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6 Great Triathlons for Beginners

HITS

Naples, FL
Jan. 10-11, 2015
hitstriathlonseries.com
Open distance: 100-meter swim, 3-mile bike, 1-mile run Sprint distance: 750-meter swim, 12.4-mile bike, 3.1-mile run

The HITS series offers a unique opportunity on the triathlon calendar, wherein each event weekend features five race distances ranging from open (created especially for newbies) to full distance (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run). Target the Naples open or sprint in early January as a fitness-focused New Year’s resolution for your rookie season. The flat, fast course and beautiful beaches are bound to provide an enjoyable experience, and the versatility of the HITS series makes this race a worthy annual event to gauge your progress through the sport.

Wildflower Triathlon Festival

Lake San Antonio, Calif.
May 1-3, 2015
tricalifornia.com
Mountain bike sprint distance: .25-mile swim, 9.7-mile bike, 2-mile run Olympic distance: 1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run

Wildflower is not widely viewed as a beginner race—and indeed the tough-as-nails long course is best savored with a bit more experience. But the mountain bike race—a sprint distance traversing a blend of paved and dirt roads and lacking Wildflower’s legendary run climbs—or the Olympic distance—challenging and hilly, but not horrendous—are ones to consider. The awesome festival atmosphere and campsite-only accommodations at Wildflower make the entire weekend wild and wacky and guarantee that your first triathlon experience will be a fun one.

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