Top Races To Do As A Beginner?

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

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Marc Geraldez 2 weeks, 2 days ago.

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  • #6647
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    Monica Lee
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    • Total Posts: 29

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

    • #6648
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      David Chen
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        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
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          “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 2 weeks, 3 days ago by Facebook Profile photo Anthony Grey.
        • #6655

          Marc Geraldez
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          • 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.

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