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Discover Your Moment


Accel Triathlon Update: 4/1/2021

After much deliberation and perhaps a few tears, our planning team has decided to refrain from hosting the 2021 Accel Triathlon. We are disappointed but ultimately did not want to sacrifice the race being cancelled indefinitely due to oversight on our behalf. As we work towards race day 2022, we hope to achieve 100% support from our participants, volunteers and community! In full transparency we are committed to delivering a high level race day atmosphere and none of our options for this year felt ‘right’. Thank you for your understanding and continued support. Stay tuned for some exciting news we hope to share in regards to next year’s race!

Race with The Accel Group

The Accel Triathlon is powered by The Accel Group and The Accel Foundation.

We pride ourselves in being a grass roots race with a fun and organized atmosphere. Our core group of volunteers thinks of all the little details to make your day special. With a calm lake swim, a flat bike and run course, The Accel Triathlon is the perfect mid-season race! Whether you are an experienced triathlete, or a first timer looking for a fun race, The Accel Triathlon is for you!

Race Details

This race is one of the longest standing triathlons in the state and certainly a favorite. This year’s charitable race proceeds will support the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight and the Cedar Valley Honor Flight. Both organizations send WWII, Korean, and Cold War veterans to Washington D.C. to visit various historical sites and war memorials. Here is the story behind this organization we are supporting this year – Eastern Iowa Honor Flight or Cedar Valley Honor Flights.

New in 2020 – a possible fresh beach start! Also, rack next to a friend or with Tri club in our transition area.

Download the Athlete Guide
July 18, 2020
Waterloo, IA US 50703

Secure Your Spot Now!

Registration is closed at this time.

Schedule of Events

Friday, July 17th

5:30-7:30 pm – Packet Pickup at George Wyth State Park
6:30-7:00 pm –  Event Overview with the Race Directors (optional)

**Race Directors will provide overviews of each course, tips for new athletes, and answer any last-minute questions.

Saturday, July 18th

6:00-7:30 am – Packet Pickup, Body Marking, and Timing Chip Pickup
6:00-7:45 am – Transition Area Open
7:50-8:00 am –  Final Race Announcements
8:00 am – Race Begins
11:15 am – Sprint Awards and Olympic Awards (at Finish Line)


Swim Course

NEW! THE SWIM WILL BE A ROLLING RACE START WITH ATHLETES ACCORDING TO EXPECTED FINISH TIME. THERE ARE NO SWIM WAVES. WE ARE ALSO TRYING TO OBTAIN APPROVAL FOR A BEACH START. The Swim Course is currently an out-and-back swim that enters and exits the water on a boat ramp. Distances are 500 meters in the Sprint distance and 1500 meters in the Olympic distance. The tiered swim waves will be broken out by age group and distance. Athletes should always swim with the buoys to their left. More details to come as we finalize this year’s course!

Bike Course

This might just be the fastest bike course in all the Midwest! Not kidding! We sought out for a course that was inviting to first timers and motivating for our experienced racers to go out and set a new PR. Distances are 15.4 miles (24.8 kilometers) in the Sprint distance and 24.8 miles (40 kilometers) in the Olympic distance. Local law enforcement also allows us to block a good portion of the course from vehicle traffic to keep you safe.

Run Course

The Run Course is a simple out-and-back route on park roads through George Wyth State Park. There is a fair amount of shade to protect you from those rays! Distances are 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) in the Sprint distance and 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) in the Olympic distance. Starting at the Transition Area, athletes will turn right onto Wyth Road, turn right again onto Alice Road, and continue until the turnaround. Then retrace your steps back to the Finish Line area. Sprint athletes will make one loop, and Olympic athletes will make two loops. There will be three aid stations along the course with water, sports drink, and ice.


Age Group

This category is open to all participants. Racers will be divided into categories by gender and age.  Age groups for each gender are: 19 and under, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70 and older.

Clydesdale and Athena Divisions

Men weighing 220 pounds or more and women weighing 165 pounds, or more are able, but not required, to participate in the Clydesdale and Athena divisions. To do so, you must indicate this group on your registration form. Entrants in this category are eligible for Clydesdale or Athena Division awards, but not age group awards.


