Overall Rating
Overall Rating (3 Reviews)
3
(3 Ratings)  (3 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
4
SCENERY
4.7
PRODUCTION
3
SWAG
4
This Alpha Win Triathlon takes place in a one-of-a-kind location! Napa Valley is one of the treasures of the United States and the historic Indian Springs Resort and Spa is California’s oldest continuously operating pool and spa facility. Lake Berryessa is breathtakingly beautiful. This rugged, yet majestic natural setting is home … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of Jake Pickett
    j.pickett67 SPECTATOR '17

    After witnessing the unprofessional race coordination of HITS Napa Valley this past weekend, I will never be competing in any HITS affiliated race ever again. The lack of concern for … MORE

    After witnessing the unprofessional race coordination of HITS Napa Valley this past weekend, I will never be competing in any HITS affiliated race ever again.

    The lack of concern for safety for any of their participants is incredibly concerning. Just to list a few of the things that were poorly executed about the race(I elaborate on each in the following paragraphs): no medical tent, no medical contingency plan, no mount/dismount line, transition area was not monitored to check if bikes were being stolen, unorganized race coordinator communication, dangerous road into/out of transition, bad swim course design, and overall lack of care for athletes of the race.

    First off, there was NO medical tent/facility for the race. The race expected that the single ambulance and firetruck would take care of the 1500 participants of the race. One of the members on my team crashed during the race on Saturday and was refused medical service (i.e. dressing her wounds) because EMS needed to ration their bandages for emergencies. After/during Saturday’s race we demanded that there be a better medical response on Sunday for the safety of the 1500 athletes competing. After long discussions, a race official promised that there would be a medical tent on Sunday. Guess what?? STILL NO MEDICAL TENT ON SUNDAY. Sunday morning after not seeing a medical tent, I went to find EMS and CHP. They were just as pissed as I was.

    On Saturday, the Half and Full Distance races were an ABSOLUTE DISASTER. Although it’s hard to account for bad weather, the race had no contingency plan for the cold weather. All news articles are estimating that 30 people started to get hypothermia; after personally helping about 30 people at ONE SPOT on the bike course, my guess is that the number is upwards of 60. Athletes were riding in to where our team was cheering for the race, and they were shaking uncontrollably because of how cold they were. There was no response from the race coordinators at all and the spectators started taking off jackets, huddling around the athletes for warmth, and putting them in heated cars. These were only the people who were able to ride all the way to where we were cheering, yet there were still dozens of people stranded, freezing on the course. Random people started driving the course and picking up athletes who had gotten off their bikes and were shivering on the side of the road. There were NO race affiliates sweeping the course. I could go on and on about how awful Saturday was, but the race coordinator’s response was just pitiful. Also, apparently EMS dispatched every unit they had in the entire surrounding area to HITS on Saturday. EMS were the ones that supplied warm blankets to the athletes. The race had NOTHING planned. The “warm tent” that they claimed to have was a vendor who decided to turn on the heater for themselves during the race.

    NO mount/dismount line. Maybe I’m privileged to have competed solely in races that had mount/dismount lines, but I thought this was a stable of triathlon? Instead of the typical mount/dismount line for athletes for get on/off their bikes, there was an area outside of transition where volunteers were quietly telling people to get on their bikes. The area to get on your bike was about 8 feet wide and laden with a giant pothole in the middle. When two people were trying to get on their bike, there wasn’t room for anyone else to get through. We talked to the HITS official in charge of the mount/dismount “area” and suggested that they put down a line with chalk or spray paint. THEY THOUGHT THAT WAS A GREAT IDEA AND ASKED US TO DO IT FOR THEM. THEY HAD NEVER HEARD OF A MOUNT/DISMOUNT LINE BEFORE. I honestly wonder if they had ever seen a triathlon before trying to host one themselves.

    I easily could have walked into the transition area and stolen TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars’ worth of bikes. My friend walked into transition to grab the bike of another friend who had to drop out of the Half on Saturday and no one checked the bike as he was walking out. Another person on our team did the same thing. Finally, to bring up this point to the officials, an athlete on our team walked out of transition and told a volunteer/race official that they should check to make sure that his number matched his bike. They looked at the number on his helmet and saw that it matched the number on his bike, so they said that he was good to go…HE COULD HAVE STOLEN ANY HELMET AND BIKE PAIR AND WALKED OUT. CHECK THE NUMBER ON HIS ARM.

