The 2020 Whidbey Island Triathlon has been canceled.  Keep the tradition alive and join us for a VIRTUAL triathlon instead!


Sign up now for the VIRTUAL triathlon!


This year will mark the 24th annual Whidbey Island Triathlon. Our athletes and volunteers have a rich history with the race and we look forward to continuing to provide an extraordinary athletic experience for you. We know that this is a significant annual event for many of you. It is our priority to do our part to ensure the safety of our athletes, volunteers, staff and WSavehidbey Island Community, while maintaining a quality experience for you.

Even when orders to “stay home” have subsided, we will likely be facing limitation on sizes of gatherings, and social distancing measures and safety logistics which we may not be able to satisfactorily implement in our race. Many of our lead volunteers and athletes fall into vulnerable population categories. The triathlon committee has been meeting online and brainstorming ways to best respond to the challenges arising from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Our goals are:

  1. to maintain the sense of community with the Whidbey Island Triathlon athletes and volunteers;
  2. to encourage training and physical activity during the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  3. to financially support South Whidbey Parks & Rec.

To that end, we have cancelled the 2020 in-person race and will offer an alternative virtual race.

A virtual race is a race that can be completed at any location. You can walk, use the treadmill, run outside, wherever you are. You can cycle on a stationary bike or cycle outside. You can swim in a pool, a lake! You can run your race at your pace anywhere in the world. You will self-report your times and receive a race packet in the mail after the end of the race. There will be no on-course race support, and no awards for placing. You will be given an extended period to complete the race. The challenge is to complete your challenge between July 24 – August 2 allotted time period (all events completed within a 48-hour time-frame). You will also be given alternatives for a “swim”, as pools and parks have closed, and there may not be adequate time to train, and closures may remain. This will still be a rigorous event.

The virtual race is a temporary alternative to the Whidbey Island Tradition. We plan to be back and running in person next year, and in time to celebrate the 25th annual Whidbey Island Triathlon (tentatively scheduled for July 31, 2021)!

We want to thank everyone for understanding and being flexible during this time. We look forward to returning to the in-person race!

Current registrants will receive an email where they will be given choices about refunds/transfers. Those who had rollover credits for this year will be reached out to separately, and be given an opportunity to extend that credit.


Join us for the first, and hopefully last, Whidbey Island Virtual Triathlon.

A virtual race is a race that can be completed wherever you are. You choose your start and finish line. You can use a treadmill, run outside on a neighborhood street or on a nearby track. You can cycle on a stationary bike or cycle outside on neighborhood streets. You can swim in a pool, a lake, or choose a swim alternative*! Run your race, at your pace, anywhere in the world where it’s safe to do so.

You will self-report your times and receive a packet in the mail after completing the race. There will be no on-course race support, and no awards for placing. You have an extended period to complete the race, July 24-August 2, 2020. Complete your challenge during the period, and within a 48-hour time-frame. You have options for alternatives to the “swim”.

This will still be a rigorous event!

There is no official race course. All participants who voluntarily participate in the Whidbey Island Virtual Triathlon agree to our Waiver and Release of Liability. Off-Island participants are discouraged from traveling to Whidbey Island in order to use the historical triathlon routes.

Event and Distances

The Virtual Triathlon will track results in three events.

  • Swim* .5 mile or alternative
  • Bike 19 miles
  • Run 3.75 miles 


Swim .5 mile in a pool or open water. As a voluntary participant in the Whidbey Island Virtual Triathlon, you acknowledge that it is a requirement that you have an attentive spotter or other support person on deck/shore or in a kayak or stand up paddleboard if you choose to swim.

You should not swim in a situation that’s new to you and must be sure to add several safety elements, for instance bringing a spotter/kayaker/boater, swimming close to shore, utilizing wetsuits and personal flotation devices, and wearing bright caps and/or swim buoys for visibility.

If the body of water is subject to currents, such as Puget Sound or a river, swim half the distance in one direction, followed by half the distance in the opposite direction. To measure distance in Google Maps: https://support.google.com/maps/answer/1628031

Athletes who have been unable to train for the swim portion, those who are inexperienced swimmers, and those who are new to swimming in the outdoors should choose one of the Swim Alternatives* if a supervised, safe swim is not available.

*Swim Alternatives

We understand not everyone has access to a safe, swim-able body of water under the current conditions. Therefore, we are broadening the “swim leg” to include other options.  Swim if you can.  If you cannot, complete one of the following substitute events:

  • Kayak 1.0 mile
  • Stand-Up Paddleboard 1.0 mile
  • Indoor rowing machine (Concept 2 or similar): 3000 meters.
  • Burpees Perform 120 Burpees.
  • UBE or similar Upper Body Machine 3.0 miles
  • Propose an Alternative Core Sport Idea for a swim-substitute leg you’d like to complete. Guidelines:
    • The sport should not be running or biking. (It is a TRI-athlon after all.)
    • Choose a distance (or number of repetitions) which should be achievable in 15-25 minutes by a range of athletes. This duration is comparable to the duration of our usual swim leg.
    • The sport should involve vigorous use of the arms, shoulders and core muscles, as swimming does.
    • Please send your idea to the race director at programs@whidbey.com. If we like your idea we may publish it for use by other participants.


There is no defined course, but in keeping with the spirit of our traditional race, bring on those hills! Cycle on a stationary bike or outdoors. Participants must observe all rules of the road.


