The Siesta Sprint Triathlon has been going through some changes.
It's location, this year, most obviously. The annual gathering of athletes has historically been held early in the morning on Siesta Key Beach — it's in the name, after all — but the event was relocated to City Island on Longboat Key this year.
Then there's the matter of the local elements.
While several local beaches had their no-swim advisories lifted, a high bacteria level warning for the Ringling Causeway/Bird Key Park area remained in place as the triathlon drew near this weekend. So event organizer Thierry Rouillard made the decision to eliminate the event's swimming portion and turn the race into a duathlon where athletes ran and biked a total of 15 miles.
"We just went with plan B — I always have one ready," Rouillard said. "It can be frustrating for the racers though, some are strong swimmers."
Racers broke into a 3-mile run from City Island through Quick Point Nature Preserve and back early Sunday morning before switching to bikes and riding for 10 miles.
Gabriel Gutierrez, 42, of Sarasota and Katie Logan, 36, of Land O'Lakes, were the overall men's and women's top finishers.
Rouillard says it's the plan to keep the competition at the City Island location going forward.