Best Tri Race-cations: Portland, Maine – Triathlete

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There’s no vacation like a run-cation. This theoretically planned trip around your favorite triathlon, but much more. For your dream itinerary, we’ve put together notes and advice on where to bring your friends, family and fellow trainers; how to organize your trip; and what races to schedule around. Check out our running guide to start planning your best trip yet.

Planning your race in Portland, Maine

Family fun: ★★★

Holiday mood: ★★★★

Ease of travel: ★★★

Race quality: ★★★


  • Odyssey SwimRun Casco Bay Islands: July 17, 2022
  • Ironman 70.3 Maine: July 31, 2022
  • Lobster Trio: September 10, 2022

How to get there

Unless you’re from a neighboring state and can make it a road trip, flying to Portland is the easiest option. Portland Airport is about three miles west of downtown.

Things to do for friends and family

From food and drink (lobster rolls, anyone?) to film festivals and ballet, there’s plenty to enjoy in and around Portland. There are plenty of family-friendly options to keep the kids entertained (check out the Portland Fire Engine Co. or board a 74-foot sailboat at Maine Sailing Adventures). Those looking for a mix of history and culture can visit the Old Port, Portland Lighthouse (which has a huge park for children), Opera Maine or Portland Ballet.

(Photo: Courtesy of Ironman)
Competitors at the Odyssey Swimrun
(Photo: Mark Simmons)

Why it’s a great race-cation

You can swim in Casco Bay while your family cruises it, and that sums up Portland perfectly. Race here and you’re never too far from fun and adventure, especially in the summer months. The natural beauty of the area will make running fun and easy on the eye, and even easier to relax and unwind once you’re ready to go into vacation mode.

Pro tip

Run around Back Bay and in Mackworth Island State Park. Those looking for an open water swimming spot should visit Higgins Beach. Unmissable addresses? “Harbor Fish Market has the freshest lobster, Duck Fat is great for lunch – their fries are unreal; and I like Fore Street for dinner – it’s pretty fancy and you’ll need a reservation. Gelato Fiasco will be a success for all gourmands! » Then go with the family to observe the whales and visit the Portland Museum of Art. —Sarah Piampiano, professional triathlete, Ironman champion and Maine local

Check out other race-cation destinations:

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