TriRock Austin (Austin, Texas)
Sept. 2, 2013, Olympic and sprint
A supremely newbie-friendly race showcasing eclectic Austin, TriRock Austin is a rollicking good time from start to finish, with live music pumping from a boat during the swim and along the entire course. One major highlight is riding down Congress Avenue and in the shadow of the stately capitol building. Other fun features: the finish-line concert and beer garden (if you have a podium day, you can drink from your award—a sturdy glass mug etched with your finish place).
*All Revved Up*
Rev3 Knoxville (Knoxville, Tenn.)
May 5, 2013, Half-iron and Olympic
The kids will love the inflatable slide; you’ll love the pro treatment that includes a name-tagged transition space. Already signed up? A few tips for Knoxville newbies from 2012 Olympic Rev champ, Kelly Williamson: Be prepared for a challenging bike course; wear tinted goggles as the swim starts right into the sun; and walk to Market Square District after the race for food and entertainment, complete with hippie drum circles.
RELATED PHOTOS: 2012 Rev3 Knoxville
*Epic Climbs And Beauty To Match*
Savageman 70.0 Triathlon (Deep Creek Lake, Md.)
Sept. 15, 2013, Modified half-iron
This is not the place to PR. The beautiful but painful course is nestled in the Allegheny Mountains, but you only get to enjoy the fall scenery between the bike course’s eight climbs, the most notorious of which is Westernport Wall (31 percent grade!), which has Tour de France-like spectator support—think cheering fans in all sorts of getups. If you summit the climb without touching a foot down, your name is engraved on a brick. This race gets rave reviews for organization and attention to detail.
*Options For All*
HITS Ocala Triathlon
March 23-24, 2013, Full, half, Olympic, sprint, open
Florida’s hill country provides a perfect venue for triathletes across all ability levels to enjoy a weekend chock-full of endurance-related fun. There’s even a free “intro to tri” open race for wannabes to test their skills. HITS goes the extra mile to make athletes feel at ease—each gets a dedicated stool in transition and the race director’s cell number in case they need assistance—even during the actual race!