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Wildflower Triathlon will return to Lake San Antonio in May 2018

The Wildflower Triathlon will officially return to Lake San Antonio in May 2018 after a one-year absence. In this file photo, Virginia Berasategui of Spain crosses the finish line as she takes first place in the 27th Wildflower Long Course Triathlon at Lake San Antonio on Saturday May 2, 2009.
The Wildflower Triathlon will officially return to Lake San Antonio in May 2018 after a one-year absence. In this file photo, Virginia Berasategui of Spain crosses the finish line as she takes first place in the 27th Wildflower Long Course Triathlon at Lake San Antonio on Saturday May 2, 2009.

One of the most popular outdoor events on the Central Coast is returning after a one-year absence.

The Wildflower Triathlon — canceled in 2017 because of ongoing drought conditions — will be back May 4-6 at Lake San Antonio, event organizers announced this week.

Because of extremely low water levels in the lake and dwindling race entries, event organizers decided to cancel this year’s race for the first time since the inaugural event in 1983.

Lake San Antonio is “now within 5 percent of its maximum depth” thanks to one of the wettest winters in recent memory, organizers said.

Registration for the 2018 Wildflower Triathlon will open Sept. 19, and early registration discounts will apply through Sept. 30, according to the event’s website.

“The absence of the race in 2017 was a loss to all of us and the outpouring of support and encouragement has really motivated us to continue,” said Wildflower Triathlon founder and race director Terry Davis. “It has also given us the opportunity to take a look at the events and how we can even make them better.”

In 2016, the Wildflower Long Course Triathlon race included a 1.2-mile swim, 2.2-mile run, a 56-mile bike leg, and a cross-country, paved 10.9-mile run.

Six-time defending long course champion Jesse Thomas said in a Facebook post the Wildflower Triathlon is a reflection of the community that supports it.

“It’s hard for me to understate the importance of Wildflower in the launch and development of my career,” Thomas said. “I literally wouldn’t have the opportunities I have today as a professional without this race.”

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