Triathlon Tour Guide: Austin

Tune in to a lively multisport scene in this vibrant music capital.

Photo: Nils Nilsen

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Tune in to a lively multisport scene in this vibrant music capital.

Central Texas can really heat up in the summer, so plan your visit before or after the hottest months of July and August. With popular longstanding races held here on both Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, Austin is the perfect spot to enjoy a long holiday/race weekend.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is conveniently located just 10 minutes from downtown Austin, and offers a number of non-stop flights from most carriers to and from major U.S. cities.

Located on bustling South Congress Avenue, both Hotel San Jose ( and South Congress Hotel ( are upscale boutique hotels with a modern-chic-meets-artistic-Austin aesthetic. This is where you go to sample the city’s über-fashionable scene, especially during music festival season. Closer to downtown, the Hyatt Regency Austin ( is a popular host hotel for local races and overlooks Lady Bird Lake.

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Train Like an Austinite

On the third Tuesday of the month (from April through October), Pure Austin gym ( hosts a swim-run race at its Quarry Lake. Racers ranging from local pros to weekend warriors swim a 750-meter loop and then run three loops (3K) around the lake.

Barton Springs Pool
You’ll never want to return to your chlorine pool back home after swimming in Barton Springs Pool. Three acres in size, this emerald-colored spring-fed pool averages 68–70 degrees year-round. Unsupervised swim is free daily from 5 a.m.–8 a.m. (closed Thursday), otherwise you can pay an $8 admission fee to swim until 9 p.m. before it opens back up for free swim for another hour before closing for the day.

Ride Like a Local
Check the Bike Austin site ( for a current calendar of local rides of varying length, terrain and pace. Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop ( hosts numerous rides each week for riders of all abilities. Make sure to visit the adjacent Juan Pelota Café to get your pre-ride coffee fix. Local tri shop Austin Tri Cyclist ( also organizes a popular Saturday morning ride with 30- and 50-mile options.

Music To Our Ears

Sixth Street Sounds
You can’t come to the self-proclaimed live music capital of the world and not check out the Sixth Street corridor of bars, eateries and music venues. Go to for a listing of upcoming musical acts and profiles of local live music establishments. From karaoke to craft brews, there’s no shortage of options.

Food Trucks Galore
The Austin food truck scene is downright impressive—from world-famous BBQ to artisan ice cream, the offerings are endless. Find clusters of food trucks on Congress Avenue and Sixth Street, or on most any corner lot. Austin is also home to Whole Foods HQ, and devotees of this natural foods grocer won’t want to skip a visit. You could spend an entire day eating and drinking your way through the flagship store. Another culinary highlight: Perla’s on Congress Ave. for fresh oysters and craft cocktails on the breezy patio.

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Race it!

The best way to explore the urban heart of Austin is by toeing the line at one of the city’s popular triathlons. Bookending the summer, Life Time Tri CapTex (Memorial Day weekend) and TriRock Austin (Labor Day weekend) have athletes swimming in Lady Bird Lake and biking and running downtown streets in the shadow of the stately capital building. Off-road enthusiasts should take to Texas Hill Country for Pure Austin Fitness XTERRA Muleshoe Triathlon on June 11.

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