Triathlon season reaches its fever pitch in the Midwest in July and August, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait until mid-summer to swim, bike and run. These regional races provide local athletes with the opportunity to test their fitness early in the year with everything from sprint to half Ironman-distance races. Read up on these events, or visit myracepal.com to find even more area triathlons.
J-Hawk Earlybird Adult & Child Triathlon
Date: May 1
Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin
Distance: Olympic (1000-yard swim, 26.5-mile bike, six-mile run); Sprint (500-yard swim, 13-mile bike, three-mile run); Child (200-yard swim, four-mile bike, one-mile run); Relay also available
From the Race Director, Cheri Zimdars: “We have newbies to elite-level triathletes. Our newbies like the pool swim—only two to a lane, so no crowding—and the run course is through a nature preserve, which makes it challenging and fun.”
Claim to Fame: The race takes place at the Williams Center on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Date: May 7
Location: Waverly, Iowa
Distance: Sprint (300-yard swim, 15-mile bike, 5K run); Relay also available
From the Race Official, Carrie Tysdahl: “The race has consistently drawn a competitive field of athletes and has great prizes from our title sponsor, Scheels. It is also a good opportunity for early qualification for the USAT Age-Group Nationals to be held in Omaha, Nebraska this year.”
Claim to Fame: TriByKnight takes place at Wartburg College, with its swim in the Wartburg-Waverly Sport & Wellness Center and its run through the college’s campus.
Leaning Tower YMCA Tower Triathlon
Date: May 15
Distance: Sprint (450-yard swim, 18K bike, 5K run); Relay also available
Claim to Fame: If open water swimming scares you away from triathlons, the Tower Triathlon holds its swim in the YMCA’s pool, giving you the chance to complete your swim in clear, clean water.
Tri-Shark: Triathlon Classic & Duathlon
Date: June 4
Distance: Sprint (600-yard swim, 13-mile bike, 5K run); Duathlon (two-mile run, 13-mile bike, 5K run); Relay also available
From the Race Director, Colleen Klein: “With two large triathlon clubs in our area (Tri-Shark Triathlon Club and Grim Reaper Fitness), the Tri-Shark race is like a big family reunion. Both clubs pitch in to help with race setup and tear down and dozens of members participate in either our triathlon or duathlon.”
Claim to Fame: The race includes a plethora of awards for overall winners, age group winners, Clydesdales, Clydesdales Masters, Athenas, Athena Masters and relay teams. The race also presents fastest event awards to the fastest male and female swimmer, cyclist and runner in the triathlon and two fastest runners and cyclists in the duathlon.
Date: June 5
Location: Hammond, Indiana
Distance: Olympic (1,500-meter swim, 40K bike, 10K run); Sprint (750-meter swim, 20K bike, 5K run); Relay also available
Claim to Fame: In addition to its reputation as a fast race, Leon’s Triathlon boasts a strong commitment to honoring military members, with thousands of United States flags along the course, a clinic for injured military members organized by Dare2tri and more.
Indianapolis Sprint Triathlon #1
Date: June 11
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Distance: Sprint (500-meter run, 10-mile bike, three-mile swim); Duathlon (two-mile run, 10-mile bike, three-mile run); Relay also available
From the Race Producer, Don Carr: “The Indianapolis Sprint Triathlon is a favorite of many as it allows triathletes of all abilities a fun, safe, scenic course inside of beautiful Eagle Creek Park. Athletes again will receive five-split timing along with a quality shirt and more than 100 age-division awards.”
Claim to Fame: If you enjoy the race or can’t make the June date, the Indianapolis Sprint Triathlon series continues with races on July 16 and August 20.
Esprit de She
Date: June 12
Distance: Sprint (.75K swim, 21.4K bike, 5K run); Relay also available
Claim to Fame: This women’s-only event welcomes triathletes of all abilities, but particularly caters to beginners with a swim course in the Centennial Beach Reservoir, which features lane markers in addition to buoys and has “Swim Angels” available to provide extra encouragement.
Toughman Wisconsin Sprint & Half Ironman Triathlon
Date: June 18
Location: Sherwood, Wisconsin
Distance: Sprint (.25-mile swim, 22-mile bike, 5K run); Half (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run); Aqua Bike (1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike); Relay also available
From the Race Director Ben West: “Toughman Wisconsin is the only race where you can swim in the largest lake in Wisconsin, bike along the shoreline with great views and run the trails of a Wisconsin state park.”
Claim to Fame: Toughman Wisconsin takes place at High Cliff State Park, 45 minutes southwest of Green Bay, and triathletes will quickly understand the state park’s name on the bike course, which features nearly 200 feet of elevation gain in the first two miles.
Railsplitter Olympic Triathlon 2016
Date: June 19
Distance: Olympic (.9-mile swim, 24.8-mile bike, 6.2-mile run); Relay also available
From the Race Promoter, Steve O’Connor: “The run takes you through an 1800s pioneer village where Abe Lincoln lived for six years. The finish is under centuries-old oaks where Abe used to frequent.”
Claim to Fame: After a swim in Lake Petersburg and a bike through country roads, triathletes run through Lincoln’s New Salem Historic Site, a reconstruction of New Salem, and will pass recreated locations including a blacksmith shop, a carding mill, stores and homes.
Lake in the Hills Triathlon
Date: June 19
Location: Lake in the Hills
Distance: Sprint (.5-mile swim, 15.5-mile bike, four-mile run); Relay also available
Claim to Fame: The race kicks off with an elite wave, and features a point-to-point course that takes you from Woods Creek Lake, through Lake in the Hills and ends at Ken Carpenter Park.