The Herbalife Triathlon will be held today in Torrance for the first time, replacing a course that stretched from Venice Beach to downtown Los Angeles.
The change stems from a desire by Pacific Sports, which operates the race, and Torrance city officials to have an International Triathlon Union World Cup race in Torrance, according to race publicist Jan Fambro. An International Triathlon Union World Cup race has never been held in the Los Angeles area.
Most international races, including the Olympics, are held on loop courses, which allow spectators to view more of the race than a point-to-point course. The cycling and running portions of the Herbalife Triathlon will be on loop courses.
The 15th annual race is scheduled to begin at 6:45 a.m. with the swimming portion in the water off Torrance Beach, followed by the cycling and running portions, which will both end on Torrance Beach.
The race consists of six divisions — pro, Olympic distance, sprint, super sprint, and two youth divisions, one for triathletes ages 7-10, the other for 11-14-year-olds. There will also be a separate 5-kilometer run.
The six women in the professional field will get a six-minute, 11-second head start over the 12 men. The first person crossing the finish line will receive $3,000 and the runner-up $2,000. Each of the top six finishers will receive prize money.
The professionals will compete on the sprint course — consisting of a 700-yard swim, two loops of the cycling course (9.5 miles) and two loops of the road portion of the running course and one loop on the sand (5 kilometers).
The Olympic course consists of a 1,500-meter swim, five loops of the cycling course (22.5 miles) and three full loops of the running course (10 kilometers).
The super sprint course consists of a 250-yard swim, one loop of the cycling course (5.5 miles) and one loop of the running course on sand (1 kilometer).
The race has attracted a capacity field of 1,500, about 1,000 fewer than last year’s race.
Organizers decided to limit the field to 1,500 because “the city of Torrance and Pacific Sports felt that 1,500 was a good number for an inaugural course, with the understanding that in coming years, this number would increase,” Fambro said.
The race has drawn triathletes from 19 states and 12 nations.
Because the running portion will be on a bicycle path and the beach, will not impact traffic in any manner with the exception of Paseo De La Playa, which will be closed.
Street closures for the cycling course will begin at 6 a.m. and end when all the cyclists have left the course, which is expected at approximately 10:45 a.m.
No cars will be allowed in or out, except emergency vehicles directed by the Torrance Police Department. Cars left on the cycling course will be towed. People needing to leave the area before 10:45 a.m. must park on an adjacent street.
Here is a list of street closures:
— Via Riviera;
— Calle Miramar from Via Riviera to Camino De Encanto;
— Camino De Encanto to Calle Mayor;
— Via Anita to Paseo De Los Reyes;
— Paseo De Los Reyes;
— Calle De Arboles; and
— the upper portion of Paseo De Las Tortugas.
For those traveling on Palos Verdes Boulevard, traffic will be controlled by traffic officers who will allow vehicles to pass intermittently through the intersection of Palos Verdes Boulevard and Calle Mayor.
Traffic officers will be monitoring the speed and number of cyclists approaching the intersection and timing available opportunities for vehicles to safely cross over. Delays of 10-15 minutes are expected, according to Fambro.