Make a splash at the Padden Triathlon<br> image

Make a splash at the Padden Triathlon

Padden Triathlon

​​​​​​The Padden Triathlon is an excellent first, second or twenty-second triathlon. Our course is simple, beautiful and well staffed. In an effort to make this a race you'll enjoy year after year, we've made everything as simple as possible, so on race day you can focus on the event. Our goal is to make the Padden Triathlon the best organized, most affordable, chip timed event you'll do all summer. Please start your triathlon season here in Bellingham.

Now offering Clydesdale (200) and Athena (150) divisions.  Weigh in at packet pick-up.




November & December:  $50
January:                               $60 
February                             $70 
March                                  $80
April                                     $90 
May                                      $100
June                                      $150
Day of Race                        N/A

*Relay teams + $10


Saturday, June 27, 2020

Packet Pick-up (ID Required)

Packet Pick-up

  • Day before race day, 4 pm -7 pm at BBay Running, 1431 N State St, (360) 738-6900

Late Packet Pick-up

  • Day of race on-site at Lake Padden
  • Long 7 am to 8:15 am
  • Short 7 am to 12:30 pm

Preparation Clinic

Clinic: Lake Padden - June 1 - 10:00 am to Noon OR ​Bloedel Donovan Park - June 29 - 10:00 AM to Noon​ 

Bring all of your triathlon related equipment and be ready to practice your transitions from wet to finish.  We'll cover transitions, pre-race nutrition, clothing, minor mechanical issues, wet suits and whatever questions you might have. Free.

Race Distance and Start Time

There are two distances from which to choose:

  • Competitive: Swim 1/2 mile, Bike 21 miles, Run 5.2 miles - Start 8:30 am
  • Recreational: Swim 1/4 mile, Bike 10 miles, Run 2.6 miles - Start 1:00 pm
  • Check-in for both races begins at 7 a.m.  Recreational racers do not need to arrive this early.  Bring your photo ID.



We need volunteers to help with set up/take down, the bike and run course. We'll need help between about 8:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. All or part would be much appreciated. Contact: Lance Romo at (360) 778-7000 or e-mail

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pick up someone else's packet?

You can pick up someone else's packet at early packet pick up provided you have a signed note from
them including the code words "Frisky Dingo".

Can I transfer my registration? Give it to a friend? Sell it on Craigslist? Scalp it first thing in the morning? etc.

There are a number of reasons why, but there's already plenty of text here. If it's important to you, give
Lance Romo a call after race day and have a chat.


It's a fact, made up for the purposes of these FAQs, that carpoolers and bike commuters collect more
draw prizes than those who drive solo. The main entrance will be closed to allow for our transition area.
Please enter the park using 40th St. from there you can access parking in the lot and, one way, along
Wilkins St. There will be signage and parking staff to assist you.

What time should I get there?

Get there with enough time to park, pick up your packet, get body marking, rack your bike in transition
and do whatever other things you do before a race. Recreational event participants can certainly arrive
much later than Competitive event participants. If I were racing I'd plan for 1.5-2 hrs. prior to start time.


The park is 1.5ish miles from Exit 252.

  • I-5 South: Exit 252 - LEFT on Samish Way, RIGHT on Samish Way, RIGHT on 40th St. to Parking
  • I-5 North: Exit 252 - RIGHT on Samish Way, RIGHT on 40th St. to Parking

What if I forgot to train?

It's probably going to hurt.


Course maps are available for every leg except the swim.  Suffice it to say, the swim leg is either a 1/2 mile or 1/4 mile triangle, depending on which race you're in.  There's relatively little elevation gain until participants exit the water, clamber up the berm, then run/amble up a hill and enter the transition area where the leg time is completed.

Water Temperature

The actual temperature on race day is generally somewhere in the high 60's -  perfect for otters and children, but a bit chilly for most adults. Consequently most participants wear a wetsuit. A wetsuit also adds buoyancy which can help compensate for any potential lack of swim training.

If you choose to rent or purchase a wetsuit I recommend that you consider one made for swimming. Our sponsor, Train-or-Tri, can answer any questions you might have on the topic. If you choose to wear that Miami Vice themed wetsuit from your high school waterski days, can I suggest you pair it with a pair of Wayfarer classics and a little Bob Seger.

Basic Rules

  • You must treat each other, our staff and volunteers with respect.
  • The swim cap must be worn...but only during the swim.
  • Bike helmets must be worn and buckled any time you're on your bike.
  • Headphones, earbuds, etc. are prohibited.
  • Participants Only in the transition area. There will be no exceptions for grandma, grandpa, junior, carts full of babies or Uncle Skeeter.
  • You are not allowed to ride your bike in transition - walking or running with it is fine.
  • You can only enter/exit a bike from transition if it matches the number on your body marking.
  • The course is not draft legal. If someone is drafting you, please feel free to clear your a respectful manner.
    • Drafting = riding (except to pass) within 7 meters behind or 2 meters to the side of another cyclist.
  • Time limits are for real and armpits are amazing.
  • Any equipment left in transition after the time limit will be removed to an unsecured location.

Time Limits

Time limits are not flexible.  If you have questions about this, you can sit down with Lance over a beverage and he will explain why in ridiculous detail - you're buying and required to sit through his explanation in utter silence.

  • The Competitive distance time limit is 3 hours (180 minutes).
  • The Recreational distance time limit is 2.5 hours (150 minutes).

Estimate Your Time

2015 Range
(29 seconds to 2:08 minutes)
2015 Range
(20 seconds to 1:20 minutes)
You are close to the limit, better start training.
You are over the time limit!
Looks like you should finish within the allowed time.


Relay teams will exchange the timing chip in the transition area. Participants will wait at the bike rack.
Note: relay participants will not wait directly in front of the transition entrance/exit.


We do engraved trophies for the top 3 male & female finishers in each race. We do not do age group
awards, however, if you place in your division you are exempt from 83% of calories derived from bacon -
or - carbonated beverages for a period of 30 days.

Draw prizes are open to all participants and volunteers. Hint - carpoolers clean up at awards.

What are the divisions?

Male and Female 10 & under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18, 19-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-
54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70+


Timing is done with magic, pixie dust and computer chips.

  • Participants self-seed for the swim with the fastest swimmers going first in heats of approximately 50.
  • Heats will start 3-5 minutes apart.
  • Participants are timed from their heat start.
  • Transitions are included in your overall time.
  • Participants not completing any portion of the event will not receive a time.
  • Participants finishing outside the time limit will not receive a time.

Will there be cars on the road?

Yup, the course is open to vehicles. We will have between 8 & 13 certified flaggers on the course along
with a lot of money in cops. Even with all that, please keep in mind motor vehicles are capable of squishing you and yield when necessary.


Results will be posted on our website the Monday following the race and on Accustat Sports Timing the
evening of the race. Check out some of those speedy transition times.


A link to pictures of each leg will be posted on our Facebook page after the event or on our
photographer's (Jon Brunk Photography) website.

More Questions?

Ask away by emailing Lance Romo at or phoning our office, (360) 778-7000, or stopping in, City Hall at 210 Lottie St.

Questions are greatly appreciated, however, the penalty of repeating a question already completely addressed above is 12 delicious ounces of hot, black Americano or some chocolate covered raisins.


Thanks to our sponsors:​