Summertime is all about enjoying the outdoors, whether you're training or just enjoying time with family. Mother nature is certainly at her best, which makes triathlon that much more enjoyable! While the Ironman World Championship in Kona may be the most popular race destination, there are plenty of gorgeous race courses right in our backyards.
Where: Bradley, California
Distance: 70.3, Olympic or Mountain Bike Triathlon
Why we love it: Affectionately referred to as the "Woodstock of Triathlon", participants can camp out next to Lake San Antonio and look forward to enjoying live music, food and beautiful scenery. This challenging course offers three options for distance, one of which is called a "Mountain Bike Triathlon (0.25-mile swim, 9.7-mile mountain bike and 2-mile run)" (Mavis, 2016). The festival atmosphere is what makes this race special, but unfortunately it is on hiatus due to prolonged drought conditions. We're keeping our fingers crossed for rain in California soon!
Where: San Francisco, California
Distance: Modified international
Why we love it: This course has been around since 1981 and is truly for the bravest of us all! The swim starts out on a ferry near the island of Alcatraz where participants jump into the freezing waters of San Francisco Bay. If that doesn't hook you, the views of Golden Gate Bridge will. The course consists of a 1.5-mile swim, 18-mile bike and 8-mile run (Leicht, 2015). This popular race also comes with eternal bragging rights!
Where: Boulder, Colorado
Why we love it: Pretty much any race in Colorado will guarantee a great view, but the Rocky Mountains truly are something special.
Where: Smithville Lake, Missouri
Why we love it: According to the race website, "The Women’s Intersport Network for Kansas City (WIN for KC), was established in 1994 to ignite girls and women through advocating and promoting the lifetime value of sports and fitness, while providing opportunities for participation and leadership development" (www.sportkc.org/win-for-kc/about-win/). Not only is this an empowering event for female athletes, it is also one of the most environmentally friendly races out there. "Racers are encouraged to carpool to the event, food waste from the course and finishing area is composted afterward, and the charity Soles4Souls collects gently used sneakers to donate." (Leicht, 2015). Talk about a win-win!
Where:Lake Placid, New York
Distance: Full Ironman
Why we love it: This classic race is the second longest running Ironman in the US and offers 60 qualifying spots for the World Championship. Set in the former Olympic town of Adirondacks, this course boasts a swim in a lake so clear its named "Mirror Lake". With the hilly Adirondack mountains for your bike and run, its no wonder so many participants stay after the race for a mini-vacation! (Don't forget to look out for the Tri Sirena booth this year, come by and say hi!)
Where: Chicago, Illinois
Distance: Super-sprint (375-meter swim, 10k bike, 2.5k run), Sprint, Olympic or Relay
Why we love it: This race has been around for over 30 years and combines the best of both worlds with views of Lake Michigan juxtaposed against the city skyline. Plus there's lots to explore in the windy city after race day.
Where: Austin, Texas
Distance: Sprint, Olympic
Why we love it: This is the only triathlon (that we know of!) with music blasting from a boat during the swim, as well as the rest of the course. For anyone holding back from triathlon because of the "no headphones" rule, this is reason enough to check it out.
Where: Freeport, Maine
Why we love it: Four words. Post. Race. Lobster. Bake.
Where: Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Why we love it: A great choice for newbies, this race boasts "a warm ocean swim, super-flat bike and run terrain" (Leicht, 2015). The beachfront views of Kiawah Island plus the family friendly park used as a transition area make this race one for your bucket list.
Where: Clermont, Florida
Why we love it: The Clermont Series has something for everyone. Between June 3rd and September 9th you can choose between sprint, duathlon, aquabike, relay, and virtual events. Plus with themed races such as "Cartoons", "Sci Fi" and "Rockin the USA" spectators are such to be entertained. Tri Sirena will be in Clermont on July 8th so make sure to come by and check out our sun protective gear!
Happy Fourth of July!
Which of these races would you road trip to? Tell us in the comments below!
Written by: Ashley Pettigrew
Follow Ashley on Instagram! @ashley.trisirena
The following sources were utilized in this article:
Daniels, Andrew. "The 20 Best Triathlons in America". Men's Health. www.menshealth.com/fitness/20-best-triathlons. 15 May 2015.
Leicht, Laurel. "The 13 Most Incredible Triathlons in the U.S.". http://dailyburn.com/life/fitness/best-triathlon-distances-races/. 27 April 2015.
Mavis, Bethany. "16 Bucket List Triathlons (Outside of Kona)". http://www.triathlete.com/2014/06/photos/bucket-list-triathlons_100901. 5 May 2016.
Shapiro, Bee. "7 Top Triathlons in Vacation-Worthy U.S. Destinations". www.fodors.com/new/7-great-vacation-triathlons-5350. 29 March 2012.
The Editors. "Editor's Picks: The United States' Best Triathlons". Triathlete.com. http://www.triathlete.com/2013/02/features/editors-picks-the-united-states-best-triathlons_70279. 15 January 2015.