The Sea to Summit Triathlon is a largely self-supported race consisting of:
- a 1.5 mile swim in a tidal river connected to the Atlantic Ocean
- a 91-95 mile bike ride (depending on course variations) from Maine into New Hampshire, following roads of your choosing, with 6000 feet of climbing
- a strenuous five mile run/climb up the tallest mountain in the Northeast: Mount Washington, with 4300 feet of vertical gain in altitude
How unique is Sea to Summit? At dawn, competitors are swimming at sea level. Seven to 12 hours later they are standing at the highest point in the Northeastern United States.
This is a deliberately small race, with a limited field of experienced triathletes. Each competitor must designate a support person, or porter, who will be present at the start, drive the course (although not alongside the athlete), take away the bike at T2, and chauffeur the athlete down the mountain. For relay teams: as the race progresses one of the non-active team members assumes the role of porter.
The event starts at 5pm on Friday, July 27 with a meeting for racers and their porters, (the name has been changed from Sherpa out of respect of the recently expressed wishes of Nepalese tribes) at Vaughan Woods State Park in South Berwick, ME. Important instructions are given, along with last-minute news. As weather plays an critical role on race day (in the past, the swim has been cancelled due to thunderstorms, the bike has been adjusted due to road construction, and the run has been altered due to high winds or remaining snowpack) this meeting, while brief, is mandatory.
The Sea to Summit Triathlon was developed and refined by veteran triathlete Jeff Donatello for those looking for a new and unique challenge. While Jeff will be assisting with the 2018 event, race direction will be taken over by Andy Scherding and Kathleen Walker: principals in the race management firm New England Endurance Events.