Get fit and fabulously psyched for the best triathalons and charity races around neighboring islands and Gulf coast cities of Fort Myers Beach. Plan your vacation around some, or if you are feeling ready to run and roll, register while here to dive, pedal and pound your way to an exhilarating race experience. Not an athlete yourself but love sports? Volunteer, or come cheer to be part of the excitement getting fired up for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Types of Athlons

Multi-sport competitions have continuous stages where athletes switch from one discipline to another to finish with the best time overall. These endurance races are aerobic-intense combinations of activities like cycling, running, swimming and kayaking. Events like the decathlon and pentathlon from Olympic games are not in this category because their individual components are not held back to back. Duathlons, swimruns, aquabiking and rowathlons are variations on multi-sport endurance competitions.

Volunteer Opportunities for Races

Contact any race event coordinator for exciting volunteer opportunities to support a cause, the athletes and be in the thick of the action.

Transportation Around Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel

Best Meals Before, During and After the Big Race

Experienced triathletes like Brain Shea and Marni Sumbal will tell you no one menu fits every person’s needs, and that more thought must go into planning your pregame meals than nutrition. Iron stomachs, sensitive bellies and nervous nellies each need different ways to get the same nutrition and easy digesting. Brian recommends an easy 1-2-3 guide to planning meals that meets three goals.

  1. Hydration is key to everything. Use fluid replacement drinks instead of plain water to help maintain proper electrolyte balance and healthy sleep patterns, but avoid over-consuming. Consuming large amounts of salt the few days before the race helps the body retain water for especially warm-weather races.
  2. Stick to easily digestible meals especially the last 24 hours before the race.
  3. The morning of the race, liquid calories can be easier on the stomach and aid in digestion.

Load up on carbs and easily digestible protein the night before. Race morning breakfasts generally have about 550-575 calories with 80-plus grams of carbs. Consume fast-release carbohydrates from sources like energy drinks and bars, dried fruits and sandwiches during the race. Finish eating solid food breakfasts at least two hours before start time and large meals at least 12 hours before. Stay properly hydrated, carbed-up and have everything digested when the gun pops.

When The Race Is Won

Once medals are draped and trophies hoisted, the body needs immediate recovery nutrition. Recommended amount of glycogen is about one to 1.2 grams per kilogram body weight, or about 70-84 grams of carbs for a 155-pound person. Protein helps the body store and use glycogen. Even better, combining protein with carbs also helps promote muscle repair. Gradually replacing the carbs in your muscles in smaller meals spread over three to five hours is better than eating one big meal.

Time to Celebrate

Now that you are high on after-race adrenaline joy, it is time to celebrate on the town. Try Chip’s Sanibel Steakhouse and Rizzo’s on Captiva.

Scorching sunshine beads perspiration down your back along flat terrain with an occasional hill. Someone passes you cool, wet drinks. Smiles, voices and clapping urge you to keep going. You got this. Blinding sunlight or silvery-soft moonlight swims in the Gulf of Mexico conceal more perspiration as you work your way to the wheels or treads that will carry you to the ribbon at the finish. We know: It isn’t about the end but about the next one. Here is a listing of the best annual and special event races in and around Fort Myers Beach, Florida, USA.

April

From beginners to masters, find opportunities to support local charities and prepare for bigger races. Visit LocalRaces.com for special event races and registration details, including one with the dogs because deep inside, every body is an athlete at heart.

1. The Fast and the Furriest 5k, 1 mile

Date: Saturday, April 9, 2016 Start Times: 7:30 a.m. for 5K, 7:35 a.m. for 1K

City: Fort Myers, Hammond Stadium

Description: Benefits the Gulf Coast Humane Society

Fees: $15-$40.

Awards: Top chipped runners, Fastest Dogs, Top Fundraisers, and Triple Crown Award Winners.

2. 2016 FGCU Eagle Sprint Triathlon

Race Date: Sunday, April 17, 2016 Start Time: 6 AM

Location: Alico Arena, Florida Gulf Coast University, 10501 FGCU Boulevard South, Fort Myers 33965-6565

Registration Fee: $65-$150

Contact: Email [email protected]

Telephone: 239-590-1000

May

1. Lake Avalon Reverse Triathlon & Durathlon:

Triathlon – 5k Run, 10 Mile Bike, 1/4 Mile Swim

Duathlon – 5k Run, 10 Miles Bike, 1 Mile Run Race

Date: Sunday, May 1, 2016 Start Time: 7 AM

Location: Sugden Regional Park, 4284 Avalon Drive, Naples, 34112

Registration Fee: Pre-registration $89, Race Day $100, Relay Team $129; Transfers may be permitted.

