Top Races To Do As A Beginner?

Home Page California Triathlon Discussion Top Races To Do As A Beginner?

This topic contains 4 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Facebook Profile photo Robert C 8 months ago.

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  • #6647
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    Monica Lee
    • Total Posts: 29

      I get this question a lot: ” I am going to be doing my first triathlon which races do you recommend?”

    • #6648
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      David Chen
      • Total Posts: 6

        I did Long Beach sprint triathlon as my first. Calm ocean swim with a flat run and bike. Unfortunately it does not look like the race is continuing.
        Trick or Tri and Tri-Events are good beginner events. Calm lake swim and relatively flat run and bike course.
        When I volunteered at Tri-Events last year, I saw a competitor riding a pink beach cruiser on the bike portion.

      • #6649
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        Anthony Grey
        • Total Posts: 58

          “It depends”

          I would ask about their goals, their reasons, their sources of motivation. Calling it a “first triathlon” implies that there will be more so hopefully it’s not a one and done bucket list kind of thing. As a triathlete and an active member an organization committed to growing the sport by helping people get into and stay with it, I feel a responsibility to do whatever I can to ensure that their first experience with triathlon is a positive one, so they will want to keep training and competing. If the first triathlon is a miserable day for them, they may never come back. So ask lots of questions and help them come up with good choices.

          Race distance: Typically I think a first triathlon should be a sprint distance or at most an Olympic. A relay is another way to give someone exposure to the sport, potentially with the fun aspect of being involved with friends, without the pressure of doing all three disciplines if they are apprehensive or less prepared.

          Race location: For a first race I suggest something local and easy. The idea that you can race and be done be home before lunch is fairly appealing. Being local tends to minimize costs and logistical concerns so they can just focus on their race. Also there’s a greater likelihood that friends & family will be involved as athletes and/or spectators. Of course, if they want to travel, I’m sure there are plenty of destination races to recommend.

          Race quality, cost, difficulty: Again, first impressions matter. Don’t send them to a disreputable race director. Recommend a race you’ve done yourself, or can ask people about. Check social media and online reviews. Is it safe? Are the athletes treated well? Don’t send a beginner to a race in with an ocean swim (the surf may be up) or an overly hilly or technical bike course.

          Make them feel like part of a community: What really makes a difference is if they feel welcome. If possible, find a race where you know there will be plenty of friendly people, try to make some introductions in advance, build some support they can use for training and motivation. Maximize the good vibes!

          If the athlete is local to Southern California, you should absolutely send them to Trick Or Tri, because it’s beginner friendly, it’s a safe closed course, and there are so many opportunities to get coached, train as a group, and meet other athletes leading up to race day.

          Anyway that’s my .02

          • This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by Facebook Profile photo Anthony Grey.
        • #6655

          Marc Geraldez
          • Total Posts: 13

            I have a somewhat two-part answer.

            My first triathlon race back in 2007 was the Mission Bay Sprint Tri. I felt it was a great intro to tri because the water was calm and the environment was great. I wasn’t aware of any triathlons that were in LA but since there are a bunch of local ones now, I would say any that was protected waters 🙂

            The second part of my answer is that if you are too uncomfortable to do a tri with an outdoor swim, I’ve seen a bunch of indoor triathlons. My wife falls in this category and a few years ago, she did an indoor triathlon in the South Bay.

            So it all depends on your comfort level.

          • #6850
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            Robert C
            • Total Posts: 29

              Based on my experiences as a beginning triathlete I would make the following recommendations:
              (Assuming a base level of fitness and experience with no prior knowledge of Triathlon)

              1) Tri-Events 1-3 Fantastic location, excellent organization, clean and calm lake swim, safe bike course and scenic run course. The bike and run courses have some elevation challenges that will build good skills moving forward into future races. Very chill and fun atmosphere, great after event food and refreshments and great raffle prize drawings.

              2) Trick or Tri. Great beginner race venue. Scenic lake swim with flat and fast bike and run courses. Can get very busy, recommend getting to the venue as early as possible. I ran the Olympic in 16′ and cut 45 minutes off my first Olympic time, thats fast! I volunteered in 17′ and will be there again to volunteer this year to do my best to make sure everyone has a awesome race experience.

              3) Semper Tri, Camp Pendelton. Race on one of California’s premier Marine Corp bases, where they go out of their way to show off their impressive organizational abilities. Lots of awesome support from your local Marines, can I get a Hoo Rah!. It starts of with a very challenging 750 yard ocean swim. You will want to have some ocean swim experience and be comfortable with rough surf conditions. Followed by a fully closed 18 mile bike course throughout the Camp Pendelton base. The 5k run is fast and goes through the amphibious assault squadron compound with a spectacular finish running up and through a amphibious assault craft. Did I mention it was very affordable at only $65? (2016) I wanted to do this one again in 2017 but it was 1 day before my Ironman Superfrog. Due to logistical difficulties I was unable to attend. I am looking to return this year.

              Those would be my top 3 Sprint/Olympic distance recommendations for SoCal.

              • This reply was modified 8 months ago by Facebook Profile photo Robert C.

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