Hendersonville Triathlon

Hendersonville Triathlon

The 2nd Annual Hendersonville Triathlon will take place at Patton Park in Hendersonville, NC! The event consists of 400m pool swim, 12.5 mile bike and 5k run! The bike and run will use portions of the Oklawaha Greenway. The pool is heated! This sprint triathlon event is perfect for beginner triathletes as well as elite triathletes who want to PR. 

Asheville Triathlon cyclists at Patton Park
swimmer at patton pool

Race Details:

Each event is capped at 150 participants.

What is included with your race entry:

• A first-class racing experience in Hendersonville!
• An in-person, socially-distanced race with rolling, wave starts.
• Chip-timing for accurate results.
• A totally set up and well-marked course.
• Spectator friendly course.
• One-of-a-kind Prizes, Race Swag and Commemorative Finisher Medal.

• A free custom t-shirt to commemorate your race!

Free T-shirt deadline: TBD

Asheville Triathlon Recap: How we put on a triathlon during coronavirus

Asheville Triathlon Recap: How we put on a triathlon during coronavirus

John Smith and Connor Smith with masks on at Asheville Triathlon

With just over 100 participants on Sunday, July 19th, the iDaph Events team proved that, with an abundance of planning and safety precautions, successful live endurance events are still a possibility for our community.  Participants donned face coverings before and after the event, had their temperatures checked and kept themselves socially distanced from other participants. Those safety precautions certainly didn’t hinder the irreplaceable excitement of an in-person event, and participants were happy to be racing again in a competitive environment. 

“This coronavirus has really forced us to make some big changes in the endurance event industry,” says Daphne Kirkwood, Owner of iDaph Events and Race Director for the Asheville Triathlon event.  “And there just isn’t a cookie cutter way to design and produce an in-person event during a pandemic. But I’m really happy with how safely everything turned out for this in-person, multi-sport event.”

Patton Park was a great alternative to our previous venue in Asheville, due to its proximity to the Oklawaha Greenway, and its large 50 meter pool. Patton Park is maintained by the YMCA of Western North Carolina and owned by the City of Hendersonville. 

Race Results - Top Finishers

The overall female and male winners and new course record holders of the Asheville Triathlon in Hendersonville, were Jenn Stanton and Ricky Flynn. Jenn Stanton is a pro triathlete from Charlotte, NC and had a time of 1:15:46. Ricky Flynn, also a pro triathlete and from Greenville, SC, completed the course in 58:23.


Sonni Dryer, who’s the head triathlon coach for Queens University in Charlotte, was 2nd in the men’s division with a time of 1:05:22. Abby Smith was the second place female finisher with a time of 01:16:38. Abby’s brother, Connor Smith, came in third in the overall male category with a time of 01:06:18. Both Abby and Connor are locals, and currently attend Asheville School. CLICK HERE FOR RACE RESULTS

Changes due to COVID-19

In order to ensure the participant’s safety, transition zones looked a bit different this year. Instead of having bike racks set up in a typical transition zone, participants were asked to transition at their vehicles. With a sprawling parking lot dedicated to the transition zone, participants were asked to keep all of their equipment, bikes and gear in their vehicles. 

“This type of transition provided a contactless and socially distanced event throughout the entire transition from swim to bike, and from bike to run,” Daphne said. “And people could just keep their bikes on their bike racks at their cars until they got into transition. It went really well. They had plenty of room to set up their things in front of, behind, beside and or in the median/grass area. We also had spaces in between some cars giving additional space.”

The swim format also looked different this year. This year, participants were given a wave start time based on the swim time they submitted when they signed up for the event. They were given a  full minute before the next swimmer entered the pool, which usually gave them an entire lane to themselves. We also socially-distanced participants, 6 feet apart using circular, removable stickers on the pool deck, while they were waiting for their turn to swim. We never had more than 25 swimmers at the pool or on the deck at a time. Everything was very spaced out from start to finish. No spectators were allowed at the pool or at the finish line. 

