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 her Minnesota high school swim team with our daughter-in-law.

Diverse Experiences With More To Come

We have learned a lot about this country. These travels have provided a diversity of triathlon experiences – differing terrain, altitudes, race courses, weather, race types, and scenery. There have been plenty of opportunities to deal with the unexpected.

I have learned or experienced something new in each race. I included these in the ‘Race Firsts’ in each post.

This journey is still in progress. We have not yet completed triathlons in all states, though are closing in on the goal. I have completed triathlons in 49 states as of this update. 

The map below shows the states for which I have completed triathlons. The stories on this site include those from each of these states.

Lord willing, we will continue this journey to the end. Please join us.

Terry & Joy VanderWert

The Villages, Florida

“I press on to reach the end of the race.” Philippians 3:14

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

Below the picture you will find a list of the states in the USA. If the state name contains a link, I have completed a triathlon and its story. Click the link and the story about our time in that state will appear.

triathlon across the usa map after completing triathlons in 49 states
Our triathlon journey has now taken us to 49 of the 50 states of the United States. Lord willing, we will visit West Virginia within the next year.

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?

I am often asked about my favorite state.

This is really impossible 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.