timed, their results will be recorded and posted on the On Your Mark Events’ website’s results page.

Entry fee for the three Tri For Funs is $65 (non-timed) and $73 (chip timed) in advance, $10 will be added to race-day registrants. Preregistered entry for relay teams is $180 (non-timed) and $188 (chip timed), $10 will be added to race-day registrants. Participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt, refreshments, snacks, and entry into the always-exciting raffle (must be present to win). For September’s Tri For Real, all participants are chip timed ($75.00 advance, and $85.00 day-of). Preregistered entry for relay teams is $210, $10 will be added to race-day registrants. The Tri For Real includes the same goodies as the Tri For Funs, with addition of trophies and medals. Multiple-triathlon discounts are available.

Check-in and registration will begin at 5:00 a.m., with the first wave hitting the water at 7:00 a.m.

To register or to receive more information about the Tri For Fun Triathlon Series, contact On Your Mark Events at 209-795-7832 or visit their website. Online registration is also available on Active.com.