7 Fabulous Things About the Tugaloo Triathlon

Tugaloo Triathlon is in Georgia = Awesome! 

The Tugaloo Triathlon has the following:

1.5 Kilometer rectangular swim section.

42 Kilometer undulant bike section.

10 Kilometer circular and exciting run section.

I’m a little biased when it comes to Georgia.  I love it. From Atlanta to the coastline I simply adore being in this wonderful state.  Most people I walk by on the street give me a nod or some form of friendly southern hospitality.  One time I was walking in a fairly affluent neighborhood and a kind mom waved from a good 200 yards away.  I wasn’t sure she was waving at me. But, as she drove closer, I could tell that I was the intended recipient.  This story comes to mind nearly every time someone mentions Georgia.

From the people to the food, I cannot brag enough about how greatly I appreciate it.  Now, I have the privilege of attending a triathlon there in the future.

The Tugaloo Triathlon has such a neat park tucked away in this country/suburban environment.  It’s definitely a place where your daily cyclist and runner will venture to. And it’s so cool that they have been hosting a triathlon there for such a long period of time.  The Tugaloo Triathlon is well attended.

The people who compete are super friendly.  The water is super clean. The swim section is a delight because of easy navigation.

The organizers do a bangup job of keep things flowing.  The weather is historically great at this tri. And last, but certainly the most important, its a super fun and competitive triathlon.

Tugaloo Triathlon has an Easy Going Vibe 

The Tugaloo triathlon has such an easy going vibe.  Some people have trained all year for this triathlon. Others use this race as a warm-up for longer or tougher courses they will be competing in later in the year or next.  

And some just wing it and get their first taste of an olympic distance triathlon.  Regardless of their reasons for being there, this event usually attracts some super chill cats.  

As one might expect from any public event in the south, people are super courteous from start to finish.  It is highly unlikely that someone will do something to get in your way. In fact, they may just slow down to make sure that they help you out.  

The atmosphere before the event is loose and relaxed mixed with a little bit of anxious pre race jitters.  The atmosphere after the event is super relaxed and filled with stories of things that happened during the race.  

You can see moms and dads giving high-fives to their kids.  You can see grandma and grandpa celebrating their finish with all of their family and friends.  There are tons of pics and lots of hydration as are seen at any triathlon. It’s a super chill atmosphere that all ages can enjoy and feel safe in.  My favorite section of the race itself is clean balmy water during the swim section.

Clean Balmy Water 

The 1500 meter rectangular swim course is great!  The Tugaloo Triathlon from buoy to buoy it’s easy to follow the crowd of swimmers so that we can stay on course.  And while doing so, there isn’t much more of a refreshing feeling then swimming in a clean balmy freshwater lake. Lake Hartwell and the Tugaloo Triathlon boasts this kind of water.  

Behind all the splashing and floundering limbs where I usually am, there is still nice water to swim in the opening section of this triathlon.

Like I would imagine most people feel, I love being able to see at least a glimmer of what I’m wading through.  And being able to avoid a foot or hand is definitely appreciated.

It’s also nice for me to feel like I am enjoying the experience of swimming even if I’m racing.  I guess salt water is better for buoyancy, but it’s nice to come out of the water feeling like you don’t need to shower off right away.  

Transitioning out of the water and onto the bike is probably one of the biggest transitions during any triathlon. The transition hear at Tugaloo is so much nicer because the water is cleaner.

When I have raced in salt water and then transitioned to the bike it is not always fun to have that salt water in the nether regions for so long. That’s what makes this freshwater lake so much better. And you can see very well.

I also like that if I have a complication with my goggles I can easily resolve it since it’s freshwater. If there is salt water that pops in my goggles, it can be a little bit irritating on the eyes. Yay! Yay for clear freshwater triathlons.

Super Hilly Bike Course 

The bike section of this Triathlon is pretty hilly.  One section has about a 200 foot climb in less than a quarter mile. The most impressive part of this tri is the beauty of the ride.  I really like this course because it is filled with trees.

The course is well marked and well managed so that participants can feel safe.  There a couple of slightly flat sections, but the majority of it is super hilly.  It is 42 kilometers from transition to transition.

The course is also fairly curvy.  There are a quite a few turns and switch backs.  I tend to enjoy more undulating roads because it gives me a chance to climb hills. I am better at climbing on my bike than at with straight aways.

So, this course is delightfully advantageous for me. But I feel that most triathletes like the flats especially with a tri bike setup.  It is a very well paved road with limited loose gravel or tree fallings. I feel like most of us southerners really appreciate the hospitality and courteousness of others that share the road with us.  It’s so nice to feel safe while racing on this course.

After the 41st kilometer, it’s time to unclip or unstrap your bike shoes and get ready for the run.  Due to the ample amount of competent volunteers, the transition at T2 is quite smooth and easy to change or slip on our running shoes.  Then, it’s time for that gorgeous run.

Beautiful Easy Run Course

If you love running as much as I do, this is the course for you.  It is simply beautiful. The run section of any triathlon that I participative in is usually my most successful leg of the event.

I don’t enjoy it as much as the swim, but it boasts my fastest times comparably and it is the most social section of the triathlon.  “Good job!” “Keep Going!” “Your doing great!” “You are almost there!” That’s what we hear from participants and supporters throughout the run course.

The course is slightly up and down but the elevation never increases or decreases by more than 50 feet.  The water is all around us during the run section and that makes it nice because of all of the chirping birds and the buzzing bugs.  I feel that it’s kind of meditative to have that background music playing whilst running.

The course is fairly circular and curvy.  There is one out and back section. The finish has a nice crescendo for us whilst seeing our family and friends cheer us on as we circle towards the finish line.  And as always, it’s fun to see the last minute sprints to the finish. To pass by just a few more folks, even if they aren’t in our age group. It’s a nice little ego boost. 

Great Weather

The balmy weather in September on the southern border of South Carolina and the northern border of Georgia is simply perfect.  A little humid and a little cool in the morning hours, it’s perfect for a triathlon.

It’s usually quite sunny during this time of year.  And rain is sparse. As the day progresses, it surely gets a bit warmer. But, by being surrounded by water on the swim and run sections of this course, it stays slightly cooler than the surrounding region.  

I think it’s one of my favorite kinds of weather for that time of year, especially if you thrive in warmer weather over colder weather.

Super Fun Event

My friends and I love racing and saying how much fun we had at the triathlon.  If it’s not fun, then why do it?

This is super fun triathlon because it is challenging, beautiful, and has some of the kindest folks to hangout with while racing.  I think that this race is highly undervalued. And mostly because the people you get to experience the triathlon with.

At Tugaloo you get a little bit music at the end and pretty decent food.  I hope more of us travel to this little gem inside Georgia.  If you are looking for another awesome triathlon to attend this year, I highly recommend the Jordanelle Triathlon in Utah.  Its awesome!

Another recommendation before take on any race is to meditate.  Meditation helps your body and mind get into an optimal state for performance.  You can get a free sample a meditation for triathletes here Meditation for Triathletes.

How was your experience at this triathlon?