“Overall, the event took a few hours longer to get everyone through the swim, which is quite a change from the Asheville Triathlon in the past, but that was our way of making sure swimmers were properly spaced apart, socially-distanced and safe,” Daphne said. 

Other changes to the event included increased signage regarding safety protocols and sanitization, temperature checks at the entrance (conducted by PT Solutions), a drive through packet pickup the day before the event, and the absence of an after-race party. Participants were asked to bring their own nutrition and water, and to wear masks before and after the event. Spectators were asked to wear masks at all times, and were limited to a small number of designated, socially distanced spectator cheer zones on the course.

The event did have its hiccups…

There was some confusion at this year’s event out on the bike course, and that’s where the presence of volunteers were sorely missed. 

“We had to cut back on volunteers this year due to COVID and, although we tried to emphasize prior to the event that participants should check out the race resources with our social media course previews, course maps, a digital event guide and pre-ride or drive the courses, not everyone took advantage of these opportunities. In a socially-distanced event participants really have to pay attention to where they are going. Since there is so much space in between participants it is nearly impossible to follow someone around on the courses.  I know when you’re in RACE MODE it’s sometimes easy to miss course markings on the pavement and yard signs with arrows, etc. Next time we will continue to emphasize the importance of knowing the courses and the markings.” said Daphne. 

“The bike route had a quarter mile gravel section on it so that didn’t work well with some of the narrow tires on triathlon and road bikes,” Daphne added, “and there was some talk of the transition between swim to bike and bike to run, being too long, which unfortunately is difficult to change considering the location of the event and spacing protocols necessary for a safe event.”

“But, all in all, people said they would come back and do it again! In fact, according to our race survey, 83 percent said they would come back in September and/or next summer if we decided to have this same event in the same location. We took a lot of time to plan this event with safety and social distancing in mind, and we took the pandemic very seriously throughout the entire event. It was great to see people racing again and having fun. We had to get creative and do a lot of meticulous planning, and it was worth it!”

The Asheville Triathlon was a strong boost for the local economy. Most of the participants were from the Asheville area, but almost 40% of participants traveled 50 miles or more to attend. Because of its success, iDaph Events is planning to hold another triathlon at a future date at the same location. Details will be posted at https://idaph.net/


“iDaph did a fabulous job putting on the event with the location switch - everything from the drive through packet pick up to a rolling swim start and finish line bags to-go. It was definitely a different race day experience, but it worked.” ~ Jenn Stanton, female overall winner. 

I thought the race did a good job with using specific COVID protocols in order to make it a safe and fun experience for everyone. ~ Ricky Flynn


“Thanks for a great race and race plan. I felt safer racing yesterday than going to the grocery store.” ~ Carlton Beverly Cooper

“Just wanted to say thank you so much for an incredible event this morning. It was my first tri and it was a blast - felt safe, so so organized, and positive. I know there ended up being some challenges with the bike but you guys truly put  on an amazing event..” ~ Catherine Beck


Listen to our AVL Triathlon post event recap podcast covering the event details from start to finish. 

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Asheville Triathlon: What you need to know for Sunday

Asheville Triathlon: What you need to know for Sunday

The 2020 Asheville Triathlon is almost here!

We can’t wait to cheer you on at the Asheville Triathlon on  Sunday, July 19th at Patton Park in Hendersonville, NC. Thank you for supporting our event and our small business. 

We have created an Interactive Digital Event Guide to help inform our participants what to expect on race day.

We have also created a Podcast for the event so you can listen while you drive to work or packet pickup and get all the important details. Please read through the Event Guide and/or listen to the Asheville Triathlon Podcast so you will be prepared for Sunday! 

A few things to note:

• Face coverings MUST BE WORN before the event and after finishing. There will be NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule.

• Face coverings do not need to be worn while racing.

