These races are big on atmosphere, small on stress. Beginners welcome!
Three friendly summer tris big on atmosphere, small on stress. Beginners welcome!
Solana Beach Triathlon
July 29, Solana Beach, California
Why It’s Great: Set in an iconic Southern California surf town, this sprint tri (1/4-mile swim, 9-mile bike, 3-mile run) features a mild beach-entry ocean swim in Fletcher Cove supported by lifeguards and safety- oriented “swim buddies” and fast and at bike courses along a closed portion of Paci c Coast Highway.
Get There: Solana Beach is 35 minutes north of San Diego International Airport. Or take Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner or Coaster regional trains, as the depot is just a few blocks from local hotels and the race’s start/ finish area.
Eat: For breakfast and brunch, Claire’s on Cedros (246 N. Cedros, Solana Beach; Clairesoncedros.com) can’t be beat. Station Sushi (125 N. Hwy 101, Solana Beach; Stationsushi.com) offers tasty sh, fun cocktails, and an outdoor patio, while Pizza Port (135 N. Hwy 101, Solana Beach; Pizzaport.com) serves up made-to-order pizza with a relaxed surf-town vibe.
Stay: Courtyard by Marriott (717 S. Hwy 101, Solana Beach; Courtyard.marriott.com) and Holiday Inn Express & Suites (621 S. Hwy 101, Solana Beach; Ihg.com) are recently upgraded hotels close to the race venue. For upscale luxury, consider L’Auberge (1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar; Laubergedelmar.com) 3 miles south.
“This is a classic So-Cal event with just the right amount of hard and plenty of time left in the day to surf and hang at the beach.”
– Steve Godwin, Encinitas, California
Staten Island Triathlon
Aug. 5, New York City
Why It’s Great: Although this sprint race (400-meter swim, 12-mile bike, 3-mile run) is held a short ferry ride from the heart of the Big Apple and within sight of the famous Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, it has more of a neighborhoody vibe than a big-city race.
Get There: Staten Island is about 30 minutes from LaGuardia and JFK airports, and there are plenty of public transportation options to get you anywhere you want to go.
Eat: The Phunky Elephant gastropub (1271 Bay St., Staten Island; Thephunkyelephant.com) and The Stone House at Clove Lakes (1150 Clove Rd., Staten Island; Thestonehousesi.com)—an elegant culinary delight in an impossibly bucolic scene.
Stay: The well-appointed Navy Lodge New York (408 N. Path Rd., Staten Island; Navy-lodge.com) is the closest place to stay on Staten Island, but the Best Western Plus Brooklyn Bay (3003 Emmons Ave., Brooklyn; Bestwestern.com) and the Harbor Motor Inn (1730 Shore Pkwy., Brooklyn; Harbormotorinn.com) are close options as well.
“It’s a local event, it’s a great distance to get your feet wet in triathlon, and the race-day
organization is great.”
– Yasiza Zinko Sorbo New York, New York
Williams Bay Triathlon at Geneva Lake
Sept. 22, Williams Bay, Wisconsin
Why It’s Great: Swim in a clear, spring-fed lake, ride rolling hills, and run to a waterside finish line in one of the Midwest’s best weekend getaway destinations. The race lineup includes a super sprint (300-meter swim, 13.1-mile bike and 1.5-mile run), a sprint (500-meter swim, 13.1-mile bike and 3.1-mile run), an Olympic-distance tri, and an Olympic-distance aquabike event.
Get There: Williams Bay is about 90 minutes northwest of Chicago and an hour southeast of Milwaukee.
Eat: For lakeside dining, cozy up to Pier 290 (1 Liechty Dr., Williams Bay; Pier290.com) for hearty sandwiches, comfort food, and, of course, a Friday night fish fry. Harpoon Willie’s (10 E. Geneva St., Williams Bay; Harpoonwillies.com) has great surf-and-turf options.
Stay: The Abbey Resort (269 Fontana Blvd., Fontana; Theabbeyresort.com) is a full-amenity resort about 10 minutes from Williams Bay, complete with a spa, restaurants, and indoor and outdoor pools. Also try the Bailey House Bed & Breakfast (372 W. Geneva St., Williams Bay).
“Williams Bay is a relaxed and low-key place, and so is this race. It’s still a good challenge, but it’s a Saturday race and hanging out and enjoying the rest of the weekend with friends and family is a part of why I love it.”
– Mike Isacson, South Bend, Indiana