Sundried asked Reddit users "what's the best triathlon you've ever done and why?" Here are their answers! Have you done any of these ones?
The atmosphere there is just unreal. It was my first ever mass swim start. 3,000 people in the water all at once, quite an experience there. Getting out of the water you run up a spiral parking garage that is just lined with people cheering for you on your way to T1.
On the bike there's a specific hill out in the middle of nowhere that has just flocks of people. You know like in Tour de France hill climbs where there's people lining the road, two inches away from the bikers yelling and cheering them on? It's exactly like that. Never had an experience like that before in my life. People dressed up, signs everywhere, just going nuts.
The run through town was just as packed. Especially downtown. People just lining the streets. It's like the whole day is just one huge party for the whole town. All the spectators, volunteers, etc. are just so amazing there, it's fantastic."
"Two come to my mind.
New Jersey State Triathlon (West Windsor NJ): my first one ever, and everything about it (I think) is enjoyable. Swim course is easy and well marked. Bike course is fast and not overly challenging, and does not repeat, all on local roads so often there's locals cheering from their front porch. Run course is paved and parts are well shaded, and supported well with plenty of rest stops. All in a beautiful county park and the surrounding communities. CGI, the race organizers, are really competent too!
Patriots Triathlon (Williamsburg, VA): Just a really fun race. Swim is OK, but bike and run are scenic and really fun. Run is half paved/half trails. Well supported too."
"IM Lake Placid 70.3.
The swim is always calm in such a small lake. The bike course has amazing scenery throughout and isn't overly difficult despite being hilly. There is always a huge spectator/crowd turnout at the LP races with people lining the streets throughout the town that the bike course and run courses go right through. It's just an unmatched energy and an awesome place to take a trip to for a few days.
Lake George (NY) Olympic/Half over Labor Day weekend. This was my first Olympic a few years back. It's based out of the beach area right in the middle of the small town. Again a calm swim with a hilly bike ride and run in the lower Adirondacks. It has the same small-town energy and volunteer support and your hotel will probably within walking (or biking) distance to the race start. Again, a fun town to spend a couple days. Lots to do on the lake and nearby, hiking, etc... The year I did it there was actually a beer festival right next to transition as well :)"
"The Coeur d'Alene Triathlon.
This Oly distance gem is great. It's in the same venue as IM CDA, so you get all that downtown atmosphere at like $75. Same swim spot, T1/2 are in the same, and the bike course is better. It runs along the lake and up into the mountains over CDA. About 50/50 flat/hills by distance. Great flats, a few real climbs (but nothing enough to bring a road bike for,) a fast descent, and great scenery. The run goes along the river; it's pretty, nothing amazing though.
Really fun little race that was often overshadowed by IM."