Frequently Asked Questions

The content that follows was originally published on the Boston Triathlon website at

****NEW COVID-19 FAQs:

How is COVID-19 impacting the 2020 Boston Triathlon?

Together, we are facing an unprecedented time in history. The current public health crisis has delivered realities hard to imagine just several months ago. Currently government officials and the general public are primarily focused on triaging medical equipment to all of the front-line workers: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, EMTs, police officers, firefighters, and also providing economic support for essential workers: grocery store workers, custodians, postal workers, delivery drivers, bus drivers, and train conductors. These frontline and essential workers needs rise above any other current public needs. This is our focus at Boston Triathlon as well: being supportive partners of our community to provide the best way forward to overcoming the constraints of COVID-19. We want to thank those of you that are not working from home because you work in an essential business. We are all better off because of you.

How are you determining if the 2020 race will happen?

We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and are committed to putting the health and safety of our athletes, volunteers and fans above all else. We are tracking events carefully and working with city, state and healthcare professionals to make decisions about the race and will communicate as we know more.

Can I still sign up for Boston Tri without raising money?

Yes, you can still sign up for the Boston Triathlon without raising money, although we would prefer and encourage you to consider joining Team BMC. By committing to raise at least $500, your support will guarantee you a FREE race entry to the Columbia Threadneedle Investments Boston Triathlon whenever we do race next. By racing with Boston Medical Center, you will be supporting the selfless work being done by the brave healthcare workers at the largest safety net hospital in New England. Please note, if you registered and the event is cancelled due to COVID then you will automatically be deferred to 2021. We will also offer several other flexible deferral options to our racers.

You can use this link to register:

Register Here

I know you would provide deferrals and not refunds, but I lost my job, can I still get a refund?

Being supportive partners of our community is priority number one at Boston Tri. Per our FAQ question, we will provide flexible deferrals, but if you’ve been impacted directly by COVID-19, please contact us directly so we can help.

When will you know when the race is cancelled?

This is definitely the question on everyone’s mind, but we unfortunately do not know the answer. It’s a fluid situation where each day brings new developments almost on an hourly basis. We are all living day-to-day adjusting our lives as necessary. Whether we race or not, is not up to us completely. We are working with government officials, who currently are primarily focused on triaging medical equipment, basic city and state services and providing relief to the workforce displayed by COVID-19. We are continuing to talk with government officials, and will provide and update as soon as we know. 

How can I be a part of the solution?

While many of us are at home, our charitable partner Boston Medical Center is on the front lines, caring for our city and state’s most vulnerable residents. At this time, they need our support more than ever. You can register to race and join Team BMC to raise money for BMC, or you can directly donate to BMC’s COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund and have an immediate impact in the fight against this pandemic. You will be supporting the selfless work being done by the brave healthcare workers at the largest safety net hospital in New England


****Regular FAQs:


How do you handle refunds? 

  • We know situations change, but we want you to register with confidence that if something changes and you can’t race, you can get your money back. We are thrilled to tell you about a new offering for 2020 from our partners at Active Refund. Please note this is ONLY available at the time of purchase. Please purchase this protection!  More info here:
  • In addition, please note that without Active Refund, no refunds will be granted due to injury prior to race day and no credits will be given if the race is canceled due to poor weather, natural disasters or natural and unavoidable catastrophes that interrupt the expected course of events.

Am I able to edit my registration at any point before the race? 

  • Changes to registration can be made via email before July 24, 2020. After July 24, any updates, such as changing categories or updating personal information must be made in person on one of the scheduled race packet pickup days.

How do I pick up my registration bag?

  • Race packets can be picked up on Saturday (strongly recommended) between 2:30pm-6:30pm or Sunday beginning at 5:00am of race weekend. Registration location will be in the Boston Teacher’s Union parking lot. Directions available here.

Can I get my registration packet mailed to me?

  • Our USAT sanction forbids us from mailing registration packets because we need to see original photo IDs at packet pick-up.

Can I transfer my number to someone else?

  • There will be no transfers of bib numbers allowed. In addition, please note that no refunds will be granted due to injury prior to race day and no credits will be given if the race is canceled due to poor weather, natural disasters or natural and unavoidable catastrophes that interrupt the expected course of events.
  • Please see how we handle refunds above (Active Refund).

When will registration begin for the Kid’s Day?

  • Registration for the Kid’s Splash and Dash will open in April 2020.  Learn more here

Race Location, Directions and Accommodations

What is the best way to get to the race start?

  • Recommended routes to avoid road closures include Columbia Ave that will run parallel to Day Blvd, Farragut Road that opens up to Columbia Rd, Shore Road that will have two-way traffic during the race, and DCR Blvd that will only be open between the Farragut Statue and Castle Island.  Carson Beach is also MBTA accessible using the Red line. For more detailed instructions and recommendations, click here.

Where is the best place to park?

  • Parking will be available at the Corcoran Jennison lot located off Mt. Vernon Street.

What accommodations can you recommend close to the event for Saturday evening?

  • The Envoy Hotel, The Boston Harbor Hotel, and the DoubleTree Club by Hilton Boston Bayside are the three host hotels for The Columbia Threadneedle Investments Boston Triathlon that have special offers for race participants. The Envoy Hotel will centrally located in the heart of the action of the city with amazing views of Boston. Public transportation is available to and from both hotels and the race area. The Boston Harbor Hotel offers a luxurious 5-star stay with beautiful waterfront and city views. This hotel is also accessible using public transportation. The third host hotel is the DoubleTree Club by Hilton Boston Bayside that is located adjacent to the race venue and just blocks from the MBTA train station that offers direct access to downtown Boston. More information on these hotels can be found on the “Race Hotel” page on our website under the Event tab or click here

Where will the post-race after-party take place?

