Recreation - Featured Events - Kiawah Triathlon

Kiawah Island Triathlon

The Tri-Kiawah is a USAT-sanctioned intermediate distance competition. Featuring a .7-mile swim, 25.1-mile bike and 6.1-mile run around beautiful Kiawah Island, this triathlon is sure to be popular among locals and visitors alike. Be sure to register early for this event!

Kiawah Island Golf Resort Triathlon


Triathlon Details:

  • Swim: 0.7 mile
  • Bike: 25.1 miles
  • Run: 6.1 miles
  • When: Sunday, September 21, 2014
  • Start Time: 7:30 am
  • Location: Night Heron Park, Kiawah Island
  • Facebook: Kiawah Island Triathlon
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Tri-Kiawah is a USAT sanctioned (#213334) intermediate distance competition featuring a .7-mile swim, 25.1-mile bike and 6.1-mile run. This race is currently the only intermediate distance triathlon in the Charleston area to feature an ocean swim.

The competition kicks off with the .7-mile point-to-point swim in the vast, beautiful and calm Atlantic waters off Kiawah’s stunning coastline. The bike and run portions of the race take athletes along the scenic marshland, maritime forest and beachfront, allowing participants to capture the unique essence of Kiawah Island. Transition area will take place in Night Heron Park, a 21-acre spectator and family friendly park at the heart of Kiawah Island.

The Kiawah Island Golf Resort Triathlon will not only test beginner triathletes, but seasoned competitors alike in a unique environment that showcases Kiawah’s diverse natural habitats and unparalleled beauty.

Interested in Sponsorship and Vendor opportunities? Check out the Sponsors page for the 2014 Sponsorship & Vendor Packet.


Course time limit of 4 hours.



The .7-mile point to point swim takes place in the Atlantic Ocean in front of The Sanctuary Hotel on Kiawah Island. Athletes will be swimming with the current. Ocean temperature is expected to hover near 82 degrees Fahrenheit. On Kiawah wave height can vary daily averaging 6 inches to 3 feet. All participants must wear the official race swim cap provided at packet-pick up. Following the swim event, athletes will travel approximately 200 yards over a boardwalk and asphalt bike path to the Transition Area at Night Heron Park.


The 25.1 mile bike course is a well-marked course that stretches the entire length of Kiawah Island. Winds are expected to be moderate to light as athletes bike through Kiawah’s maritime forest, with winds increasing in strength through the vast and open salt marsh habitat. Helmets are required.


The race ends with a 6.1-mile run that loops through well-shaded neighborhoods and onto Kiawah’s front beach. Participants can expect an elevation change of less than 18 feet throughout the entire course. Transitioning from pavement and boardwalks to wide beach with hard packed sand provides an unequaled racing experience. On the run, aid stations are available at approximately mile 1.5, 3, 3.75 and 4.5 .  Aid stations will provide water and Heed Sports Drink.


Entry fee includes:

Short sleeve race shirt, swimmer’s cap, finisher’s medal, course support, food and entertainment at the finish line party.

A limited number of entries are available for the 2014 Kiawah Island Golf Resort Triathlon. 

USAT Membership:

Kiawah Island Golf Resort Triathlon is a sanctioned event (#213334) through USA Triathlon Association. The option to purchase a one-day membership ($12) is available when registering for the race. All participants are required to show their USAT membership card at Packet Pick -up. Rules: All participants are responsible for knowing and abiding by USAT and Kiawah Island Golf Resort Triathlon rules and regulations.

Individual Athletes

Age restrictions:

Athletes registering as individuals must be at least 17 years old by December 31st .

Refunds and Deferrals:

The 2014 Triathlon Deferral program

All 2014 complimentary entries and discounted race entry fees are not eligible for a triathlon deferral. Only individual entries are eligible for the deferral program. Deferrals are only one year; the consecutive year after the athlete first registered. Participants are not automatically deferred to 2015. In order to be eligible they must use the race link prior to 2014 race day. If a participant picks up their race packet they will not be eligible for the race deferral program.

All registrants have a responsibility in 2015 to contact the race office ( to sign the 2015 Liability waiver and register for the 2015 race. 2014 deferrals may begin the 2015 registration process after January 1, 2015. Athletes must contact the race office by May 31, 2015 in order to be eligible for lowered deferral fee 2015.

The race deferral fee is 50% off the races fees paid at the time of the initial triathlon registration in 2014. The deferral fee is not charged until the athletes signs the 2015 liability waiver and registers in 2015.

DEFER TO 2015 
Relay team information

Course Briefing, Packet Pick Up, Bike Drop off

1. Course Briefing

An optional course briefing is available to all participants who want more information regarding race day.

  • Saturday, September 20th
  • Night Heron Park
  • Times: TBA

2. Packet Pick-up

Located at Kiawah's Night Heron Park. All race participants are REQUIRED to show photo ID (driver's license, passport or state issued ID) at Packet Pick-up. You may NOT have someone else pick up your packet. USAT members must bring their membership card. If you forget your card, you will be required to sign up for a one-day membership ($12).

  • Saturday, September 20th
  • 10:30 am to 12 pm and 3 pm - 6:30 pm
  • Sunday, September 21st (New for 2014)
  • 5:30 am to 6:30 am

3. Bike Drop off

Bike drop off is located in the Transition Area, located in the ocean side parking lot at Night Heron Park. Your bike number will be inside your race packet, please attach to your bike before drop off.