• Your transition area is at your personal vehicle. Please do not set up your transition items in an empty parking spot beside your car. Your items should be close to the front, sides, back or on the hood/trunk of your car. You can leave your bike on your bike race too!

• Once you set up your transition area space please either go warm-up on the Hwy 25 sidewalk (not on the run/bike course!) or stay in car until 10 min before your wave start.

• After setting up your transition space and exiting the transition area we ask that you continue to wear a facial covering any time you might be in contact with another athlete, staff member or volunteer.

• Get your temperature checked before entering the pool for your race.

• There will be no body marking station at this event. We do ask that you body mark yourself by applying your race number on both arms/biceps with permanent marker.

• There is access to restrooms outside the pool building and inside the pool area.

• THERE WILL BE NO PRE-RACE MEETING. Please look for updates on our Facebook Page

The Swim List will be posted on Friday, July 17th after registration has closed. Please check this blog for the list and updates.

We wish everyone an awesome triathlon experience! We will have RESULTS posted on the iDaph Website on Sunday after the event!

Sticker Mule shout out!

Our iDaph Team LOVES Sticker Mule. They do a great job with our stickers for EVERY event, and they make the design process super easy. 

They just released three new tools to help make the design process even easier:  Trace, Upscale, & Redraw. Check them out!

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Pro Triathlete Sarah Alexander to join Asheville Triathlon

Pro Triathlete Sarah Alexander to join Asheville Triathlon

Professional Triathlete Sarah Alexander to join Asheville Tri

About Sarah: Sarah Alexander is an elite triathlete racing professionally since 2016. In 2019 she completed a 70.3 Ironman in Gult Coast and placed 5th. The same year she placed 6th in the 70.3 Ironman in Geelong. Her Peak ITU World Ranking is 62, and in 2018 she placed 4th in the Elite National Championships.

If you’re attending the Asheville Triathlon this month, you may see Sarah Alexander, pro triathlete and member of USA Triathlon. Sarah, 32, moved to Asheville in the spring and is training to do five half Ironmans this year. She will be participating in the Asheville Tri on Sunday, July 21st. 

Ok you might not see her. Because she’ll be kicking your a$$….

All joking aside, that’s exactly what makes the Asheville Triathlon such an all-encompassing event. The sprint distances allow for all levels of participants, from first-timers to pros, and many in-between. It’s the perfect race for someone who wants to “try the tri” for the first time, but it’s also a great event for an elite triathlete, like Sarah, because she can go fast and hard.

“My first triathlons were all local tris, and I think there’s something special about those races,” Sarah said. “I feel like it brings me back to my roots. Also the distance is great because it challenges you in terms of speed.”

Favorite Role Models

  • Daniela Ryf. She has dominated the sport. She Inspires me because she is relentless. 
  • Mirinda Carfrae. She has a young daughter but still commits to the sport. She sets a great example for moms continuing to pursue their dreams while raising their families.
  • My mom. She introduced me to tri. I was 15 and I remember her driving down to the track at 4 a.m. I’d sit in the car and cheer her on when she ran by. I have so much respect how she balanced training with her work and still priorited my brothers and my activities. I would have no idea what triathlon was if it wasn’t for her. 

An athlete in the making

Sarah’s background was full of athletics: She grew up playing lacrosse, tennis, and was a competitive figure skater for 15 years.  In fact, skating helped shape the type of athlete she is today. 

“I loved skating but I would cry every day because I wanted to quit,” Sarah recalls. “When you’re working on a jump, you try it and fall, try it and fall. You come off the ice soaking wet and sore…It really molded my work ethic. I’d say there’s a big mental component of performance for all sports, but especially for figure skating.”

When Sarah went to college, she had planned to join the cross country team but was recruited by the rowing team instead. She became a rower for Dartmouth College’s Varsity team for four years. She was 110 pounds when she started school, and left weighing 165. Talk about the freshman 15!

