Dam Sprint in April 2008 was my first triathlon. I highly recommend it for athletes of all experience levels. It's a great course (save the giant climb at the very end of the bike course) and only a 90 minute drive from San Diego.
I've done this race twice, in May '08 and May '09. Have done two other sprint tris, both twice (the Boy Scout Mission Bay mini-sprint and the Camp Pendleton sprint). This one's not too crowded; moderate to easy course. Lake swim is a bit more fun than Pendleton's ocean entry through the surf. Bike is mostly flat with one moderate to steep hill at the end, but I did it, even as a beginner. The run has some slight ups and downs but nothing too hard, mostly flat. I'd also recommend this as a nice start to doing sprint triathlons. Organization improved from '08 to '09. Again a nice event.
This venue was my first official Triathlon...what a way to break into the sport! It was very well organized and quite scenic as well..I did the Big Rock and thought it was still challenging. The weather was very warm that day. (somewhere close to 95 I believe) I highly recommend either distance. Make sure you save a little for the final ascent back into the lake! (especially if you are doing the Big Rock!)
This was my 2nd Sprint Triathlon following my 1st in Chicago with 9,000 entrants! I travelled to Cali and entered the Dam Sprint with my friend and 1st time triathlete. THIS IS A GREAT EVENT- it is challenging (the hill on the bike is pretty tough for newbies) well run and a really enjoyable day- my wife and daughter were able to follow me through the transitions and along the course- swim was really fun through the morning mist and the bike and run keep you interested with changing scenery- I recoomend this triathon to all comers, especially first timers....I hope to be back next year- THANK YOU!