Boulder Peak TriathlonBoulder, Colorado - July 14, 2013 1 of 8
You are already racing a mile above sea level, and then the 42K bike leg ascends Old Stage Hill and takes you even higher. The 2/3-mile hill has an average 15 percent grade and climbs 600 feet. Your screaming legs will appreciate the accompanying descent, which is so significant that race organizers have a speed limit in place. The Olympic-distance tri also has a 1.5K swim and a 10K run.
Buckhead Border ChallengeJeffersonville, Indiana - July 21, 2013 2 of 8
A rare triathlon that starts in one state and finishes in another, this Olympic-distance race takes off on the shoreline of Kentucky with a swim across the Ohio River—and its noticeable current—to Indiana, where the bike and run take place. Participants swim underneath the Big Four Bridge and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge.
Granite Bay TriathlonGranite Bay, California - August 24, 2013 3 of 8
Dubbed "California's toughest sprint triathlon," this race won't overwhelm you with distance but rather by the course layout. It does, however, have a longer swim than most sprints, about 3/4 of a mile. The 13-mile bike course is windy with a few tight turns and sharp hills (organizers would prefer you ride the course ahead of time). The 5-mile run is partly off-road on single track trails.
Burrito Union 5-Hour and 10-Hour Sprint TriathonSuperior, Wisconsin - September 7, 2013 4 of 8
This race takes the concept of 12- and 24-hour events made popular in mountain biking and ultrarunning and brought it to triathlon. A 600-yard lake swim, 14.7-mile bike ride and 5K run makes up the course; the object is to see how many times you can do it. The individual 5-hour record is four full triathlons.
Jet Express TriathlonLakeside Marblehead, Ohio - September 8, 2013 5 of 8
Imagine getting thrown off a boat in the middle of Lake Erie and told to start swimming. That's the thrill of this race, which starts when you jump off a ferryboat and start the 1,500-meter journey back to shore. And if that's not challenging enough, the 10K run is on a variety of terrains—asphalt, soft sand, hard sand, grass, woodland trails and more.
Ironman Lake TahoeLake Tahoe, California - September 22, 2013 6 of 8
The 140.6-mile Ironman distance doesn't need any added challenge, but the inaugural Ironman Lake Tahoe throws a wild card at you anyway. This race will have you touching the clouds—it reaches 7,200 feet above sea level during the bike course, and the entire 26.2-mile run is at least 6,150 feet above sea level. Altitude training, anyone?
Superfrog TriathlonCoronado, California - September 29, 2013 7 of 8
This 70.3-mile race was designed back in 1979 by America's toughest soldiers—the Navy SEALs stationed at Coronado. The 1.2-mile swim is in the open ocean with plenty of crashing waves to overcome, and the triathlon ends with a 13.1-mile run that's partly on soft sand.