December 11, 2022
Key West Triathlon Final Instructions

The Key West Triathlon is THIS SUNDAY at 7:30 am. at Higgs Beach in Key West!  Please read the important information in this email prior to the race.

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WE NEED YOUR HELP!  We are desperately short on volunteers for the Key West Triathlon.  If you are bringing someone with you to watch the race, please ask them to volunteer at a water station or the finish line.  Please email [email protected] for more information.

Due to the volunteer shortage you may have to grab cups directly from the tables at the water stations and may also need to get your own bottled water and finisher medal at the finish line.  Also, please return your chip in the finish chute.
Key West Final Instructions
Thank you for registering for the Key West Triathlon! Here’s the latest information on the event:

Packet Pickup

At the race site, Saturday, December 10, 2-5 pm. Mack Cycle will be there with lots of good deals on triathlon equipment and apparel, Saturday 12-5 pm and on Sunday. Limited race morning pickup will be from 6:00 - 7:00 am.

Transition Security

Only registered racers are allowed to enter the transition area. You must show your race number to enter transition and your number must match the bike you are taking out.

Relay Teams

Relay teams should not stay in the transition area so as not to get in the way of other racers.  The cyclist should wait for the swimmer outside of the BIKE (east) side of the transition area OUT OF THE WAY or other racers.  The swimmer will run through the transition area and give the chip to the cyclist after doing so. The runner should wait for the cyclist at the same location OUT OF THE WAY or other racers and will run through transition after taking the chip from the cyclist. The bike never needs to be racked inside the transition area unless a single person is doing the bike and either the run or swim.

Start Times

Racers in each group will begin starting one person at a time at the specified start time. Do not line up until your group is called. Starting will be done approximately every 2-3 seconds. You will announce your race number to the starter (also doing manual backup timing) then run across the start timing mat once the starter tells you to ‘GO’.

BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL GETTING IN AND OUT OF THE WATER!  There are slick steps and handrails.  You MUST use the handrails going in and out or you will be penalized.  Do not risk an injury to save 2 seconds getting in or out of the water!  Unfortunately the water is too shallow at the sandy part of the beach for swimming so we must use the stairs to start and finish our swim.  Once you have completed the swim, follow the yellow/green cones behind the fort and into the transition area.

The map below shows the venue layout.  Note the run and bike ends of transition.  Also note the swim exit to transition path (in blue) or the duathlon start, depending on your race.  Also note the toilets and the permanent restroom facilities all the way on the west side of the image.  Relay teams will note their waiting spot just outside of transition.

Yes, this race will be wetsuit legal, however you’ll need to be able to remove your own wetsuit as we will not be providing wetsuit strippers due to Covid.

Short Sprint Swim Course - 300 Meters

All participants must keep the buoys on their right at all times. Map

Long Sprint Swim Course - 600 Meters


International Swim Course - 900 Meters


Bike Course

After our latest site visit, discussion with the County and City, and two athlete surveys, we have made the following updates to the courses:

  1. Short Sprint Triathlon - No changes Bike map

  2. Long Sprint Triathlon, Duathlon, and Aquabike - Bike is now 12 miles and encompasses 1 mile out, 2 laps of 5 miles, and 1 mile back. Updated Map

  3. Duathlon - First Run will be ½ mile out and back on the pier (AWESOME RUN) and the 2nd run will be 4 miles like the Long Sprint Triathlon.  First run map

  4. International Triathlon - Bike is now 22 miles and consists of 1 mile out, 4 laps of 5 miles, and 1 mile back. Updated Map


At the far end of the bike course you will encounter a large u-turn sign and a timing line to count your laps.  

On your way back you’ll see a LAP U-TURN/FINISH STRAIGHT sign.  U-turn there if you need to make additional laps.



YOU AND ONLY YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE TO KNOW THE COURSE!  You need to know what lap you are on while on the bike.  (tip-use a bike computer.  If you are in the International distance look for it to show 20+ miles then don’t do another lap!)


You need to know where to u-turn on the run:

1. Short Sprint u-turns at the first water station (just past mile 1) Map

2. Long Sprint and Duathlon u-turn at the 2nd water station (just past mile 2) Map

3. International u-turns at the 3rd water station (just past mile 3) Map

There will be a timing mat on the run course to ensure that everyone does the proper distance.

Run Course

Triathletes will enjoy an out and back run along the Higgs’s Beach Boardwalk. Short Sprint Racers will go just past the 1 mile point and back for 2 miles total Map. Long Sprint Racers will go just past the 2 mile point and back for 4 miles total Map. International Distance Racers will go just past the 3 mile point and back for 6 miles total Map.


See map above.

There are several parking lots in the area along with street parking, however we recommend riding your bike to the race if you can.

Cutoff Times
  • International racers must reach the last lap on the bike course by 9:20 a.m. or will be directed to go straight to the finish without completing the next to last lap. This will result in a DQ, though you will be allowed to complete the run. We will have a timing line at the far end of the bike course to ensure that everyone does the correct number of laps.
  • International racers must start must reach mile two by 10:15 a.m. We will have a timing line on the run course to ensure that everyone does the correct distance.
Award Schedule

9:30 - Aquabike Awards
9:45 - Short Sprint Triathlon Awards
10:15 - Duathlon Awards
10:30 - Long Sprint Triathlon Awards
11:00 - International Triathlon Awards


All USAT rules are in effect.
Go to: for a complete list of USAT rules. The most commonly violated rules are:

  1. Helmets are mandatory while riding the bike (BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER the race). Helmet must be buckled or strapped on whenever with your bike. This is a DISQUALIFICATION penalty.
  2. Headphones are not allowed at any time. On the bike it is a DISQUALIFICATION penalty for endangerment. On the run it is a variable time penalty for Unauthorized Accessories.
  3. No drafting will be allowed while on the bike. You must stay 3 bike lengths away from the person in front of you. You have a 15 second window to execute a pass.
  4. Pass only on the left while on the bike.
  5. No blocking - Stay to the right side except when passing.
  6. Do no cross the yellow line around corners on the bike.
  7. No outside assistance will be allowed in the transition area. You also may not have someone else pace you to the finish line on the run.
  8. Handlebar ends must be plugged to lessen the chance of injury in a fall. This is a DISQUALIFICATION penalty. Please ask for a plug from Mack Cycle.
  9. You may not leave anything on the course (i.e. water bottles, gel wrappers, SWIM CAPS). Everything should return with you to the transition area or be disposed of at an aid station.
  10. You must run or walk your bike out of and into the transition area. You may not ride in the transition area.
  11. Your bike must be racked on the bike rack assigned for your race number. It must be racked either by the seat or brake levers.
  12. You must wear your running race number on the front of your body during the run segment. Your bike number must be clearly visible at all times on your bike. You must apply the helmet number to the front of your helmet. You must also be body marked with your race number as specified in the instructions above.
  13. Athletes' age groups are determined by their age on December 31st of the current year. This is a USAT rule so that you do not change age groups in the middle of the year.

A HUGE thanks to Fury Water Adventures Key West for providing Jet Skis for this event!!!


CLICK HERE for more information about your next ADVENTURE!


Mack Cycle
City Bikes
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