  • The after-party will take place next to the finish line in the registration area.

Where can I retrieve any lost and found items?

  • Any lost and found items will be available at the registration area

Race Rules and Logistics

Is the race USAT sanctioned?

  • Yes

Are there particular rules that must be followed for this event?

  • This event is a USAT sanctioned event, therefore all USAT Rules and Regulations apply

What are the most important rules that must be followed?

  • During the bike leg, wear your helmet with the chinstrap securely fastened at all times while on your bike.
  • Ride on the right side of your lane.
  • Keep three bike lengths between yourself and the cyclist in front of you.
  • Pass on the left of the cyclist in front, never on the right.
  • Complete your pass within 15 seconds.
  • If passed, you must drop completely out of the zone, to the rear, before attempting to re-pass.

Also note:

  • You must wear the colored swim cap provided to you at packet pickup
  • Your bike needs to have your bib number attached to it (this will be provided by the race)
  • You must wear your bib number during the run leg (this is not required during the bike leg)
  • Personal music players and headphones are not allowed
  • Complete list of rules can be found following this link

Will headphones be allowed during the race?

  • No headphones or personal music players will be allowed during the event


Transition Area

Where will the transitions take place?

  • DCR Mother’s Rest Field is a grassy field where transitions will take place

Will I be able to check my transition on Sunday morning?

  • Yes, transition areas will be open to all athletes starting at approximately 5:00am.

When do I need to rack my bike in the transition area?

  • You can rack your bike on Saturday or Sunday morning in the transition area. The space will be monitored and secure over the course of the weekend with access granted to only athletes, staff and volunteers.

How secure is the transition area?

  • The transition will be monitored by security starting Saturday afternoon, through Sunday following the race. Access to the area is granted to athletes, staff and volunteers only.

How will I know where to enter and exit transitions?

  • The area is a flow-through design where athletes will enter at one end and exit the other.


The Bike

Can I rent a bike for the event?

  • No bike rentals will be available through the event, but are welcome from outside vendors.

What is drafting? Is the bike section draft legal? Can I draft on the bike?

  • Drafting is when you are riding too close to the bike in front of you, which in turn, gives you an advantage. All races in this event are non-drafting, therefore each participant much be at least 3 bike lengths between you and the person in front of you. Participants should stay on the right side of William Day Blvd and leave the left side open for participants to pass.

Will there be a water station on the bike course?

  • There will be no water stations on the bike course

Where do I wear my body race number on the bike section?

  • The race will provide you with a bike bib number that must be attached to your bike during the bike leg of the race. You are not required to wear your bib number while on the bike

Will there be bike mechanics onsite during the event?

  • Yes.

Do I need cleats/clipless pedals for the bike?

  • No

Do I need to wear a helmet?

  • Yes. USAT Rules mandates that you wear a helmet with a chinstrap securely fastened at all times while on the bike.


The Run

Will there be water stations on the run course?

  • Yes. There will be 3 water stations with water and electrolyte replacement drink set up approximately every 1.5 miles along the course. (Olympic runners will pass them twice)

Should I wear specific running shoes?

  • Specific running shoes are not required, however they are recommended for comfort. It is strongly recommended that you do not wear new running shoes for the first time during the race.

Where should I wear my body race number on the run section?

  • The body race number must be worn and visible during the run leg of the race.

The Swim

What safety measures are in place during the swim?

  • Athlete safety is our number one concern and we are committed to ensuring the Boston Tri is a safe and enjoyable experience for all.  There will be lifeguards all along the course, both on shore and in kayaks in the water.  In the event an individual is struggling with the swim course, we will be able to offer immediate assistance.

Can I rent a wet suit for the event?

  • The race does not offer wet suit rentals for this event. Wetsuits are recommended but not required for competition.

What is the water temperature most likely to be at the time of the event?

  • Temperature will most likely be around 68°F

Do I need a swim cap?

  • Yes. The race will provide you with a colored Neoprene Swim Cap that must be worn during the swim leg of the event

Do I need goggles for the swim event?

  • Yes.

Is the swim a dive start?

  • No, athletes will begin the swim in the water.

Is any stroke allowed in the swim?

  • Yes

Can I swim the Dorchester Bay course before the event?

  • While there will be an opportunity to warm up in the water in advance, the course will not be open for swimming prior to the start of the race



Is there a place I can leave my personal belongings?

  • The transition area will be secure and monitored during the course of the race with rack space that allows for plenty of room for gear storage. Athletes will be able to pick up their gear once all bikes have been returned from the course.

What equipment will I need for this event?

  • A list of equipment can be found using the “Race Day Checklist” tab under Events, or by clicking here.

What do I do with my chip timing?

  • You will pick up your timing chip on Sunday morning before entering the Transition Area



How many splits will be shown in the results?

  • Five splits: swim, bike, run, T1, and T2. Our timer will provide computerized chip-timing including individual splits.

When will I be able to see my splits and final results?

  • Final results will be available immediately following the race on computer monitors providing a live result feed set up at the post-race expo. A complete list of splits and official results will be available online the day after the race.


Spectator Questions

Will there be disabled parking, access, etc. for spectators on race day?

  • Yes, there will be handicapped parking available in the lot at the Corcoran Jenison Building

Where is the best place to watch the race?

  • Spectators can watch the swim portion from Carson Beach.  They can watch the bike or run anywhere along the route.

Can I track the process of a friend or family member?

  • Yes, Live Tracking will be available

Where can I meet friends/family who has taken part in the race once the race is finished?

  • The final leg of the race will end back at DCR Mother’s Rest Field where participants can reconnect with friends and family before making their way over to the post-race festivities.