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Eppie’s a race for all ages

Thousands expected for historic triathlon in Sacramento on Saturday
By: Megan Sanders Journal Correspondent
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Guy Cables and Zachary Brenner are two local contestants in the 36th Annual Eppie’s Great Race. The race is Saturday and is one of the oldest triathlons in the world. It features a 12.5-mile bike race, a 5.82-mile run and a 6.35-mile paddle. The race is along the American River Parkway. “It is Sacramento’s jewel,” said founder Eppie Johnson, a well-known restauranteur. There are more than 2,000 people expected at the race, and 500 participating in the Kaiser Permanente kids duathlon. “We’ve had people come from across the country to this event,” Johnson said. Johnson said that Eppie’s teams are comprised of people who are well known in the community and also are active in the race. Guy Cables owner of Sierra Outdoor Center in Auburn, is on Eppie’s Great Team. “I am the team paddler,” Cables said. Cables said that he was asked by Johnson to be the paddler for the team, and that Johnson was impressed with his time on the course. “Whitewater is more my specialty,” Cables said. “It was flattering to be asked.” He said that he didn’t train for the event, but if he had practiced he could have had a lower time. The team did its portion of the race last Wednesday and the times to beat are posted online. The team’s time is 2 hours, 13 minutes, 36 seconds and those who beat it get a free breakfast at Brookfield’s restaurant. Cables said that an average of 20-30 percent of people that race beat the team’s time. There are many different team divisions, and according to Cables the open division is the most competitive. In the open division any kind of kayak can be used. Zachary Brenner, 13, from Coloma, is competing as a Junior Ironman, participating in all three legs of the race. “Sports are a major part of my life,” Zachary said. “I play football, baseball, cycle, run with my dad and work out regularly.” This is Zachary’s second time participating in the race and has been spending his summer training. Triathlons are a family affair for the Benner’s. “My husband, oldest son and I have competed in the race since 2000,” Kelly, Zachary’s mother said. “Our home is located next door to the South Fork of the American River, which makes it easy and convenient to train for the paddle portion of the race. It’s great that our entire family can now share the thrill of The Great Race together.” The Great Race Party with food from the Old Spaghetti Factory is today from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. It will be a chance for contestants to load up on carbs and to pick up their packets. Late registration for the event will also be available. The race starts at 8 a.m. on Saturday at William Pond Recreation Area. Money raised goes to the Sacramento County’s Therapeutic Recreation Services, which offers recreational activities to residents with disabilities. Additional information can be found at www.thegreatrace.org. Anita Fitzhugh contributed to this story. The Journal’s Megan Sanders can be reached at .