As an amenity to our athletes, we are providing an optional bike check in on Saturday. Overnight security will be provided.

  • Saturday, September 20th 10:30 am – 7 pm
  • Sunday, September 21th, 5:30 am – 6:45 am

Transition Area

  • Saturday, September 20th, 10:30 am – 7 pm
  • Sunday, September 21th, 5:30 am – 7 am

Event staff will be on hand to control entry and exit to the transition area for athletes only. Each athlete must have their race number to gain entry to the transition area. No other individuals are allowed entry into the transition area for any reason.

Bike Drop Off

If you are taking advantage of our Saturday drop off, please secure your bike and remove all electronics. Transition area will be monitored overnight by Charleston County Police Deputies.


On race morning, all transition equipment such as sunglasses, running shoes, bike helmets, water bottles, biking shoes, towels, etc. may be organized in your rack area. Do not leave any shoes or equipment overnight in the transition area.

Bike Mechanics

Bike maintenance staff will be on hand in the transition area to assist with tire inflation and any last second bike maintenance needs.


Portable bathrooms are available in and around the transition area and race venue.

Bike Pick up

All bikes must be checked out of Transition Area between 11 am and 1 pm. No one will be allowed back into transition to check out their bike before 11 am. All bikes removed from transition must have a bike number matching the athlete’s bib number. Only the athlete will be permitted to get their bike out of transition.


Special rates on villas and homes are available through Kiawah Island Golf Resort, many within walking distance to the race start. Let our reservation specialists help make the most of your Tri-Kiawah experience, (800) 654-2924.


Our Triathlon has ample opportunity for volunteers to get involved in the action. Volunteers are always needed and appreciated. Volunteer as a group to raise money for a non-profit organization. Details will be available soon.


Night Heron Park provides an exceptional spectator friendly venue with 7 vantage points all within an easy walk. For the safety of athletes, we ask that spectators remain off all roads and bike paths throughout the race course, but particularly around Night Heron Park. Please walk and view athletes from grassy open spaces. Spectator bikes are prohibited on the entire course.

Best Spots to Cheer

  • Swim Start: Front beach just north of the Sanctuary Hotel and Boardwalk 27
  • Swim Exit: Front beach at Boardwalk 18, adjacent to Night Heron Park
  • Bike Mile 17: Kiawah Island Parkway adjacent to Night Heron Park
  • Bike Finish: Sea Forest Drive adjacent to Night Heron Park
  • Run Mile .2: Sea Forest Drive adjacent to Night Heron Park
  • Run Mile 4: Front beach at Boardwalk 18, adjacent to Night Heron Park
  • Race Finish: Center of Night Heron Park, near stage

Weather Policy

Races are rain or shine unless we determine that race conditions are dangerous. If the race is cancelled there will be no refunds. This position is consistent with USAT recommendations and with the protocol of sharing the risks associated with the sport of triathlon. In the event of inclement weather, Acts of God, or unforeseen circumstances, we reserve the right to alter, cancel or eliminate any/all portions of the race. Each athlete must accept any such risk of their entry fee paid including other amenities paid for such as t-shirts, insurance, and online administrative fees. All fees collected are used to develop and produce the event, including all race supplies. In the event of inclement weather, the following is the Kiawah Island Golf Resort Triathlon plan of action.

Thunderstorms / Lightning

Race start may be delayed (up to 2 hours) until weather conditions are safe. If weather continues, the event will be cancelled and a 50% credit will be issued for all participants that have picked up their bibs into the 2014 event. No refunds will be issued if the event is cancelled due to inclement weather.

Unsafe ocean conditions (strong undertow / rough seas)

The event will be changed to a duathlon with a 24 mile Bike, 6 mile Run format. The decision to change to a duathlon may be made prior to race day or race morning. No refunds or credits will be issued.

Natural disaster (hurricane, tornado)

If the triathlon is cancelled due to natural disaster, a 50% credit will be issued for all registered Triathlon participants into either the next Kiawah event - 2014 Kiawah Island Golf Resort Marathon/Half Marathon- or the 2014 Kiawah Island Golf Resort Triathlon.

USAT Swim Policy

Kiawah Island Golf Resort Triathlon will follow the wetsuit guidelines set forth by USA Triathlon. Those guidelines state:

  • USAT rules state that competitors may wear wetsuits if the water temperature is 78 degrees or lower.
  • USAT rules also state that if the water temperature is between 78.1 - 83.9 degrees, competitors may wear wetsuits but will not be eligible for awards.
  • If the water temperature is 84 degrees or above, participants may not wear wetsuits.

Kiawah's projected water temperature is 80 degrees for this time of year.



Race Results

Click the link above to view the 2013 Race Results.

SIM Photography

Kiawah Triathlon has partnered with Sports in Motion to provide TOTALLY FREE HIGH QUALITY Digital images from our inaugural Triathlon.

Access your digital images to download them and share or print as you like. The images are not searchable by Bib number, but are broken down into groups of Swim, Bike and Run. You can also view the Candid section for some AWESOME images! .

You can also simply order prints and have them shipped to you. The prints are not free, but there are some great options there as well.