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Triathlete’s Best Races For Beginners

Do you participate for the food? Are you scared of the swim? Want to feel like a pro? Pick the triathlon that best suits your personality.

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Do you participate for the post-race food? Are you scared of the swim? Do you want to feel like a pro? Pick the triathlon that best suits your personality.

Event Name: Lobsterman Triathlon
Date: Sept. 6, 2014
Distance: Olympic, with relay option
Website: Lobstermantri.com

RACE IT: If you do it for the food
In the classic New England town of Freeport, Maine, the newbie-friendly Lobsterman Triathlon attracts athletes from across the country who come to reward their swim, bike, run efforts with a full post-race lobster bake ($25 for racers).

Event Name: Events DC Nation’s Triathlon
Date: Sept. 7, 2014
Distance: Olympic, with relay option
Website: Nationstri.com
RACE IT: If you are nervous about the swim leg

This race in the heart of the nation’s capital features what is perhaps the most well marked, closely managed swim course in triathlon. Massive bright orange buoys spaced every 100 meters mark the distance traveled the entire length of the 1.5K course in the Potomac River, and athletes are sent off in waves of only 12 racers every 15 seconds.

PHOTOS: 2013 Events DC Nation’s Triathlon

Event Name: Wildflower Triathlon
Date: May 4, 2014
Distance: Short off-distance, Olympic, half-iron distance
Website: Tricalifornia.com
RACE IT: If you are an adventure seeker not afraid of roughin’ it

Known and loved as “the Woodstock of triathlon,” Wildflower is a multisport experience like no other. All the racers camp out at the venue in Central California wine country (just outside Paso Robles), and there is a distance to suit a variety of ambitions, from the mountain bike tri (0.25-mile swim, 9.7-mile bike, 2-mile run) to the challenging half-iron-distance race.

PHOTOS: 2013 Wildflower Long Course Triathlon

Event Name: ITU World Triathlon Chicago
Date: June 29, 2014
Distance: Sprint and Olympic distances, relay option for both
Website: Chicago.triathlon.org
RACE IT: If you want to feel like a pro for a day  

Run the blue carpet of the world’s most prestigious draft-legal race series just hours before 130 of the world’s fastest triathletes compete in the Olympic-distance race along the shores of Lake Michigan.

RELATED: ITU WTS Races Coming To Chicago

Event Name: TriRock Triathlon Series
Date: June–November (seven races nationwide)
Distance: Sprint and/or Olympic/intermediate distances, relay option at all races
Website: Trirock.competitor.com
RACE IT: If you want the red carpet treatment

The national TriRock series, owned by Triathlete parent company Competitor Group, literally rolls out the red carpet for participants at the finish line of its sprint- and Olympic-distance races spanning the U.S., from San Diego to Clearwater, Fla. First-class perks include a hot breakfast, Asics tech tee and swag bag, quality medals and an always rockin’ post-race concert.

PHOTOS: Athletes Take On TriRock Philadelphia

Event Name: Subaru Banff Triathlon
Date: Sept. 6, 2014
Distance: Super-sprint, sprint and Olympic distances, relay option for all
Website: Triseries.ca/banff
RACE IT: If you want a race-cation

Part of the Subaru Western Triathlon Series, the Banff race is touted as Canada’s premier triathlon, with options to race a super-sprint, sprint, Olympic or relay. The spectacularly scenic course tours Banff National Park and finishes to cheering crowds in downtown Banff, made famous by its annual film fest. Multisport set against the backdrop of a stunning, culture-rich mountain getaway? Sign us up.

More beginner advice from Triathlete.com.