2022 Honorary Starter – Beth Bragg
The Gold Nugget Triathlon Board of Directors are pleased to announce Beth Bragg as this year’s Honorary Starter and Cheerleader!
Beth moved to Alaska in April 1986 to be a sportswriter for the Anchorage Daily News and covered her first Gold Nugget Triathlon a month later. “The controlled chaos of the transitions caught my attention, so I wrote that the race had more wardrobe changes than an episode of “Dynasty,” says Beth.
The TV show didn’t last, but the Gold Nugget did, and so did Beth. In her 35-plus years at the Daily News — a career she wrapped up last October — she estimates she wrote a hundred stories about the race. And we loved all of them!
Race-day coverage wasn’t always an easy assignment, as Beth worked late on Saturday nights and the race always started early on a Sunday morning. Beth chuckles thinking back on the big stories, “We often toasted the end of our work week with drinks at Darwin’s Theory on Saturday nights, and one year the bartender was excited and a little anxious because she was doing her first triathlon the next morning. Her shift didn’t end till after 3 a.m., and she was so worried she’d oversleep and miss her start she went straight from the bar to Bartlett, where she dozed on the bleachers until morning.”
To Beth, those little stories inside the big stories are what she loved about covering sports. For every Alice Godfred and Shannon Donley — the Gold Nugget’s grandest champions — there are people like that bartender who was chasing a goal every bit as important as setting a record or winning a race. One of Beth’s goals as a sportswriter was to find and tell stories about both kinds of athletes (and to spell their names right).
“It’s an honor to be invited to play a role in this year’s race. I won’t be interviewing racers at the finish line this time, but after so many years as an impartial observer, I look forward to getting to cheer for them.”
The Gold Nugget Triathlon will always be extremely grateful for the stories Beth has shared over the years.