PO Box 215 Santa Barbara, CA 93102

We will persevere together! That’s what endurance athletes do.

Dear Athletes,

As the situation surrounding COVID-19 has continued to evolve, we wanted to provide an update on the plan for the 2020 Santa Barbara Triathlon. Like many other small independent event operators, we find ourselves having to pivot our business strategy in order to survive this unexpected and unprecedented turn of events. 

The Santa Barbara Triathlon has no intention of closing its doors, however this year cannot and will not look like what we all hoped it would. We have carefully considered the current and likely near-future directives of our local municipalities and state agencies, and our belief is that events of our scale, participant size and spectator level will either not be allowed or will be altered in a way that will make it logistically and financially impossible to produce in 2020. 

Please know that we have considered alternate plans including postponing or rescheduling our event, but given the unknown guidelines regarding mass gatherings in the foreseeable future, that option simply isn’t feasible. We understand the hours you have dedicated to training for this race and the difficulty you face dealing with this uncertainty. We appreciate your understanding as we work through this ever-changing situation, and know that we are keeping your safety at the forefront of all decision-making. 

We are determined to make sure the event we built together does not end here. Not now. Our goal is to continue to play a positive role in our community. With that in mind, we are introducing the first ever Santa Barbara Virtual Triathlon.

Santa Barbara Virtual Event.

Sure, we’ve never done this before… but we can guarantee one thing: We’re going to be good at it. If the thought of a virtual race sounds absurd at first, trust us–a few months ago we would have been right there with you. But we’ve been closely monitoring the way events of all shapes and sizes have been adapting to this crisis, and we felt we could take a good concept and make it even better (see details below). Will it be the exact same experience you’ve come to expect from the Santa Barbara Triathlon? Sadly, no. But we’re doing everything we can to pack as much fun, value, support and schwag into this thing as we possibly can.


What is a Virtual Triathlon?

A virtual triathlon can be completed at any location and at your relative leisure:  indoors or outside, day or night. You can use a stationary bike or road bike; treadmill or trail; a river, ocean or swimming pool. You can complete all legs consecutively, one-per-day or whenever it works for you within the specified time period. Basically you swim, bike and run where you want and when you want. To be considered a finisher, you must complete the required distances for your chosen event within the event window which is August 9-23. Be sure to obey local health guidelines while participating, and choose safe locations and times to complete your activities. When you’re done with each activity you’ll go to the results board and post your times, making sure you post during the event window. You can measure your time and distance via a smartwatch, GPS-enabled device or phone.

Is it all virtual or do we get some schwag?

Nearly all virtual triathlons offer participants access to event results, leaderboard and participant result tracking. You’ll get all of that with the Santa Barbara Virtual Triathlon, of course, but this is where the similarities end, and where nearly 40 years of forming partnerships and building relationships comes in handy. Our Presenting Sponsor, Montecito Bank & Trust, has committed to continuing its sponsorship this year, which will allow us to provide our virtual race participants with a tee shirt, finisher medal and swim cap. In addition, the Santa Barbara Independent will give each registrant a one-year online subscription, and our training partner Tower 26 is hooking participants up with a free 14-day (no commitment required) triathlon training program. And, no surprise here, Hazards Cyclesport has stepped up by providing no-strings-attached merchandise certificates to those who pre-registered for our live event. Rest assured we’ll continue to reach out to our partners as many have expressed their willingness to be involved in adding even more value to each participant.

Are you game but not sure how to proceed? We got you.

If completing the event activities, posting your results on the leaderboard, supporting your friends and engaging with your triathlete buddies on our social platforms and yours sounds fun, then we’re here for you. Let’s do this!

  1.  Sign up here by selecting the event you’d like to complete. We have some new options this year!
  2. Depending on the event you selected, go out and complete the legs of the event. Remember, you must complete your activities during the virtual event window of August 9 to August 23rd at midnight. If you don’t like your time you can go out, beat it and upload the faster time. We’re just saying.
  3. Log into our system and enter your times. More details will be provided as the event nears. We will also provide a link here August 9th.
  4. Trash talk your friends throughout the process and try to go out and beat their times. (This step is not required, but you know who you are.)
  5. Get your goods. After the event, your schwag will be mailed to you. As of May 22, those goodies include: t-shirt, swim cap, finisher medal, one-year subscription to independent.com and free trial of the Tower26 Triathlon Training program.

What happens during the event window?

During the event window, visit our Facebook Page often. We’ll be posting regularly to highlight, encourage and engage with our athletes as well as share exciting stories as they come in. Also, don’t forget to upload a picture and create a fun “finish line photo” on the results leaderboard platform and then share it on your facebook page. Our goal is to provide a platform for us all to connect and support one another as we make our way through this new world by continuing to do the things we love.

Endurance [in-ˈdu̇r-ən(t)s]: the fact or power of enduring an
unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way. 

We’re ready to do this, and we hope you’ll join us.

Joe Coito and the entire Santa Barbara Triathlon Team


This year’s beneficiary is Sansum Clinic. We hope you’ll join us in raising awareness and financial support for our communities frontline medical workers.

Sansum Clinic

We are so thankful and proud to have the following partners for 2020.

  • Swell Cathedral Oaks Athletic Club
  • Tower 26
  • Santa Barbara Independent
  • Hazard's Cyclesport
  • Montecito Bank & Trust