Whidbey Island Triathlon begins this weekend

The Whidbey Island Triathlon is underway.

The triathlon has been a summer tradition for the past 23 years, but the 24th annual event will be anything but traditional.

This year’s event will be the “longest” ever, but not in distance. Because of COVID-19, the triathlon, hosted by the South Whidbey Parks and Recreation District, will be competed virtually over a two-week period, July 24-Aug. 2.

“We’re delighted to see that several folks are trying a triathlon for the first time because of the approachable nature of the virtual triathlon,” Carrie Monforte, SWPRD recreational supervisor, said.

The virtual triathlon has drawn interest from throughout the world. Participants from Qatar and the Netherlands have registered, as well as those from a variety of states.

The Whidbey Island Triathlon usually includes a half-mile swim, 19-mile bike ride and 3.75-mile run. Other activities can be substituted this year.

To check what alternatives are acceptable and to register, visit the event’s website at www.swparks.org/recreation/whidbey-island-triathlon.

“We’re hoping folks will register by July 26, so we can order the shirts,” Monforte said.