Editors’ Picks: The United States’ Best Triathlons

  • By The Editors
  • Published Feb 13, 2013
  • Updated Jan 15, 2015 at 9:24 AM UTC
Photo: Eric Lars Bakke

Mountain West

*Montana Tough*
Grizzly Tri (Missoula, Mont.)
Apr. 20, 2013, Sprint
Going strong since 1987, the Grizzly Tri draws all types. Exit the pool swim and you’ll see everything from secondhand vintage bikes to tandems to local pro Linsey Corbin’s Trek Speed Concept. Then it’s time to run—straight up the side of Mount Sentinel on a gravel surface. Montana is no place for sissies, and April temps—rumored to range from 7 to 70 degrees—guarantee an unpredictable yet enjoyable adventure.

*Half-Distance, Full Challenge*
Ironman 70.3 St. George (St. George, Utah)
May 4, 2013, Half-iron
Three years after the inaugural Ironman St. George, the race was modified from 140.6 miles to 70.3. Though shorter in distance, the race still offers up one of the most challenging bike and run courses in the United States. Be prepared to take in some great views of clear waters, Snow Canyon and some of the sport’s top pros. As the 2013 Ironman 70.3 U.S. Pro Championship, this race will attract the sport’s top talent.

RELATED PHOTOS: 2011 Ironman St. George

*Why So Serious?*
Cruiserman Triathlon (Tempe, Ariz.)
Sept. 28, 2013, Sprint
Forget wetsuits; this race allows—nay, encourages—the use of arm floaties on the swim. A fun contrast to the very full race calendar at Tempe Town Lake, Cruiserman reminds triathletes not to take themselves too seriously. Dust off your fixed-gear bike and hit the beer garden on your way out of T1. If you don’t do this race, at least go watch it; the costumes will have you giggling for days.

*Make The Pilgrimage*
Ironman 70.3 Boulder
Aug. 4, 2013, Half-iron
Race in the mountain hub of triathlon alongside some of the sport’s fastest amateurs and professionals. The thin air will have you wheezing during the swim, but the bike and courses are flat (for the region) and speedy. Save time after the race to enjoy some of the most picturesque and challenging training grounds in the country. Flagstaff Mountain and the Mesa Trail are two can’t-miss routes for bike and run workouts, respectively.

RELATED PHOTOS: 2012 Ironman 70.3 Boulder

*Test Your Mettle—At 8,000 Feet*
Mountain Man Triathlon (Flagstaff, Ariz.)
Aug. 11, 2013, Half-iron and Olympic
Set in picturesque northern Arizona, Mountain Man offers cool temperatures and blue skies. With a name like Mountain Man, you know this course will present a good challenge. High altitude plus a punishing run (a 450-foot ascent awaits one mile out of T2) will test your physical and mental limits.

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FILED UNDER: Features / Race Coverage

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