The Malibu Triathlon

The ND Triathlon Club travels to Malibu to compete.

The 34th Annual Malibu Triathlon at Zuma Beach, sponsored by Bank of America, was held on September 26th, 2021. This was the first year the Notre Dame Triathlon Club competed in this competition, and Ms. Nicholas said “I picked this race for the kids because it’s a local race in beautiful Malibu. I also like that they partner and raise funds for Children’s Hospital LA. In this race, you get to do a great race and perform an act of charity all in one event.” She added that “I personally did Malibu for the first time in 2014 when I was new to the sport. I watched my brother James compete the year prior for the DreamWorks team and it inspired me to sign up. After I raced the following year, I was hooked on the sport.” Since its inception, the Malibu triathlon has raised $16 million for pediatric cancer research at the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. This year it has raised almost 900k. The ND Triathlon Club raised over $2,000 this year for the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital.


The ND Triathlon Club arrived in the early morning in beautiful Zuma Beach in Malibu to prepare for the multi-event race. Top row left to right: Nathan Shindich ‘23, Baeden Fancher ‘22, Evelyn Baldwin ‘22, Fabiola Bejarano ‘23, Ethan Day ‘24, Leo Wexler ‘25, Cate Shepherd ‘23, Julia Miyamoto ‘23, Sofia Rips ‘22
Bottom row left to right: Ms. Nicholas, Coach Kramer


The term ‘triathlon’ is derived from two Greek roots:  treis (three) and athlos (competition). The foundations were in France in the 1920s as multi-event races, which later developed more specific rules. It was brought to America in the 1970’s by the San Diego Track Club as an alternative workout to the rigors of track training. The 10k run, 8km cycle, and a 500m center swim were all incorporated in the club’s first event. Over the next decades, triathlon’s popularity continued to increase, and gradually gained worldwide recognition. Now, it has evolved into the Olympic Triathlon consisting of a 1.5km swim, 40km bicycle, and 10k run. 

The Malibu Triathlon was slightly different from the standard triathlon. The Malibu race was an 800-meter swim, an 18-mile bike, and a 4-mile run. Ms. Nicholas noted that “the traditional format includes a sprint is 500-800 meter swim, 8-10 mile bike ride, and 3-mile run. Typically the order goes, swim, bike, run.”

The boy’s relay team included Nathan Shindich as the swimmer, Baeden Fancher as the cyclist, and Ethan Day as the runner. They finished with a blazing time of 1:47:16. The girl’s relay team consisting of Julia Miyamoto as the swimmer, Cate Shepherd as the cyclist, and Evelyn Baldwin as the runner finished at the top of the 14-17 age group with a time of 1:53:28 There were three ND individual racers, meaning they did all three components of the race by themselves. The individual racers were Sofia Rips, Leo Wexler, and Fabiola Bejarano and they all ended up finishing in the top ten in their age group categories, respectively.  

After the race, Ms. Nicholas noted that “immediately after the race, the kids were already talking about ‘next year.’’ She has hopes that Triathlon will become a CIF sport soon. Senior Evelyn Baldwin ’22, who ran for the girl’s relay team added that “I plan on competing in intramural triathlons in college.” 

There are a few races in the spring that the club will be participating in and will likely participate in the Malibu triathlon again. Ms. Nicholas added that the goal of the club is for “members of our team qualify for USA Triathlon regional and national championships. There is a whole high school division and competition under USAT just for high school students.”

If you are even remotely interested in the triathlon club, Ms. Nicholas encourages you to come. “All you need is the will to try and you will finish the race. You can be skilled in all three sports or brand new and we will teach you how. There are many options under triathlon such as Aquathlon (swim and run), Aquabike (swim and bike), and Duathlon (bike and run). If there is one sport that you don’t want to do, you can try the other race options. We also welcome anyone who wants to just do one sport.”

We wish the best of luck to the triathlon club at their competitions in the spring!