Aug 29 2017

5th Annual Kiawah Triathlon

By Jana Chanthabane for The Island Connection

Race start of the 2016 Kiawah Island Triathlon. (Photo by Jamie Cathcart)

This year Kiawah Island Golf Resort is hosting the 5th annual Kiawah Island Triathlon on Sunday, Sept. 17.

The action packed weekend kicks off on Saturday with packet pick-up and an all-day race expo held in Night Heron Park, featuring sponsors Blue Sky Endurance and special pre-race stretching sessions offered by Stretch Science.

Kiawah Kids Triathlon participants leaving on the bike leg of the race in Night Heron Park. (Photo by Rivers Rudloff Photography)

Sunday morning at 7:30 a.m. the USA Triathlon Association sanctioned race starts beachfront, just east of the Sanctuary Hotel, with a .7 mile swim. 500 athletes are anticipated to participate in this year’s race, currently the only intermediate distance race in the Charleston area that features an ocean swim. Water temperatures are expected to hover around 82 degrees, while wave height can vary between 2 – 6 feet this time of year.

Kiawah Kids Triathlon participants are all smiles waiting for the race start. (Photo by Rivers Rudloff Photography)

Upon return to the transition area at Night Heron Park, participants will continue on to the 25.1 mile bike and 6.1 mile run courses, that wind through the island’s scenic marshland, maritime forest and beachfront, to be flat and fast. The finish line and postrace party is held in family friendly Night Heron Park.

Drummers from Taiko Charleston greet participants as they arrive on the beach awaiting the race start. (Photo by Jamie Cathcart)

This year, to get the whole family involved in the weekend, the Kiawah Kids Triathlon will take place on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 16 at 4 p.m. Around 250 kids, ages 3-14, are expected to take part in this race. It is designed to introduce kids to the sport of triathlon, make them feel successful, and to be fun. Distances vary by age group but all kids swim in the Night Heron family pool. The bike and run courses take place on bike paths and beach around Night Heron Park.

Kids receive a finishers medal as they cross the finish line and take part in a DJ led party with healthy snacks and color throws to celebrate their accomplishments.

Registration is limited and provided on a first come, first served basis. As long as space remains, would-be competitors may sign up at packet pick-up the day before the race.

There will be no race registration on race day. Athletes must be at least 17 years old as of Dec. 31 and USAT members. One day memberships will be available for purchase at packet pick-ip.

Race updates, including space availability, will be posted on Facebook: KiawahTriathlon.

To register for the adult race, visit To register for the kids race, visit


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