Best Triathlon Towns and Communities

Masters Athlete Names Top 10 Triathlon Communities
1. Boulder, Colo.
2. San Luis Obispo, Calif.
3. San Diego, Calif.
4. Austin, Texas
5. Tucson, Ariz.
6. Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
7. Twin Cities, Minn.
8. Clermont, Fla.
9. Lake Placid, N.Y.
10. Chicago, Ill.

TOP 10 Triathlons Towns according to Triathlon Magazine

1) Kona, Hawaii - Ford Ironman 140.6 World Championship
2) San Francisco, CA - Escape from Alcatraz
3) Bend, OR - Pacific Crest Triathlon
4) San Deigo, CA - San Deigo International Triathlon
5) Tucson, AZ - Tinfoilman Triathlon
6) Boulder, CO - Boulder Peak Triathlon
7) Austin, TX - Capitol of Texas Triathlon
8) Madison, WI - Ironman Wisconsin
9) St. Petersburg, FL - St. Anthony's Triathlon and 70.3 World Championships
10) Montauk, NY - Mightyman Montauk

    What is a triathlon?
A triathlon is an endurance sports event consisting of running, biking, and swimming over various distances. As a result, proficiency in swimming, cycling, or running alone is not sufficient to guarantee a triathlon athlete a competitive time, trained triathletes have learned to race each stage in a way that preserves their energy and endurance for subsequent stages. In most modern triathlons, these events are placed back-to-back in immediate sequence and a competitor's official time includes the time required to "transition" between the individual legs of the race, including any time necessary for changing clothes and shoes.

History of the Triathlon
According to triathlon historian and author Scott Tinley, the origin of triathlon is anecdotally attributed to a race in France during the 1920s-1930s that was called variously "Les trois sports", "La Course des Débrouillards", and "La course des Touche à Tout". Nowadays, this race is held every year in France near Joinville-le-Pont, in Meulan and Poissy. In 1920, the French newspaper "L´Auto" reported on a competition called "Les Trois Sports" with a 3 km run, 12 km bike, and a swim across the channel Marne. Those three parts were done without any break. There are also articles in French newspapers about a race in Marseille in 1927. There is a 1934 article about "Les Trois Sports" (the three sports) in the city of La Rochelle, a race with: (1) a channel crossing, (2) a bike competition (10 km) around the harbor of La Rochelle and the parc Laleu, and (3) a run (1200 m) in the stadium André-Barbeau.

The first modern long-distance triathlon event was the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon. It included a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run. It was conceived during the awards ceremony for the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay (a running race for 5-person teams).

Among the participants were numerous representatives of both the Mid-Pacific Road Runners and the Waikiki Swim Club, whose members had long been debating which athletes were more fit: runners or swimmers. On this occasion, U.S. Navy Commander John Collins pointed out that a recent article in Sports Illustrated magazine had declared that Eddy Merckx, the great Belgian cyclist, had the highest recorded "maximum oxygen uptake" of any athlete ever measured, so perhaps cyclists were more fit than anyone. Collins and his wife, Judy, had taken part in the triathlons staged in 1974 and 1975 by the San Diego Track Club in and around Mission Bay, California, as well as the Optimist Sports Fiesta Triathlon in Coronado, California in 1975.

A number of the other military athletes in attendance were also familiar with the San Diego races, so they understood the concept when Collins suggested that the debate should be settled through a race combining the three existing long-distance competitions already on the island: the Waikiki Roughwater Swim (2.4 mi/3.862 km), the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles (185 km); originally a two-day event) and the Honolulu Marathon (26.219 mi/42.195 km). No one present had ever done the bike race so they did not realize it was a two-day, not one-day, event. Collins calculated that, by shaving 3 miles (5 km) off the course and riding counter-clockwise around the island, the bike leg could start at the finish of the Waikiki Rough Water and end at the Aloha Tower, the traditional start of the Honolulu Marathon.  

This listing of the best triathlon towns is constantly being revised as we experience and run new triathlons. So, if you feel you believe believe we have missed one, please let us know!