Gold Nugget Triathlon sells out in five minutes

Beth Bragg
Bill Roth

You've gotta be fast to do the Alaska Gold Nugget Triathlon.

Online registration for the popular all-women's triathlon opened Tuesday night at 8 p.m.

Five minutes later, all 1,500 spots in the race were filled.

The five-minute sellout is a race record, said Sheila Swanson, president of the race's board of directors. The previous record was 16 minutes, she said.

"We could see it on our Facebook page, women were using their iPhones, iPads, laptops," she said.

One woman even signed up while 40,000 feet in the air. Marnie Kaler was en route from Orlando to Anchorage when registration opened, so she used Alaska Airline's wi-fi to sign up.

People traded tips via Facebook on the fastest ways to reach the race website.

"We got in via our iphone, but the laptop is still trying to load," one of them posted. "Clicked on the link within a couple of seconds after 8pm, and it stalled. I opened up another windor and that link worked right away. Don't wait aroiund if your link isn't connecting right away!" posted another.

By 9:30 p.m., another 350 girls and women were on a lottery list. As many as 500 can go on the list. People who successfully registered Tuesday night have one week to pay their $75 entry fee; if they don't, they lose their spots and people in the lottery get them. Swanson said there's a 1-in-3 chance of getting into the race that way.

The most popular triathlon in Alaska, the Gold Nugget is May 18 at Bartlett High. Participation is limited by the number of swimmers the Bartlett pool can handle.

Reach Beth Bragg at or 257-4335.