No. 17: Tempe, Ariz.
Median Home Price: $220,000
Why it’s on our list: Yes, we know it’s hot. OK, brutally hot. But if your goal is to someday race in Kona, maybe the heat’s not such a bad thing. Aside from the heat, Tempe’s greatest advantage for its tri-minded residents is Tempe Town Lake. Ten years ago Tempe would have been left off this list, but the creation of Tempe Town Lake in 1999 has allowed the City of Tempe to build an impressive race lineup. This year the lake will host five triathlons that range from the Danskin women’s only sprint triathlon in May to Ironman Arizona in November. As a resident of Tempe, you have the option to race any distance right in your own backyard. Training in Tempe also comes with several options for triathlon clubs and group rides, as well as dozens of opportunities to hop in the lake as part of splash-n-dash events. As a bonus, the restaurants, bars and clubs along Tempe’s Mill Avenue offer the perfect opportunity to let loose after a big training or racing day.
Live here if: Your post-training recovery tends to include happy hour.
Don’t live here if: You’re the type of person who would miss winter.
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