These scenic triathlons are as easy on the eyes as they are hard on your body.

If you’re going to commit yourself to the hours of sweating, planning, and traveling that a triathlon entails, you need to make sure that the backdrop is ideal. Our favorite scenic triathlons around the country are comprised of inspiring courses, vacation-worthy destinations, and gorgeous landscapes.

1. Escape from Fort Desoto Triathlon 

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Location: St. Petersburg, FL

Date: April 16, 2016

This classic beachside course in St. Petersburg is a friendly option for both seasoned racers and new triathletes. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Escape from Fort Desoto, and no doubt its the location that keeps people coming back. Ranked as one of the top-ten beaches in the United States, Park Fort Desoto is made up of five interconnected islands and over 1,100 acres of white sand beaches and Florida greenery. The 0.5-mile swim takes place in calm, crystal-clear water. Both the 10-mile bike ride and half-paved 5K run are virtually hill-free, helping you finish confidently (and get closer to a new PR!)(Image via Distressed Mullet)


2. Wildflower Triathlon

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Location: Bradley, CA

Date: April 30 – May 1, 2016

Nicknamed “The Woodstock of Triathlons,”  the Wildflower race weekend combines a challenging course with an incredible festival-like atmosphere. The event has taken place every first weekend in May since 1983, and is set around Lake San Antonio in beautiful central California. Wildflower offers three races: the Sprint, Olympic, and Half-Ironman, and attracts over 7,000 racers and 30,000 spectators each year. Racers are encouraged to camp out and take part in weekend festivities; from live music to wine tasting. (Image via Rachel Makes a Run For It)

3. Honolulu Triathlon

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Location: Honolulu, HI

Date: May 15, 2016

If qualifying for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, HI is still just a fantasy, the Honolulu Triathlon is a great excuse to make your way to Hawaii. From Olympic and Sprint Relays to Junior, Youth, and Kids Triathlons, Honolulu has something for the whole family. The courses are along the Pacific Ocean at striking Ala Moana Beach Park. Swap your sneakers for flip-flops after the race and celebrate beachside. (Image via Honolulu Triathlon)

4. Naples Fitness Challenge Triathlon

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Location: Naples, FL

Date: June 5, 2016

This reverse triathlon is a SWFL favorite, and has been around for thirty years. The Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club location boasts a postcard-worthy beach and bright blue waters. Start off with a 5K run and 15K bike ride before cooling off with a brief ¼-mile swim in the ocean. Register as an individual or as a relay team with up to two others. (Image via Fitness Challenge Triathlon)

5. Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon

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Location: San Francisco, CA

Date: June 12, 2016

The epic challenge of San Francisco’s Escape From Alcatraz attracts world champions, Olympic medalists, and amateur triathletes alike. The race start is next to the iconic prison on Alcatraz Island, across the bay from San Francisco. Swimmers navigate a strong current and icy waters for 1.5 miles to the shores of the St. Francis Yacht Club. Following is a demanding 18-mile bike ride through the Presidio, and an 8-mile run near the Golden Gate Bridge. This thrilling tri is capped at 2,000 racers, and registration is competitive. (Image via WAYUGO)

6. June Lake Triathlon

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Location: June Lake, CA

Date: July 9, 2016

The June Lake Triathlon is among the nation’s top 22 races for its scenery and difficulty. The High Sierra boasts demanding courses for all three distances: Sprint, Olympic, and Half-Ironman. The high elevation and hilly trails make for one tough race, but the breathtaking mountain views from beautiful June Lake are worth your sweat and tears. (Image via High Sierra Tri)

7. Mountain Man Triathlon

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Location: Flagstaff, AZ

Date: July 10, 2016

With its fast course and refreshing green scenery, this Sprint-distance Tri has stood the test of time. Nearly as old as the Wildflower, the Mountain Man has been around for 32 years. At 7,000 feet above sea level,  Flagstaff boasts much cooler summer temperatures than nearby Phoenix. Enjoy the forgiving weather of Lake Mary and lush panoramas of the Ponderosa pine forest in exchange for a hilly ride and run. Need more time to train for the altitude? Don’t worry- the Mountain Man Olympic and Half Ironman are a month later on August 14, 2016. (Image via Mountain Man Events)

8. NYC Triathlon

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Location: New York, NY

Date: July 24, 2016

While there are many renowned urban triathlons, nothing compares to a race in the Big Apple! The New York City triathlon starts with a cool 1500-meter swim in the Hudson River. Next up, a 40K bike ride along the Hudson River up to the Bronx, and back down the Manhattan riverfront. To finish, enjoy a 10K run through the iconic, (and shaded) Central Park. While standard registration is already closed, it is not too late to get your spot in the race through participating charities! (Image via Slow Twitch)


Ready to compete? Read on:

What’s In The Bag? Triathlon Training Essentials From Julia Wreski

How to Train for Your First Triathlon

Get Race Ready With This 5-Week Swimming Workout