Wildflower Experience turns 35 & the celebration was AWESOME!

Wildflower is BACK! And age 35 never looked so good. The weekend had perfect conditions - dry, hot and lots of dirt. But what wasn't dry was Lake San Antonio. The lake was stunning and full!

For those unfamiliar with the Wildflower Experience event aka "Woodstock of Triathlon", there was a bit of drama last year. Drama because the race was canceled. The lake was dried up and the changes with event partners. 

But the race is back and they even added several new events to the weekend. Aside from the Wildflower Long Course, Olympic Distance and Sprint Distance triathlon races, they added a 5K and 10K trail run and stand-up paddle board races. So there was a lot going on all weekend and a lot of participants. Even got us thinking we should at least jump on a paddle board next year. 

The Long Course race was intense! Team Zealios had 3 pro athletes racing the Long Course - Jesse Thomas (6-time Wildflower winner), Heather Jackson (4-time Wildflower winner) and Jesse Vondracek.

Jesse Thomas Ironman at transition 1 of Wildflower Triathlon

Jesse Thomas Ironman with a second place finish at Wildflower Triathlon

Jesse Thomas pulled out a 2nd place finish just 2 minutes behind Rudy von Berg, a speedy 25 year old. Jesse's finish speak was heartfelt and a little tough to hear. After winning 6 consecutive times you can only imagine how hard it might be to finally not be at the top. But Jesse said he felt like he was handing over the torch to Rudy and the next generation of racers. Tear jerker, right?!

Jesse Thomas Ironman at Wildflower Triathlon finish with wife Lauren Fleshman and family

 The crazy Jesse Vondracek came in 7th just 1 week after racing at the North American championships in Texas. He said he's cramming races in before he and his wife welcome a new baby to the family.

Jesse Vondracek finishes 7th at Wildflower Triathlon in Bradely, CA

Heather Jackson absolutely crushed the course and had the lead for much of the race. This was Heather's 4th win at Wildflower. She apologized for missing the race in 2016 when she decided to race IRONMAN 70.3 St. George instead and said she'd never miss Wildflower again. Bam!

Heather Jackson Ironman wins Wildflower Triathlon

Heather Jackson Ironman does a victory lap at Wildflower Triathlon

After cheering our tushes off, we put our dancing shoes on (Chacos & Rainbow flip flops really) for the 80's dance party held in the middle of a dirt field with a trailer bed as the stage. A perfect way to end a kick ass weekend camping, hanging and meeting good people.

Wildflower Triathlon 80's after party

Happy 35th Anniversary Wildflower! 

Oh, and next year, who's in on a houseboat? 

Lake San Antonio in Bradely, CA the beautiful location Wildflower Triathlon