While many come to the peaceful shores of Smith Mountain Lake to enjoy the stunning scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains and relax in the peace and quiet, there is a select group who wait with tingling anticipation every year for something else entirely. For these adventurers, athletes, and weekend warriors, the Smith Mountain Lake Triathlon is the highlight of the spring, and a thrilling gateway to summer. Whether you are an avid triathlete or a novice looking to break into this exciting past time, Smith Mountain offers an ideal course and an incredible experience.
The SML triathlon is held the first week of May, as the water in the lake finally breaks the 60-degree mark (wetsuits are not required, but are recommended). This year the festivities begin Saturday, May 5, 2018 with check-in at 7am. Hundreds of athletes from Virginia, North Carolina, and beyond will line the sandy beach waiting for the starter’s pistol… and at 9am the fun begins! After a brisk 750-meter swim in the crisp, clear waters of the lake, the course takes triathletes on a 20km bike ride through the rolling hills of the State Park. Moderate elevation changes (the course fluctuates between 800 and 950 feet above sea level) make for a fun ride, and the incredible views of the lake, forests, and mountains beyond will invigorate even the weariest rider. The race finishes with a flat 5km run back through the park to a finish lined with exuberant bystanders.
The SML Triathlon is one of more than 20 events in the Virginia Triathlon Series, but it is the first open-water swim for the season and one of the most popular thanks to its beautiful and intermediate course (making it great for beginners). In addition to promoting physical fitness, the race also raises money for two charities: Virginia Amateur Sports and the ALS Foundation.
While you might differ in opinion about the best way to enjoy the race – either as a participant or a very “active” bystander – there is no denying that the incredible accommodations at Premier Vacation Rentals at Smith Mountain Lake are the most comfortable and most convenient place to stay. Featuring luxurious furnishings, modern kitchens, and an incredible array of amenities and creature comforts, our selection of cabins and luxury homes along the shores of Smith Mountain Lake are perfect for prepping for the big race and then relaxing after your successful finish. One of our favorites, Lake Haven Condo, offers large outdoor seating areas and breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and convenient access to a nearby marina (sadly for us “boating” is not an official triathlon event). Whichever condo, cabin, or cozy home you select, each rental includes everything you need to enjoy your stay. Our friendly staff is always standing by to help or answer any questions.
Plus, with pet friendly rentals, your favorite four-legged trail running buddy can join you in the scenic woods of the Blue Ridge Mountains (even if they can only watch you compete).
We at Premier Vacation Rentals wish all the triathlete participants the best of luck and a strong race. Visit us online to find the perfect vacation home for you during your visit to this idyllic destination in the Virginia mountains, and book direct through our website for extra savings!
Grab your wetsuit and lace up your running shoes! The Smith Mountain Lake Triathlon is the perfect event to test your endurance and speed on a bike, in the water, and on foot. This annual event brings hundreds of participants from North Carolina and Virginia every year. Find out everything you need to know about the race!
While you’re in town for the Smith Mountain Lake Triathlon, take advantage of the many other great things to do! Download our free Vacation Guide for a complete list of our favorite restaurants, museums, historic sites, and other attractions in the area.
The Smith Mountain Lake Triathlon is the first open-water swim triathlon in Western Virginia and is one of the most popular in the area. This race is part of the Virginia Triathlon Series, which holds more than 20 events in the state.
The SML Triathlon takes place during the first week of May, which is when the water begins to warm up after a long winter. The 2018 Smith Mountain Lake Triathlon will take place on May 5 at 9:00 a.m, though all participants must arrive to pick up their packets from 7:00 to 8:15 a.m. The pre-race meeting will be held at 8:45 a.m. The race begins and ends at the beautiful Smith Mountain Lake State Park.
If you plan on participating in the SML Triathlon, the first thing you need to be aware of is the water temperature. While the lake is warmer than it would be in the winter months, the water is typically around 60-degrees. While wetsuits are not required to participate in the swimming portion, they are recommended, especially for those not familiar with swimming in cooler weather. The swim begins and ends at the Smith Mountain Lake State Park beach and is 750 kilometers.
After the swimming portion comes the biking section of the race. The bike path is 20 kilometers and rolling throughout. It will take you through different areas of the gorgeous park, with elevation ranging between 800 and over 950-feet.
Finally, the running trail takes you back through the park, with both flat and rolling surfaces. In total, this run stretches over five kilometers.
Athletes have two-and-a-half hours to complete the race. The cumulative cut-off for swimming is the one-hour mark. For biking, the cut-off is the two-hour mark. While you are still permitted to finish the race, you will be asked to return you time chip.
Aside from personal goals and fitness, you’ll also be running for the Virginia Amateur Sports and the ALS Foundation, two very worthy causes. The first is a Roanoke-based non-profit group that works to provide access to sporting events to Virginia residents. The second cause raises awareness and money for research to help cure amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
After you’ve spent the day pushing yourself to your limits at the Smith Mountain Lake Triathlon, return to a luxurious home from Premier Vacation Rentals. We have a wide variety of homes that feature hot tubs, perfect for soothing any sore muscles.
Take a look at our full selection of rentals and book today! We look forward to having you.