When picking a half or full-distance triathlon, one of the initial considerations is not just whether it’s a good race for the triathlete, but if it’s good for the family and/or your spectators. This list of our five favorite family-friendly triathlons includes half and full-distance races. We chose them because, of the many races we have attended, these worked the best for both the athletes and the family who came to cheer them on.
These races can last up to 17 hours, so the locations have to offer things to do and places to eat close by. Overall experience is so important to make it not only a successful race, but to ensure that the sport becomes part of your family’s lifestyle.
Our Considerations for Choosing Family-Friendly Triathlons
• The degree of difficulty of the course should not be overwhelming for the triathlete, as you may want to add a few vacation days after the race
• The location should be easy to get to.
• The race site should be compact and easy to get around.
• There should be plenty of activities for the support team to do at the venue during the race.The date of the race needs to be considered, as kids may be in school and not on break.
• It is easy to find good food and/or good restaurants, to meet the nutritional needs of your triathlete and keep your family happy.
• The entry fee and race venue should be budget-friendly to accommodate a variety of budgets.
The following five triathlons met, or even exceeded, our family-friendly race test:
1. Ironman Mont Tremblant Canada
This race is an all-time favorite and offers multiple events. Although some good climbs on the bike and a long hill on the run make the
race more challenging, these are far outweighed by the beauty, friendliness, and overall feel of Mont Tremblant.
Race director Dominique Piche and his crew know how to do it right with kid zones, walk-overs to navigate the race course, and loops to make sure you see your athlete multiple times.
As a plus, Mont Tremblant is perfect for a romantic race get away OR a family vacation; we have done both. The size of the village is not overwhelming, but big enough to have a wide variety of activities and food. Don’t forget to visit the old village for some of the best dining around!
2. Rev3 Cedar Point, Ohio
Rev3 has made its reputation on hosting family-friendly races and Cedar Point in Ohio is a favorite for family and friends. Charlie Patten and the Rev3 crew make sure there is something for the whole family to do and events take place over the weekend and not just on race day.
From the color race to kids’ runs, Rev3 wants your family to be active and happy. Not to mention Cedar Point makes for an awesome, affordable family get away with its amusement park heaven on scenic Lake Erie.
3. Ironman Arizona
Heading out west for a full-distance race, Ironman Arizona is the best. It was the Zucker family’s first triathlon and this year they will be back for the third ti
me. IMAZ is a relatively flat, fast course and late in the season, allowing for ample training time and avoiding the Arizona heat.
It is located right on the lake in Tempe and everything is within walking distance of the race site, including hotels and great restaurants. What we love most is that you can see your athlete so many times on the course. As a bonus, there is so much to do in the area before or after the race that Arizona makes a great vacation spot on its own.
4. Ironman 70.3 Galveston, Texas
Ironman 70.3 Galveston in Texas makes for a wonderful family getaway. It is one of our favorite destinations. Once you get to the race site, there is no reason to leave.
The race is headquartered on the grounds of Moody Gardens, which can keep your family occupied for hours, if not a few days. The attractions include Aquarium and Rainforest Pyramids, a Discovery Museum with visiting exhibitions, and a variety of theatre experiences. Right across the parking lot of Moody Gardens is Schlitterbahn Indoor WaterPark and don’t forget the Pleasure Pier and the beaches. There is something for everyone in Galveston and great family fun.
5. Orlando, Florida
On the east coast, check out one of the many races in the Orlando, Florida, area, including Ironman 70.3 Haines City, which is about 30 minutes away and HITS Triathlon Series Ocala. Races in and around Orlando allow for flat rides, fast races, and lots of quality time with the support team. And of course, Orlando offers something for every budget with all the amusement parks, including Disney World and Universal Studios.