Other Fees: USAT membership required. $12 one-day USAT license fee for non members.

Categories: Overall, Masters, Grand Masters, Clydesdale, Athena

Divisions: Individual, Relay Teams

Awards: Glass awards by age groups and finishers medals. Participant t-shirts for all.

Course Information: Runners begin at the park and transition to bike through tree-lined Lakewood neighborhood. Triathletes swim 1/4 mile across a freshwater lake and duathletes run to finish in the stadium.

Post Race: Popular music, refreshments, snacks

2. Cape Coral Yacht Club Sprint Triathlon: Swim ¼ Mile, Bike 11.5 Miles, Run 3.1 Miles

Race Date: Saturday, May 14, 2016 Start Time: 7 AM

Location: Cape Coral Yacht Club Community Park, 5819 Driftwood Parkway, Cape Coral, 33904

Contact: 239-574-0806, or email: [email protected]

Registration Fee: $65

Details: Beginners to serious competitors

Registration: is open for 2016 race

Course Information: ¼ mile swim off the cape Coral yacht Club beach; Bike course begins at the Tony Rotino Center; Run finishes on the beach.

Post Race: Music and food

June

30th Annual Fitness Challenge Reverse Triathlon: Run 3.1, Bike 9.3, Swim ¼ mile

Race Date: Sunday, June 5, 2016. Start time: 7:30 a.m.

Location: The Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club, 851 Gulf Shore Boulevard North, Naples, 34102

Registration Fees: Individual $80-$100, Relay Teams 2-3 persons $170-$190

15 Charity Spots: $275

Other Fees: Participants must be members of USA Triathlon and show proofs of membership at packet pick up or purchase a one-day license for $15.

Categories: Individual, Teams, Athena, Clydesdale

Divisions: Mens, Womens, Corporate, Mixed, Family, Special Response, High School, Middle School

Awards: Individuals Top 10 Overall Male and Female; Top 5 in Each Age Group; Top 5 in Each Team Division

Registration: March 1 – May 25, except through May 27 for individuals

Course Information: mostly flat land, ocean swim in Gulf of Mexico

Post Race: Breakfast

History: 30th Annual Fitness Challenge Reverse Triathlon, 29th Year of this Reverse Sprint Triathlon

July

American Sprint Triathlon: Swim ¼ Mile, Bike 10 miles, Run 3 miles

and American Sprint Duathlon: Run 1 mile, Bike 10 miles, Run 3 miles

Race Date: Sunday, July 10, 2106 Start Time: 7 AM

Location: Sugden Reginal Park, 4284 Avalon Drive, Naples, 34112

Registration: is open for 2016

Course Information: Swim from a sandy beach across a freshwater lake to the Margaret A, Sugden Amphitheater, transition to bike on mostly flat scenic course, and run mostly in shade with views of wildlife, wetlands, lakes, beaches, piers, sailboats to finish at the amphitheater.

History: 5th Annual event.

August

Estero Summer 5K Run/Walk

Race Date: Saturday, August 6, 2016 Start Time: 7:15 a.m.

Location: Estero, Florida – Estero Community Park

Registration Fee: $27 through August 2, $30 on race day

Course Information: Cross-country course on trails and soft turf with hill.

November

Thanksgiving Day 5K Run and Walk

Race Date: Thursday, November 24, 2016

Location: Estero, Florida – Germaine Arena

Registration Fee: $35

Categories: Individual, All ages

Divisions: Male, Female Overall, Masters, Grand Masters, Senior Grand Masters

Awards: Fit2Run Gift Cards, $25-$250

Course Information: Benefits San Carlos Park Roller Hockey

December

Survival Beach – Lovers Key

Race Date: Saturday, December 10, 2016

Location: Fort Myers Beach

Registration Fee: $30-$65

Course Information: Timed Adventure/Obstacle Race on the beach tests mental and physical skills and endurance through 5K obstacle course on beach.