Having someone to hang with at a triathlon sounds good right? Who wants to be by yourself for up to 14+ hours during a full distance race? It can be a lonely life out there on the course for a spectator. And it’s especially true if you aren’t staying at a hotel you can make it back to during the race. But while it may sound good, there are some considerations that can dampen the enthusiasm. This is especially true if there are more than one triathletes in the party.

Here are the pros and cons of traveling to triathlons with friends and family and how you can make it all go well!


  • You have people to hang out with especially when your triathlete is busy with his “race stuff.”
  • Your triathlete may be better behaved with others around.
  • Race day goes by much quicker when you have company.
  • You have built-in help if there’s a problem,
  • If you have kids with you, you can take turns watching the kids and getting a little break if you want.
  • If there are other triathletes, they can keep each other company and give you some alone time.

traveling to triathlons with friends and family can go well


  • People get emotional and can be testy before races. It might not all be pleasant. It can be tough just dealing with YOUR triathlete let alone adding a few more to the mix.
  • Worrying if everyone will get along.
  • Dinner reservations might be made without considering dietary needs or preferences of all guests.
  • You feel obligated to stay with the people you came with.
  • You may have to do things you don’t want to do or not get to do things you want to do.
  • Waiting on everyone to congregate before you can leave.
  • If you make the plans, you have added stress of trying to please everyone.

How to Make it All Go Well

Newbies…First and foremost, talk to anyone attending a triathlon for the first time and let them know what to expect. Be honest so expectations meet reality. And take care of them during the race. Remember your first race and act accordingly.

Plan ahead…Try and plan ahead as much as you can and make necessary reservations. You don’t need to be arguing about where to eat before a race and stress out the triathletes any more than they already are. Plus, you want to make sure you have a place to eat. Decide who is going to be responsible for the reservations.

Communicate…Talk to everyone going both ahead of time and at the location. Traveling with others mandates this. If you want to do something without the crowd, decide how important it is to you. If it is, tell them you want to go to the history museum and you’ll catch up with everyone later. No one needs or probably wants to be joined at the hip.

Make your own plans…I always make my own dinner reservations and think about activities I want to do on the side. That way, if other plans fall apart for any number of reasons, I’m still covered.

Be flexible…Stuff is going to happen and change plans; that’s a given in the triathlon world. Don’t take it to heart. Go with the flow and just be happy you’re surrounded by people who under normal circumstances you like and love.

traveling to triathlons with friends and family can go well

What has your experience been traveling to triathlons with friends and family?