10 Non-M-Dot Iron-Distance Races

Ironman isn’t the only race company supporting super-long distance dreams. These 10 U.S. events give triathletes all 140.6 miles in unique style.

Photo: Adam Ferrero

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Ironman isn’t the only race company supporting super-long distance dreams. These 10 U.S. events give triathletes all 140.6 miles in unique style.

Great Floridian Triathlon 140.6

Oct. 21, 2017
Clermont, Fla.

Part of the Great Floridian Endurance Festival weekend of races, this iron-distance race has been around since 1991, making it the second oldest iron-distance race in the continental U.S. Clermont is located 22 miles west of Orlando, so theme parks are just 30 minutes away and ocean beaches an hour’s drive (so you can bring the family!). Centered around Clermont Waterfront Park, the race includes a three-lap swim in the clear waters of Lake Minneola (projected water temp: 72–80 degrees F), and a three-lap bike course covering 112 miles of scenic rural roads with rolling hills and one steep but short climb up Sugarloaf Mountain. Also three laps, the spectator-friendly run course utilizes South Lake Trail.

HITS Triathlon Series

April 8–9, 2017, Napa Valley, Calif.
July 8, 2017, Hudson Valley, N.Y.
Dec. 2–3, 2017, Palm Springs, Calif.
Jan. 6–7, 2018, Naples, Fla.
March 31, 2018, Ocala, Fla.

All HITS series races feature five distances—an open (super-sprint), sprint, Olympic, half and full—so that each destination can cater to any type of triathlete. The “crown jewel” of the series is the HITS Championship in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs—it features scenic desert vistas in a dry and sunny climate. Note that these races offer every distance of triathlon, so if you do sign up for the full distance, you may or may not have a ton of company out on the roads.

Tri Fort Worth

May 21, 2017
Fort Worth, Texas

This inaugural, early-season event in the City of Fort Worth (adjacent to Dallas in North Texas) will feature both full and half-iron distance races starting from the scenic Marine Creek Lake. The one-loop swim in the lake features a rolling mass start, and is followed by a 112-mile out and back course that finishes in downtown Fort Worth at a second transition area. The race ends with a two-loop run course finishing in the downtown area. Cowboy sightings are practically guaranteed.

Wilderman Offroad Triathlon

July 15, 2017
Walhalla, N.D.

Put an Ironman and XTERRA together, and you get Wilderman: 140+ miles off-road! If you choose to tackle the Wilderman Full (also a half and relay option), you’ll have to cover 2.4 miles of swimming followed by 112.2 miles of gravel grinding, mountain biking and stream crossing, and finishing with 25.7 miles of gnarly trail running. Bonus: Profits from the event will help support Ground Up Adventures, a North Dakota-based non-profit dedicated to helping kids get as much as much adventure as we wished we had growing up.

Michigan Titanium

Aug. 20, 2017
Grand Rapids, Mich.

The only full-distance tri in the state of Michigan, the Titanium’s main venue is Versluis Park in Plainfield Township. The race features Olympic and half distances as well, with relay, aquabike and duathlon options for each. The swim is two loops in the clean and clear (no gas motors allowed) Versluis Lake, the bike is a two-loop course and the spectator-friendly marathon features four loops.

Peasantman Steel Distance Triathlon

Aug. 20, 2017
Penn Yan, New York

Started in 2013, the Peasantman features a “steel distance” course, which includes a 116-mile bike course (instead of the standard 112 miles in the iron distance), but the swim and run courses are the same. The two-lap swim takes place in Keuka Lake, and the four-lap bike ride cuts along both arms of Keuka Lake (the race website promises Amish buggy sightings, as there are several Old Order Amish settlements in adjacent Steuben and Seneca Counties). The run course is scenic and flat, running almost entirely along the northwestern shore of the lake. After the race, Penn Yan, right in the heart of the Finger Lakes region, is a great place to explore New York State’s wine country.

The Goliath Race

Aug. 26, 2017
Syracuse, Utah

The Goliath allows you to conquer the full 140.6 either on your own or as part of a team—you can race as part of a team (up to 10 people!) to cover the distance, as long as you finish in the 15-hour window of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The race starts with a swim at Still Water Lake Estates, a private water ski lake community, and continues with a bike and run out onto Antelope Island, ending at Jensen Nature Park.

Bear Lake Brawl Triathlon

Sept. 16, 2017
Bear Lake, Idaho

This race has been running continuously—without cancellation or course leg cancellation—for 11 years now, and has grown to span two weekends and four distances (a sprint and Olympic take place the weekend prior to the half and full). The start will be moving to the Idaho side of the lake this year, saving racers money on parking and sales tax, and it’ll allow athletes to sit in the hot spring pools after the race. The swim course is two laps in Bear Lake—a perfect wetsuit swim at 62–65 degree expected water temps. The two-loop bike course follows along the edge of the huge lake and crosses state lines into Utah, and the two-lap out-and-back run course heads toward the nearby town of St. Charles, Idaho.

Redman Triathlon

Sept. 16, 2017
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Named after the English translation of the word Oklahoma, this race will be taking place for the 13th time this year, and it features full and half-iron distances. The full race includes a two-loop swim in Hefner Lake, a speedy bike with some rolling hills, and a closed, flat run course. This year’s race will also serve as the USAT Ultra Distance Triathlon National Championships.

Piranhaman 226 m/m

Oct. 14, 2017
Bear, Del.

The first and only full-distance triathlon in Delaware, this 226K (equivalent of 140.6 miles) race is unique in that it features a point-to-point course and is draft legal (!!!). The race starts from a cool (estimated 67-degree) swim in Lums Pond State Park, followed by a very flat and fast bike to Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, Del., and ending with a partially shaded, flat and scenic run to Rehoboth Beach and back.