Triathlon & multisport travel for beginners

Are you an amateur athlete looking to spice things up? If a training regime filled with early morning swims, late night runs and blistering bike rides sounds like heaven, multisport competition could be for you! Whether it’s a “Try-a-Tri”, half or full IRONMAN triathlon, a “Sprint” duathlon (cycle and run), or a Rock ’N’ Roll Marathon coupled with an amateur cycling event, the lead-up to a multisport competition is intense.

And if you’ve travelled to compete in a race, a last-minute injury could temporarily sideline your dreams of leading the pack over the finish line. But don’t worry! A solid travel insurance policy can take some of the stings out of missing a multisport race. Read on to learn about some of the many choices for multisport travel.

You’ll find organized triathlon multisport events everywhere across Canada, the United States and around the world, in just about any geography from Hawaii to London to Dubai. Travelling as part of achieving fitness goals is a great way to see somewhere new and also achieve a personal best; but even the most elite amateur athletes occasionally run into emergencies and injuries that mean their competition trip has to be cancelled. This is why travel insurance is a must-have for multisport athletes.

Whether you’ve been running 5K on a regular basis and are looking for a new challenge, the kids have left the house and have more time to yourself, or you were motivated by a race you saw on TV, triathlons are for everyone. Triathlons can range from a 500-metre swim, 10K bike, and 1.6K run to ultra triathlons estimated at 4K, 180K bike run, and 42K run. Just pick the race that fits your goals and make sure to train for it.

If you are starting out, aim for a sprint triathlon and plan for at least 12-16 weeks of training, before your event. Visit "How to train for a triathlon" for more information on training for your first triathlon.

Another option includes working with a coach who will be able to set a training plan, nutritional advice, and one-on-one instruction. 

Lots of gear is required to compete in a triathlon, but the good news is that you may already have some of it. For your first race you’ll need goggles, a swimsuit, bike, bike helmet, bike shoes, running shoes and clothing. 

For your first triathlon, you’ll likely want to wear the same clothes from start to finish by using a “tri suit”. A triathlon suit provides the requirements for all three sports: swim, bike, and run. Some athletes choose to change clothes in between each discipline, making them lose valuable race time. However, a lot of people first try out the sport with the clothes they already own, before investing in a triathlon suit.

  • Ionman 70.3 Hawaii offers the full distance Ironman World Championships course without the need to qualify. It takes place in June and is a great opportunity to combine a vacation on a beautiful island which offers stunning beaches, dolphins, volcanoes, tropical rainforests and more.
  • Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon starts from the Alcatraz Island with open water swimming. It then continues with an approximate 13 km bike course under the Golden Gate Bridge. The race also includes a run leading to the 400-step sand ladder.The race takes place in June and is capped at 2,000 participants.
  • Alpe D'Huez Triathlon welcomes racers in July who can cope with high altitude. The event starts with a sim at the Lac du Verney, then continues with a climb of two separate peaks and finishing off in an ascent to Alpe D’Huez with its 21 hairpin turns.
  • Noosa Triathlon Multisport Festival in Australia typically welcomes over 8,000 competitors in October or November. This weeklong event is ideal for beginners and offers so much more than the triathlon. Participants can enjoy swimming, cycling, running, golf, an Expo event and many after-event parties.
  • The London Triathlon  is a massive event of 13,000 participants that takes place in August. The race offers three different distances, which makes it appealing for beginners to participate.

For an extensive list of triathlons, visit the following calendar of events.

If running, swimming and cycling aren’t on your must-do lists, there are other ways for the amateur athlete to incorporate a physical experience into their travels. CrossFit competitions are increasingly popular and there are unique water-based competitions that include kayaking, canoeing and paddle-boarding (all as part of the same race). These races often offer spectacular scenery—think Georgian Bay in Ontario and the fjords of Norway—and definitely tick the box for physical exertion.

Keep in mind that more adventurous or extreme events, such as the  Patagonia Expedition Race, or the XPD Expedition Race in Australia, to name a few, may include activities that, in the event of a serious injury or emergency, might not be covered by typical travel insurance plans and require a specialized type of travel insurance. Review the activities against the exclusions listed in your travel insurance policy or call a licensed Allianz Global Assistance insurance advisor at 1-844-310-1578 for more information.

Multisport encompasses any physical activity that incorporates more than one sport and can range across all abilities. By combining your love of activity with a wandering spirit, you can journey from Quito to Queensland, seeing new places, meeting new people, and challenging yourself mentally and physically. As always with adventure travel use good judgement, understand your travel insurance policy and how to access 24/7 emergency travel assistance before you hit the road.


Travel insurance is underwritten by CUMIS General Insurance Company, a member of The Co-operators Group of Companies, administered by Allianz Global Assistance, which is a registered business name of AZGA Service Canada Inc.

Travel protected with Allianz Global Assistance
Or call us at 1-844-310-1578 
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