The Malibu Triathlon – a high-profile event scheduled for September 30-October. 1, which has hosted the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Lopez, Zac Efron, Max Greenfield and Mark Feuerstein in recent years, is in danger of being scrapped before it gets started.
The organizers recently sent an email to participants alerting them to a change in the bike course due to a unique reason. Heavy rains in the Los Angeles area flooded the Zuma Underpass, dubbed a “key feature” of that portion of the race, and before the water could be cleared, a translucent two-inch fish called the tidewater goby took , took up residence there.
Triathlon organizers worked with officials from the city of Malibu and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Beaches and Harbors to devise a plan that protected the fish and its new habitat while minimizing “our impact on the local ecosystem.” They proposed a change of course, but the permit was “refused on technical grounds,” the organizers confirmed in the emailed statement. That technicality is that residents in the area must be notified 32 days before an event and that deadline has passed.
“We are appealing this decision and are confident that we can deliver the safe, enjoyable and inspiring event we all desire, while helping some of the most vulnerable in our society,” the statement said. The follow-up call will be heard and voted on at Monday night’s Malibu City Council meeting. Even more frustrating for competitors, some of whom have taken to social media to express their disappointment, is the fact that the Olympic distance was shortened from 25 to 23.4 miles, while the classic distance went from 17 to 17.8 miles.
The Hollywood Reporter reached out to event representatives for additional comment and a representative said: “We are working with the City of Malibu and all other stakeholders to ensure a safe, enjoyable and inspiring event while serving some of the most vulnerable in our society to help raise vital funds for pediatric cancer research at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, with $1 million already raised this year. Our call will be heard by the Malibu City Council on Monday and we are optimistic of a positive outcome that will allow this incredible event to continue.”