Signing up for a destination race is an excellent way to motivate yourself to reach your fitness goals while also getting in some much needed time off. Racing in a new city or country, you'll experience new cultures, meet new people or share your love of the sport with family and friends in a memorable and exciting way.
Nowadays, there are races in seemingly every tourist city in the world, but here are a few worth putting on your calendar.
IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Rosa
July 27, 2019 in Santa Rosa, California
What's better than exploring some of the premiere wine regions after a grueling multisport race? That's exactly what you are in store for when you sign up for this thrilling race. Easily accessible from San Francisco, IRONMAN 70.3 Santa Rosa truly delivers the perfect race experience, from the moment you arrive to your on-the-course moments to the time you go to leave. If you're setting out for your first go at 70.3, do it right. And this race will help you get there.
September 8, 2019 in Madison, Wisconsin
If you're looking for a low key race that full of friendly faces, picturesque views and an award-winning run course, look no further than IRONMAN Wisconsin. Voted overall best run course in 2017, as well as the race most participants would recommend to a friend, you don't want to miss out on this Midwest experience. Ride through scenic country roads and swim in Lake Monona for an experience you won't soon forget.
Fugitive Half Iron Distance Triathlon
July 14, 2019 in Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom
Located in the countryside outside of London, the Marlow Triathlon gives you a challenging taste of English multisport. The strong currents of the River Thames guarantee you a fast swim, and the bike and run courses meander through English townships and over grassy foothills before finishing in popular Higginson Park. This race will give you the perfect start for a trip to the U.K., where your tired quads can rejuvenate on strolls past Buckingham Palace or while searching for the best meat pie.
IRONMAN 70.3 Calgary
August 11, 2019 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Head north to Canadian cowboy country for one of the most scenic half-iron races in the world. The chilly swim in crystal-clear waters of Auburn Bay will invigorate you for the 56-mile bike through open prairies and the run through the valleys of the Glenmore Reservoir. The entire course features beautiful vistas of the Rocky Mountains that seem to go on forever. Post-race you can enjoy a trip to nearby Banff National Park for some of the most awe-inspiring hikes and views on earth.
Zoot Westchester Olympic Triathlon
September 22, 2019 in Rye, New York
With a calm and usually warm swim in Long Island Sound, and a hilly bike and flat run along the famous Rye Playland Boardwalk, this Olympic-distance race has been an East Coast favorite for more than three decades. Taking place just north of the city, this race is also a great excuse to take a few days and visit the Big Apple and perhaps catch a few Broadway shows (and eat a few pastramis on rye).
Santa Rosa Island Sprint Triathlon
October 5, 2019 in Pensacola Beach, Florida
If you've got the end-of-summer blues, look no further than Florida for a dose of warm water and racing fun. The Santa Rosa Island Sprint Triathlon is celebrating its 23rd year and is guaranteed to sell out. The fast course features a beautiful, calm swim in the Gulf of Mexico, followed by completely flat and fast bike and run courses in and around the Pensacola Beach community. A week on the famous white sand beaches of Pensacola might be vacation enough, but this race location is also close enough to the beach town of Panama City for a quick day trip.
November 24, 2019 in Cozumel, Mexico
Ranked No. 9 on the 2016 Athletes' Choice Awards for races triathletes are most likely to return to the following year, IRONMAN Cozumel gives athletes an opportunity to turn their race into a vacation while keeping most of their money in the bank. Surrounded by the picturesque Caribbean Sea and located just a short distance off Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Cozumel is one of the premiere diving destinations in the world--and you'd get to experience the attraction first hand by swimming 2.4 miles in the clear blue waters with 200 feet of visibility. Plus, with a bike course that's "pancake flat," what more could you ask for in a race?
IRONMAN 70.3 Pucon
January 12, 2020 in Pucon, Chile
Set against the backdrop of the Villarrica Volcano, IRONMAN 70.3 Pucon is as challenging as it is awe-inspiring. With a swim in Lake Villarrica, a challenging bike ride outside of the city of Pucon and a hilly run through town, you'll be more than ready to relax and take in the sights of southern Chile once you cross the finish line. Soak in local hot springs before gearing up for the most popular tourist destination in town--the top of Villarrica. Each day hundreds of brave people make the ascent to the summit of the snow-capped dome before sliding back down to sea level for some well-deserved tapas and beer.
IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa
January 26, 2020 in Buffalo City, East London, South Africa
No, there aren't any zebras on the course at IRONMAN 70.3 South Africa, but post-race you won't have to look very far to find them. Located along the Eastern Cape of South Africa, this race features a calm bay swim, a hilly bike course and a flat and fast run through the waterfront of Buffalo City. After the race, head to Nahoon's Bat Cave to see 200,000 old footprints or venture out on a safari to check out some of the local wildlife.
February 15, 2020 in Wanaka, New Zealand
Long considered one of the most scenic long distance triathlons in the world, Challenge Wanaka is the ultimate destination race for those adventuresome at heart. The warm kiwi hospitality will help push you through the chilly (but beautiful) swim in Lake Wanaka, the hilly bike course through New Zealand's Southern Alps and the run around the local Wanaka township where thousands of local spectators will greet you at the finish . Once the race is done, New Zealand is yours to explore--rafting, hiking, climbing, bungee jumping and pretty much any adventure sport known to man awaits you.
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