Exploring the USA Through Triathlon

After completing my first triathlon in 2011, my wife, Joy, and I looked at each other and said, “Why not?”. Why not travel across the USA and complete a triathlon in each state?

I was hooked. On triathlon, that is.

At that moment, we joined our love for road trips with my interest in triathlon. We call this “Triathlon Across the USA”.

Triathlon Across the USA

In this quest, our goal has been for me to complete a triathlon in each of the 50 states of the USA. It has been more rewarding than we imagined.

This adventure has already taken us to many out-of-the-way parts of the United States. These are places we would probably never have visited. For example, many people who live in Oregon don’t know about Sweet Home. We have eaten, slept, and raced there.

These ‘race-cations’ have also provided opportunity to visit family and friends, several who have since passed away. We are grateful for the memories.

Through these travels, we have met people across the triathlon community with a connection to family members. We have met people hundreds of, even more than a thousand, miles from home who have friends or family near where we were living or have lived.

In one case, the race director of a triathlon in a southern state had run near our house while visiting in-laws in Minnesota. We also met a young lady in Alaska who was on our daughter-in-law’s high school swim team.

Encounters like this became commonplace.

Diverse Experiences With More To Come

We have learned a lot about this country. Through our travels, we have experienced differing terrains, altitudes, race courses, weather, race types, scenery, and, of course, food. We have learned to deal with the unexpected.

I have learned so much. There has been at least one new experience in each triathlon. I have listed these new experiences under the ‘Race Firsts’ heading near the end of each post.

On May 20, 2023, nearly twelve years after finishing my first triathlon, Joy, our three children, and I visited West Virginia for a triathlon in the 50th state. 

I am grateful to the Lord for giving me a supportive and fun wife, resources, and physical strength to complete this goal. We have enjoyed our travels around the beautiful USA.

We have met many incredible people, young and old, who share my love of triathlon. You will find some of their stories on this website under the Our Stories menu.

Terry & Joy VanderWert

The Villages, Florida

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” 2 Corinthians 9:15

Finding a State in the “Triathlon Across the USA” Story

Below the picture you will find a list of the states in the USA. Click the link with the name of the state. The story about our time in it will appear.

completed Triathlon Across the USA goal on May 20, 2023
We completed our Triathlon Across the USA journey on May 20, 2023. The last race in this quest was the Parsons Volunteer Fire Department Cheat River Triathlon in Parsons, West Virginia.

Please note the region names and grouping of states below follow the standard used by the US Census Bureau. I didn’t just make them up.


States of the Northeast USA
Northeast USA


States of the Midwest USA
Midwest USA


States of the South USA
South USA


states of the Western USA
Western USA

What Is Your Favorite State for Triathlon?

I am often asked about my favorite state or favorite triathlon.

This question is difficult to answer. Each of our experiences has been so different and remarkable. That may not be your story.

What is your favorite state for triathlon?

Let us know in the Comments section below.

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