Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


"I decided prior to turning 30 I was going to not only participate and finish a triathlon I was going to get over two of my childhood fears... Water and a bike (a 2wheel death trap as I call it).As a young child I was in a horrific bike accident and I NEVER wanted to get on another bike, and as for water i crashed through the ice (only for a moment) but was traumatized to the point I'll freak with shower water hits my face. I am an athlete so I knew when my clock started my mind would click into gear and I would push through and finish.  I am happy to say this is my 3rd time competing the course.  I still have freak outs in the water and sometimes cry with terror for a good 6-8 of the 12 miles on the bike.  Thankfully as I slowly peddle, most of the ladies rushing past me cheer and provide much needed support.  The most gratifying part of the race was hitting the finish line, not just because I finished but because my 80 year old father (who has stage 3 Alzheimer’s) thought I had won the race, and could remember how terrified I was of bikes and water growing up.

A huge Thanks to GNT for giving me courage and helping me overcome my greatest fears…Not to mention a much needed trip down memory lane in my father’s eyes!!!

So if you should talk to my dad and he tells you his daughter won …Just go with it ;)"

“The big thing I will remember about this race is that the entire event is full of energetic, encouraging, inspiring racers and volunteers, and when you finish your body might be weary but your soul feels like a million bucks.”

“My husband, my friend and I were all involved in the triathlon today, and had an absolute blast!! We spent the morning at the bike corral at Red Robin, and as I left to take the shuttle to the pool, there were smiles all around. The positive energy and encouragement from all the volunteers certainly helped keep me motivated. It is truly amazing how an event like this can take place with strictly a volunteer crew. Everybody involved was very helpful, and seemed genuinely happy to be there. I thank you so much for organizing such a great event, and look forward to volunteering and participating next year. Also, a big "THANK YOU!!!!" to all the sponsors, without whom this event would not take place.”      ---Lisa #1087

“This was the best organized race that I’ve ever participated in and I heard comments about how smooth it went all day.  I think that one of the coolest things about it is that the race caters equally to the average participant as it does to the elite racer.  We all follow the same rules.  The other amazing thing is the level of support from participant to participant.  For some reason Courtney didn’t get her circle swim for a couple of laps and several people guided her.  Then they all cheered her on the rest of the swim. Plus, a number of people approached us later and said how impressed they were that she did the race.  I also love chatting with all the new participants – they are just so jazzed and everyone has a great story to tell.”

“Not only am I going to do the event next year, but I'm going to get my 3 sisters to get in the race. We will be at the ceremony tonight, to see who won, and see the mother/daughter crew. I have to say I was inspired, and will be ready for next year's event :)”

“The volunteer at the bike drop-off was awesome.  I don't know her name but felt her energy and "take control" attitude when she grabbed my bike (knowing my legs were jello) and assured me that everything would get back with my bike to the bike pick-up area.  My lap counter was sweet, encouraging and cheering me on....very empathetic!  They all cheered everyone on during the biking and running!  I am already planning what to do for next year's and may consider volunteering after my race is done.”

“My daughter, (12) and I had such an incredible time doing the Gold Nugget Triathlon yesterday!  The 2007 Gold Nugget was my first tri last year and I talked my daughter into participating this year (truth: actually signed her up without even asking – then talked her into it ). We counted laps from 8:30 until 12:30 which was a great preparatory experience for my daughter as she got We counted laps from 8:30 until 12:30 which was a great preparatory experience for my daughter as she got to see people of every conceivable ability swimming their hearts out – (She was most worried about swimming). The swarm of positivity, enthusiasm and shear courage is so uplifting!  I am inspired!”  --Suzanne

“Great event! Love the all-comer attitude. It has been a great motivation for many women to get in shape for the summer. We need more positive healthy events like this through the year. “

“This was my first triathlon and I loved it! It all seemed to go very smoothly and the volunteers were great. Can’t wait for next year!”

“Just happy we have the GNT. I love the scope of the field – the fact that it includes serious athletes as well as casual participants and everyone in-between – and that each year, somehow, all levels seem to mesh so well together and no one is excluded. Love the supportive environment! The spirit of the event in this way is the BEST!”

“Once again I am in awe of the GNT! This year’s race was only my second GNT, and again, what a wonderful experience. I have encouraged coworkers and this year they too enjoyed themselves after overcoming ‘triathlon fear’. It’s just so much fun to go out and do it knowing that everyone else out there with you is of the same mindset (a little scared, tired, and proud). See you next year!”

 “It was my first triathlon and I was awed from the get-go how well it was organized, from putting my bike/gear the night before in the transition zone, to the actual race.  The positive spirit was wonderful.  It seemed every volunteer who I passed as I raced said something positive: "You're looking great!",  "Beautiful corner (on the bike)!", "Go, girl!  You're almost there!"  The spirit was contagious we racers told each other as we were passed or were passing someone, "Good job, " Looking good, "  etc.  It seemed the entire race was a big cheerleading squad!” -- Cheryl

“Twelve years ago this July, I was in a car accident that broke my body up. I broke my leg, my pelvis, compressed two vertebrae in my back and had a head injury. I had always been fit, never skinny, and my strong core muscles and young age (25) helped me heal.  I didn't work for just short of a year as I healed. I gained over 50 pounds during that time. This can be explained by my lack of activity as I healed, as well as the depression I suffered during that time. Three years ago I realized how big I had become and that I couldn't keep blaming it on the accident. So through portion control and walking, I reached my goal weight this spring, 90 pounds gone.  I have participated in 3- day, 60 mile breast cancer fundraiser walks for the last three years outside which kept me walking, but this year I wanted to prove my fitness by doing the GNT too.  I should mention that I graduated from UAA two weeks ago, 20 years after I graduated from Palmer High. I did the bike for women the morning of graduation, and earned the triple  
finishers patch this year but will complete all four of the women's events this year. I have never done any of them before.So here I am, 90 pounds lighter and in the best shape of my life.” 

“I wanted to tell you about my 12-year-old daughter, who took part yesterday for the first time. This year she has been very worried about body shape, and the fact that she's not willowy like her dancer and gymnast friends. Yesterday, she completed the triathlon all on her own, and finished as a strong woman and an athlete.”

If you would like to share your story with us at the Gold Nugget Triathlon, please send it to Sheila Swanson at shelia.e.reilly@gmail.com

Click here to view "The 2010 Gold Nugget Triathlon movie,"
featuring athletes and volunteers from the 2010 event, created by George Stransky.

Click here to view a slideshow of 2011 photos courtesy of Trent Grasse Portrait Design

Video from the 2012 GNT by George Stransky

Video from the 2013 GNT by George Stransky (Part Two)