The 40th annual San Luis Obispo Triathlon kicked off early Sunday morning.
The course consists of a half-mile swim, 15-mile bike and 3.1-mile run. Participants are sent in waves throughout the day and can join the event as individuals or as a part of a relay team.
Participants must be 15 years old to sign-up for the triathlon.
The motto of the event is “Completion Over Competition” and staff encourage people of all abilities and experiences to participate.
Community volunteers help run the triathlon by assisting with set-up, tear-down and managing booths throughout the course. Volunteers count laps at the pool, monitor barricades for vehicle traffic, direct participant traffic on the course and cheer on participants.
Bill Fieldhouse has been volunteering with the San Luis Obispo Triathlon for almost 30 years and he said it’s something he loves doing.
“Oh my middle name is ‘Volunteer,’ so I do a lot of volunteering all over the city,” Fieldhouse said. “It’s helpful for the city and I enjoy being with people.”
Olivia Hirsh was competing with her father, Michael Hirsh, at the SLO Triathlon for the second time Sunday morning. She said he encouraged her to get involved with triathlons.
“It’s pretty inspiring to watch my dad do it for the past 10 years,” Hirsh said. “I just felt like it was something I really wanted to share with him.”