In 1974, legendary Sacramento restaurateur, Eppie Johnson founded what was the world's oldest triathlon. Taking advantage of Sacramento's famed American River Parkway, he created a unique running, biking and paddling triathlon. In the spring of 2018 the Johnson family announced that the 2018 Eppie's Great Race would be the last race held.
For the 45 years that it was held in July, Eppie's Great Race attracted over one thousand athletes cumulating in over $1.5 million donated to Sacramento area causes from race proceeds. Eppie's Great Race kicked off Eppie's Kids Duathlon in 2005 to encourage youth fitness and healthy life style.
Though these events were called Eppie's, they really belong to Sacramento, benefiting the region through grants, providing fun events for Sacramento area athletes and raising awareness of the American River Parkway. Eppie's legacy lives on in Eppie's Wellness Foundation, which he established to oversee the two races and to use race proceeds to support the Sacramento region.
The mission of Eppie's Wellness Foundation is "to support, protect and promote the core values, legacy and brand embodied in Eppie's Great Race through charitable giving that emphasizes healthy lifestyles and the American River Parkway".
These core values include:
- Promote fitness and health for people of all ages and backgrounds
- Support programs for developmentally challenged adults and youth
- Ensure financial sustainability
- Give back to the community
- Embrace excellence
- Act with integrity
- Have fun
Using the proceeds from our two fitness events, Eppie's Wellness Foundation currently focuses support on four worthy causes.
- Sacramento County Therapeutic Recreation Services
- The American River Parkway
- Shriners Hospital for Children, Northern California
- The American River Parkway Foundation