Returning to Racing


Triathlon racing in 2020 is different than any other year. At the beginning of this year, people were registered to compete in triathlons nationwide and now as we head into November, a handful of triathlons are actually taking place thanks to COVID-19. What will triathlon racing look like in 2021? Will races appear to be just as they were before COVID-19 or will adjustments need to be made by race directors to keep participants safe?


While nobody 100% knows what racing will look like in 2021 and beyond, triathlons currently taking place are much different than previous years events. For example, IRONMAN 70.3 Arizona was the first Ironman-branded event this year held on October 18, 2020.  Many changes were put into place in order to keep participants, officials, volunteers and spectators safe.  Here is one review of IMAZ 70.3 from a participant: IMAZ 70.3 review.

Ways race directors are keeping participants safe:


  1. Limiting race registrations.


  1. Having participants pre-select a time to bring down their bike and complete registration at a physically distanced check-in area with plexiglass separating officials/volunteers from participants and guests.


  1. Required temperature screening inside the race area and use of hand sanitizer.


  1. Masks worn by everyone, including racers up until they enter the water.


  1. All race participants are spread out at the starting line and allowed to enter the water in small waves to allow for more distancing.


As time goes on and we move into the end of 2020 and beyond, it will be up to race organizers to work alongside local government officials to truly determine if racing is safe. Safety is the number one priority for race participants, race officials, spectators, volunteers, etc. This means that everyone from the mayor’s offices, town councils, parks and recreation departments, and police departments collectively come together with race directors to determine if holding a race is in fact a good idea given current circumstances.


Do we think the world’s largest triathlons will take place next year, just as 2020 never happened? Most likely not – However, we hope to see smaller events start to happen with extra safety guidelines in place to keep everyone safe.


Even if 2020 isn’t your year to tackle a triathlon due to COVID-19, we can all continue our training, keep an eye out for 2021 race registrations, and hope come next year at this time things appear a little more “normal” for the racing world.

Thinking of making 2021 your comeback-to-racing year? Contact me today for your 2021 triathlon training plan.


Train Right, Tri Right!

Coach MJ


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