Get Your Race On: 3 Virtual Options for Triathletes

Three big race organizers are getting creative in helping triathletes get to the start line (from home).

It’s the middle of April and triathletes around the globe are getting the itch to jump into a race. With nearly every triathlon through the end of June canceled or rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it looks like it will be awhile before we can line up for a swim/bike/run affair. In the meantime, you can get the competitive juices flowing through events in Zwift (check out this race league USA Cycling is doing), apps like Charge Running, or one of the dozens of running races offering virtual options.

For triathletes who truly want a multisport experience, there are a few organizations getting creative with virtual “triathlons.” Check back as we update this story in the future with any additional virtual triathlon and duathlon options, and be sure to read this helpful article from PodiumRunner on how to get the most out of your virtual race experience. Also, if you’re missing watching your favorite pros compete, you can tune in to some of their virtual efforts.

USA Triathlon Runbikerun presented by Tower26

virtual triathlon
The Distance:
Sprint (5k run, 20k bike, 2.5k run) or Olympic (10k run, 40k bike, 5k run)
The Cost: Free, with an option to make a $35 donation to the USA Triathlon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund

Choose either the sprint or Olympic duathlon and then complete the distance (at once or one event at a time) any time between now and May 17. You can do it for free (and give yourself a high five at the end) or pay the $35 donation to the USA Triathlon Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund and receive a finisher’s medal. USA Triathlon says the money will go toward supporting “race directors, coaches, club leaders, and other members of the multisport community who are impacted by the crisis.”

One virtual run-bike-run participant will be selected at random to receive a USA Triathlon-branded TrueForm Trainer Treadmill, valued at $4,995. Presenting sponsors Tower 26 is giving all participants 30 days of free access to a customized training program.

Rev3 Quarantri

virtual triathlon
The Distances:
Sprint (12-mile bike, 3.1-mile run, athlete’s choice), Olympic (25-mile bike, 6.2-mile run, athlete’s choice), Half (56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run, athlete’s choice), Kids ages 6-10 (2.5-mile bike, .75-mile run, athlete’s choice), or Kids ages 11+ (5-mile bike, 1.5-mile run, athletes’ choice)
Cost: $30 U.S., $37 Canada

Rev3 is answering the call of race-hungry triathletes with its “quarantri” virtual triathlon. Distances range from sprint to half, and there are options for the kids as well. You bike, you run, and then you pick any event for the “athlete’s choice” portion of the race. Pay the registration fee, complete your triathlon at home, and then submit the results to the event’s Facebook page between April 25 and May 2. Every participant gets a t-shirt and a medal. There are awards—but they’re not for the fastest finishers. The three Facebook posts that get the most likes will receive the prizes.

Ironman VR

The Distances:
Vary from weekend to weekend
Cost: VR1, VR2, and VR3 have been free, but Ironman will start charging at some point

First, sign up for the Ironman Virtual Club (it’s free) and then you’ll gain access to all of the information about upcoming events. There are several parts to the club (including training to earn points toward discounts and watching pros), but for this article, we’ll focus on the participation component.

Races VR1 and VR2 have already taken place, and race VR3 is a sprint-distance duathlon scheduled for this weekend. Like VR1 and VR2, they’re offering it for free. Register and connect your compatible device. Then complete the sessions between Friday, April 17 at 11 a.m. PDT/2 p.m. EDT and Sunday, April 19 at 4:59 p.m. PDT/7:59 p.m. EDT. You can complete the activities (1.5K run, 20K ride, 5K run) on separate days, but each of the legs must be done in one session. (So, for example, you could do the 1.5K run on Friday, the 20K ride on Saturday, and the 5K run on Sunday.) The prize for this race is a digital “badge” that goes on your athlete dashboard and profile. In the future, Ironman has said there will be other prizes, most notably slots to the 70.3 World Championships—but those details aren’t available yet.

Upcoming VR races:

Ironman VR3
April 17-19
Sprint distance (run 1.5 km, ride 20 km, and run 5 km)

Ironman VR4
April 24 – 26
Ironman 70.3 distance (run 5 km, bike 90 km, and run 21 km)

Ironman VR5
May 1 – 3
5150 distance (run 3 km, ride 40 km, and run 10 km)

Ironman VR6
May 8 – 10
Sprint distance (run 1.5 km, ride 20 km, and run 5 km)