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After we shared our list of 10 Non-M-Dot Iron-Distance Races, we received several requests to share a similar list for the half-iron distance. It turns out Ironman isn’t the only company supporting those who wish so swim, bike and run across those 70.3 miles! There are several options (more than we could list here) across the United States. Find what you’re looking for in one of these 11 races, which all take place June through August and feature a community feel and fun vibe. We’ll feature a list of later-season races in the coming weeks.
June 17, 2017
East Freetown, Mass.
This popular race is entering its 11th year in 2017, and it’s sold out every year for the last several years, including this one (so mark your calendars for 2018 race registration opening in October!). Located about a 45-minute drive from Boston, Mass., and Providence, R.I., the Patriot starts with a swim in beautiful Long Pond, the largest freshwater body of water in Massachusetts. The bike and run courses take place on beautiful, flat country roads with some rolling hills and views of cranberry bogs, lakes and farms. For athletes looking to race Ironman Lake Placid, the Patriot is a perfect tune-up race, five weeks before IMLP.
June 18, 2017
Going into its eighth year (and fourth year with a half-iron-distance component), the Lumberman Triathlon takes place in Cadillac, a town of about 10,000 nestled just on the edge of the Manistee National Forest that has a long history of lumbering and Christmas tree farming. Athletes will swim in the very shallow Lake Cadillac and then ride on lightly traveled rolling, tree-lined country roads for an out-and-back bike. The flat and fast run is two laps of the lake.
Tri the Boat
June 25, 2017
Steamboat Springs, Colo.
This year, this half-iron-distance event in Colorado has been designated the 2017 USA Triathlon Rocky Mountain Long Course Regional Championship, meaning the top 10 percent of finishers in each age group qualify for the 2017 National Triathlon Championship. The race has also gotten a little facelift, with a new transition area, new swim course layout, new run course and new finish area. Set against the backdrop of the Yampa Valley, the swim takes place in the picturesque Stagecoach Reservoir. The two-loop bike features newly paved rolling terrain, and the new run course take place on 95 percent packed dirt trails with scenic lake views before the waterfront finish.
Rev3 Williamsburg Half
July 9, 2017
Rev3 race venues are known for being family-friendly—they’re set in locales where the kids have a slew of activities available all weekend, and Williamsburg is no exception. Nearby is Colonial Williamsburg, the nation’s largest living history museum that introduces visitors to live in 18th-century America; historic Jamestown Island; Yorktown Battlefield; Busch Gardens Williamsburg, full of rollercoasters, rides and water parks. If you did bring your crew along, the course itself is spectator-friendly, with a swim in the Chickahominy River followed by a rolling ride through the rural roads of Charles City County and a mostly shaded and flat run on the Virginia Capital Trail.
July 16, 2017
This New York race, taking place in the small (13,000-resident) town of Geneva, is entering its 14th year. Located in the Finger Lakes region on the north shore of Seneca Lake, the area is known for its wineries (about 100 in the area), so we know where you’ll be headed after the race. The course starts with a single-loop swim in the deep Seneca Lake followed by a rolling, single-loop bike course that includes long stretches of shoreline on both Seneca and Cayuga Lakes. The 56-mile bike will take you past wineries along the Seneca and Cayuga Wine Trails, small towns, Mennonite farming regions and a shaded section in Sampson State Park. The single-loop run includes a lakefront path and weaves through gardens, neighborhoods, local colleges and vineyards before returning to downtown.
July 29, 2017
Named after the food that early settlers in the west and gold miners to Alaska relied on, the Sourdough tri is the only half-iron-distance tri in the state, and it’s entering its 26th running. The low-key race is located in Chatanika, Alaska, about 40–45 minutes northeast of Fairbanks, and the course takes place inside a gravel pit, which is filled by a pristine groundwater stream. The two-lap bike and run are on a quiet, paved, two-lane road with minimal vehicular traffic. The spectator-friendly race is capped at 99 athletes, and race tradition is to stick around for the post-race barbecue and bring a dish to share while getting to know others in the local tri community.
Route 66 Half Iron Triathlon
July 29, 2017
“Get your tri kicks on Route 66” is the slogan for this race on the classic Old Route 66 road. The half-iron-distance race includes a lake swim under the arches of the historic Lindsay Bridge, then a lake-to-lake bike on the Old Route 66 road past picturesque Lincoln Memorial Gardens with sweeping turns and fast straightaways. (While Route 66, aka America’s Road, connects Chicago to Los Angeles, the race website is reassuring: “Don’t worry, our bike course is well marked”). The half-marathon course takes place on scenic, shaded lake roads.
Lake Logan Half Triathlon
Aug. 5, 2017
Escape to a cooler mid-summer race in the mountains of North Carolina at Lake Logan, a race that has sold out two of the last three years, and is expected to again in 2017. It features a one-loop wetsuit-legal (around 67 degrees) swim in the clean and beautiful Lake Logan. The lake is surrounded by mountains, which means protection from the wind and typically calm and flat water. The bike course is a mix of rollers and two significant climbs, but is flatter than expected for a mountain course. The two-loop shaded run follows along a scenic river with gentle slopes.
Mountain Man Half Iron
Aug. 13, 2017
For an added challenge, you can race your summer half-iron at altitude in the town of Flagstaff, which is surrounded by mountains, desert and ponderosa pine forests. The family-run event is the fifth oldest tri west of the Mississippi River and features beautiful views of the local mountain range and nearby lakes (the race also promises the timing means the flora will be in full bloom after the “monsoon” season). Now in its 33rd year, the race course will feature a swim in Upper Lake Mary, an out-and-back bike course on paved roads with beautiful lake views and not too much climbing, and an out-and-back run on paved roads along Lake Mary with just one “decent” hill.
CVC San Diego Half Iron Triathlon
Aug. 13, 2017
Chula Vista, Calif.
Located about 10 miles south of downtown San Diego, the city of Chula Vista serves as a spectator-friendly venue for this half-iron-distance race, which is only in its second year (Chula Vista has hosted sprint- and Olympic-distance races for a few years). The race starts from and ends at Bayside Park, in view of the Coronado Bay Bridge and San Diego skyline. For the half distance, athletes will start with a calm bay swim along the beach to the pier, followed by a four-loop bike and then a flat and fast triple-loop run along the bay shoreline walking and bike paths.
Storm the Fort Half
Aug. 26, 2017
This will be the fourth year of a half-iron-distance (Storm the Fort runs a sprint-distance concurrently), dubbed the “race for the cannon,” as the age group winners receive miniature cannon awards and the overall winners will be receiving custom-forged 8-pound cannonballs, a nod to the venue at the historic Fort Southwest Point. The race starts with a swim in the Clinch River followed by a rural, rolling bike ride and a two-lap run on the Kingston Greenway and through downtown Kingston before a finish in Fort Southwest Point.