The Gravel Triathlon Jersey – Triathlete

In each issue of the magazine, we’ll highlight a race you might not know about. This month: the Jersey Gravel Triathlon.

USA Triathlon’s new gravel triathlon series kicks off this spring just outside New York City with the Jersey Gravel Triathlon, part of the Ready Set Go race weekend. The new gravel triathlon race will take place on May 15 at Wawaynda State Park in New Jersey.

Before you get in the saddle and hit the dirt, let’s answer the question on everyone’s mind: what is gravel triathlon?

What: It’s like a mix of gravel biking and off-road triathlon. “It’s kind of a marriage of the two,” said David Schwartz, manager of Ready Set Go Adventures, which runs a number of triathlons, gravel cycling events and now a gravel triathlon.

The main difference with gravel tri is that the bike part is much less technical than traditional off-road triathlon, like XTERRA. In Jersey, the race will take place on an 8.4-mile loop consisting of more than 80% unpaved roads and gravel paths. This means athletes can ride road bikes, mountain bikes, hybrid bikes, gravel bikes, whatever bike they have, but not time trial bikes. Aerobars are prohibited in the gravel triage.

Why: Don’t want to be on the ground floor of something new? With the growth of gravel cycling, more and more athletes are taking to the relatively safe dirt roads to ride over mixed terrain in what is known as a funky, welcoming atmosphere.

“It really comes down to fun and challenge and uniqueness,” said Schwartz, who added gravel cycling events to his shopping list after he and his friends started doing more gravel and loved it. .

Although there have been a few gravel triathlons before, notably in Michigan, the growth of gravel over the past few years has now seeped into the multisport world. The full USAT gravel triathlon series begins with the Jersey Gravel Tri in May, then includes eight more events in Colorado, Texas, California, Idaho and Michigan, with a first-ever national championship race in Arkansas. (No qualification required.)

How: The Jersey Gravel Tri will include sprint and Olympic distance options, as well as aquathlon and duathlon races. And all weekend there are also off-road and kids races, plus a gravel bike circuit if you just want to get your feet dirty and try gravel biking.

Outside+ members get a discount on TriReg events (including the Jersey Gravel Tri).

BE READY: How to train for the gravel triathlon