TRI Las Catalinas 2020
February 8th, 2020
at Las Catalinas
The Las Catalinas TRI is an off-road triathlon hosted on the beaches, trails, and open water surrounding town, and culminates in a final stretch down through town’s streets. Since its founding in 2013, the Triatlón y Aguas Abiertas Las Catalinas (also known as TRI Las Catalinas or just El TRI) has been hosted every year, with the 8th edition taking place on February 8th, 2020.
See the video from last year’s event here!
El TRI combines an open water swim, a mountain biking loop through the nature reserve in Las Catalinas, and finally a trail through the hills around town before finishing down Paseo del Mar, the beachfront road in the heart of town. There are two divisions, individual and team, with prizes awarded for the top teams in both categories. Distances and routes have changed slightly each year but remain mostly consistent, with last year’s event comprising a 1600m swim, a 25km bike, and an 8km run.
In the early years of Las Catalinas, it seemed inevitable that there would be a triathlon. The surroundings were ideal -- moderate temperatures all year round with access to multi-use trails and open water at the town’s doorstep -- and as soon as town and trails had developed enough to host a triathlon they did, the inaugural TRI Las Catalinas in on February 17th, 2013.
Since then, El TRI has become one of town’s most loved events, drawing competitors from all across Costa Rica as well as racers around the globe. Two particular triathletes that have written themselves into TRI history are Costa Rican triathlon legends Leo Chacón and Rom Akerson. Involved in el TRI for years, these two athletes are world-class competitors, with Leo Chacón leading Costa Rica to two Olympic games, and Rom Akerson taking home the 2018 XTerra World Championship. Leo has a long standing tradition of hosting a clinic in the days before the race that Rom has also joined, an open event to share their time and knowledge with fellow triathletes of all skill levels.
On TRI day, town comes alive before dawn, with a blend of residents, competitors staying on site, and traveling competitors all gathering on the still-dark Playa Danta beachfront. There’s music playing and a palpable anticipation in the air as the sun rises and the athletes ready themselves, culminating in the starting gun and an eruption of competitors as they charge into the water. As race day goes on, the beachfront stays lively, with the Open Water Swim starting immediately after the triathlon featuring 1600m and 3200m distances, and in the afternoon there is the Kids’ Race through the streets of town.
All races finish back at the Playa Danta beachfront, where families and friends congratulate exhausted racers as they collect medals and post-race treats, and there is mix of beach activities for families and recovery activities for racers that culminates in the awards ceremony at the end of the day.
There are also a number of different events going around town during the whole week of the Triathlon. Pro training teams like RaceQuest put on training clinics for athletes to refine their skills leading into the triathlon. Professionals like Leo and Rom host practice events like 2019’s open water swim training. The night before the race there is a pasta dinner and team talks, and following the awards ceremony there is celebration all around town.
With many racers coming early and staying through the weekend, TRI time is one of the most interesting times to be in town. There are multiple options to stay right in the heart of the action and embrace a week full of outdoor fun, time with family, friendly competition, and interesting people from around the world, all brought together by a love for triathlon.
Whether competitor, supporter, or just visiting, hope to see you in February.
More information coming soon. Keep updated with TRI Las Catalinas news here