Team Oceana Races at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon - Oceana USA
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September 17, 2010

Team Oceana Races at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon

Last weekend was the Nautica Malibu Triathlon and I was there with Oceana to participate in our team’s race, which helped raise more than $6,000 for our work. We also added a few hundred signatures to our Stop the Drill petition, including several celebs.

I raced in Sunday’s Classic Distance event (½ mile swim, 18 mile bike ride, 4 mile run) and was joined  by two relay teams and two others racing as individuals.

Our celebrity relay team finished 6th and featured Trevor Donovan, who plays Teddy Montgomery on the CW’s popular series 90210 (Oceana supporter Adrian Grenier has a cameo this season). Trevor, who is an outdoorsman, surfer, and fan of sharks, raced with his longtime friend Robert Tomasch and his manager at Innovative Artists, Ryan Daly.

Our other relay team was led by Mark Armen, who raced with friends Marcus Pigrom and Aaron Ostergaard. Mark lives in Santa Monica and is the inventor of theBaitTank, a shark-themed waist bin for cigarette butts that not only helps clean up beaches, but also raises awareness about shark conservation issues.

Mark developed theBaitTank when he heard littered cigarette butts can kill fish by leaching toxins in the water – not to mention cigarette butts’ direct cost to cities and businesses, which Mark asserts is in the billions. Thus far, they’ve been installed in beaches in Capitola and Santa Cruz and will go up in Santa Monica in October. Currently, Mark is developing a less-expensive version for bars, restaurants, coffee shops and the like. Way to go Mark!

Racing as individuals were Lauren Saez, who competed on a Team Oceana relay in 2009’s event, and James Degus. Lauren, who is a huge sea turtle lover, works on GIS mapping issues as they concern whales off California’s coast. James, who is an agent with United Talent Agency, far surpassed my wildest fundraising expectations, raising over $4,000 for Oceana’s work. 

In addition, Nautica contributed over $17,000 through the sale of apparel at the event.

I got to meet professional triathlete Hayley Peirsol, the sister of Oceana supporter and Olympian Aaron Peirsol. Like Aaron, Hayley has a refreshingly positive attitude and a magnetic personality – and she’s not too bad at triathlons either. Hayley finished 5th among female pros in Saturday’s International Distance race (1500 meter swim, 40K bike ride, 10K run), and was the fastest woman in the water all day. Not too surprising given her family pedigree.

We also had some great volunteers help staff the Oceana table over the weekend, including 2010 Ocean Heroes finalist Sara Bayles. Sara’s blog, The Daily Ocean, documents her experiment to see how much beach trash can be collected from her local beach in 365 non-consecutive days. I’m proud to say Mark and I helped contribute to the clean up this past Wednesday.

Thanks to all who helped out and participated in this year’s event! Check out a slideshow of photos here.