SACRAMENTO – After 45 years, today is the last big race of Eppie. Often referred to as the "world's oldest triathlon," participation in the race, which began in 1974, has shrunk in recent years.
However, this year brought more than twice the number of racers last year.
It was a tradition, the highlight of our summer, "said racing driver Carlos Cesillas.
Another racer, June Ijana said," It was part of the Sacramento community, it's just an institution here. "
Eppie Great Race was an event that everyone attending participated in.
" It's such a huge community event, you know, it makes people run, paddle and ride bikes. It's always been, "said racing driver Dan Crandall
But now it's a triathlon nobody's going to do anymore.
" I'm so sad it's okay, "said race driver Nick Walker.
In The number of racers has dropped in recent years, the organizers needed around 1
But barely a thousand people came out in 2017.
"Eppie Johnson would not come to me I wished this event ended somehow," Will said Kepmton with Eppie's Wellness Foundation.
So the race of the founder and namesake of the race, Eppie Johnson, decided to start with a bang;
The organizers say that on Saturday, about 2,100 people wanted to run, paddle and paddle one last time
"Today it's more like 30 years ago. The number of people "The ghost, you know they're all there, a party vibe," Crandall said.
For Crandall, the race will hurt the current adventures of his kayak school because he says Eppie was the only triathlon in California to kayak
"It's an impact on all sports in this region," said Crandall.
A big reason why he hopes someone else will restart the triathlon.
"Anyone who has ever tried hopes that will happen," Crandall said.
But Ijana feels it has taken its course.
"There is such a character at Eppie, I do not want to see someone come and try to take Eppies and make it different," said Ijana. Anyway, Eppie's name, along with that of his wife, will now forever be associated with the American River Parkway.
The county dedicated a plaque to a grove in River Bend Park.
"And it's an appropriate tribute to these two people and all the time and effort and support they gave," said Kepmton.
Crandall added, "I must thank Eppie Johnson for what he thought of, what he created and all the incredible fun we have had year after year in these races."
Eppie's name is still with him a duathlon for children to be held on September 30 at Discovery Park.