There is no defined course. Just go the distance! Run on a treadmill, or create your own course on streets or trails near you. Participants must observe all rules of the road.


Self-Isolation and Social Distancing measures, as required by the current guidance given by local authorities, must be taken while conducting your event. The virtual triathlon is intended to be conducted as individuals or household members. No aid stations or race course support will be provided for the event.

As a voluntary participant in the Whidbey Island Virtual Triathlon, you acknowledge that it is a requirement that you have an attentive spotter or other support person on deck/shore or in a kayak or stand up paddleboard if you choose to swim. Swimmers are responsible for their own safety and must incorporate additional safety elements as appropriate to their situation such as: swimming only in standing-depth water, using a spotter on shore, and/or swimming with an escort watercraft.  For the virtual triathlon, swimmers are permitted to wear a personal flotation device.

All aspects of the virtual triathlon are at your own risk. See our Waiver and Release of Liability.

What the athlete gets:

  • Shirt* (Mailed after completing race)
  • “Finisher”* coaster (Mailed after completing race)
  • Print-at-home/digital Race bib (Emailed prior to race)
  • Print-at-home/digital finisher certificate (Emailed post-race after providing results)
  • Bragging rights

*There is the possibility that production and shipping will be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will notify you if we discover this to be the case and provide updates.

Registration Fee  

$40 per person (whether individual or team competition). There are no additional processing fees.


Results will be tracked on this website as they come. After completing your triathlon, submit your finishing times and some form of documentation (photos, screen shots, etc), and we’ll post your results. Submit your results by August 3rd.  Transition times will not be tabulated or tracked. There will be no awards for placing. This will be an honor system and will not be professionally timed or monitored.

Questions & Answers

Q: What equipment do I need?

A: In addition to safe and functional swim biking and running gear, you’ll want a GPS enabled device, like a smart phone or other fitness device.

Q: How do I track my distances?

A: Utilize a GPS enable tracking device on your phone or other device. For a swim outside a pool, if you don’t have one of these devices, you may measure distance in Google Maps: https://support.google.com/maps/answer/1628031

Q: How do I report my results?

A: Using your smart phone or fitness device, record your race. Screen shot, photograph or video your routes and take a selfie while you are racing. You will receive an email shortly before the race with instructions for reporting. It will be fairly simple. You will report results using the format  HH:MM:SS and provide a brief note about each reported event (hilly bike course on a hot day).

Q: Why are you cancelling the triathlon?

A: There are many aspects that have come together to make this decision.

  • Some permits have been canceled
  • Many of our key volunteers are in the High-Risk Populations category
  • We have a crowded transition area and swim start at the lake
  • The need to severely limit participant numbers in order to make social distancing work, would most likely put us under the break-even point.
  • Many registrants are from outside the state and abroad in some cases.
  • We would likely need to limit volunteers and possibly disallow spectators to reduce crowds
  • Post-race refreshments, aid stations, awards ceremony would need to be done differently or eliminated altogether.
  • We’ve been notified that EMS may not be available at race
  • Uncertainty about availability of hand sanitizer, handwashing, masks and other equipment
  • Need to checking for wellness, fever extra challenging
  • Need to discourage those in High-Risk Populations from participating (a large portion of our participants)
  • Likelihood of limitations on crowd gathering sizes below our minimum requirements


Whidbey Island Triathlon – Cancelled for 2020

The 2021 Whidbey Island Triathlon is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, July 31, 2021.

Athletes who are currently registered for the Whidbey Island Triathlon should check their email. Thank you!

Note: Registration for the triathlon has paused while we assess the COVID-19 pandemic situation.



Saturday, July 25, 2020

2019 Whidbey Island Triathlon Results


This is a great first triathlon and a fun event for veteran triathletes.  This scenic course starts with a 0.5 mile swim in beautiful Goss Lake. Leaving the lake on your bike, you’ll begin the 19.5 mile ride through paved country roads. The bike course is hilly with views of Saratoga Passage and the North Cascades. Finish with a 3.8 mile run through forest trails at Community Park and on country roads. Chip timing is provided by BuDu Racing. Extensive support provided by friendly volunteers.  Open to the first 300 swimmers, this event has limited space and fills to capacity, so register early!

For information on accommodations on Whidbey Island, click here.

Chip timing is provided by BuDu Racing.

Click here to view the road restrictions due to the Whidbey Island Triathlon.

Volunteers are welcome and very much needed to keep this a fun event! Check out the options and sign up to volunteer online here. Email Carrie at programs@whidbey.com or call (360) 221-6788 with additional questions.

Due to the nature of the multi sport business, many of our expenses need to be paid up front to reserve supplies and receive permits. It is therefore not possible for us to provide refunds on registrations (unless we have to cancel the event, in which case we will provide a full refund minus any registration service fees). To date we have never had to cancel an event, and we will do our best to continue that record. We will, however, provide rollover credits for next year’s race if for some unfortunate reason you are unable to join us for this year’s event and have already registered. If you need to discuss a credit with us, please email us at programs@whidbey.com and complete a Rollover Credits Request Form. Registrants need to contact us prior to 30 days of the event in order to receive their credit for the following year’s event. Requests made 30 days or less to the day of the event will null and void their right for a rollover voucher, although we will try to be as flexible as possible. Requests made shortly before the race will likely not be replied to, due to busyness around the event.

Please understand that it is not our intention to profit from this policy, rather to be able to continue to offer a consistent quality of event at a reasonable cost.