4th Annual Madison Triathlon -- Montana's Greatest Olympic Distance Tri


Event Date

Sun, Aug 2, 2015


Ennis, MT


Activity Today Later

4th Annual Madison Triathlon - Individual

$80 $80 Closed

4th Annual Madison Triathlon - Team Relay

$120 $120 Closed

About This Activity

4th Annual Madison Triathlon

Montana's Greatest Olympic Distance Triathlon

Ennis Lake to Harrison to the finish line at the Pony Bar

Third and Final Leg of the Madison Trifecta
Like the duathlon, the Madison Triathlon was intended to be an extension of a good idea. It became, however, a good idea on its own as well as the genesis of the Madison Trifecta Sporting Series. Do all three! If you do all three events (the duathlon, marathon, and triathlon) in a single summer, you will be a T.B.A.  So far, more people have walked on the moon (12 astronauts) than have earned a T.B.A.

By the way, T.B.A. stands for ‘Total Bad Ass’ because anyone crazy enough or tough enough or bad enough to complete all three events in a single summer IS a total bad ass.

The Madison Triathlon is unique in a few respects. First, it is, like the Madison Duathlon, a point-to-point race as opposed to a loop route. Athletes will start in one town and finish in another. It will also start at the foothills of the Madison Range (the second highest mountain range in Montana) and finish in the Tobacco Root Mountain Range. Second, it is an Olympic Distance triathlon. There are very few of them in Montana and this is one of them. Third, the swimming leg is in open water (not a swimming pool). The route is a 400 yard triangular lap in Ennis Lake. Athletes make three laps for a total of 1,200 yards. Fourth, the biking leg is almost all on Montana Highway 287 and includes a five-mile uphill and, best news yet, a five-mile downhill. There are also some great flats. Fifth, the final running leg is a gentle uphill grade from Harrison to Pony. The finish line is right in front of the infamous Pony Bar. Lastly, the entire race is at elevation. It’s not quite like the Madison Marathon (9,000 feet plus), but the entire route is over 5,000 feet above sea level and pushes 6,000 feet near the finish line. So what you got is an Olympic Distance Tri over a mile above sea level. Is there any other such Tri in America or anywhere else in the world?

Oh, and this race is also the final leg of the Madison Trifecta. Even if you were not part of the other two races, you will at least have the chance to meet the TBAs. They are more rare than astronauts who have walked on the moon. Move over Neil and Buzz…

The Madison Triathlon is not for the faint of heart. It’s no Iron Man, but it will probably feel like one because of the open water swim and the high elevation. There is also a great reward at the end of the race. Since it’s the last race of the series, we will throw one hell of a party for everyone (athletes, friends, family, etc…).

Please join us and make the Madison Triathlon the capstone of your summer. Thanks for cruising through this website. We hope to see you this summer.

Stay healthy, stay happy, and keep swimming, cycling, and running forward.

Event details and schedule



Time of Race

Sunday, August 2, 2015

All Swimmers Starting Time: 8:00 AM


First Leg: 1,200 yard swim in Ennis Lake (three laps of 400 yards)

Second Leg: 24 mile bike ride from Ennis Lake to Harrison, Montana

Third Leg: 6 mile run from Harrison to Pony, Montana


Race Check In


Race Day Check-in: Sunday, August 2, 2015 – 7:00 to 8:00 AM

                                   Kobayashi Beach

          Ennis Lake



Staging Area


Parking lot of Kobayashi Beach at Ennis Lake. This is a BLM site on the north shore of the lake. Participants and supporters can park their vehicles in the parking lot and follow the athletes if so desired. For those athletes traveling alone, we will make all best efforts to get you shuttled back to this lot to pick up their vehicles. However, please let us know in advance if you’re on your own and will need a ride back to this site so we can work something out.



Race Day Logistics: Swim (1,200 yards) – Bike (24 miles) – Run (6 miles)


  • On race day Sunday morning, athletes arrive at Kobayashi Beach at Ennis Lake to check in, sign waivers, receive SWAG, and get their bib numbers. The participants can leave bags and other personal items with the race director for pick up at the finish line in Pony.


  • The athletes prepare for the swim as necessary. Wet suits are allowed as are life vests for the non-strong swimmers. For the most part, the only thing not allowed will be kick boards and swimming fins. Athletes should place their bikes near the exit point of the swimming leg. There will be a tent for changing clothes.


  • The Madison Triathlon begins with a 1,200 yard swimming leg at 8:00 AM. When the runners complete the swimming leg, the biking leg begins immediately. For individuals, they get on their bikes and start cycling. If there are teams, the cycling teammate exchanges with the swimmer and begins the cycling leg. The cycling begins at Kobayashi Beach and ends in Harrison on Highway 287. This is a 24 mile leg.


  • Volunteers will follow the bikers along the biking leg of the route. Any bikers with problems can get assistance from these volunteers.


  • The cyclists ride all the way to the bike/run exchange location in Harrison which is at the intersection of Highway 287 and the Highway to Pony. If an individual, s/he gets off the bike and immediately begins running. If a team, the cycling team member exchanges with the running team member, and this runner begins running.   A volunteer will load the bicycles onto a van for delivery in Pony.


  • The runners’ finish line is in Pony right in front of the Pony Bar on Main Street. The awards ceremony for the winners as well as the Madison Trifecta athletes (the TBAs) will also be in Pony.   After recovery time and the awards ceremony, athletes in need of a ride will be returned to Kobayashi Beach at Ennis Lake. This is the end of the Madison Triathlon.


  • The estimated time frame for each of these steps is as follows:


  • 8:00 AM – start of swimming leg of the race – the start of the Madison Triathlon
  • 8:30 AM – start of the cycling leg of the race for most athletes
  • 10:30 AM – majority of bikers reach the exchange point and the running begins
  • 11:30 AM – majority of athletes finish the running leg
  • 12:00 PM – all or nearly all athletes have finished the Madison Triathlon
  • 12:30 PM – lunch and awards ceremony for the Madison Triathlon in Pony
  • 2:00 PM – shuttle with bikes and athletes leaves for Ennis Lake



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