ISSUE #8, October/November 2000 – Veteran race director Jack Caress and the Pacific Sports Marketing staff worked for years to plan a world class triathlon in Los Angeles. They secured both the city and a national smoothie and juice fran-chise company as title sponsors for the first Jamba Juice City of Los Angeles Triathlon.
With the city as a lead sponsor the course was entirely inside the bor-ders of L.A. and encompassed many of its most famous landmarks. The swim started on the sandy shore of Venice Beach, and the warm late summer Pacific waters were calm and required no wetsuits. The race route included Hollywood Boulevard and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. T2 was downtown and the run leg went up the hill to Dodger Stadium and returned downtown for the finish.
The impressive list of sponsors enabled Caress and company to put together a $100,000 prize purse that offered up $20,000 for first, $10,000 for second, and $7,500 for third paces. They also contracted with a local television station who signed a 4 year commitment to broadcast the event.
The race was September 10th, a week before the Olympic Triathlons. Most of the short-distance heavy-weights in the triathlon world who were not at the Olympics were there. The Australians Chris McCormack, Greg Bennett, Chris Hill swept the men’s field. Wyoming’s Barb Lindquist, who had been heavily favored for a U.S. Olympic Team spot but had a DNF at the Dallas trials, took the women’s race. Coloradans Wes Hobson (11th-1:48:35), new pro Andy Johnson (26th-1:54:21), Kevin Carter (31st-1:55:09), and Tony DeBoom (45th-2:00:17) all went out with high hopes of taking a piece of the pie, but had trouble competing in such a powerful field.