San Luis Obispo’s annual triathlon has been canceled for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
City Parks and Recreation Director Greg Avakian said officials were concerned they would not have enough resources and time to plan the July event which also led to its cancellation.
That’s because the triathlon is much more than just a swim, bike and run contest — it can draw around 2,000 San Luis Obispo community members and requires at least six months of planning and involvement of local businesses, sponsorships and city agencies including police and public works, Avakian said.
“It just turned out that at this time, to do it properly and safely and up to a certain professional standard, we just don’t feel we had enough time to do this,” Avakian said.
In order to keep up the momentum of a four-decades-long tradition without the triathlon, Avakian said his team is considering having smaller community events during the summer that abide by county and state guidelines instead.
Avakian said rather than having a 2,000-person event, “we can do a few hundred at a time based on the county guidelines to kind of bring our community back together in a different format.”
Since 2017, Dylan Kuzemko, the store manager at Cambria Bicycle Outfitter, has volunteered at the yearly event and helped with bike checkups at the triathlon. The best part, according to Kuzemko, is “helping people and making sure they’re ready for the tri,” he said.
The cancellation was a bummer for him but he said it’s understandable.
“Public safety is the No. 1 priority and I get that,” Kuzemko said. “I’m just looking forward to when it can come back.”