Triathlons are multisport races that typically involve a combination of swimming, cycling, and running. The distances involved in a triathlon may vary.
Many triathlons in the United States have been regularly held every year going back several years. People aiming to compete in these races must be adept at participating in all three of the kinds of races that are involved.
Major Triathlons in the United States
The United States is home to a number of different triathlon competitions. Some of the biggest include the following:
Boulder Peak Triathlon
Known in full as the Boulder Peak Triathlon, Duathlon & Aquabike, this race is one of the country’s longest triathlons. Racers will have to deal with the famed Olde Stage Hill which involves an average 15% grade.
The Brewhouse Triathlon is among the oldest triathlons in Minnesota. It begins at the Minnesota Power Pavilion at Island Lake where a swim is followed by a bike ride on newly paved roads and a run on both asphalt and gravel roads.
This competition marks a much more laid back competition, with Cruiserman athletes being encouraged to wear costumes and use inflatable “floaties” to make their way across the lake for a 400-yard swim, then hop on a cruiser or bike for a 3-mile ride, and skip or hula hoop their way through the one-mile run. The initial run drew more than 100 competitors.
Des Moines Escape Triathlon
Held at Gray’s Lake Park in Des Moines, Iowa, the Olympic race features a 1500 m swim / 40 km bike / 10k run, while the sprint is a 400 m swim / 20 km bike / 5 k run. There are also youth races.
A triathlon involving a 1.5 mile swim across the San Francisco Bay from the world’s most notorious prison, then an 18-mile bike ride along the Great Highway through the Golden Gate Park, and finally an 8-mile run through the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Entries are limited to 2,000 competitors each year.
Ironman 70.3 Boulder is an experience at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in the Flatirons of Boulder, Colorado. There may be some thin air during the swim, but the bike and run should be flat and allow for more speed.
Great Floridian Endurance Festival
The second-oldest distance race in the United States, the Great Floridian happens at the World Triathlon Destination in Clermont, Florida, only a few minutes from Orlando.
There is a 2.4-mile swim is in Lake Minneola followed by a 112-mile bike ride along Lake County and then a marathon on South Lake Trail.
The Grizzly Tri, as it is known by some, begins with a swim of 1,000 yards or 20 laps in the Grizzly Pool at the University of Montana. Racers than have a 20K bike ride along Highway 10 toward Bonner, and finally conclude with a 5K run down the Kim Williams Trail.
Hyannis has a sprint course and Olympic course. The former is a quarter-mile swim, 10.2-mile bike ride, and 3.6-mile run while the latter is a 0.9-mile swim, 20-mile bike ride, and 6.2-mile run.
Ironman 70.3 St.George Triathlon
A triathlon that emphasizes scenery, the swim is held at Sand Hollow State Park in Hurricane, Utah, the bike ride begins at Sand Hollow Reservoir, goes into the City of Hurricane, and concludes along State Route 9 towards Washington and St. George.
Finally, the run takes participants from Diagonal and Bluff Street up Red Hills Parkway through the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve.
Ironman 70.3 SuperFrog
The SuperFrog occurs on the Silver Strand State Beach, Coronado, California, and involves a two-lap 1.2-mile open ocean swim, a four-lap 56-mile bike ride, and a five-lap 13.1-mile run. Lance Armstrong once competed in this event.
June Lake Triathlon
Half-Ironman, AquaBike, Olympic and Sprint race options for adults as well as a Mini Tri for kids ages 6-12. The Alpha Sprint features a 750-meter swim (one loop), 12.64 km bike ride, and 4.99 km run. The Alpha Olympic has a 1,500-meter swim (two loops), 39.86 km bike ride, and 9.98 km run.
Occurs in Night Heron Park on Kiawah Island in South Carolina. The race features a 0.7-mile swim (the only intermediate distance triathlon in the Charleston SC area to feature an ocean swim), 25.1-mile bike ride, and 6.1-mile run. The event is USA Triathlon (USAT) sanctioned.
Lake Lure Triathlon
A western North Carolina race in the Blue Ridge Foothills. Involves a 750-meter swim, 14-mile bike ride, and a 5K run. There are both individual and relay races.
The International race is the longest adult-distance triathlon during race weekend and the Sprint race is the second-longest that occurs on the same day.
The International is a 0.93-mile swim, 24.8-mile bike ride, and 6.2-mile run while the Sprint is a 0.47-mile swim, 15-mile bike ride, and 3.1-mile run.
Survival of the Shawangunks
The Survival of the Shawangunks is a triathlon held in the town of New Paltz, New York that is unusual in that it has seven transitions among the three races compared to the usual two.
Participants begin with a 4.2-mile run to Lake Awosting, a 1.1-mile swim across the lake, a 5.5-mile run to Lake Minnewaska, a 0.5-mile swim along the lake, an 8-mile run to Lake Mohonk, a 0.5-mile swim along the lake, and finally a 0.7-mile run to the Skytop Tower on Shawangunk Ridge.
XTERRA World Championship
The XTERRA World Championship is the last in a series of 45 off-road triathlon races held in 22 countries with prize money at stake.
The event involves a 1.5-kilometer (1-mile) swim starting at the shore of Lake Molveno, a 29-km/18.1-mile bike ride climbing 2,630 feet of the Brenta Dolomites, and a 10 km/6.2-mile run through Lake Molveno.