For access to all of our training, gear, and race coverage, plus exclusive training plans, FinisherPix photos, event discounts, and GPS apps, sign up for Outside+.
Four triathletes share their top “uh oh” travel moments.
“In 2013, I traveled to Brazil for the FAST Triathlon with two other American pros. Unknown in the U.S., the three-stage team sprint event is nationally televised live in Brazil. We won, but only after the race director told Tommy Zaferes between stages to slow down—he was almost lapping the field, and it didn’t make for good TV.” —Retired pro triathlete Chris Foster
“My husband and I were on the way to pull a double race weekend at the Deuces Wild Triathlon Festival in Show Low, Ariz.: a half-iron race one day, an XTERRA the next. Our Chevy Blazer coughed its last breath six hours out. We towed it to Phoenix, spent an entire day haggling with a Jeep dealer, then made it to Show Low in our new (used) ride five hours before the XTERRA start and raced the hell out of it.” —Erin Beresini, Triathlete Editor-in-Chief
“Years ago, my husband and I flew to Panama with some friends for an off-road triathlon, and everything that could go wrong did. Our bike boxes got caught up in customs for hours. It rained buckets on us during a course pre-ride. There were scorpions scuttling across the hotel room floor. But come race day, the experience was nothing short of epic. My husband and I both ended up on the podium. The prize? Chicken dinner.” —Julia Beeson Polloreno, Triathlete Editor at Large
“The first ever ITU Cross Triathlon Worlds was held in the remote city of Extremadura, Spain. I stayed with a group of pro women from Canada and the U.S., none of whom spoke Spanish. When I landed in Madrid, I was informed that my bike had not made the trip, I spoke into Google Translate to the hostess at our villa while she communicated with the baggage department about my lost luggage. In the end, they did not deliver the bike in time, so I borrowed a bike to race. After the extremely muddy race, I arrived home to see my bike waiting on the veranda, sparkling clean, ready to fly home.” —ITU Cross world champ and three-time XTERRA world champ Melanie McQuaid