    I personally tried tracking down the race director for 3 hours on Saturday and no one knew who was in charge. Finally, someone who was in charge of registration, Sara, took our request and that’s when we were promised a medical tent for Sunday which never showed up. Also, I told Sara (basically in charge of everything at/near Transition) that there was basically a disaster on the bike course in the morning and asked if she had heard about it. She said, yes I know that there’s about 3 ambulances there now helping people. WRONG. There were well over 15 ambulances, firetrucks, CHP Officers etc. Needless to say, there was no (or very poor…) communication between parts of the race.

    There was a single road going from the course/campsites/run course/bike course into the transition area. This one road was where all cars, spectators, bike in, bike out, run in, and run out all traversed. Did I mention that the road is roughly 15-20 ft wide(this might be a generous estimate) and laden with potholes? An athlete on our team was basically forced to crash coming in on the bike, because a car was in the road, a spectator on the other side, a huge speed bump in the middle and nowhere for him to go. Both his knees ended up very bloody, but he finished the race. Did he get medical attention or at least someone to wash off the blood after the race? Nope.

    The swim course was poorly designed. All of the waves had to cross over each other. On Sunday, as the first people from the Sprint were getting close to shore, the race official set off another wave that cut directly in front of them. These top two athletes were forced to make their way through the start of a 50 person wave. The course easily could have been modified by starting 20 feet to the right to make this not happen. The buoys were also tiny on Saturday and larger buoys were horribly placed on Sunday.

    Finally, I genuinely don’t believe that the race cared for anything except your money. The start of the swim wave was a person quietly counting down: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, go. I was spectating 25 feet away and didn’t even hear him say “go”. I’m guessing this lack of care has been evident for a couple years now, because they hardly had any volunteers for the race. I was planning on cheering on the race all weekend, but ended up volunteering the majority of the time by directing traffic, helping the hypothermic athletes and simply trying to find someone in charge to make the race safer.

    On the bright side, the race course is in a beautiful area. The hills were a beautiful green and lake was full. If you are looking for a “pretty” course, and have ZERO CONCERN for the safety of yourself, safety of others, safety of your equipment, and a race that barely cares that you are there, then this is the race for you 🙂

    I’m probably missing several things, but my fingers are still cold from giving away my gloves and jacket on Saturday. Please beware triathletes. Thanks!

    -A cheering triathlete turned into traffic control coordinator, EMS responder, CHP/EMS ambassador

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

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    Profile photo of Lydia Collins
    lydiaccollins FIRST-TIMER '15

    Not the most organized event I have attended. I was not a first time triathlete but could see it being difficult for newbies. Location is perfect for a long weekend. … MORE

    Not the most organized event I have attended. I was not a first time triathlete but could see it being difficult for newbies. Location is perfect for a long weekend.
    Course is beautiful but the water is very (VERY) cold, consider booties!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    My Report
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    UKCathryn SPECTATOR '15

    I didn't race this myself, my husband did the half ironman distance so my feedback is based on his comments. On the whole, we thought this was an excellent event. … MORE

    I didn’t race this myself, my husband did the half ironman distance so my feedback is based on his comments. On the whole, we thought this was an excellent event. The Ironman distance/half was a fairly small event (we think only about 30 people did the full distance). Packet Pick Up on the morning was very fast and easy. Transition was incredibly well organised – each competitor had their own labelled spot. The swim was in Lake Berryessa and it was VERY cold, my husband struggled to deal with the cold water for a while and a lot of smaller, thinner women looked pretty chilly at T1. The bike course was very rolling – constantly up and down – and the run course was similar and not shaded. Also note that there is no crowd support for the entirety of the course. Worth bearing in mind and being prepared for.
    All the above sounds like criticism, it’s NOT. We thought this was an excellent event. Competitors got a good tech T, a cracking medal, a solid post-race lunch. Plenty of portapotties. Also there was a food truck at the staging area for spectators. I also really liked the non-profit which put on a children’s play area which I hugely appreciated. This is one of the earlier Tris in the season and this spectator and her competitor really rated it.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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