Hundreds descended on WVHS on Sunday to race and set their own pace

Photos by Corey Evan
Every racer who participated received a medal even for crossing the finish line.

■ By Corey Evan / Reporter

When you take part in an annual event long enough, taking ownership of it just seems logical. For Tinsel Triathlon Principal and Certified Race Director Connie Hall, it truly was a no-brainer.
Hall, after directing the Triathlon for 17 years, purchased the Triathlon from United Way last March just in time to become owner for the 33rd Annual Tinsel Triathlon which was run at West Valley High School on Sunday, Dec. 9.
Roughly a thousand people suited up, including 500 pre-registrations and upward of 400 who registered the day of, laced up and pumped up their bike tires for this reverse marathon which begins with a 5K run, progresses to a lap around Diamond Valley Lake park on bicycle, then concludes with three laps around the pool before racers cross the finish line.
Proceeds from the Triathlon benefit the Tinsel Triathlon Foundation, a nonprofit seeking to encourage people to lead active lifestyles.
Hall being a new owner understands what it’s like for anyone signing up for the first time: “One thing about this race, there being a lot of newbies out here that have never done a triathlon before… This is the perfect race for anyone to become a triathlete.”
Providing musical entertainment throughout the morning was The Madd Platter Entertainment Co., featuring former 101.3 ‘The Mix’ DJ Bob Madden.
In addition to bottled water provided to the racers, spectators were able to grab a bite from The Original Dogodog.

A Hemet Fire Department truck was used to proudly raise the American flag for the Sunday race.

Also in attendance Sunday morning were city council members Bonnie Wright of Hemet and Russ Brown of San Jacinto. Brown joked about why he didn’t enter the race: “I’d be happy to join you myself… I run really fast, but I take too many steps in the same place!”
For Hemet Police Chief Rob Webb, who sounded the starting horn this year, the Triathlon stands as a source of pride for him and his community: “This is one of the best reverse triathlons in Southern California and it means a lot to the citizens of Hemet. We have all kinds of tax dollars rolling in, because people get to spend the day here. It’s a beautiful day in Hemet to shop and spend time in our beautiful valley.”
Every racer received a medal for crossing the finish line. But the top winners of the day would go home with trophies made of glass, as well as top finisher medals for each age group. The top winners in each race include:
Reverse Triathlon: Ronnie Toth, 31 | M, 55:17
5K: Eduardo Toris, 19 | M, 17:25
Relay: Craig Livingston, 48 | M, 56:47
Unlimited (Hand Cycles): Steven Peace, 44 | M, 58:15
Hall said she was thankful for Bear Designz, Downtown Deli & Coffee Company, Backyard Paintball, Sierra Springs, the Soboba Foundation, the City of Hemet, the Hemet Police Department and West Valley High School for their efforts in making this year’s Triathlon a success.
In case you had to sit this race out, you have plenty of time to train for the next one: Hall and her team are already planning the 34th Annual Tinsel Triathlon which will take place on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019.
You can learn more about the Tinsel Triathlon at tinseltriathlon.com

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