“I gained the rowing 40,” she said, laughing. “I was always trying to bulk up.”

Her strong legs, sense of rhythm, attention to technique and aerobic strength translated well into her first triathlon, which she completed in her early 20s. After graduating, she went on to business school, but decided to forego the corporate salary and become a professional triathlete. The window to train pro is small, she said. She wanted to seize the opportunity and see where it takes her. 

Joining up with the Asheville community

Sarah now trains with Triathlon Gold based in Asheville, a USA Triathlon program headed up by elite triathlon coach Jarrod Evans. 

“It’s been a journey,” she says. “I’m competing with women who have been doing tris a lot longer than I have, and it’s been a lot of dedication and hard work.”

Sarah heard about the Asheville Triathlon as she was researching local races to help prepare her for international half Ironmans. The timing was perfect, and she is looking forward to meeting members of the local sports community.

What is her favorite part of a triathlon?

“Running. But it’s a love/hate relationship,” she says, smiling. 

Next steps

Sarah’s next event is the Santa Rosa 70.3 in Sonoma County , California. Her current race goals include the 2020 Ironman 70.3 World Championships, and to win a Half Ironman. We wish her all the best and look forward to seeing her succeed in her journey. 

Come cheer on Sarah at the Asheville Triathlon Sunday, July 21st! You can still register here. Spaces are limited and we are filling up quickly!

Sarah’s Top Three Tips for Beginner Triathletes:

  • “Performance favors the prepared. Gear, nutrition, what you’ll need in transition.. All those things can become overwhelming.  Taking the time to seek out help, to prepare ahead of time. You only have your first tri race once, so having all those pieces in place as you can…it then allows you to not have stressful negative experience and really enjoy the race.
  • “Don’t be too hard on yourself. I think tris attract high performers and competitive people, and along with that comes a lot of self criticism and comparing yourself to others.I can definitely relate to that feeling of intimidation. Others have done more races, have more accomplishments..but Hey, I’m here for me, I’m going to do my best, I’m going to enjoy it. And that’s all you can really do at the end of the day. 
  • “Be courageous. This is a mantra of mine. In Triathlon, it feels like everything is happening very fast. It teaches you to be brave. Everyone has their own demons they have to overcome on race day, so tri not only teaches you to be brave, but I find that courage goes  a long way. I’ve beaten a lot of people who, on paper, I would not have if it weren’t for courage. Because I go for it, I’ve beaten them.”

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Training for the Asheville Triathlon: Running

Training for the Asheville Triathlon: Running

Meet Asheville’s Zach Tacy, an elite triathlete who recently completed the  Ironman Virginia 70.3 with a total time of 4:21:23. He PR’d by 10 minutes and was first in his age group, 8th overall, and qualified for the World Championships In Nice, France.

He also competed in the 70.3 World Championship in South Africa with a total time of 4:34:01 and placed 407th overall. He was 28th in his age group out of over 4,500 world athletes.

His most recent accomplishment was the Ironman 70.3 Eagleman, where he placed first out of 44 in his age group and 34th overall out of 2,174 participants. As a former iDream Athlete, our iDaph team couldn’t be prouder of Zach’s accomplishments. 

Running Tips for Sprint Tri

So many of us have a love/hate relationship with running. There are days when you can happily run for miles, and other days where you’d like to give up running altogether.

Even Zach Tacy,  an elite triathlete (who has run a mile or two), says the more you exercise, the more hard days you will have.

“Everyone has hard days. Sometimes just showing up is the best you can do and that’s okay, because you showed up, because you found the mental power to be there, even when you’re not feeling it, even when you know it’s going to hurt.”

Intervals are key

With running, it’s important to change up your work-outs, Zach says. Try a couple of easy runs, then push yourself by doing intervals at a tempo-run. What is tempo? A pace about 25 to 30 seconds per mile slower than your current 5K race pace. Zach suggests running a mile at this pace, then running a 200 to 400 at a slower pace, depending on your skill level. For a sprint tri, he suggests running 800s and 1,000s at a slower pace.

