Padden Triathlon

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Padden Triathlon is an excellent first, second, or twenty-second triathlon. Our course is simple, beautiful, and well-staffed. In an effort to make this a race you’ll enjoy year after year, we’ve made everything as simple as possible, so on race day, you can focus on the event. Our goal is to make the Padden Triathlon the best organized, most affordable, chip-timed event you’ll do all summer. Please start your triathlon season here in Bellingham.


Saturday, June 24, 2023


Lake Padden Park – West Entrance
4882 Samish Way
Long Course start time: 8:30 am
Short Course start time: 1:00 pm

Packet Pick-up (ID Required)

Packet Pick-up


Late/Day of Race Packet Pick-up on-site

  • Long Course: 7 am – 8:15 am
  • Short Course: 7 am – 12:30 pm

Preparation Clinic


  • TBD

Please Note: 

  • This program is non-refundable
  • Both events closed at 250 registrants
  • ID required at check-in
  • The weather has the potential to be significantly warmer than Bellingham’s typical 4th Saturday in June race date. Consider carrying extra water on your bike and in transition.


Course maps are available for every leg except swim. Suffice it to say the swim leg is either 1/2 mile or 1/4 mile triangle depending on which race you are in. There is relatively little elevation gain until participants exit the water, clamber up a berm, then run/amble up a hill and enter the transition area where the leg time is completed.

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Race Distance and Start Time

There are two distances from which to choose:

  • Competitive: Swim 1/2 mile, Bike 21 miles, Run 5.2 miles – Start 8:30 am (Time Limit: 3 hrs.)
  • Recreational: Swim 1/4 mile, Bike 10 miles, Run 2.6 miles – Start 1:00 pm (Time Limit: 2.5 hrs.)
  • Check-in for both races begins at 7 a.m.  Recreational racers do not need to arrive this early.  Bring your photo ID.


We need volunteers to help with set up/take down, the bike and run course between. Any help between 8 am to 4 pm would be appreciated. Contact: Billy Reeves at (360) 778-7000 or e-mail

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Treat each other, our staff and volunteers with respect.
  • The swim cap must be worn, but only during the swim.
  • All participants must be able to swim.
  • Water wings and other forms of floatation, except wetsuits, are not allowed.
  • Bike helmets must be worn and buckled any time you are on your bike.
  • Participants Only – in the transition area. there will be no exceptions for relatives, roommates, helpers, pets, imaginary friends, or dire enemies.
  • You are not allowed to ride your bike in transition – walking or running with it is fine.
  • You can only enter/exit a bike from transition if it matches the number on your body marking, even if it belongs to your friend, wife, or your loving Uncle Fungus.
  • The course is not draft legal. (Drafting: riding (except to pass) within 7 meters behind or 2 meters to the side of another cyclist)
  • Any equipment left in transition after the time limit will be removed to an unsecured location.
    • Long Course equipment must be removed by noon
    • Short Course equipment must be removed by 4 p.m.

You can pick up someone else’s packet at early packet pick up provided you have a signed note with the secret passphrase “Frisky Dingo”.

We do not allow transfers between individuals.

It’s a fact, made up for the purposes of these FAQ’s, that carpoolers and bike commuters collect more draw prizes than those who drive solo. The main entrance will be closed to allow for our transition area. Please enter the park using 40th St. from there you can access parking in the lot and, one way, along Wilkins Street. There will be signage and parking staff to assist you.

Get there with enough time to park, pick up your packet, get body marking, apply sunscreen, rack your bike in transition and do whatever other things you do before a race. Short Course event participants can certainly arrive much later than Long Course event participants. If I were racing I would plan for 1.5 to 2 hours prior to start time.

It’s probably going to hurt.

The water temperature has been reported as “warm, wonderful, fantastic”, however, this is the Pacific Northwest. A wetsuit may not be necessary, but if you chill easily it is a good idea to secure one and practice both swimming in it and removing it before go time. The peril of skipping this practice may lead to uncomfortable chafing and the amusing sight of a triathlete in bike shoes and a wetsuit.

Time limits are not flexible. The Long Course distance-time limit is 3 hours. The Short Course distance-time limit is 2.5 hours.

Relay teams will exchange the timing chip in the transition area. Participants will wait at the bike rack. Note: relay participants will not wait directly in front of the transition entrance/exit.

We offer trophies for the top 3 male and female finishers in each race. We also offer trophy to the top Athena and Clydesdale athlete. We do not do age group awards. Draw prizes are open to all participants and volunteers.

Male and Female 10 & under, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18, 19-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70+, Clydesdale (200 lbs), Athena (160 lbs) weigh-in at packet pick-up.

  • Timing is done with magic, pixie dust, and computer chips. Participants self-seed for the swim with the fastest swimmers going first in heats of approximately 50.
  • Heats will start 3 – 5 minutes apart.
  • Participants are timed from their heat start.
  • Transitions are included in your overall time.
  • Participants not completing any portion of the event will not receive a time.
  • Participants finishing outside the time limit will not receive a time.


The bike course is open to vehicles. It is your responsibility to share the road and yield, even if it makes you a little slower. It is not worth a confrontation or getting squished to save time.

The swim and run legs are also open to other users. As a guest of the park it is your responsibility to go around others. Don’t be like that guy who ran over a little girl and her dad to save a fractional second.

Results will be posted on our website the Monday following the race and on the Pacific Multisports webpage the day of the race. Check out our website for past race results and those speedy transition times.

A link to pictures of each leg will be posted on our Facebook page after the event or on our photographer’s website (Jon Brunk Photography).

Ask away at Facebook, or (360) 778-7000.



Lance Romo
Recreation Coordinator
(360) 778-7000

P​ark and Recreation Contact Information​​​

We are adjusting some City operations due to the current COVID-19 surge, prioritizing essential services and the safety of employees and the public.