Sprint and Olympic teams (male, female, and co-ed) are welcome at the Accel Triathlon. Each team member must register individually using the Relay Link on the registration platform and pick up his/her own race packet. Relay team members will share a timing chip. The swim team member will hand off the chip to the bike member inside the Transition Area.  Returning bikers must then rack their bike before handing the chip to the runner. All handoffs must occur in the Transition Area.


The Accel Triathlon is a USAT sanctioned race. For a complete list of rules, please refer to the USA Triathlon website. Race participants are required to be annual members of, or have a one-day permit from, USAT. The $12 USAT one-day permit fee will be added to non-members’ entry fees prior to check-out.  USAT members must present their USAT membership card and photo ID at packet pickup.


Timing services will be conducted by True Time Racing for both the Olympic and Sprint distance races. Each athlete will be provided with an ankle chip for timing purposes. The chip must be worn at all times from the start until the completion of the race.  Race participants are responsible for returning their chips at the finish line. A $30 charge will be assessed to the athlete if the chip is not returned. Any chip lost will result in a disqualification.

Cut Off Times

To ensure the safety of our athletes and volunteers, there will be cutoff times enforced for each leg of the race.

  • Swim: Athletes must enter transition to bike by 9:04 am
  • Bike: Athletes must enter transition to run by 10:50 am
  • Run: Athletes must finish the race by 12:04 pm


The top three overall male and female finishers and the top 3 finishers in each of the categories for sprint and olympic distances will receive an award. Prize money will be awarded to the top three finishers in the men’s and women’s Olympic categories.

  • First Place: $100
  • Second Place: $50
  • Third Place: $25

Event Cancellation

If unsafe water conditions force us to cancel the swim portion of the race, the event will be a run-bike-run duathlon. Our Sprint athletes will complete a 1.55 mile run, 15.4 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run. Our Olympic athletes will complete a 3.1 mile run, 24.8 mile bike, and 6.2 mile run. We will follow the pre-determined Swim wave format for race start.

If inclement weather occurs (i.e. heavy rain, lightning, etc.), we will postpone the race as necessary up until 10:00 am. If at that time weather conditions still do not allow us to continue, the race will be cancelled for athlete safety.

Please check the Accel Triathlon Facebook page on race day for regular updates related to possible delays or cancellation.

Refund Policy

Registration is neither refundable nor transferable.

Shots from the Race

Race Results

View results from previous Accel triathlon events.


Interested in Volunteering?

We need approximately 100 volunteers to host a fun and safe race for our athletes, and we hope you will join us! There are different opportunities available, with varying times and responsibilities listed below. More specific details about each role will be provided to volunteers one to two weeks prior to race day. In addition, all volunteers will receive a free t-shirt and delicious meal on the day of the event to show our appreciation!

Please contact us at if you are interested in volunteering!

View Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Area Time Commitment Duties
Athlete Registration 5:30 – 8:00 am Volunteers check-in athletes, providing them with their packets, timing chips, and body marking.
Swim Course 7:00 – 9:30 am Lifeguards and kayakers direct and assist athletes in the water.

Swim counters count athletes to ensure all swimmers exit the water.

Transition Area 6:00 – 9:00 am


9:00am – 12:00pm

Volunteers provide security and protect athlete belongings by only allowing athletes into the transition area.
Mount/Dismount Line 7:30 – 10:30 am Volunteers ensure athletes mount and dismount their bikes outside of the transition area.
Bike Course 7:30 – 10:30 am Volunteers direct athletes at intersections and turns on the course, and watch for vehicle traffic on public roads to keep our athletes safe.
Run Course 8:30am – 12:00pm Volunteers direct athletes at intersections and turns on the course, and watch for vehicle traffic on park roads to keep our athletes safe.
Aid Stations 8:30am – 12:00pm Volunteers hand out water, sports drink, and ice to athletes as they pass by on the run course.
Finish Line 8:45am – 12:15pm Volunteers collect timing chips, hand out medals, and direct athletes to refreshments after they cross the finish line.
Food/Beverage Tent 8:00am – 12:00pm Volunteers help set up the food/beverages, and then help serve to athletes and other volunteers following the race.
Clean Up 10:00am – 1:00pm Volunteers help tear down each portion of the race after all athletes have completed it and moved on to the next phase.