Active.com suggests the following sprint-specific workouts for the run and bike portion of a sprint triathlon:

Tempo Brick: 45- to 6-minute bike: Warm Up and then include 4 x 5K intervals at race-pace effort (2-minute recoversies).

15- to 20-minute run: Following the bike effort, quickly transition to the run at your 5K race pace. Walk/easy jog for a few minutes for your cooldown.

Shaving down transition time

Practicing the transition from bike to run is important, Zach points out - especially for beginners.

“When you get off your bike, your legs feel funny. It’s a really weird feeling that you have to get used to,” he adds. “That’s something I didn’t expect at all the first time I did a tri, so it’s definitely good to get experience with that.”

Track Brick workouts are great for this. Active.com suggests the following workout:

Complete a 4- to 5-mile ride with the last mile at race-pace effort. Then quickly transition to a 1-mile run on the track. Build speed each quarter, so that the last quarter is at 5K race-pace effort. Complete this pattern two more times for a total of 12 to 15 miles of cycling and 3 miles of running. Following the last mile run, do a walk/easy jog for a few minutes for your cooldown.

Practice good form

With running, form is especially important.

“Most runners don’t use their arms enough,” Zach points out. “You don’t want to be actively pumping your arms, but don’t keep them slack. Have motion in them - this opens up your stride and is very beneficial. You’ll get more power doing less work.”

There’s a lot of technical form where minor adjustments can make a big difference. Another important tip with running is to keep your body relaxed.

“If you start tensing up and trying to push harder, generally your form will fall apart,” Zach says. “When I notice myself doing this, I take a quick mental refresher, shake it out, open my stride and try to relax my shoulders.”

Lean forward, Zach adds.

“Lean into the rush, THEN start pushing. Use the right muscle groups to finish strong.”

Don’t skimp on running shoes

Visiting a local running store and getting properly fitted can save you miles of pain and suffering. For training purposes, Zach recommends getting a shoe that’s comfortable and has decent cushion. Runners often opt for a lighter shoe to make them feel faster, but more minimalist shoes can also put more stress on your joints.

“A lot of people want the lightest shoe, but for training purposes - especially when road running –  get something that has more support.”

Join a local running group

Asheville has plenty of local running groups to choose from to keep you motivated. Jus’ Running, for example, has weekly track and running workouts. Fleet Feet also has weekly running groups for all abilities, along with Vertical Runner in Black Mountain.

Give kudos to others

Another tip that Zach feels helps him stay motivated is to give others encouragement during races.

“It reminds me that I have enough energy to keep pushing myself. I try to encourage other racers while I’m racing because everyone is out there trying their best,” he says. “Not everyone has a support crew to cheer them on…they’re just doing their race.”

Our iDaph Team will definitely be cheering you on during the Asheville Triathlon next month. Click here for more information about the Asheville Triathlon, and to register for this event, which takes place Sunday, July 21st.

Sources: https://www.active.com/triathlon/articles/8-tough-workouts-for-your-fastest-sprint-triathlon-yet

Think you're too cool to Tri?

Well. You might be. But here’s some tips for running whether this is your first triathlon or 1,000th. Remember - a sprint tri is a 5K run. You totally got this!


  • Tip 1: Stay “Relaxed”. Try to prevent tensing up the shoulders.
  • Tip 2: Dig deep. Running is as much mental strength as it is physical, so when a race or workout gets hard, you’ve got to dig deep to find the strength to finish strong.
  • Tip 3: Finish Strong! You will never regret the pain it takes.

(Photo Credit: Wright Creative, Inc.)

Training Schedule for Asheville Triathlon

Two swims per week

Two bikes per week

Two runs per week

Zach Tacy talks about why the Asheville Triathlon is the event to sign up for this year.

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